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Auto body work tools - How to Read Automotive Paint Mixing Cups.

Auto body work tools - How to Read Automotive Paint Mixing Cups

How to Read Automotive Paint Mixing Cups.


Paint cups are used primarily in the automotive painting industry to achieve the correct mixtures of paint prior to application.

Paint is never applied straight. It is first mixed with an activator solution and occasionally a third component like a paint thinner or reducer.

Since paint manufacturers provide exact ratios for each of these products, the math can get tricky.

That is why most people use mixing cups, which have all of the ratios written on the side, just like a measuring cup.

Measuring cups are used for mixing paintwork and preparatory materials: clearcoats, paints, fillers, etc. with hardeners and reducers in the most common proportions, for example, 2: 1, 3: 1 and 4: 1. and etc.

Choose the desired sector, there is a distinction of 1: 1, 2: 1.

The mixing technology is simple: first pour the paint to the specified mark, to the next mark in the same scale of hardener and then the reducer.

Of course, first read all the necessary information on the ink package, on the method of its preparation, on the order in which it is applied and on the desired proportion.

Here, also read: Technology mixing and application of paint.

TABLEWARE It is important that the container in which we mix is strictly cylindrical (flat bottom and vertical walls).

Only in such a container can one mix components evenly and measure their quantity correctly.

It is better if this will be a specially measured ware in the form of a transparent plastic can with a lid.

A marking is applied to such banks, which allows mixing materials in the required volume ratio (1: 1, 2: 1, 3: 1, 4: 1, 5: 1, etc.)

Also, for dosing and mixing paintwork materials it is convenient to use a special ruler with labels that define the volume fractions of the components.

Pour the base into a cylindrical dish to a certain division, and then add a hardener (if added) to the desired level, then a reducer.

All the same, ruler mixed - and done. Often, the measuring line is sold with a set of paint, and on all branded cans the proportions are indicated according to these lines

Look on the side of the paint can determine how much activator, or hardener, to add to the paint.

The measurements will be displayed in a ratio such as 3:1:1. This means to use three parts of paint, one part hardener and one part reducer.

Some paint mixes leave off the third number since they don't require reducer.

Hold up the paint mixing cup and locate the corresponding mix ratio along the top of the cup, in this case, 3:1:1.

You can look through the outside of the cup or the inside, as the ratios are printed on both the interior and exterior of the cup.

Each ratio contains three adjacent columns on the cup, one for each of the three numbers.

If the mix ratio only has two numbers, then ignore the third column.


Place the mixing cup on a flat surface. Pour in the paint until it reaches the line in the first column of the ratio; then stop.


Using the 3:1:1 example, you will pour until reaching number 3 in the first column.


Pour in enough activator to reach the number 1 in the second column.


Locate the number 1 in the third column, if applicable, and pour in the thinner until reaching that line.


Mix paint thoroughly with a paint stirrer and apply.