The Best Practices In Mixing Paint Colors For Spray Guns

As children, mixing paint colors usually consisted of playing around with different colors until you ended up with a brown or gray mess. Even after all these years, though we may have graduated from canvases to walls, paint mixing is still an enigma for many. So, for those of you who wish to understand how to mix paint once and for all – look no further.

First things first, you need to consider your project and the best method of application. More times than not, a spray gun will become your best friend. Before you even begin your project, let’s take a look at some recommended tools and accessories that will make your lives a little easier.

What’s in your bag?

There’s nothing worse than starting a project and realizing you are missing some essential piece of the puzzle. We hate to state the obvious, but you’re going to need paint, a paint strainer, a paint sprayer, and a paint bucket, for starters. Safety precautions should always be in place when you’re tackling any renovation project. You should always gear up with a face mask and safety goggles.

Protect yourself

Mixing paint does require you to use materials that can be harmful to ingest. To protect your eyes, lungs, and body, your safety goggles and face mask will do a good job of preventing the ingestion of any fumes which may be present during the mixing and spraying process. Ensure you are also wearing clothing that you won’t mind getting ruined as it will be the protective barrier between the paint and your skin.

What kind paint are you using?

Water-based paints vary on water concentration. Fortunately, you do have the option of thinning out your paint with water. It’s suggested that you add ½ cup of water for every gallon of paint. Oil-based paints do require mineral-based thinning agents, however. It’s suggested to add one-part turpentine or mineral spirits for every three parts of paint.

Straining

Paint straining is a necessary technique if you want to help to alleviate any clogging that occurs in your spray gun. Used as a prophylactic, pouring your paint through a paint strainer will reduce impurities and clumps, ultimately reducing the amount of times you’ll need to unclog your device.

Test out your sprayer

Using a spray board, you can test out your spray gun before the final mixing. If you’re lucky, your paint won’t need any mixing at all. If the paint application is smooth and even, it’s ready to use. If you find that it’s being distributed unevenly, or you are not content with the appearance, get mixing.

The final mix

This step is all about trial and error. You will need to oscillate between adding water and paint until you get just the right consistency. Luckily, instructions on which thinning agent to use are readily available on the paint can. Take your time to establish the perfect mixture-this is where the test spray board comes in handy. Once you think you’ve found your recipe, you’re good to go.

Paint mixing is perfected only with time and practice. If you think an upcoming paint job is better-suited for a professional, the good folks at Spray Finishes are masters of their craft. Contact us today for an onsite consultation!

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