How to Mix High Gloss Paint With Paint Thinner

Meg Butler

Both oil-based and latex paints come in high gloss formulas. However, only oil-based paints can be thinned with paint thinner. Most commercial paint thinners are made from low odor mineral spirits. Paint thinners are easy to add to high gloss paints; the degree of thinning you achieve is largely a matter of personal choice and project need. If oil paints are too thick, they will run. However, avoid thinning high gloss paints down to a water-color consistency. Soupy oil paints run and provide poor coverage.

Thin high gloss oil paint with paint thinner.

Step 1

Pour a measured cup of paint into a container that can hold at least 2 cups.

Step 2

Add 1 tablespoon of paint thinner to the cup of paint.

Step 3

Stir the paint with a paint stick. Scrape the bottom and sides of the container to make sure you mix all of the paint.

Step 4

Paint a thin streak of the thinned paint onto a piece of scrap paper or cardboard to test its thickness. Wait a few minutes for it to dry to ascertain true coverage and color.

Step 5

Repeat Steps 2 through 4 until you reach the desired consistency. Write down the number of tablepsoons of paint thinner required.

Step 6

Calculate how much thinner you need to thin the main batch. Most paint comes in quarts or gallons. There are 4 cups in a quart and 16 cups in a gallon. Multiply the number of tablespoons you added by the number of cups remaining in the container (minus the cup you already took out). There are 16 tablespoons in a cup.