Applying paint is not a hassle anymore—all thanks to the invention of sprayers that spread the paint evenly and give a smooth coverage to various surfaces. However, latex paints need to be thinned before you pour them into the sprayer otherwise the nozzle will get clogged because latex paints are thick.
If you want to be a part of the debate regarding how to thin latex paint for sprayer, keep reading this article!
How To Thin Latex Paint For Sprayer
Paint Types — Oil-Based vs. Latex Paint
Paints are primarily divided into two categories based on their formula: oil-based paints and water-based paints. Oil paints are also called alkyd paints; they are made with petroleum solvents and are not water-soluble. The characteristics of oil paints are as follows: they are less susceptible to external impact factors like temperature, pressure, and humidity, feature excellent resistance against tearing and have a glossy texture.
In contrast, water-based paints are also called latex paints and they utilize water as the primary solvent. The characteristics of latex paints are the following: they are durable, best for external use, features wide application, are easy to handle, effortless to clean up, and more. In a few words, latex paints are more user-friendly and affordable paints than others because they are water-soluble.
The latex paints are made of acrylic resins and enamel which provide an even and untextured finishing to various substrates like walls, cabinets, and more. As I said before, latex includes water as the main solvent, so it is not waterproof paint. However, you can do double or triple coats to resist moisture or seepage issues to an extent. A water repellent additive will also help if you’re planning to paint outdoor surfaces with latex.
If you’re curious about if latex is washable or not, then we want to tell you that it is water soluble and washes off easily as compared to oil paints. That’s the main reason why beginners go for latex paint because you can remove it using simple soap and water. Latex paints are extensively used for different applications including painting furniture but remember to prime the surface before you start painting.
Painting Methods — Brush vs. Sprayer
Applying paint on the desired surface is another debate now because there are many ways of doing so. Among all, the most common methods to apply paint are paintbrushes and paint sprayers. Using a paintbrush is a conventional, most affordable, and widely used way to paint any area but it does have some potential drawbacks like the brush drips a lot and wastes paint, it is messier, difficult to handle for beginners, and more.
In this sequence, the paint sprayers are the gateway to applying paint like a pro. There are many obvious benefits of using a paint sprayer: it spreads paint evenly, reduces staining, provides a crystal-clear finish, works faster than a brush, is easy to handle, makes a thin coat that dries quickly, and much more. The best thing is that using the finest paint sprayer will also cut down the paint cost by utilizing it efficiently.
Once you’ve decided to go with the paint sprayer, it’s time to understand some tactics related to its usability and application to paint like a pro. For your information, paint sprayers are commonly used for applying oil paints because they are thinner in texture than water-based paints and take time to dry completely. However, that doesn’t mean any restrictions as you can use a paint sprayer for latex paints.
In today’s market, we have some advanced latex paints that are not prone to clogging and quick drying, and can easily be applied using a sprayer gun. All thanks to the new artificially-made resins added in those paints which makes the consistency thinner and wet so that a sprayer uses it without any issues. Aside from that, you should also focus on the quality of airless guns to bring out the procedure efficiently.
Thinning Latex Paint for Sprayer
Once you have the finest paint sprayer and excellent quality latex paint, it’s time to dilute it to paint the surface efficiently. For that reason, you’ll need some basic materials including water, a funnel, and of course a paint bucket. I used a five-gallon bucket; however, that entirely depends upon the application.
After gathering all the required materials, pour the paint in considerable quantity into the bucket and add half a cup of water for diluting each gallon. In other words, for one-gallon paint, half a cup of water is required. Now mix the batter thoroughly so that water gets dissolved into the paint and check a running test. If the paint is freely running into the funnel, it means it’s ready; otherwise, you can add more water to dilute the paint further.
FAQs about Latex Paint Thinning
Do you need to thin latex paint for the paint sprayer?
Yes! Latex paints are thick in texture and dry quickly which will lead to clogging issues in the sprayer. Therefore, it is necessary to dilute the latex paint so that it runs smoothly from a paint sprayer. For that purpose, mix one gallon of paint in half a cup of water and you’re done but don’t forget to take a running test before you start the prime application.
What is the difference between latex paint and oil paint?
The water-based or latex paints utilize water as the primary solvent; and are durable, best for external use, features wide application, easy to handle, effortless to clean up, and more. In contrast, oil paints or alkyd paints are made with petroleum solvents and are not water-soluble. They are less susceptible to external impact factors like temperature, pressure, and humidity, feature excellent resistance against tearing, and have a glossy texture.
What is the ratio of paint to thinner for spray guns?
The ratio of paint to thinner for the spray gun is 4:1. Dilution affects the paint quality, its drying time, and viscosity so you need to consider the ratio to bring the application successfully. Swipe up to read more about how to thin latex paint for sprayer!
Concluding Latex Paint Thinning Guide
Latex paints need to be diluted before use because of their thick texture which leads to clogging and fast drying. There is no rocket science as you can do it simply by adding water to it but don’t forget to take a running test before use. After that, applying paint is another debate and opinionatedly speaking sprayers are the best way to paint different surfaces efficiently.
Hi, I am Pete Fagerlin, carpenter by profession and working on different DIY projects is my passion. For more than a decade, it’s been my weekend hobby to dig into different tools for my favorite DIY projects which helped me to become knowledgeable about different DIY tools. With a combination of my profession and passion, I am here to collaborate with Adam Wilson to share my DIY tools knowledge with the MechanicsGear readers.