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Published on July 19th, 2015 | by Grant Barnard


Can I Water Down House Paint

Adding water to paint generally is a no-no. We have all seen painters watering down interior or even exterior paint for absolutely no good reason at all! Here we’ll let you know when and how thinning paint with water is somewhat acceptable. And when NOT TO!

There are some instances where it is needed to assist in a better finished product, however, there is usually another way that is more fail safe to achieve the results without watering down your paint.Thinning paint changes the composition of the paint. Sometimes your goals can be met with using a paint extender instead.

Our Indianapolis Painters are very knowledgeable in the negative effects.

Problems With Thinning Paint With Water

Problem #1 – Color

Color is the biggest issue with thinning paint. Usually any more than a small amount of water can cause inconsistencies in color. Even water left in a brush can skew the color slightly to the lighter side. This result is of course much more noticeable in darker colors.

Problem #2 – Durability

Durability can be diminished in paints that are newer formulations and mid to high grade paints. The cheapest paints ironically usually can take quite a bit of water before a major part of the durability is compromised. The very first part of the durability to be compromised is how water resistant the paint finish will be. Paint going into a bathroom or kitchen should NEVER be thinned at all.

Problem #3 – Hiding Power

Hiding power is the paints ability to cover a surface. Of course thinning the paint will diminish hiding. Generally painters will thin paint to get more coverage out of a gallon of paint. However, the painter is risking not covering the previous paint color. Thus, only compromising the paint and not really helping cover the previous paint color.

Problem #4 Paint Extenders

Paint extenders have their own issues mainly with color consistency. Paint extenders simply extend the amount of time that the paint dries in. This can be very helpful in reducing the amount of water needed to keep paint the correct consistency on a very hot day. Paint extenders should also always be used sparingly even if the directions say otherwise!

How Much Can Paint Be Thinned

Newer and more advanced paints should never be thinned more than 7-8%. Thinning up to 10% will surly make your paint pretty worthless. Thinning only to 2-5% is a much better option and should only be done when a knowledgeable professional painter determines that the painting project cannot be completed as well with another product or application method.



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About the Author

Grant Barnard started painting in 2000 and started Grants Painting in 2008. Originally doing business in northern Indiana, the business was moved to Indianapolis and Greenwood shortly after. Today the Grants Painting has blossomed into a reputable painting contracting company with an ever growing extensive website including our How To DIY Articles. Grants Painting covers all aspects of coatings and specialized in epoxy flooring, interior painting, exterior painting and cabinet painting.

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