Modernpaint is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thinning Latex Paint For Sprayer The Simple Way [2023 Updated]

thinning latex paint for sprayer

A spray gun is an ultimate solution for a painting project, especially a large painting project, such as a house, car, etc. With a paint sprayer, you’ll be able to accomplish a paint task more comfortably, in less time, and with less effort than with a brush or roller. 

A sprayer allows you to paint evenly over surfaces, resulting in a fine finish. However, if you need to paint with water-based paint, such as Latex paint, you won’t be able to use the paint for a sprayer without thinning it. 

But, thinning Latex paint for a sprayer is not relatively easy. If you need to thin a large amount of paint for your big project, you need to have some technical knowledge about paint thinning. 

You cannot add oil-based paint thinners to your water-based Latex paint because they will not mix, and the paint material on top will separate.

Material Needed For Latex Paint Thinning 

  • Paint strainer
  • Paint stick
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Water
  • Bucket

    How To Thin Latex Paint For Sprayer? [Step-By-Step Instructions]

    Step 1: Check How Much Paint You Need

    The first step that you have to do is to check how much paint is required for your target painting project. Thin the paint out as much as you need to use. No need to dilute an entire can of paint. 

    Measure the number of paints you want to dilute for your project. Because the water you add to make the paints thinner will be according to the volume of the paint.

    Step 2: Dilute The Paint By 10%

    Although you can thin the paint as much as you want according to your need, it is considered ideal for diluting the paint to 10%. Typically, 12 to 13 ounces of water are needed to properly thin a gallon of paint.

    Step 3: Pour The Paint Into A Bucket

    In the third step, pour the amount of paint you need to thin out the can and pour it into a bucket.

    Step 4: Add Water To Your Latex Paint

    Now, you have to pour water into your Latex paint. So, pour 10% water of the total amount of paint into your Latex paint, and stir well.

    Step 5: Stir The Paint And Check Its Consistency 

    Keep stirring the paint solution gently using a paint stick for 8 to 10 minutes. Air bubbles should not form in the paint, so avoid vigorously stirring the paint. To check the consistency of the paint, pull the stir up from time to time.

    Step 6: Check The Thickness Of The Paint

    Now, to check the thickness of the paint, take the funnel and dip it into the paint. If you see paint flowing freely through the end of the funnel, your paint mixture is ​​ready for spraying.

    If you feel that the mixture of the paints is very thick, you can add water to the paint again. After adding water, stir the paint well again.

    As we stated, it is ideal for diluting the paint to 10%. However, if you want to get the thinness you want, thin the paint further by adding a little water.

    But keep in mind that the paint should not become too thin; otherwise, the painting will not have a good effect.

    Step 7: Sieve The Paint 

    Now sieve the paint mixture. In this, the dirt, dust, etc., impurities present in the paints will be removed.

    You can leave this step of filtering paint and pour the paint directly into the sprayer. But we suggest you filter the paint for better results.

    Step 8: Load The Sprayer With Thinned Paint 

    Your Latex paint thinning is done. Now, load the thinned paints into your spray gun. Load as much paint into the sprayer at once according to the instructions in the equipment manual.

    After this, start spraying the paint on your target surface. As you dilute the paint, it will lighten the color of the paint a bit.

    So, it’s good to apply multiple coats to the surface. Several coats may be required to get the actual quality of the paints.

    Other Items That Can be Used To Thin Latex Paint?

    As Latex paint is water-based, water is compatible with thinning paint. But apart from water, there are many other paint thinners available that you can consider using to thin the paint. Some paint thinners are described below:

    1. Using a Concoction

    You can also thin Latex paint by using a mixture or a mixture of different ingredients. Make a solution using boiling water, dish soap, and alcohol. Below are tips for making a solution:

    • First, boil 1.5 cups of water.
    • Then add 1.5 tbsp dish soap to the boiling water. Then add 1/2 cup of alcohol to that mixture.
    • Once the mixture is ready, check its consistency. Then add that mixture to the Latex paint. Add enough mixture to the paint to achieve the thinness you want. Mix the prepared thinner thoroughly with the paint solution.

