Auto Paint Repair

How to Mix Car Paint


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There is a wide variety of auto paints available, and knowing how to mix car paint is important when you plan to paint your car on your own. There are several things you need to consider when mixing car paint, from the thinner you need to use to the temperature each paint requires. The type of auto paint you will use will dictate how you can mix the paint.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Auto paint color
  • Disposable containers for mixing
  • Wooden paint mixing stick
  • Disposable filter
  • Hardener
  • Reducer (for acrylic enamels)
  • Hardener (for acrylic urethanes)

Step 1 - Choosing the Auto Paint

Before mixing any auto paint it is important that you choose a paint that's suitable for your car. Each type of paint has its ownmixing procedure. Most suppliers will provide you with mixing instructions, so make sure that you ask when you pick up your auto paint.

Step 2 - Estimate the Amount of Paint Needed

Auto paint can be expensive, so it's important that you estimate how much you will need to cover all the surface that needs painting. Buy a little bit more, since it's much better to have extra than to lack paint while going through the painting process.

Step 3 - Mixing Ratio

Mixing Synthetic Enamels: Most synthetic enamels are available in factory base colors, with about 50 color choices. You can find an auto paint color that matches your car paint, but it may not be the exact color you are looking for. This type of auto paint is both pre-thinned and ready for spraying, or you will need to add a reducer to thin it out. A thinner should be used based on the type of spray gun you will be using.

Mixing Acrylic Enamels: If you will be using acrylic enamels, you will need a paint reducer and a small amount of hardener to mix the paint. Each type of enamel auto paint has a different mixing ratio. You can follow the instructions on the can or as provided by the manufacturer. Generally, the mixing ratio for acrylic enamels is 16:16:1 of paint, thinner and hardener.

Step 4 - Mixing the Paint

Once you have determined the ratio for the type of auto paint you have, you can then start mixing the paint.

Pour the paint in to a clean disposable mixing container. Make sure that the container you will be using is thoroughly clean. Any debris, oil or dust can ruin the paint. With a wooden paint mixing stick, mix the paint with the thinner and hardener. Use the same container to do this. However, only add the hardener at the last minute when you are ready to paint.

Pour the auto paint through a disposable filter to strain off any clumps or debris from the paint for a smooth finish. Thoroughly mix the paint before you transfer the mixture to the paint gun.

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