How to Mix Lacquer Thinner

By Kristy Robinson ; Updated April 12, 2017
Use thinner to prepare lacquer for spraying.

Properly mixing your lacquer with thinner will make the difference in whether you have orange peeling on your finished product or a perfectly smooth surface. Orange peels are drips underneath the painted surface that cannot be removed without starting over. The ratio for mixing thinner to lacquer will depend on the type of lacquer and the material and purpose you will be using it for. The specifications are obtained from the lacquer product supplier and are typically available at the time of purchase.

Set up your mixing station in a well-ventilated area. The fumes from lacquer and thinner can cause dizziness and nausea if there is not enough ventilation. It is best to complete this task outdoors if at all possible.

Cover the surface of the workspace. Thinner will damage any finished surfaces or grass it is spilled on. Cover the surface with cardboard and it will soak up any spills you may have during mixing.

Put on protective eye goggles and rubber gloves to keep the thinner from splashing your eyes or coming into contact with your skin. Thinner will irritate small cuts and wounds, and dry out your skin.

Calculate how much lacquer and thinner you need using the ratio on the product specification sheet provided with the lacquer. For example, if the ratio should be 5:1, then add 1 cup of thinner for every 5 cups of lacquer.

Place the amount of lacquer needed into a separate container.

Add the thinner, being sure to maintain your ratio figured in step 4.

Stir the mixture until it is a uniform color and you can no longer see the thinner. This will take two to three minutes of constant stirring with a paint stick. Be sure to stir around the edges and across the mixture to ensure there are no thick spots in the lacquer.

Things Needed

  • Cardboard
  • Eye goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Product specification sheet
  • Mixing container
  • Paint stirring stick

About the Author

Based in southern Virginia, Kristy Robinson has been writing for various websites since 2008. Her work focuses on tutorials and self-help articles. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from American InterContinental University.