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How to Mix High Gloss Paint With Paint Thinner

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.

Things You Will Need

  • Container
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • Paint stick
  • Paint brush
  • Scrap paper

About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.

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