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I have been doing little DIY projects inside my house and as a result I have lots of little paint jobs to do - all drywall so far. I have the original paints.

Do I need to mix/stir the paint before using it? Any related tips welcome.

Updated: The house was painted nine months ago with new paint so it must be mixed/stirred. Is there an easy way to mix/stir up some of the paint? Last time I did this was for a bigger job where I used an attachment on a drill to prep a large can - any better option here?

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    Depends on the time since last used. Mix/stir if after a week or less, if it has been a few years might need new paint. A thick skin on the paint is time to get new paint.
    – crip659
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 16:40
  • Thanks @crip659 , I've updated the Q to indicate the paint is about nine months old. Is there an easy way to mix/stir up some of the paint? Last time I did this was for a bigger job where I used an attachment on a drill to stir a whole can - any better option here?
    – Ram
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 16:45
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    You didn't just mix the paint by hand using a stick?
    – Questor
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 16:56
  • I've also found cutting a plastic coat hanger works well as a cheap drill attachment for stirring. Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 18:03
  • I mean, most of the time the can is only half full or less—plenty of room to achieve a good shake.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 19:52

2 Answers 2

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Mixing paint with a stick is tried and true, as long as you do it enough.

Get all the separated layers of liquid back together in a homogenous mass, with no suspended solid chunks, and nothing that seems to partially restrict free low of the stick across the whole bottom of the can. You don't want to pour out part of the unstirred contents: the resulting liquid will not match the original paint.

And if you're worried, buy one of those drill stir attachments again.

One other thing: check to make sure the paint doesn't smell like mold. If it does, toss it: it's no good anymore.

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I have never, mixed paint using anything other than by using a piece of wood. Often times when buying paint in the they will give you a free 'stir stick' to stir your paint with. They look something like this:

Paint sticks

Or you can use a random piece of wood that is long enough to touch the bottom of your paint can.

The process... Stir the paint, making sure to mix layers at the top with layers at the bottom. Until the paint appears to be homogenous (it looks like everything is the same). Once it has been thoroughly mixed you are ready to paint.

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