The Skinny on Paint Thinner

Paint does not need to curdle to require paint thinner. Paint starts to thicken when exposed to open air for a long time. However, this does not mean that you have to throw away the previous paint and buy a new can. The job of the paint thinner is to change the consistency of the paint so that it can be used easily and conveniently for your Athens exterior or interior painting project.

Buy the Right Paint Thinner

The first step is to buy the right kind of paint thinner. Each paint has a particular kind of thinner that has the ability to change its consistency. No two types of thinner can be mixed together to thin out your paint. If you are using a vinyl paint, for example, then it is essential that you buy a vinyl paint thinner. Ensure that the paint and thinner are compatible.

Add Paint Thinner in Right Quantities

Pour the paint into a big vessel, and then add the thinner in the required quantity. If you don’t use the right amount, the paint will be too thin to apply and will run all over the place. Remember that cold paint looks thick and may lure you to add more paint thinner. Always add paint thinner to paint that is at room temperature. Paint should always be kept at room temperature and not allowed to get too cold or too hot. In frigid climates you cannot store paint in unheated areas and allow it to freeze. This destroys the paint and no amount of thinner will help.
TIP: Doityourself’s painting consultant Edward Kimble, author of Interior House Painting Blog says, “When storing oil base or other paint, before closing the can, pour a very small amount of the appropriate thinner on the top of the can of paint. This will prevent the paint from developing a solid skin on top.”

Mix the Paint

Use a wooden stick, spatula or spoon to stir the paint while you add the paint thinner. Stir it for a while to check for results. If not satisfied with the results, add a little more until you get the desired effect.
TIP: Edward, says, “Do not depend solely on a paint stick to blend thinner into paint. Use several empty gallon paint cans to pour paint and thinner back and forth to attain a uniform consistency. Use very small quantities to gradually achieve the proper consistency. You can always add more thinner, but not always add more paint.”

Apply Different Techniques for Different Surfaces

Each kind of paint and mode of painting requires a different technique and consistency. For instance, if you want to paint a large surface, an airbrush might be the best way to do so. In such cases, the paint consistency should be thin. Paint requires thinning in order to spray, even up to ¼ thinner to the paint.

Coat the Desired Surface

Use the mixed paint to coat the desired surface. Check if the paint is easily covering the surface and the consistency is as thick as you want it. Always apply 2 coats of paint to check the results. Of course, the first coat has to be allowed to dry fully. Check the paint can label for required drying times between coats.
TIP: Never leave the paint thinner can open for too long, as it will evaporate. To ensure that you do not stain yourself, wear gloves before starting this process. You can buy rubber gloves from the nearest Athens paint, hardware or home center store and use them to protect your hands. Similarly, wear an apron to protect your clothes from being smeared with paint.