How To Thin Semi Gloss Paint

Semi gloss paint has a wide range of uses and applications. It gives a mild glossy finish on a surface. It looks great on interior items such as cabinets, doors, and other furniture around the home.

Applying paint with brush or rollers may not need you to thin the paint. However, we’d still recommend thinning any paint that appears too thick no matter what method of application you use.

If you are going to be using a paint sprayer, it is compulsory to thin the paint appropriately for effectiveness.

Thinning paints go just beyond mixing a thinner and the paint. You need to have the right proportion, and also you need the right thinner for the right type of paint.

So we will be taking you through the steps on how to thin semi gloss paint so you can still be able to get that perfect glossy finish after application.

Can You Spray Ordinary Gloss Paint?

Some glossy or semi-glossy paints you get from your local DIY stores will sometimes be stated: “DO NOT SPRAY.” This is because; they come too thick for your sprayer to atomize.

But you really do not need to go this way because if you can get it to the recommended viscosity needed by a paint sprayer, you will have no issues spraying.

What Happens When The Paint Is Too Thick?

Applying too thick paints will be more difficult to maneuver to get a fine finish. Paint with too much viscosity will produce ridges, lumpiness, or an orange peel finish. This is what you wouldn’t want to experience.

Whether you are using an eggshell finish, glossy finish, or semi-glossy finish, you may not be able to achieve the texture when it is too thick. It is better to apply two or more thin coat layers for a fine finish.

Read Also: How to Paint a Fence With A Roller

Things You Will Need To Thin Semi-Gloss Paint

  • Safety goggles
  • Respirator
  • Bucket
  • Spray gun
  • Boards
  • Paint stirrer
  • Paint strainer
  • Water for water-based paints or mineral spirits for oil-based paints

How To Thin Semi Gloss Paint

Can You Spray Ordinary Gloss Paint

To thin semi gloss paint, carefully follow the following steps:

Step 1

Pour the paint into an empty bucket. It is ideal to use a paint strainer when pouring out the paint. This will help restrain any clump present in the paint.

Not only is this recommended for a paint sprayer gun to prevent clogging of the nozzle, but it is also vital to achieve a smooth finish when using brushes or rollers.

Endeavor to pour out the right quantity of paint you will need. It is better to always mix multiple times than to have a single mixture that exceeds what is required to complete the project.

Step 2

Pour the ideal thinner into the bucket containing the paint. When thinning oil-based paints, it is important to use the ideal thinner.

For oil-based paint, use spirit or turpentine as thinner. When using latex paint or water-based paint, you can use water as the thinner.

Depending on the brand of paint used or the initial thickness, you should first add half a cup of water for every gallon of latex paints. For oil-based paints, add one part mineral spirits or turpentine for every three parts of paint.

Step 3

With a clean stir rod, accurately and thoroughly mix the paint mixture until you attain a smooth mixture.

Step 4

For this step, you will need to test the paint on a test surface like a board to see if you can get the right finish. Remember, you need a glossy finish, so you would want to apply the thinner bit by bit and continue testing on a test board until you get your desired finish.

Safety Precautions When Thinning Paint

No matter the type of paint you are thinning, whether oil-based paint or latex paint, you need to observe some precautions.

The following are precautions that must be observed.

  • Use gloves when mixing paints and thinner
  • If possible, wear coverall to avoid staining your clothes with paints
  • If you are going to be using a paint sprayer, endeavor to wear a nose mask and eye goggles to avoid inhaling the harmful chemicals from the paint and turpentine

Read Also: How to Thin Enamel Paints

When Should You Use Semi Gloss Paint?

How To Thin Semi Gloss Paint

The higher the gloss levels of paint, the better the reflections. This means there will be more reflection of light around the space. Semi-gloss paint has less reflection than gloss paint.

So, where are the best places to use semi-gloss paint?

Semi-glossy paints are ideal to be used on surfaces that require frequent cleaning like kitchen and children’s rooms. Also, they will be an excellent choice for painting garages.

Semi-glossy finish from oil-based paints is great for painting cabinets and furniture.

Read Also: How to Remove Paint from Wooden Floor

How do I thin down gloss paint?

It all depends what type of gloss it is. If it’s trade gloss then it’s absolutely fine to dilute it Slightly with White spirit or a product called paint Conditioner which loosens the paint without thinning it. If it’s non drip gloss then it’s probably best to use it as it is.

What do I do if my paint is too thick?

So My Paint’s Too Thick. What Do I Do?

  • Pour the paint into a large bucket.
  • Add a half cup of room temperature water for each gallon of paint.
  • Stir the paint thoroughly.
  • Perform the funnel test.
  • If the viscosity is still not right, add a small amount of water until it is.

Does adding water to paint make it lighter?

When you water down exterior paint, it changes the color by making it lighter. This means that the end result often differs from the sample patches or the digital renderings, if the contractor provided them at all. Watered-down paint also causes inconsistencies, especially when the water and paint are poorly mixed.

How do you dilute high gloss paint?

Thin high gloss oil paint with paint thinner.

  1. Pour a measured cup of paint into a container that can hold at least 2 cups.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of paint thinner to the cup of paint.
  3. Stir the paint with a paint stick.
  4. Paint a thin streak of the thinned paint onto a piece of scrap paper or cardboard to test its thickness.

Is water based gloss OK?

Water-based paints, even those labelled as gloss, do not have such an advantage. They tend to dry slightly ‘flat’ and, because they take a long time to fully harden, can be difficult to sand-down in order to get a smooth finish. Also, because they dry quickly, they can be difficult to brush over large areas.

How do you make semi-gloss paint flat?

To make a gloss paint out of a flat one, pour an amount of glazing compound or varnish equal to about 10 percent of the volume of flat paint you have into a large container, add the paint and stir. Test the result and add more binder if the sheen isn’t glossy enough.

How can I paint over semi-gloss without sanding?

How to Paint Satin Over Semi-Gloss Without Sanding or Priming

  • Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of warm water and use a rag to wipe the walls clean.
  • Remove hooks, picture hardware, handles and outlet plates from the surface to be painted.
  • Determine the type of semi-gloss used on the walls.

How do you paint semi-gloss without streaks?

Add latex paint conditioner to the paint to avoid brush streaks. Occasionally the paint may be too thick, and brush streaking will occur. A latex paint conditioner will help the paint spread evenly on your walls.

Can I add paint thinner to paint?

To mix the paint and thinner, follow all manufacturer directions and measure out the prescribed paint amount and pour it into a mixing bucket. Add the right amount of thinner a little bit at a time as you stir with a paint stirrer. Mix the paint and thinner for several minutes, checking the consistency periodically.

Why is my paint getting thick?

Thanks to its easy clean-up and short drying time, latex paint has a leg up over oil-based paint for easy weekend projects. But the water-based product also has a downside: It tends to thicken when stored without an airtight seal, at below-freezing temperatures, or for an extended period of time.


With this piece of information on this page, you should have been able to learn how to thin semi gloss paint and still retain that glossy finish that you so desire.

One thing that is important to make mention of is to keep a record of the proportion of paint to thinner used. If you will be mixing multiple times, you will want to maintain this proportion so you can have the same texture of paint all through the project.

When buying paints, take the time to read through the label. If it is stated that you shouldn’t thin, then it will be better to apply the paint without thinning. Do not also forget to use the right thinner for the right type of paint.

Related Posts On How To Thin Semi Gloss Paint: