How to Mix Paint For A Spray Gun – Step by Step Guide

The perfect finish of a painting job depends a lot on how you mix spray paint or the paint ratio. Hence, you must know how to mix paint for a spray gun before you get one. The first reason is that all spray guns are not compatible with every kind of paint. Then, the improper ratio of paint and thinner can cause uneven coverage, which is not expected to any users.

Moreover, it may hamper the spray gun functionality. With practice, you can learn how to run a paint gun like a professional. However, if you don’t know how to mix spray paint colors, you won’t get the desired outcome. Having said that, it’s not so difficult to prepare paint for spray gun.

Are you worried about mixing paint for spray gun? Wanna know how to mix automotive paint for spraying?

Then stay right on this article. Here I will not only share the step-by-step process of mixing paint but also share the key information why they are essential. This way, you can never go wrong with mixing paint.

What Does It Mean to Thinning Paint?

When the paint is thick, like latex, you need to thin out the paint. But, not always. It depends on what kind of spray gun you use and its compatibility.

Not all spray guns can ensure an even and smooth finish with thick paint. Often they get clogged, which becomes difficult to clean out as well. To solve this issue, you need to thin out the paint to make it compatible to use on the spray gun.

To thin out the paint, you can use water or a thinning solution. Usually, water is known as the standard thinning material. It’s colorless and doesn’t impact the paint components. Hence, the more water you use to thin out the paint, it will become more watery.

Also, remember that mixing paint water will also impact the drying time as well. So, you need to check the paint consistency while mixing water constantly. One reason is paints may look similar, but they are quite different from each other. Hence, it’s not possible to tell you an exact ratio about how much water to mix.

For this reason, you must carefully follow the step-by-step process to ensure the water and paint ratio is correct.

How to Mix Paint for A Spray Gun?

Whether you mix auto paint for spray gun or mix paint for furniture, there are a few things you need to arrange first. Don’t worry!

The process is simple and requires a handful of things that might be already available at your workshop. Check out the below items and arrange them before you begin painting.


you need to choose the correct paint for the item you are intending to paint. Otherwise, the wrong paint will damage the surface without any doubt.

Paint Thinning Solution or Water

Most painters go for water for thinning the paint like latex. If it’s water, you will need to arrange a sufficient volume of water. However, you can also choose a thinner one if you like.


Nobody wants a mess while doing a delicate job like painting. Thus, the funnel will help you to work in an organized way. Also, you can ensure the right viscosity of the paint.

Spray Gun

Finally, a spray gun. Here, you need to ensure a good quality spray gun that can support your project. Therefore, you need to check the nozzle tip, spray gun’s functionality, etc., are clean and working smoothly.

Testing Area or Cardboard

Before you apply the paint on the actual surface, it’s always better to test first. After preparing the paint, make sure you test the viscosity of the paint on cardboard or choose a testing surface. Please pay attention to the spraying outcome and how evenly it applies on the surface.


Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Prepare the Paint

All goes well when the start is well. Hence, carefully mix the paint in the correct ratio. Start with 12 punches of water for one gallon of paint. Then, using a stick, mix the paint properly. To check the consistency, you can use a strainer.

Step 2 – Pour the Paint into the Funnel

As you have thinned out the paint, you must recheck the consistency with a funnel. The funnel will help you visually check if you can spray the paint with the gun. Therefore, as you pour the paint into the funnel, it should easily pour into the funnel and reach the bottom. If you realize the paint isn’t flowing freely, then thin out the paint even more and check again until you get the right consistency.

While doing this step, there is a chance of over-pouring the paint. To avoid any waste, you can set the funnel on a bucket and pour the paint.

Step 3 – Increase the Ratio

When you are confident about the paint ratio of the first gallon, you can then increase the ratio slowly. Because if you do this all at once, the paint may not mix properly. And, it will be difficult to identify even if the paint smoothly flows through the funnel. Also, it can impact the paint’s adhesive quality.

Step 4 – Sample Test

Has the paint been thinned properly? If so, then test the paint first!

To do this, you need to load the newly prepared paint into the designated container of the sprayer. Then, take the testing surface or cardboard and pull the trigger. The spray gun should easily spray the paint without any trouble. You just notice if the paint is evenly spread on the surface. If so, then you are ready to paint the item you have intended to.

If not, then the paint mixing is not correct yet. You need to go back to step 1 and go through the following steps again.

Step 5 – Paint the Actual Surface

Now that you are completely ready with the paint mixture and the spray gun is working well. You can paint the things you need to.

Final Thought

Here is the process of mixing paint ends. You don’t need to look for how to mix car paint for spray gun or wood paint, crafting, etc., separately. The steps are the same for all types of paint. Also, you don’t need to worry about curing time. As you have thinned the paint while mixing, it will last longer. This process will save your money and paint; also ensure an even and smooth finish.

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