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How To Thin Oil-based Paint For A Spray Gun

You might have come across some complications while using oil-based paint, it’s too obvious nowadays because painters with less expertise end up facing the problems. Inadequate knowledge of the painting material leads to the downfall. While using an oil-based solution, you must know what it does and how it must be treated to achieve an impeccable result. It’s unwise to use oil-based paint right out of the box because it’s too thick and needs to be diluted to work smoothly. Today, we will give you some pointers on how to thin oil-based paint for a spray gun so that the next time you work with it you will be able to land a spotless project.

What is Oil-based Paint

A painting solution that consists of natural oil known as linseed oil or the synthetic counterparts known as alkyd. The most used oil-based solution is the one with the alkyd base, due to its cost-effectiveness. Oil-based paints are a bit of a stink on the nose and take time to dry out and have a high viscosity that needs thinning most of the time, but the overall outlook it casts on the surface you paint is commendable. 

Why Oil-based Paint

If you are looking for why then it’s justifiable to also seek the why not. The simplest of answers to start with is that oil-based paints are more durable, hence well suited for your interior paintings, from kitchen cabinets, doors, etc. This kind of material is well suited for exterior use as well and has been a prime choice for painters, carpenters, and DIY’ers. You can use Oil-based paint on metal and see a substantial difference compared to other materials. Spraying oil-based paints on metal and wood is the best thing you could do because the oil solution adheres with the surface well and makes it lustrous, more importantly, the oil-based paint solution protects the outer surface of the metal, wood, or anything from mold, mildew, and dirt. 

Why Thin the Paint

I’ve already mentioned that oil-based paints are too thick. Yes, it’s too rich to be applied smoothly. Applying the paint directly will capitalize on your effort, making you swatch and swab more just to bring out a polished surface, and yet you might not get the desired outcome. Take it for painting on a canvas, artists thin their paint materials to glide and move easily on the canvas. Oil-based paints also take a lot of time to dry, therefore thinning the paint lessens the viscosity and thus can be sprayed evenly in a smooth manner without clogging the spraying nozzle, in return it dries out faster compared to no thinning oil solutions.

Steps of Thinning an Oil-based Paint

Steps of Thinning an Oil-based Paint

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

Apron and face mask – It is necessary for you to wear protective clothing and shield yourself from harmful chemicals. The apron or protective fabrics will keep you safe from splashing paints. Paints tend to sprinkle your body while working and oil paints are known to harden on the surface so you don’t want it to be your skin. So better protect yourself. Wear a gas mask or something equivalent to it because oil-based paints have an overpowering stench, inhaling the smell can cause health hazards. Sniffing the paint material for too long might cause cancer. 

Thinning agents – Look for thinning agents in the form of lacquer thinner, turpentine, or mineral spirit. Always keep in mind that you are not going to use water as a thinner, it will ruin the paint itself because oil and water will form separate layers. If thinning agents are not available, look for an alcohol solution or kerosene.

Buckets and paint strainers – You need a bucket to measure and pour the paint, a strainer is crucial too because a strainer will eliminate all dirt, dust and dried flakes from the paint before you pour it into the spraying container.

Consider your spraying gun – It is important to be sure whether your sprayer can handle not thinned paints or even thinned ones. Different sprayers have different mechanisms and not all will perform to their optimum level. Choose the one suitable for oil-based paints.

Step 2: Strain the paint

Pour the liquid paint through a strainer into the bucket. Straining will separate all the unnecessary elements like specks of dust and clumps from the paint, therefore you will get an unsoiled solution.

Step 3: Add thinner

Check out the paint label, there should be instructions on how much thinner you should add to your sprayer. In terms of no instruction on the label, always follow the universal formula of 1 part thinner to 3 parts paint formula. Make sure you mix the thinner and paint well enough with a wooden stick, don’t give the unmixed particles a chance to hinder your consistency.

Step 4: Pour the paint into a funnel

This is the process where you will be checking the thickness of your paint, once you pour the paint into a funnel the liquid should flow effortlessly, this will make sure your thinning is done right, revert the mixing process if the flow is inconsistent. 

Step 5: Check- doublecheck and few things to keep in mind

Be sure of your material, latex, enamel, and oil-based paints all have different thinning agents, don’t mix things up. I’ve already recommended some thinners for oil-based paints. Adding thinners will bump up the drying time, yes it will take longer for the paint to dry out so wait patiently. You might have to overlay the coating because thinners tend to affect the color outcome and the thickness of it is diluted, so to ensure a perfect coating I prefer you check and double-check for as long and as many times as necessary.

Final Verdict

Thinning a paint is one of the easiest tasks while performing a paint job, but to achieve perfection, you must be precise with the measurements and well protected to keep yourself out of harm’s way. Cohere with the instructions on how to thin oil-based paint for a spray gun as provided in this writeup, I bet you will thrive with a spray gun on your hand.

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