How To Thin Acrylic Paint For Airbrush – Easy Hacks

Disclaimer: At Pearls And Poodles Blog, our editorial team carefully selects the best products for all your needs. If you make a purchase through links at our blog, we may receive a commission that helps us keep bringing new content like this to you!

Spray painting is one of the most famous art forms currently. Using an airbrush to spraypaint your ideas is a liberating experience, and being actively embraced by today’s generation. 


has also become a standard method of painting that people use for commercial purposes. This includes painting houses and floors more efficiently, and in a short time.


Like all other forms of art, using an airbrush and paint involves consideration of some factors to get the best results. These include factors like the type of paint and getting the density of the paint correction.


These need to be kept in mind, for a kind of color for efficiently using for spray painting.



Acrylic paint, in general, is the most commonly used type of paint. They are readily available and are longer lasting. Thinning or mixing acrylic paint takes a lot of tries before getting the right density.


Having the right frequency of color is very critical for them to nebulize efficiently, which is the principle on which an airbrush works.



Some important tips to remember on how to thin acrylic paint for airbrush Windex, have been discussed below. 

How To Thin Acrylic Paint For Airbrush

Thinning of acrylic paint

The first thing to decide while diluting acrylic paint for your airbrush is choosing the diluent to be used. Most commonly, distilled water is used for dilution purposes of acrylic paint. This is because distilled water is chemical, not reactive, thereby ensuring thinning of the paint without bringing about any changes in paint quality. 


Once you have settled the issue of which diluent to use, a few other factors you need to consider for the best spray painting experience. These include:


  • The type of airbrush you use
  • The type of paint you use
  • Needle size
  • Nozzle size
  • The pressure of fluid

Choosing the right airbrush type

There are a plethora of airbrush types available on the market, each suited for a specific kind of painting job.

When one is looking for tips on how to thin acrylic paint for airbrush Windex, one has first to select the correct airbrush type. The commonly used examples include options such as the gravity feed, the side-feed, and siphon-feed.


For practical purposes, some rules of thumb to be remembered while selecting a particular airbrush are as follows:


  • If you are using a different airbrush for each specific color, it is best to go with a siphon-feed type of airbrush.

  • On the other hand, if you’re a beginner and just started spray painting, it is best to go with a gravity feed type of airbrush. Always remember to choose a reputed manufacturer. 
how to thin acrylic paint for airbrush floor wax,

The type of paints that people use mostly

As mentioned earlier, airbrushing is done for painting different surfaces, each of which requires a specific type of paint best suited for them. So before you start painting an exterior, it is best to test out a small area with a particular kind of paint.

Alternatively, one can follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on which color you should use for what purpose. Each painting has its thinning requirements; therefore, it is crucial to select the type of paint first.


Acrylic paints are generally most preferred due to their ability to be easily thinned by a diligent or distilled water. Even within acrylic paints, there are different types of colors to be considered.

For example, an acrylic paint suited for textiles like jeans isn’t the paint one should use for other purposes like painting a wall. Acrylic paints are also easy to clean with water, making sure you can easily clean up any spills. 

Needle and nozzle size

Once you have figured out the airbrush and paint you want to use, the next step is to select the needle and nozzle size.

For anyone looking for tips on how to thin acrylic paint for airbrush Windex, this is a crucial step. The needle and nozzle sizes are significant because they dictate how much reduction needs to be done to the paint to get a smooth nebulized flow.

A larger nozzle size will spray a thicker paint flow than a smaller nozzle size. This means using a larger nozzle size will require a more significant amount of reduction in paint density, to get the same stream of paint with a smaller nozzle.

The perils of excessive thinning

One of the essential cautionary pieces of advice while thinning paint, is never to dilute the paint excessively. This is due to multiple reasons:


● Reduction in adhesiveness: the most common peril of over thinning your acrylic paint is a loss of adhesiveness. An excessively thinned paint doesn’t stick to the painted surface very well and is liable to be peeled off or damaged easily.

● Damaging to the airbrush: excessive thinning can result in very dilute paint, which puts excess pressure on the nebulizer mechanism of the airbrush to produce a steady flow. This can damage the airbrush, and shorten its lifespan. 


Keeping these factors in mind, it is always prudent to stick to manufacturer instructions regarding what is the best level of dilution for a particular paint. 

how to thin acrylic paint for airbrush windex

The air pressure being used for spray painting

This is a factor that is mostly dependent on the type of airbrush that people use. Different kinds of airbrushes have different air pressure settings; therefore, how much acrylic paint you need to thin it depends on the type of airbrush and the airbrush pressure and you can use it for spray painting. 


An additional point to be mentioned is that certain airbrushes have different pressure settings, which allows different flows of paint by the same airbrush. These are multi-purpose airbrushes, which you can adjust for painting different types of surfaces with different colors.

Extenders and thinners

While we are on the topic of how to thin acrylic paint for airbrush Windex, it is essential to remember that extenders and thinners are two separate, yet closely related items. They serve two distinct purposes of paint thinning, and you should always differentiate them before using them. 


Extenders are made for the sole purpose of making the paint more transparent. They are used for painting a lighter shade of color. This helps provide a smoother flow of paint and lighter coating while painting. 

Special tips for solvent-based acrylic paints

Now that we have discussed the principles involving thinning of acrylic paints in general, it is prudent to remember a few unique tips specifically for solvent-based acrylic paints. 


Firstly, there are a lot of different types of solvent-based paints in the market. The solvent-based paints are most commonly used on automobiles and murals. The best course of action while thinning a solvent-based paint for your automobile, is to rely on your local auto shop.


With the experience of hundreds of projects under their belt, any local auto shop worth their salt should have a clear idea regarding how much thinning the different types of solvent-based paints require. 


In general, solvent-based acrylic paints come with instruction sheets that do not consider for use in an airbrush. Thus, while diluting it, one has to remember to dilute it much more than the recommended levels provided in the tech sheet.


This is done to get a free flow of paint. While deciding how much you want to dilute the color is up to your personal preference, a few standardized guidelines can be followed to get satisfactory results. 


One such standardized rule of solvent-based acrylic paints is to mix one part reducer with one part paint. This is applicable for most of the solvent-based paints that suggest a 1:2 reducer and paint ratio in the tech sheet. The over reduction ensures the free flow through the airbrush.


Apart from experimenting, one can also efficiently judge the correct thinning of paint by observing if the color flows with milk-like consistency. This usually means the paint has achieved the necessary density to flow through an airbrush freely. 

Using a catalyst

The final point to remember while thinning acrylic paint for airbrush Windex is to check whether your airbrush and paint require a catalyst.

Certain types of acrylic paints require a catalyst before being used efficiently in an airbrush. In such cases, be sure to mix the catalyst while thinning the paint to get the best results.

Spray painting has a diverse field of application, and we use them in different aspects of our everyday life. Such varied use results in several different types of paints that people use, each of which requires different levels of thinning.

It can often be confusing, trying to get the right density for different colors. But keep in mind, the factors discussed above, along with some experimentation, one is sure to get the best possible result from their spray paint project. 

Table of Contents

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin