Controlling Paint Film Thickness

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing, ,

Posted on: 11/26/2013

How can I achieve a paint film that is less than 1 mil (0.001”) thick?

Q. How can I achieve a paint film that is less than 1 mil (0.001”) thick? Our design engineer wants to reduce the paint film thickness in certain areas to about ½ mil (0.0005”). Does the answer depend on the type of paint used and whether it is a water-based or solvent-based?—M.A. 

A. The amount and types of solvents added to the paint can control its viscosity and rheology. The type of solvents used to control these parameters of a particular paint depend of the type of application vehicle used (brushing, spraying, flow coating, roll coating or dipping) and whether the paint is solvent-thinned or waterborne (many waterborne paints contain organic solvents). In some cases of spray painting, the paint film thickness also can be controlled by reducing the wet film thickness.

I suggest you ask your paint supplier to prescribe the solvent blend required to reduce the film thickness of his specific paint.


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