Mix It Up – Industrial Paint Mixers and the Modern Paint Professional 2

Jerry was anxious to get the job finished.  He had spent three days on a project that was originally supposed to only take two. Now he ran the risk of running late for the next client and creating scheduling conflicts that would last well into the next week.  Despite trying to stretch the last gallon of paint to finish the last wall, he had come up short and was going to need another gallon of paint.  Jerry raced to the industrial paint supply store across town and placed his order.  Already stressed over the predicament and anxious to get back to the job site and finish, Jerry asked the man behind the counter to please hurry with the paint.

“I’m sorry, Jerry,” he replied, “I’m doing the best I can but I can’t rush this process.  I have to do it right.”

Industrial paint mixer

An industrial paint mixer at work. Image Courtesy of BYK

Mixing paint to get the right color, thickness, and texture is an integral part of the paint process.  When a weekend handyman wants to paint a bedroom, they leave the home improvement store with a gallon of paint, a paint key to open the can, and a basic stir stick.  Even though the paint would have recently been placed in an agitator to ensure proper mixture, its always recommended that it be mixed one more time for good measure before using.

When a professional painter needs to paint the inside of an office building or the outside of a house, the mixing process is exactly the same…only bigger.  Professional painters rely on larger volume industrial paint mixers that can accommodate more than 20 gallons of paint at a time, providing consistent torque at speeds both high and low.  Some paint mixers are handheld and resemble a drill with a long bit, while larger industrial paint mixers can stand eight feet tall and require significant floor space.

Handheld paint mixer

An example of a handheld paint mixer. Image courtesy of Tool-Topia.net

Mixing paint means taking the base paint and mixing in additives for things like color, texture, and thickness.  To achieve a quality product with an industrial paint mixer means the end result has been mixed constantly throughout so that the paint at the top of the bucket has the same properties as the paint at the bottom.  As a result, it is imperative that the mixer being used apply a consistent agitation during the mixture of the paint.  Some mixers are faster than others, but the most important quality in a commercial paint mixer is consistency of action.

Industrial paint mixer

An example of an industrial paint mixer. Image courtesy of Direct Industry

For the professional painter, having access to an industrial paint mixer can mean the difference between a job completed at the highest standards and a job that is sloppy in appearance due to inconsistent paint quality.  While most paint suppliers own (or have access to) large scale paint mixers, it is important to confirm how the paint will be mixed prior to ordering.   For example, some paint suppliers cut corners by mixing individual gallons of paint before combining five gallons into a single drum.  As you can imagine, this leads to inconsistent paint quality and a poor mixture overall.

Your standards should be higher than that:  find a paint supplier that can provide large volumes of paint that have been mixed together.  Ask about the torque and RPM settings they are using and double check to make sure that those settings are agreeable to the best practices of mixture for the brand of paint you are using.  Adding these simple steps early in the process will ensure that if your job faces a challenge, it won’t be because of the paint you’re using. Click here to learn more about specific industrial paint mixers available to the modern paint professional.




  1. Pingback: Mottling Prevention for the Professional Painter | BYK | Measuring and Combatting This Common Paint Problem

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