Blending Paint When Needed

Blending paints is something you might not consider doing for your next interior painting in San Ramon, CA project. But it might be a practical technique for a few reasons. As you continue reading, you’ll learn about the techniques and why you might want to use them.

Why blending or mixing paints is sometimes necessary?

Whenever you buy a can of paint, you will be given a free stirrer for a reason. Depending on the type or formulation of paints, the ingredients can – and do – separate. Often, some components settle in the bottom of the can. You want to stir the paint before using it to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Paint-producing companies do everything they can to shake and blend components thoroughly during manufacturing. But once the paints are left on the store shelves, the components separate over time. The longer the paint is in the can, the more you will have to mix it before use.

Boxing paint

Boxing paint

Most house painting projects use more than one gallon of paint. Have you experienced inconsistencies in color on your walls, despite using paints of the same brand and color? After applying paints separately, one color may slightly differ from one wall to the next.

Many experts recommend “boxing paint” to solve this issue. This technique combines all the paints of the same color you will be using into a large container – usually a five-gallon bucket – and blend them before application. This solution is especially important if you’re painting large surfaces. Boxing paint ensures uniform color and consistency throughout the space. Of course, moving a five-gallon bucket around a large room may be cumbersome, so you may want to refill the gallon containers.

Keep in mind to blend the paints very well. If you mix paints thoroughly, you will avoid uneven color and inconsistent coverage. To get the best results, connect a paint mixing attachment to your drill and use the lowest speed to prevent slinging paint around the area. If you don’t have the mixing tool, use the regular stirring stick – make sure to stir for at least 2 to 3 minutes or until the paints are thoroughly mixed, and the colors come out uniformly.

Stay within the same brand and line when choosing paints

When boxing paints, it is crucial to keep within the same brand. Using the same brand is especially important if you plan to paint a large space because specific formulas may vary across brands. Boxing paints of different brands can result in a lumpy consistency in the bucket or uneven coverage on the wall.

Get at least two paints from the same brand to increase your chances of a smooth, even blend and finish. For better results, choose paints within the same line or collection.

“Can I blend different colors of the same paint finish?”

Let’s set an example: you find yourself with several cans of interior eggshell paint, but they are of different colors. You may wonder whether it’s all right to blend them.

The answer is: if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead! The resulting blend of colors may be unpredictable. But in theory, the paints should perform according to their characteristics, such as coverage, sheen, and longevity. Do a test run in your closet or any other out-of-the-way location before committing to a larger pour.

“How about leftover paints? Can I mix them?”

If you have some leftover paints of different formulations, bases, and colors, you may wonder whether you can mix them.

Once you begin looking at different paints, the possibility of mixing them becomes more doubtful. For example, mixing paints of two distinct finishes, such as flat and glossy, should be considered ill-advised. The worse is mixing two paints of different bases, such as latex and oil-based paints, which can lead to disastrous results. Other examples of “do-not-combine” blends include mixing a primer with a topcoat and mixing interior and exterior paints.

A word of caution about blending different paints

A word of caution about blending different paints

Sure, you can blend paints; by all means – no one will stop you. But you may not like the results.

Mixing and applying different paints will usually void any manufacturer warranty, as companies cannot vouch that blended paints of different formulations will hold up well – or hold up at all. The results will likely be, well, mixed. Mixing different paints can lead to surface damage, such as peeling, cracking, or bubbling.

So even if you’re tempted to use all leftover paints, don’t even try to mix them unless the paints are of the same brand, line, base, formulation, or finish.

To avoid future hassles, stick to paint projects that are easy to repaint and won’t see a lot of foot traffic or abuse. Think of painting shelves or coffee tables, and not kitchen walls.

“Is it okay to add water to paint?”

You might have seen some painters adding a small amount of water to their paints before applying them to walls. They turn to that route for the following reasons:

  • To change the paints’ consistency and color
  • To make applications easier
  • To provide better coverage
  • To cut costs (that may be the number one reason)

However, professional painters usually advise against this technique, particularly for homeowners and DIYers. So, choose quality paints with the correct base type for the surface you’re about to paint. Top paint manufacturers usually test their products for optimum results. Changing the paint’s ratio could lead to inferior results and even cause damage to the surface.

Seek paint advice only from the pros!

Seek paint advice only from the pros!

Contact professional painting contractors in San Ramon, CA if you still have questions about mixing paints or seek other painting advice. From ensuring the correct type of paint to a specific surface to troubleshooting common paint problems like peeling and blistering, these contractors bring their expertise to ensure your house painting project is done seamlessly.