Automotive Paint Mixing Ratios – How To Mix Auto Paint – Mixing Car Paint

How To Easily Mix Automotive Paint 

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When a lot of newbie enthusiasts get into automotive painting there is something that usually confuses them.

Automotive paint mixing ratios.
That’s why you may be watching this video and reading this blog post. Well, mixing automotive paint is really a lot simpler than you think.

  • First let’s talk about single stage paints.

Single stage paints are a stand alone type of paint. No clear is necessary to produce a gloss. Think of it as woman’s nail polish. You can lay a few coats of paint and you’re done. It’s glossy and durable.

A general mixing ratio for single stage paints is a 8/1/1 mixture. You will have 3 basic paint materials.

  1. Your Main Paint in which ever color you desire from metallics to solids.
  2. Reducer to thin down your paint so you don’t end up with orange peel problems.
  3. Hardener which is also known as Activator. Both are a catalyst which helps your paint cure and dry for a lasting finish. automotive-paint-mixing-ratios

In simple terms, let’s use 8oz cup sizes in this example because like you already know, there are 8oz in each cup. So for every 8 cups of paint you pour into your large mixing bucket you’ll have to add 1 cup of reducer and 1 cup of hardener. All of this mixed up will give you 10 cups of paintable material. Get it?

Depending on how well your paint looks when checking the viscosity while mixing and doing the drip test like I show you how to do in the VIP area of this site, you may need to add more reducer give or take.  That’s the general mixing ratio for a single stage paint. Other brands may be a little different, but now you have the basic idea. This mixing ratio is for the ShopLine product by PPG.

  • Two Stage Painting Ratio’s:
  1. Base Coat Clear Coat Paint’s as you may know are todays newest paint products. The water borne paint is also a base/clear paint. Base coat mixing is always a 50/50 mixture.

Very easy. 1 cup of base (your paint color) + 1 cup reducer = ready to paint.

Your paint never goes bad. If you have left over, just cap it in a glass jar or your paint can and seal it up. When you are ready for your next job, just mix again and you’re ready to paint. It makes it a LOT easier if you know your paint viscosity and can apply the drip test every time you’re getting ready to paint. Then it won’t matter if you put your leftovers from your gun back into the can of your unmixed base coat. I show you the short-cuts of the trade within the VIP members club of this site. No worries.

  • Clear Coat mixing for base/clear paints:

When mixing clear coat again, pretty simple. Usually depending on the brand you get you have a 4/1 or a 2/1 mixing ratio. So if you have been following along so far I really shouldn’t have to explain this one for you 🙂

I’ll do it anyway… a 4/1 mixing ratio goes like this. 4 parts of your clear coat to one part of your hardener. For a Gallon of clear in your bucket, you’ll add one quart of hardener… and the last time I checked there were still 4 quarts in a gallon.

Hope this post cleared a lot of confusion out of the air for you! If you are looking to get into automotive auto body and paint for a special project, or a money making venture, we would love to help you get started and off the ground quickly.

Making things simple for you is our business. If you want to learn more about the Learn Auto Body And Paint VIP Membership community and how it can help you …feel free to check it out. You have nothing to lose and all to gain. With thousands of raving VIP members from all backgrounds, ages and regions worldwide learning how to restore and customize their ride, there must be something we’re doing right.

Automotive Paint Mixing Ratio

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20 thoughts on “Automotive Paint Mixing Ratios – How To Mix Auto Paint – Mixing Car Paint”

  1. Thanks Tony you give some really great tips. I do more engine work and done some body work in my time one of these day I do want to spray one of my own. Thanks for your tip I plan to join sometime I just have to get money straight I have more goin out then coming in at times.

  2. Hey Tony,

    you really have lot of stuff here in free area itself, wondering how much would be there in VIP, hoping to join soon as i am waiting to get some money.


  3. Tony,
    Iam restoring a 72 truck and I was about to pay someone to do it and pay a lot of money.Till i came across your web-site and iam thankfull for the sites you have been sending me.I have the truck tore down and primered. The frame is painted black and almost finished. What do you recomened for rust so that i can finish my project sooner.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Really impressed with the content that you provide. I’d like to re-paint my car myself, but I’m unsure if I can do it and not make a mess of it.

    I guess that when I get the extra $$$ I will become a VIP.


  6. HI Tony,

    Thanks again for all your dedication. I used the most expensive (Dupont) clear coat but it did not come out like new car paint. I wet sanded it with 2000 then buffered. What was wrong?

  7. thanks tony for the video. i am looking to finally paint my car once i get my lambo door kit on and my air suspension. i will become a member soon

  8. Hi Tony, I really would like to thank you for all of your great tips and knowledge information sharing. I live in Nova Scotia and it’s hard on vehicles up here. I am currently in the works of restoring my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier VL Coupe. Custom trunk lid with frenched crooked license plate. There is no way I ever could have pulled this off without your help. I am twenty six years old and a Mechanical Drafter but enjoy a bit of painting for myself and a few friends as a hobby.Thanks so much Tony, your the bomb buddy! From Nova Scotia, Canada.

    • Glad you like the info John!

      That’s awesome that you’re doing all of this to your ride. Share this site with all you know… that would be the ultimate payback! Cheers buddy!

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