    2. Isopropyl Alcohol

    Another option is isopropyl alcohol, which you can use to thin your Latex paint. Many people use Isopropyl alcohol as a paint thinner to thin the paint. You may have a question about whether to mix isopropyl can with water or not.

    So, let’s say that isopropyl mixes with water and is effective in thinning the paint. You can dilute paint by using isopropyl with water.

    If you want to use isopropyl alcohol as a thinner to thin Latex paint, you can follow the steps for thinning Latex paint with water above. Keep isopropyl alcohol out of contact with your skin and eyes. So, be sure to follow the necessary precautions.

    Helpful Safety Tips To Be Followed When Thinning Latex Paint 

    Latex paint is safe and less toxic; however, you should take some precautions when thinning your Latex paint. Here are safety tips:

    • Don’t mess up the area where you are going to process the paint thinner.
    • Protect your body from the effects of paint chemicals.
    • Put on gloves to prevent the paint mixture from touching your skin.
    • To protect your eyes, put on some goggles. Paint odors or fumes can be overpowering and irritate your eyes.
    • Wear a mouthpiece mask for protection. As much as possible, avoid breathing in paint fumes. Avoid getting the paint in your nose or throat, as doing so will inhale the toxin.
    • The room where you will dilute the paint should have proper ventilation. It will be better if you choose the outside area to perform the paint thinning process. This will keep the room from getting messy.

    Why Should You Thin Paint When Using It With A Sprayer?

    The paint’s stickiness makes using a spray gun difficult. If you want to complete the project successfully, paint thinning is necessary. For your job, you can use either water-based or oil-based paint, but you’ll need to thin it out first to get it to work with the sprayer.

    Although the procedure for thinning water-based and oil-based paints may differ, in both cases, the paints will need to be diluted and loaded into the sprayer.

    Unless you dilute the paint, the paint will be too thick to fit via the nozzle of the sprayer. And spraying that paint would have a terrible outcome.

    On the other hand, spraying paint without dilution can harm your spray gun since a thick solution will accumulate behind the trigger. Therefore, you must continue the practice of diluting the paint before loading it into the sprayer for each of your painting projects.

    How Do You Know If The Paint Is Too Thin?

    A viscosity cup can help you measure more precisely. This cup serves as a funnel to measure the viscosity of the paint and should be a part of several high-quality spray systems.

    It indicates that your paint’s viscosity is perfect when you pour it into the cup, and pours out smoothly and uniformly. But, if you notice that the paint is coming out very quickly, you have to assume that your paint has become too thin.

    What Should You Do When Your Latex Paint Becomes Too Thin?

    How do you resolve this issue in case your Latex paint becomes too thin? So, if you accidentally add too much water to the paint while thinning the paint, you can’t use that paint solution. But, no need to worry. You just slowly pour a little extra paint into the paint bucket. How many paints you have to put on depends on the thinness of the paints. 

    You can add one, two, or three cups of extra paint, depending on the need. After adding the paint, stir the paint well until the paint solution has the correct consistency. And then load the paint in your prayer and start spraying.

    What Kind Of Sprayer Should You Choose For Latex Paint?

    Nowadays, paint sprayers come in various types, and you can purchase any sprayer. But if you’re wondering what kind of sprayer to use for Latex paint, we advise utilizing an airless paint sprayer.

    Using an airless sprayer is helpful when using Latex paint. This sprayer can handle heavier paint slurry than high-volume, low-pressure sprayers or compressed air. Airless sprayers can provide a better surface coating.

    As an alternative to airless sprayers, you can also use HVLP sprayers. However, you must make sure that your paint solution is sufficiently diluted to produce the most outstanding results. Airless sprayers are more expensive than HVLP sprayers; thus, they might be out of your price range.

    That is why you may use a pneumatic air sprayer if your project is small and you already have a compressor. Pneumatic air sprayers are less expensive compared to airless and HVLP sprayers.


    The process of thinning Latex paint using water is the easiest and most effective. You can do this process easily. Our given tips on how to thin Latex paint will guide you properly. You shouldn’t avoid the step of thinning the paint before using it with a sprayer.

    If you use a roller or brush to perform your painting job, you won’t need to dilute the paint. But, when it comes to using a sprayer, it’s vital to thin the paint before loading it into the spray gun.

    Leave a Comment