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View Full Version : What is the correct amount of thinner for a quart of paint?



Woodrow1
09-16-2006, 05:36 AM
I will be painting approx 50 sq ft of flat surface cabinets and want the paint to flow well. I will use an oil base (alkyd) paint, dark red.
How much thinner or mineral spirits or floetrol do I use to properly thin out a quart of paint.
I mainly dont want to see brush or roller strokes on the finish.
Thanks for your help.

Sonny Edmonds
09-16-2006, 09:18 AM
In every can of finish I have used there is the manufacturers directions for thinning. Like 10%, or an amount figure like __ ounces to the quart or gallon.
Thinning is to get the material to dry faster, or so it can be handled by a sprayer (for example).
Sometimes it is unadviseable to thin your finish material. You want it to have more time to level itself out as it was intended to.

Since you are talking thinner, I presume you are using oil based products for your project, which in my opinion and experiance is good, because I have seen the water based crap about ruin a hard fought for surface by raising the grain.
I really makes no sense to me to take dryed hardwood, work it into something and make it smooth as a babies butt, then ruin it by slopping WATERbased anything on it.
Might as well have made it out of MDF and paint it!

Anyhow, if the can doesn't have what info you need on it, try the manufacturers site, and or the MSDS for the material. The MSDS has a lot of very usefull information on it the manufacturer doesn't usually put on the can. ;)

:D

[link:home.att.net/~paul.edmonds/|Sonny Edmonds ]
Saugus, CA
"Precision Firewood Specialist"
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Sonny Edmonds
09-16-2006, 09:20 AM
PS:
Roller dabbles and brush strokes are the reason I spray almost anything I'm finishing. ;)

:D

[link:home.att.net/~paul.edmonds/|Sonny Edmonds ]
Saugus, CA
"Precision Firewood Specialist"
God Bless America !
One Nation Under God!
"Lurkimus turdius orifus"

Welcome to the Forum!
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15/15_4_125.gif

Woodrow1
09-16-2006, 11:03 AM
Yes,
I am using Sherwin Williams oil based paint and the sole reason for thinning is to get it to lay flat. I just dont want to mess up the project again as I did a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks
And thank those who gave me tips on brush/roller techniques.
This weekend, I sand back down to wood and primer.
Much appreciated

Sawduster
09-16-2006, 11:41 AM
Seems there was a quite long thread on this subject recently. I have yet, in the last 15 years or more, to open a can of any sort of film finish whether paint or clear, oil or water based, that was thin enough to level on its own when being applied by brush. 10 to 20 percent by volume of added thinning agent solves that issue. Unless you're using something that flashes off quicker than the normal thinner (naphtha for instance for oil based stuff) adding that small amount is not going to affect the drying time much, and it help the finish to flow off of the brush and onto the surface and level on its own if you don't over work it and keep the brush well loaded.

Breaddrink
09-19-2006, 02:32 PM
I'm with jerry on this one.
Supposedly thinning causes a product to dry faster because theres more there that will flash off from the mix at a faster rate, so in a sense it does makes sense that it would leave worse marks...But, if cut properly it won't have an ability to leave a peak as it is at that point physically different and unable to hold a shape in itself, or at the very least as bad of one as a usually very thick straight from the can finish will.
Some of that stuff is like gel and simply doesn't level out brush marks before it begins to set up.

It's the same with water based. They sell latex based thinners that cost rather an unfortunate amount in my opinion as adding water to a latex paint will suposedly cause it to dry faster or at the very least skin over faster, yet again, two coats of appropriately thinned out water based (and I do use water) will set dead flat oposed to what I'd consider to be a completely unacceptable finish you get from a non thinned product. It's getting a feel for the amount of thinning combined with confidence in the application.
If you go at a snails pace you're going to be picking up the last brushes now skinning over layer and ruining the finish as you go...

It's not easy but it's something well worth learning.
It's all a matter of practise until you get it.
Obviously larger and completely flat surfaces are more unforgiving to applications that those broken up with molding and paneling (like a 6 panel door) as you don't get lines to paint to at speed and then to stop...You've going for broke and continually painting back into the wet edge.

Either way, practise.
A good technique really seems to be about a combination of thinning and speed/confidence of application imo. Also don't skimp on your equipment.

Rob.

autobodyman
10-04-2006, 02:24 PM
I'd go with the amount recommended on the can. I, being a body & paint guy have access to automotive thinners (have it in my shop anyway) which come in fast dry, medium dry and slow dry ( for different temps ). You might try your local Napa store and see if they will sell you some Synthol 8003, that's their slow dry. It's a synthetic enamel reducer that I have used in oil based clearcoats and paints, seems to work well. Probably more expensive than your used to paying for thinners though.

~Mike