Through impatience, I failed to adequately mix a 5-gallon bucket of aluminized roofing paint before I hauled it up the ladder and painted my roof.

Now, I am left with a huge wad of putty like aluminum paste at the bottom of the bucket. I realize that I'll probably need to re-paint, but is there a safe way to salvage this gunk?

Is it safe to thin this paste with paint thinner or diesel?

I'm frankly worried that using a thinner (especially diesel) will trigger some chemical reaction rendering the re-mixed paint into something dangerous.

  • If it is oil based possibly paint thinner or mineral spirits but I would not use diesel. If it is water based tap water may work.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 31, 2016 at 12:57
  • Do you think the paint will fail or does it look bad?
    – DMoore
    Mar 31, 2016 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


There are different formulations for aluminum roof coatings. I doubt that what I'm about to say is incorrect, but if you want to be 100% sure, call the manufacturer.

Diesel contains surfactants and oils; diesel will leave a residue; I very much doubt that there would be any chemcial reactions, but it will probably result in wasted or reduced quality paint. You should be able to add a little (like 10% by volume) paint thinner if you need to store it (so that it doesn't dry out) until you have a chance use it. For recycling the aluminum (and probably perlite) sludge, the best advice (IMHO) would be to mix it with more/fresh aluminum paint, and re-coat this heavy mixture over the area that you painted with light-aluminum paint.

  • Thanks. I was considering diesel because that is what I have on hand. I think I'll go with thinner. My primary concern is that I would be mixing up something dangerous, and I did not want to get on anyone's watch list because I searched for "how to make explosives with paint".
    – Michael J.
    Apr 1, 2016 at 21:28

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