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The paint(3+ months old) in my can has separated but I'm not sure what kind of tool to use to stir it. It is latex paint used for indoor purposes. Does anyone has any recommendation on what tool to use for the stirring?

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    A piece of wood, a tree branch, your hand, a kitchen whisk, a wooden spoon, whatever you want. – Gunner Sep 12 '12 at 1:20
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    Usually our local paint guy gives me several freebie paint sticks and a lid opener every time I buy a couple gallons. The paint stick is a piece of wood lath. Take the skin off the top, toss it and then use the lath to scrape the bottom and stir it all together. Per Gunner's approval, the best was a stout piece of oak trim that outlasted everything till it became a thick laminated chunk of paint plastic. – Fiasco Labs Sep 12 '12 at 3:21
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    Paint stir stick – Tester101 Sep 12 '12 at 11:27
  • If you bought it at a local store, and that store has a paint mixer (of the "closed can gets shaken like crazy" sort paint stores tend to use) most are happy to remix paint which they sold you (for free), even if it's been a while. Don't annoy them by bringing in paint you bought somewhere else unless you offer to pay for the service. You MAY need to strain the paint before use depending on what's going on in the can (if bits have dried in there, as well as it getting separated.) – Ecnerwal Apr 27 at 2:04
  • Check the can for rust, first, however - my biggest problem with old latex paints is rust forming in the can, and then altering the color of the paint (as well as adding chunks - the chunks can be filtered, but the paint color may no longer match the original) – Ecnerwal Apr 27 at 2:21
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I would suggest a paint plungerenter image description here
(source: rokset.com.au) which doesn't require a drill and is more thorough in stirring the paint than a paint stick.

Just use a plunging motion to get the paint from the bottom of the can to mix thoroughly though the tin, they come in different sizes as you see for different size paint cans.

  • I've been doing this kinda stuff for a long time. Never have I seen one of these, nor do I expect I ever will. – Mazura Apr 27 at 2:47
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You can get a mixer tool that attaches to a power drill. This does a much better and faster job than the wooden paint stirring sticks you can pick up at any paint store.

paint mixer

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    +1 Separated seems to suggest that there is a thinner liquid on top. But if there is a skin in top of the paint, remove that first. The dried out top surface will not easily reintegrate into the liquid. – bib Sep 12 '12 at 3:10
  • Ye aulde eggbeater. The one you use for thinset is much larger and needs a pretty hefty drill motor. Watched someone try to smoke their cordless once. – Fiasco Labs Sep 12 '12 at 3:15
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    Pro-tip - When using these immerse the mixer in the paint can then start the drill. – Freiheit Sep 12 '12 at 14:01
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    @Freiheit But what if they're going for the "paint-tornado" look for that particular room? – Doresoom Sep 12 '12 at 16:39
  • +1 If I'm getting more paint for the project I've also asked the paint desk to shake my old cans for me. Sometimes they will. – Matthew Sep 12 '12 at 21:10

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