How to Add Water to Paint When It Is Too Thick

Painting is a convenient way of covering surfaces that are no longer suitable, whether they are dirty or scratched or simply the wrong color.

You can thin thick paint with water for easier application.You can thin thick paint with water for easier application.
Paint should be smooth and should cover the wall or other surface, often with only one coat. Since each type of paint has its own unique formula, you'll have to use your own eyes and good judgment during the thinning process. You can add water to thin out your latex paint when necessary, but of course you cannot add water to oil-based paint.

Pour the paint into a larger bucket if you are planning to thin out the entire gallon of paint. Allow a few seconds for the extra paint to drain out of the can.

Pour in 1 cup of room-temperature water to the bucket and stir the paint with a paint stick. Stir for several minutes until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Check to see if the thickness is suitable for the application you are using it for.

Add more water, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Be careful not to over-thin the paint, or it will not provide proper coverage and might actually flake off later.

Check the paint by applying it on the surface you want to paint, using the tool suitable for the job, whether it is a sprayer, a roller, a paintbrush or a rag. Keep the paint as thick as possible for the best results.

Things You Will Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Paint stick

About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.