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Best Way to Thin Latex Paint

Vibhav Gaonkar
Using latex or acrylic paints to paint walls is always better than using oil-based paints. Are you planning to paint your home using any of these? If yes, then here's a story that explains the best way to thin latex paint.

Quick Fact

Latex paint is water-soluble when wet, but becomes water-resistant when dry.
Before we move on to the steps to thin latex paint, let's take a look at some of its properties. Traditional latex paints used the resin from rubber trees as binding solutions. However, the modern ones no longer depend on rubber trees; they are made from synthetic resins of polyvinyl acetate, styrene-butadiene, and other binding solutions.
Today, most people prefer using latex paints than oil-based ones, because they are in many ways superior to the latter. The finish of latex paints is very smooth and extremely durable. It resists scratches, scuffs, and repels water.
Top quality latex paints can also be cleaned of stains or dust. Latex, being porous, is breathable and eliminates moisture from the surface. Here's a simple way to thin latex paint.

Things You Will Need

  • Latex Paint
  • Bucket/s
  • Water
  • Funnel
  • Sprayer/Brush

How to Thin Latex Paint

Step 1
Purchase latex paint as per your color requirements. Decide the wall on which you plan to begin painting.
Step 2
Open the respective paint can and pour some paint (as much required) in a bucket. For every gallon (3.7 liters) of paint, add about half a cup (118 ml) of water. Use a long stick to mix the added water with the paint.
Step 3
Once the paint and water is thoroughly mixed, check the consistency by pouring it through a funnel. If the paint flows freely through it, it is properly thinned.
Step 4
In case it does not flow freely, add about 30 ml of water per gallon. Mix thoroughly until the water has properly mixed with the paint. Now do the consistency test once again. In case you still don't get the desired consistency, add another 30 ml of water.
Step 5
Test the paint by applying a little bit on the wall with a sprayer or brush. Do this on a small patch of the wall. Once applied, allow it to dry; then, apply another coat to get the final look of your paint.
If the paint drips, it is too thin―thicken it by adding more paint. Paint that is too thick will have a texture similar to that of an orange peel; in this case, thin the paint further.
Step 6
Once you've achieved the perfect consistency, pour the paint into a sprayer and apply it on the proposed wall. Alternatively, you can also paint it manually using a brush.
There are some precautions you need to take when using latex paint. Do not excessively thin the paint at one go; latex dries quickly, and repels water after drying. When you're done painting, immediately wash all the brushes clean, to avoid deposits of dried paint.