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How to Dilute Fence Paint

If your fence is due a new lick of paint and you’re going to be using a paint sprayer for the first time, you might be wondering how to dilute fence paint.

Whilst the best paint sprayers are usually constructed to be able to spray straight from the can, cheaper models might not have this feature. If your paint has the consistency of melted chocolate, this will mean that you’re already good to go and won’t need to dilute the fence paint.

If the viscosity of the paint is thicker, this is where dilution can help. Here’s our step-by-step guide to make sure you get the best result from your paint sprayer.

Test Spray

If you’re unsure whether your paint needs to be diluted or not, do a test run. On a piece of cardboard, spray a vertical line. If the pattern is heavily atomised (as shown below), you’ll need to dilute your paint.

atomised paint

How to Dilute Fence Paint

In general, we’d recommend that you dilute your fence paint with 5-10% water. You can use a stirring stick with notches to help measure out the 5-10% of water that you’ll need. Once you’ve added the water, make sure you stir vigorously.

You’ll need to pay extra attention to the consistency of the paint – if there are any lumps, keep stirring.

Pick up some paint with the stirring stick and check the flow. The paint should fall off the stick much faster now.

Final Test Spray

Once you’re happy with the consistency and viscosity of the paint, you’ll want to do a final test spray before actually starting to paint your fence.

This pattern should be significantly fuller than the previous test and should look something like the pattern on the right:

test pattern

Once you’ve achieved this pattern, you should be able to get the perfect finish on your fence, especially if you overlap each spray pattern by around 30%.