How to Mix Different Kinds of Interior Paints

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Many people are surprised to learn that they can mix different kinds of interior paint together as long as they contain the same base and sheen. It's actually quite easy to combine interior paint, regardless of the brand or quality of the two paints. A simple stir stick, however, won't get the job done. If you want to mix different kinds of interior paints, you must use a better method.

Things You'll Need

  • Power drill
  • Mixing paddle with a 20- to 30-inch shaft
  • (2) 5-gallon buckets
  • Stir stick

Mixing Paint With A Drill

  • Pour the first type of paint into the 5-gallon bucket, filling it to about one-third capacity. Attach the mixing paddle to your power drill, and plug the drill in if you do not have battery power.

  • Pour the second type of paint into the 5-gallon bucket until the bucket is two-thirds full of paint. Insert the mixing paddle about half-way into the paint. Start the drill on low. Turn the drill up to medium and then up to high. Raise the drill 1 inch as it spins, then lower it 1 inch. Repeat this action for about 5 minutes or until the paint looks thoroughly mixed.

  • Clean the mixing paddle with warm water if the paint is water-based latex. Clean it with mineral spirits if the paint is oil-based.

Mixing Paint Without A Drill

  • Pour the first type of paint into the five gallon bucket filling it to about one-third capacity. Pour the second type of paint into the five gallon bucket until the bucket is two-thirds full of paint.

  • Raise the 5-gallon bucket full of paint, and pour the contents into the second empty five gallon bucket. Raise the second 5-gallon bucket, and pour the contents back into the first 5-gallon bucket. Repeat this process until the paint appears thoroughly mixed. Mix the paint with the stir stick for good measure.

  • Clean the empty 5-gallon bucket with warm water if the paint is water-based latex. Clean it with mineral spirits if the paint is oil-based.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although almost any power drill can be used to mix paint, spade handle power drills are generally best suited for this type of project.
  • Never mix latex paint with oil-based paint as this will ruin both paints. Also, it's generally not a good idea to mix paints of a different sheen. For instance, you shouldn't mix flat paints with glossy paints as this can lead to streaking. Also be sure the drill is off before you remove the mixing paddle from the paint, or you will create a considerable mess.
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