How to stir paint properly
Whether you have just opened a fresh tin of paint or whether you are opening up an old container that has been in storage for a while, stirring the paint thoroughly before using it is key to ensuring proper application.
From decorative emulsion to high-performance acrylic or solvent-based paints, they will all need to be stirred properly before use.
Most of the time, paint will have separated in the container– with the solids sinking to the bottom of the tin and the liquids sitting on top. Stirring paint correctly before application brings the solids up from the bottom and mixes them in with the liquids towards the top. Once stirred correctly, you will see the paint change from a dull, dirty colour to the correct colour and feel the consistency become uniform throughout.
Paint Stirring Tools
A common mistake when stirring paint is using the wrong tool. Often, people try to use screwdrivers, kebab sticks or wooden spoons to mix their paint. This is very ineffective, especially when it comes to more high-performance paints, as these implements offer very little surface area to drag the solids up from the bottom of the tin and mix them in with the liquids effectively. The best tools for the job are:
Paint Stirring Stick
Paint stirrers are specially designed paint mixing sticks, which offer an effective way of stirring paint by hand. Usually made from durable plastic or metal, paint stirrers feature a wider surface area than a screwdriver or kebab stick, a flat bottom edge which allows them to get the solids up from the bottom of the tin, and cut-out holes throughout the length of the stirrer, which allow paint to flow through and mix effectively. As you stir the paint with a paint stirring stick, you will be able to feel the solids dislodging from the bottom of the tin and mixing in with the liquids. You will feel the consistency change and see the colour change from a dull and dirty colour to the actual paint colour. A paint stirrer allows you to get right up to the sides of the tin, so no paint is left unmixed.
A paddle mixer is an attachment for an electric drill. It features a long metal shaft with a circular base and curved paddle fins. It offers a quick, easy and effective way of mixing not only paints, but also adhesives, paste, mortar, screed, spackling compounds and other liquid substances. Paddle mixers take the manual effort out of mixing paint and offer the most effective way of mixing large volumes of paint. They are essential tools for mixing high-performance professional paints, especially two component paints and coatings. Available in a selection of sizes to suit different paint container sizes, paddle mixers are easily fixed into the chuck of a drill, placed into a paint tin or mixing bucket, and then used to effectively mix the solids in the paint with the liquids, for the perfect stir.
How To Stir Paint With A Paddle Mixer
Start by laying down a protective sheet under the paint container to prevent any accidental spills getting on to the floor surface. Though, if used correctly, there should not be any spills. Once you have fixed the paddle mixer to a drill, insert the paddle into the paint container, reaching the bottom with the base of the paddle.
Squeeze the drill trigger to start the paddle rotating. Move the paddle up and down slowly within the paint container as it spins, to draw the solids up from the bottom.
Take care not to bring the paddle right to the surface whilst spinning, as it could flick paint around and cause a mess.
Then move the paddle around the edges of the container, ensuring there are no missed areas. You will quickly see the colour and consistency of the paint change.
Once the paint has reached a uniform consistency and colour throughout the container, it is ready for use.
What happens if you don’t stir paint?
If you do not properly stir paint before application, the separate components within the paint will not be mixed together properly. The paint will be too thin in certain areas and too thick in other areas, so it will not apply correctly, causing a streaky, poor quality finish. There will also be inconsistencies with the colour of the paint. Therefore you must stir paint correctly using the proper tools for the job.