How To Mix Paint Correctly!

Promain‘s Technical Department receive a lot queries such as ‘’the paint is a different colour to what the tin says’’ or ‘’the paint has dried in some places but not in others’’ that are simply solved by correctly mixing the paint before application, as simple as it sounds there is a technique involved in mixing paints and it is an important step of the painting process that should not be ignored.

Now certain types of paint are more susceptible to the solids settling at bottom of the tin namely water based acyclic paints, here at Promain we overcome this by placing the tins in our industrial paint shaker which ‘’wakes the paint up’’ by ensuring all the solids are combined with the liquid paint solvent. We understand that not everyone has access to such a piece of kit, and that people do store paint for some time before they intend to use the product, so the question is how do I ‘’wake the paint up’’ without an industrial grade paint shaker which we intend to answer below, we have detailed the two most common type of paints and the techniques we recommend for mixing to ensure all of the paint’s ingredients are properly combined before application.

How To Mix Paint Correctly: Single Pack Paints

Single pack paints are paint that are supplied in a single container ready to use, the term ‘’single pack’’ can refer to both water based and solvent/oil based paints.


Single packs paint such as Bedec Barn Paint which is a water based acrylic are susceptible to separation when stored for periods of time and we have a lot of people calling into our technical department confused as to why the paint is a different colour to the one stated on the tin?

Well the reason is all the paint solids have settled at the bottom and what your seeing is in fact the paint solvent (the paints liquid ingredient), after being properly mixed the colour will return and the paint is ready for application.

Avoid Temptation to Laziness!

The temptation when mixing a single pack is to stir the paint with a stick one would just happen to have laying around, now the trouble with this technique is that generally a stick does not have enough surface area to properly agitate the paint.

Paint Mixing Equipment

The best way to mix single pack paints is to first give the tin a good shake ensuring you hold lid tight to avoid a messy spill, then to use a purpose made paint stirrer (a paint stirrer is either made of plastic or wood and resembles a cricket bat in shape) to mix the product ensuring you achieve a good homogeneous mix or even better than a paint stirrer is to use a paddle mix attached to a power drill on a low speed setting. Using either of these methods of mixing will ensure all of the paints ingredients are properly combined ensuring a homogeneous mix.


How To Mix Paint Correctly: 2 Pack Paints

2 pack paints are supplied in 2 separate tins. These will be  a base and an activator. They will need to be mixed together prior to use.

One of the most common types of 2 pack paint used are the water based epoxy floor paints. Now when we talk about mixing 2 pack paints such as Rustoleum Pegakote Floor Paint for instance the importance of ensuring an even homogeneous mix really dose become important as poor mixing of 2 pack paints can lead to disastrous effects. When you mix a 2 pack paint you are initiating a chemical reaction which then starts the paints curing process, a poor mix could lead to the paint curing to fast or worst still not at all.

So how does one mix a 2 pack paint correctly? Well for starters it pretty much impossible to mix a 2 pack paint by hand. You will need to use the paddle mix and power drill technique for 2 pack paints.

2 pack paints will be supplied in 2 components or ‘‘tins’’ a base the larger of tins and the activator the smaller of the tins. Both will be pre measured for the correct mix ratio. Avoid to part mix as ratios can be wrong. Always check the manufacturers specified mix ratio. This ensures your measure accurately.


How 2 Pack Paints Work

So as I mentioned previously 2 packs come in 2 components typically a base and an activator. Paint solids can settle whilst they are stored. It is a good idea to give the base component a mix with the paddle mix and power drill on a low speed setting. This will ‘’waken it back up’’ (combine the solids with the liquids). Now it’s time to add the activator.

Do not be tempted to just pour out the whole amount into the base tin. What you need to aim for is a smooth consistent pour whilst mixing. Use a paddle mix and power drill on a low speed setting. Keep mixing until both components have been evenly combined. You should achieve a homogeneous mix.

So now we are at the point where both components have been mixed together. A top tip is to now have a paint scuttle to hand to decant your mixed 2 pack paint into.

Using a spatula give the now empty tin a scrape round the edges and bottom. Add this into the paint scuttle. Finally, then give the paint a final mix with the paddle mix and power drill combo. This ensures any of the base or activator that may have not been mixed has been combined into the mix and you’re ready to apply.

Pot Life

Top tips when using a 2 pack paint is to remember it has pot life. Pot life is a time period the paint can be used in. This is normally just a couple of hours. Ensure to plan the job ahead ensure all the preparation is done. If necessary get a few more hands on the job. Another thing to consider is container size and pot life. Plan the job by purchasing a combination of smaller and larger tins.

For example, get smaller sizes for cutting in around the edges and any objects. That is to say, get larger sizes to fill in the large open areas. Purchasing it this way will ensure you will not waste a large container. This will be due to it taking the more time to do more consuming parts of the job.

Paint Mixing In Action

How To Mix Paint Correctly: Other types of Paint

Most other types of paint can be mixed in the same way as single pack paints. However, please always consult the manufacturers technical data sheet prior to use. Therefore you can be sure you are mixing and using the paint correctly.

In conclusion, are you in any doubt about mixing or applying any of the products sold by Promain? Please do not hesitate to call our technical department on 01462 421 333.

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