How to Thin Paint for Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer

Are you looking for a way to thin out paint so that it can be used with the Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer? Do you want to make sure your paint job looks professional and even without any splotches or streaks? If so, read on to learn how to thin paint for Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer.

Learning how to use a paint sprayer on furniture can be a daunting task, but painting with a Paint Sprayer can make the process much easier. However, understanding how much to thin the paint is key to getting the right consistency.

pouring water to thin paint

With our tips, you’ll have perfectly thinned paint that will spray evenly and smoothly on your project without any splotches or streaks.

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You won’t have to worry about wasting time or money, or messing up your project with a crappy looking paint job ever again!

Let’s dive into how to thin paint for the Wagner FLEXiO paint sprayers.

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Do I need to thin paint for Wagner Flexio paint sprayer?

The paint being used with the iSpray nozzle should not need to be thinned out.

Actually, you don’t technically have to thin out most paints for the detail finish nozzle, but if you want a perfect fine finish on your furniture, then you will most likely need to thin out your paint at least a little bit.

Very thick paint like chalk paint can be sprayed with the FLEXiO sprayers and the detail finish nozzle, but it doesn’t look good and it isn’t consistent.

Check out the best paint for spraying furniture here.

How to Thin Paint for the Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer

The steps in this post have been tested and work well for the Wagner FLEXiO 3500 and the Wagner FLEXiO 5000 with the detail finish nozzle.

These sprayers don’t come with a viscosity cup, but a viscosity cup isn’t needed.

A viscosity cup comes with sprayers like the Wagner Double Duty Paint Sprayer that isn’t as powerful, so you have to thin the paint out more than with these FLEXiO sprayers.

Learn more about the Best Wagner Paint Sprayers for Furniture here.

Check out my honest Wagner 3500 Paint Sprayer Review here to learn more about the features, and pros and cons of this sprayer.

Just like with anything else, it’s always best to test it before painting on your project. Make sure to have some cardboard, paper, or scrap wood around to test the spray on before painting your project.

Step 1:

First, read the back of your paint container.  Different types of paints require different types of thinning materials.

The type of paint you’re using will determine which thinner you should use.

Water-based paints should be thinned with water and oil-based paints should be thinned with mineral spirits.

You can find out what type of paint you are using by reading the label on the back of the container.

Usually, if it says that you can cleanup any paint spill with water, then you can thin out the paint with water. If you can cleanup the paint with mineral spirits, then you can use mineral spirits to thin out the paint.

Learn more about the Types of Paint for Furniture here.

Step 2:

Strain the paint through a paint filter and into the paint sprayer container. This will ensure that there are no chunks of dried paint or any random debris that got into the paint that could clog up your sprayer.

pouring paint to paint sprayer container through mesh filter

Even if your paint is brand new, you very well might have clumps in your paint that will clog your paint sprayer.

If you want your project to go smoothly, this is a crucial step, and should not be skipped.

If you want to fuss with your sprayer and have issues with it, then by all means, don’t filter your paint before putting it in the paint sprayer.

You can use a mesh colander if you’re in a pinch!

Step 3:

Measure how much paint you have in your paint sprayer’s container and then add 10% thinning material.

Most containers have measurement marks on the side of the container to help you see how much paint you have.

For example, if you have 16 ounces of paint, you would need just a hint over 3 Tablespoons of thinner to thin your paint out by 10%.

thinning paint with water

Once added, mix the paint well until it has reached a smooth, uniform consistency. This is super important. You need your paint and thinning agent to be completely mixed together for a uniform finish. 

mixing water and paint together

Step 4:

Put the sprayer together, and then spray the paint out onto some cardboard, paper or scrap wood to see if you like how it sprays.

spraying paint onto a piece of cardboard

If there is too much splattering with thick drops of paint, then add a little more thinner until it comes out in a fine mist instead of large droplets.

Alternatively, if it is too thin, then add more paint until it thickens up slightly and sprays out properly again.

Note: If your paint states that you shouldn’t thin it, or that you should only thin it by a certain amount, it’s best to follow those guidelines. The paint might not cure correctly if it is thinned against the manufacturer’s guidance.

With these steps in mind, thinning out your paint for use with Wagner FLEXiO sprayers should be easy!

Remember to always read the back of your specific type of paint before beginning as different types may require different thinning materials or ratios for best results.

And don’t forget to test your mixture on some scrap material before spraying onto anything important! Good luck!

How to Use the Wagner FLEXiO Paint Sprayer Settings

The FLEXiO sprayer comes with an adjustable nozzle that allows you to switch between vertical, horizontal, and circular spray patterns. Just turn the adjustable nozzle to change the spray pattern.

close up on the horizontal and vertical nozzles on wagner flexio paint sprayers

If it is horizontal, the sprayer will spray vertical. If it is vertical, it will spray horizontal. And if it is diagonal, the spray will come out in a circle pattern.

You also have the option to adjust the spray volume with the dial behind the trigger, which will allow you to control the amount of paint being sprayed.

close up on trigger and spray volume dial on wagner flexio paint sprayer

Just turn the dial closer to the trigger to make more paint come out, and turn the dial to stick out furniture from the trigger to make less paint come out.

The FLEXiO sprayer also has two different spray heads: the iSpray nozzle and the Detail Finish nozzle.

The iSpray mode is perfect for large projects like fences and walls where you don’t care about the texture that is created, as it can cover an area in a fraction of the time it would take with a traditional brush or roller.

The Detail mode is ideal for smaller, intricate projects like furniture, where you need to have more control over the spray.

The FLEXiO sprayer also has a variable speed control, which allows you to adjust the air flow power. I usually keep this setting on 4-5, but I don’t notice a huge difference when this setting is changed.

variable speed control dial on wagner flexio paint sprayer

It’s important to remember that the FLEXiO sprayer comes with a learning curve. To get the best results, it’s important to practice with the sprayer on scrap material before using it on your project.

You may need to adjust the settings for different paints and surfaces, so it’s important to take your time and be patient.

What type of paints are compatible with the Wagner FLEXiO sprayer?

The Wagner FLEXiO sprayer is compatible with most types of paints, including both water-based and oil-based varieties.

Note: oil based paints are harder to cleanup because they can’t be cleaned with soap and water.

However, it is important to note that shellac based primers should not be used with the sprayer due to their low flash point.

What is the best way to clean a Wagner FLEXiO paint sprayer after use?

After completing your painting project with the Wagner FLEXiO sprayer, it’s important to properly clean it for future use. But don’t worry, it’s easy!

The sprayer can be cleaned using either warm soapy water for water-based paints or mineral spirits for oil-based paints.

It is important to note that failure to properly clean the Wagner FLEXiO sprayer can result in clogging and reduced performance. Check out our posts about how to clean a Wagner Paint Sprayer and how to clean a Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer to learn the step by step process. For a more thorough cleanup, here’s our guide on how to take apart a Wagner paint sprayer!

By taking the time to properly clean it after each use, you can ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your sprayer.

How to Thin Paint for Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer

thinning paint with water for wagner flexio paint sprayer

Here's how to thin paint for Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer to get an even and professional-looking finish every time!



  1. Check what type of paint you have to figure out the correct thinner that you should use.
  2. Strain the paint through a paint filter into the sprayer container.
  3. Measure how much paint you have in the sprayer container then add 10% thinning material.
  4. Mix the paint and thinning agent together really well.
  5. Test the sprayer onto some cardboard, if it's still too thick - add more thinner, if it's too thin - add more paint.
  6. You're all set to spray paint your furniture!

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