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How To Thin Acrylic Paint For Sprayer? Thinning Paint Like A Pro In 5 Easy Steps! [2023 Updated]

how to thin acrylic paint for sprayer

To spray paint on an object through a sprayer, it must be thinned first and then loaded onto the sprayer. However, the process of thinning paint is different for every painting, as there are many types of paint, and each paint is formulated to different thickness levels across industries. Like other paints, Acrylic paint will need to be thinned for your sprayer. 

Acrylic paint is a chemical-based paint used inside and outside to add great looks to walls, ceilings, furniture, and other objects. The process of diluting acrylic paint is uncomplicated, and the methods are described with ease in our article. If you need to learn the procedure of thinning acrylic paint, this article will help make this task easier. Keep reading!

What Is Acrylic Paint? 

Before going into the paint thinning process, let’s briefly describe what Acrylic paint is. So, Acrylic paint is a chemical-based paint that is formulated to combine the properties of oil and watercolor paints. You can dilute this type of paint with water. Initially, Acrylic paint was used as house paint, but later, professionals started using it as a substitute for oil paint.

As water is a component of acrylic paint, this paint dries quickly. Due to the versatility of this paint, it sticks well to a variety of surfaces, including wood, brick, stone, plastic, metal, etc. Additionally, this paint is non-flammable, solvent-free, and has a mild odor.

Basic Things Needed To Thin Acrylic Paint

  • Paint 
  • Water or paint thinner liquid 
  • Funnel for testing paint thickness 
  • Paint sprayer
  • Cardboard or any surface to test the prepared thinned paint

How To Thin Acrylic Paint For Sprayer: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Add Water To Paint 

Add 12 to 13 ounces of water to every gallon of paint. Water should be about 10% of the amount of paint. Then, check the consistency of the paint; for this, you can use a filter. The correct consistency of the paint should match your spray gun. Then, take a stir stick and mix the paint well.

Step 2: Pour The Thinned Paint Into The Funnel 

After thinning the paint, pour the thinned paint into a funnel and allow it to flow freely from the bottom of the funnel to check its correct consistency. However, your paints should be of good use. So, hold the funnel over a bucket. If the paint mixture doesn’t flow freely, you’ll need to use a sieve to check for clogs.

Step 3: Check Paint’s Consistency 

Suppose you get the proper consistency of the paint, fine! In contrast, if your prepared mixture is still too thick, it may be necessary to pour more water into it. Keep adding water little by little as needed until you get the right consistency. Keep in mind your paint should be a manageable length. Otherwise, you will get a better finish from that mixture.

Step 4: Make Sure The Paint Is Properly Thinned 

Now, you need to test the consistency of your diluted paint. Make sure your paint is appropriately thinned. Pour the diluted paint mixture into the tank of your sprayer. Turn on the trigger of the sprayer and spray the cardboard or any surface to test spraying.  

You have to achieve an apparent spread, not stuck or slow spraying on the surface. If you get the desired result, you can use this prepared paint for your project. And if you do not get the desired result, the paint will have to go through the process of re-mixing.

Step 5: Start Applying Paint On Your Actual Object

Once your paint thinning process is done, start painting with your sprayer on your actual objects, like a wall or furniture. It is vital to dilute your Acrylic paint to the correct thickness and mix it well. This ensures that the paint will stick to the surface for a long time. Also, it will make your wall appealing.

What Precautions Should You Take When Thinning Your Acrylic Paint?

  • Get the right consistency of paint while thinning the paint.
  • To get the paint consistency you want, test the prepared paint mixture. You also use error techniques in testing.
  • Mix only a little water in the paints at a time. First, add some water, and judge its thickness. Then, keep increasing the amount of water. It would help if you reached your desired thickness in the paint. Once you get it, stop adding water to the paint.
  • Never overload your sprayer with prepared paint mixture.
  • Wear goggles, a hat, shoes, and gloves for your safety during work.

You can also use paint thinner liquid for the purpose of thinning your Acrylic paint. Water works like a paint thinner liquid and increases the stretchability of the paint. Water is preferable for the paint thinner process as it works as a paint thinner. Using water as a paint-thinning liquid will also save you some pennies you have to spend on paint-thinner liquid.

What Should You Do If Your Acrylic Paint Is Thinned Too Much?

In the process of thinning your Acrylic paint, what should you do if your hand accidentally drops too much water into the paint? Because in case the paint becomes too thin, you cannot use it, and if you use that paint for spraying, the result will be wrong. So to fix this problem, slowly pour half a cup of paint into that mixture, and keep stirring it well. Keep stirring and prepare the mixture in the right consistency.

Next, pour the paint into the funnel. When the paint slides out of the funnel easily, you can be sure that the excess thinness of your paint is gone and the paint has reached the correct consistency. Now, you can use this paint for your project. You will get excellent results on your surface and not have any trouble while spraying.


It would be best if you essentially thinned your paint in order to spray paint. However, spraying also requires proper paint consistency. Take care of it. In case your paint needs to have the proper consistency, your sprayer won’t be able to spray smoothly and effectively. All paints are manufactured to be used at a specific viscosity level to give a smooth finish and significant effect.  

After reading this article, you can see that the process of thinning Acrylic paint is straightforward, and you go through it with ease. Depending on your project, you can use HVLP or an airless sprayer.

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