How to Mix a Base Coat & Clear Coat for Auto Paint

by Jenny Carver
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A paint job on a car involves more than spraying paint on the car's surface. There are several extremely important steps that must be completed before the car is ready to be painted. One of these steps is mixing a base coat and clear coat for auto paint. If the paint isn't mixed correctly, the unsightly results will show up once the car has dried. The only thing to do then is to strip the paint off and start again, which is costly and time-consuming.

Step 1

Read the directions carefully to make sure the paint isn't a specialty paint, which may call for a specific mixture ratio.

Step 2

Place a clean measuring cup (purchased at an automotive paint store) on a flat surface. Pour the paint into the cup. Use a separate clean cup to measure the reducer. Most automotive paints require a 4-to-1 ratio, which means four ounces of paint for every one ounce of reducer.

Step 3

Follow the same mixing ratio for clear coat paint. Mix the paint and reducer together and stir very well with a stir stick.

Pour the paint into the cup of the paint gun and close it tightly.


  • Always read the directions on the paint can very carefully because some specialty paints may call for a different ratio of paint and thinner.


  • Automotive paint fumes are toxic and should always be mixed and sprayed in a well ventilated area.

Items you will need

  • Paint
  • Clear coat paint
  • Reducer/thinner
  • Measuring cups
  • Stir sticks
  • Paint gun

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