Does Paint Thinner Work on Latex Paint? Let’s Find Out!

Latex paints tend to dry out quickly when exposed to air. If you are looking to restore your paint with paint thinner but don’t know if it will work, then let me guide you through the process and clear your confusion regarding latex paint and how to make it thin.

Does paint thinner work on latex paint?

Paint thinner does not work on latex paint, as paint thinners work ideally on oil-based paints and latex paints are known to be water-based paints. So instead, you can use water for this purpose.

The best thing about latex paint is that you do not need to dilute it into any solvent. It does not need any kind of pampering before use. You can use it right away. 

Freshly blended paints do not really need any type of thinner as the consistency of the new paint is already fair enough to be used with rollers and brushes. (Conveniently while manufacturing such paints, the manufacturers keep such things in mind and make the paint easy to use and favorable).

You may notice that latex paint comes in a fair consistency that most of the time, does not need further thinning. But this does not implement that you cannot thin up the latex paint when needed.

In certain situations, you may in fact need to thin down your latex paint such as if you plan on using a paint sprayer, you might need to tone down the consistency a bit. In another case, seasoned paints tend to dry up due to evaporation in which case they need thinning.

In both case scenarios you can use water instead of paint thinner on your latex paint.

Does water really affect latex paint consistency?

Yes, water really affects the consistency of your latex paints. You may know that there are two types of paints: water based and oil-based paints (or alkyds). Oil-based paints need to be thinned or tidied up just with oil or mineral-based items.

Interestingly, latex paint is water-based, and they need to be tidied up and thinned by being diluted in simple water (not oil).

Water is the transporter of strong natured products that are present in latex paint when it is being manufactured. To successfully thin up the latex paint, all you must do is add in a decent amount of water that would not make it too runny.

How do I thin latex paint with water?

To thin up latex paint with water, you will be needing: your latex paint, cordless drill, metal spiral power mixer, wood paint stirring stick, latex or nitrile gloves, fluid measuring cup, viscosity cup (optional), fine mesh cone strainer (optional), and room temperature water (not too cold or not too hot).

To thin your latex paint with water, collect the above-mentioned items and follow the following steps:

  1. Adjust the paint

To start with the paint, adjust the paint first according to the surrounding room temperature between 50 F and 90 F. Cold latex paint would tend to have more runny consistency and smooth application which would not need to be thinned at all!

On the off chance that the paint is excessively cool, it might give a bogus impression that it needs thinning.

  1. Blend in the paint beforehand

Does Paint Thinner Work on Latex Paint
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Blend the paint completely. As we know that after some time, solid particles in general tend to accumulate at the base of the can, making it harder to check the genuine consistency of the paint so it is advised to blend it thoroughly.

Toss the power blender connection into the drill and blend the paint completely. Run the wood mixing stick through the paint to test it. Keep in mind that if the stick hauls at the base, the mixture has not totally blended in.

If so, run the power blender in the can until the paint has a similar consistency overall.

  1. Examine the paint

Examine the paint thoroughly to make sure if the latex paints needs to be thinned or not. To completely atomize paint, paint sprayers require paint that falls inside a specific thickness extend.

Refer over to the paint sprayer documentation to get an idea about this range.

For exact adjustment, when using a paint sprayer, try to get your hands on an inexpensive viscosity cup. A viscosity cup is basically a funnel with long handles and an aligned hole at the base.

Industry-standard viscosity cups incorporate the Ford #4 Paint Viscosity Cup and the Zahn Immersion Viscosity Cup.

A less accurate yet sensibly precise approach to check viscosity is to plunge some paint with a perfect disposable cup and pour it through a kitchen pipe. Paint needing to be thinned will stop up the leave gap and will either not flow at all or will set aside an absurdly long effort to flow.

  1. Strain Out the Impurities

Solid paint lumps and pieces that have formed at the snare end of your paint can not be thinned by diluting in some water. All you can do is to strain out the larger lumps and pieces with an appropriate sized fine mesh cone sifter.

  1. Measure the Water

To add in the right amount of water, try using a liquid measuring cup, not a dry measuring cup. The measure of water to add fluctuates as indicated by the flow consistency of the paint and the consistency that you want.

Four ounces of clean, room temperature water is commonly a decent add up. In any case, you can generally include more varying.

Paint makers will in general top the amount of added substance water at 8 ounces for each gallon of latex paint in case of spray paint applications.

  1. Add in the water into your latex paint

Gradually add in the water into the paint while delicately mixing the paint with the wood paint stick. Do not forget to test it out with the viscosity cup or funnel before use.

Tips for thinning latex paint

Never use oil based items to thin water-based latex paint. Any item that goes under the name mineral spirits or acetone probably is oil based solvent.

In the event that you need to take out brush or roller marks, consider fusing a paint substance like Floetrol rather than water.

Whereas if you’re planning to work with a roller brush or a normal paint brush, then it is recommended to add in about 8 ounces of Floetrol solution to your latex paint.

 Adding water to paint weakens the paint, and in this way, helps in improving its shade and consistency, so extra coats of paint might be important to improve the shading quality.

Some fabric materials have a tag to be washed in either cold or hot water. Warm water is ideal to kill germs and wash workout clothes like pants, socks, trousers, and boxers. But it can ruin the delicate fabric like wool, silk or anything made with lace. These items need to be washed with hands but if you do not have time you can also, wash them in cold water but washing with hands should be the priority.  

Separate the clothes according to their properties because they need those specific conditions to maintain their look and texture otherwise, they will get ruin and you will lose a good piece of clothing from your wardrobe that no one wants to happen.


Go slow and be cautious while adding in water to your latex paint. Since this is just a single direction measure: You can generally add more water to paint to additionally thin it out, however you cannot thicken the paint once more.

The most ideal approach to spare paint that is too runny is to add it to a second jar of paint.