How to Dilute Water-Based Paint

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket

  • 1/4 measuring cup

  • Water

  • Stir stick

Diluting paint can improve the flow but may decrease the quality of the finished job.

Diluting paint can improve paint flow but should be done sparingly. Over-diluting water-based paint reduces its ability to cover flaws and adhere to a surface. Water dries at a slower rate than paint and can alter the drying time specified on the product label. The water-to-paint ratio can vary from one product to the next, so finding the dilution or thinning recommendations on the product label is recommended. One-quarter cup of water per gallon of water-based paint is a doable ratio because it is minimal. If more than a 1/4 cup is added, then you may need to apply several coats of paint.


Step 1

Pour 1/4 cup water into a 5-gallon bucket.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Pour 1 gallon of water-based paint into the bucket.

Step 3

Mix the paint with the water for several minutes until they are thoroughly mixed, using a stir stick.


Follow the diluting or thinning directions on the label of the paint product for appropriate water-to-paint ratios.


Video of the Day

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...