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Thinning the Material

Many materials that can be applied with a brush need to be thinned down for paint spraying. The thickness of the material is known as the “viscosity” and by adding thinning material such as water or thinners lowers the viscosity enabling the material to be atomised.

First the type of thinning agent must be determined which most manufacturers will include on the material container. In some cases the manufacture will state that no thinning agent is required or will provide the ratio of thinning agent to material. An excellent guideline is to use the same material that is recommended to clean up. For example if the can says clean the brush in water then use water as a thinning agent. If the can suggest the brush is to be cleaned with mineral spirits than use this material as a thinning agent. Using measuring cup and a separate mixing vessel is desirable, as this will allow subsequent mixtures to be almost identical to the initial mixture. Mixing the material in a separate vessel ensures the correct viscosity before being poured into the spray gun pot.


using a paint strainer Using too much thinner will cause a number of problems. The material being applied to the surface may run, drip or sag. Even if this does not occur more coats may need to be applied to achieve the desired coverage and finish. Also because the coats will dry much quicker pinprick bubbles may form as the excessive amount of thinners try to escape. On the other hand not enough thinners will result in either a blocked spray gun or a very coarse or lumpy surface. 

When pouring the mixture into the spray pot it is vital that the pot is clean, dry and free from any dust as all these impurities will be transferred onto the spray surface. Paint strainers can also be used to remove any impurities that may have gathered during the mixing process. There are many to choose from, however the most popular and widely available are nylon mesh or paper funnels.

Spray Painting and Mixing Guide

This is intended as a very generic guide of the type of paints that can be used with spray guns and the type of thinners recommended by the manufacturer is always prudent to contact all the technical departments for the various brands to obtain further details and the suggested ratios where critical applications are made.

BRAND PAINT TYPE THINNERS TYPE OF THINNER
Store Branded Matt Emulsion Yes Water
Store Branded Vinyl Matt Emulsion Yes Water
Store Branded Silk Emulsion Yes Water
Store Branded Rich Satin Yes Water
Crown Matt Emulsion Yes Water
Crown Vinyl Matt Emulsion Yes Water
Crown Silk Emulsion Yes Water
Crown Kitchen & Bathroom Yes Water
Crown Colour Effects Yes Water
Crown Solo Emulsion Yes Water
Crown Non-Drip Satin Yes Water
Crown Non-Drip Gloss Yes Spirit
Valspa Silk Emulsion Yes Water
Dulux Vinyl Soft Sheen Yes Water
Dulux Non-Drip Satin Yes Water
Dulux Non-Drip Gloss Yes Spirit
Dulux Luxury Silk Yes Water
Dulux Rich Matt Yes Water
Dulux Hints Yes Water
Dulux Rich Satin Yes Spirit
Dulux Gloss Yes Spirit
Dulux Once - Soft Sheen Yes Water
Dulux Kitchen & bathroom Yes Water
Dulux Weathershield Yes Spirit
Dulux Satinwood Yes Water
Sandtex One Coat Gloss Yes Spirit
Hammerite Enamel and Gloss Yes Spirit
Japlac Gloss Enamel Yes Spirit
International Radiator Enamel Yes Spirit
International Tile Paint Yes Spirit
Cuprinol Wood Care Yes Water
Cuprinol Preserver Yes Water
Cuprinol Ducks Back Yes Water
Ronseal Wood Stain Yes Water
Ronseal Garden Makeover Yes Water
Ronseal Timbercare Yes Water
Ronseal Deck Stain No N/A
Ronseal Deck Seal No N/A
Ron Complete Wood Treatment No N/A