Stirring Paint for Best Results

Stirring Paint for Best Results

Stirring Paint Well

It may seem elementary to some.  If you’ve never done any painting, you might want to know how to stir a can of paint and know you’re doing it correctly.

All the heavier substances in a paint can (and other protective coatings) settle to the bottom -same as cream rises to the top of a quart of milk.  (I just realized the younger generation may not have experienced that).  

Let me search for a better analogy.  Are you familiar with how the olive oil separates from the vinegar in a salad dressing?

In a paint can, the stuff at the bottom is really thick and gummy.  It requires some time and effort to mix it well.  To rush through this process is to take a chance on something less than a great finished product.

The paint store will usually shake the can in a mechanical machine designed for the purpose.  Is does an excellent job and the paint will not separate in the can right away.  It’s a good practice, though, to give is a good stir, just the same, to see if you can spot any inconsistencies in the coloration of the mix.  

If you find any, it  would validate the reason you’re stirring it.  If you don’t -well, it’s good to know.

The link below will take you to a video demonstrating what to consider when stirring a can of paint. It is a brief video that will talk about some of the things to look for, why your doing it and a couple of undesirable effects if you don’t do a good job of it.


If You Can’t Shake It, Mix It Well.  Here’s how to do it …

YouTube Version Here: Preparing Paint for Use

To stir a can of paint well, you need a good wood stir stick.  You can get a couple of these, of course, at the paint store.  If you need more, you can find them here:

Useful Link for more information:


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