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Should You Mix PVA With Paint? Full Guide

Painting can get complicated if you’re not sure about what you want. With so many options and ways to do things when it comes to painting, it’s best to know first if what you’re doing is right. The question now is if PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) will work with your paint. Can you mix them together?

You should not mix Polyvinyl Acetate with your paint directly. PVA is already found in paint, and applying more than the intended amount to its current mixture will end up causing your paint to be too stiff to set correctly.

Even if your paint does not come with PVA, it’s not a good idea to mix in the chemical since there are more accessible and more efficient ways to get the same benefits. There are many types of additives that you can use that are better suited for mixing with paint. 

Can You Mix PVA With Paint?

Most manufacturers already include PVA(Polyvinyl Acetate) into the paint that they sell, especially for paints intended for interior finishes. Since your paint already has PVA, it has all the benefits it can provide, and adding any more of it can cause your paint to get some unwanted qualities

DID YOU KNOW? When mixed with paint, PVA gives it a property that better allows it to be cleaned without sustaining any marks or damage.

Again, manufacturers only add in a certain amount for this purpose, and any more than that will cause your paint to dry with a weird glue-like consistency

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It should be noted that there are also different types of paints, such as latex, acrylic, and oil-based. If you plan to mix PVA with paint, then latex is the way to go since PVA mixes better with water.  Also, latex paints are an excellent choice for interior finishes due to their ease of installation and cleaning. 

When Is Paint Usually Mixed? 

Before anything else, you should be aware that mixing anything with your paint may void its warranty.  Mixing in other chemicals with paints tends to happen because manufacturers create paint for general use, but homeowners might need something more specific. 

Adding paint additives is a way that you can change the properties of your paint. Here is a list of different paint additives and what they do: 

Paint Additives
WaterWater is used to thin paint. Thinning paint makes it easier to work with. However, it reduces the intensity of its color and its hold. If you plan on spray painting your walls, you’ll probably need to thin your paint. 
FloetrolIt is also used to thin the paint, but it retains the paint’s color and holds much more than water. 
MildewcideIf you live in a humid area, mildewcide helps reduce molds and algae from forming on your paint.
PenetrolUsed for oil-based paints to improve their material penetration properties and allows to better stick to surfaces. 
Emulsified OilMixed in with latex and acrylic paints for better application on chalky surfaces
ScentsGives applied paint a lingering smell. The scent does not last long but still has a noticeable effect. 
Anti-Corrosive AdditivesApplied on metal to help prevent rusting by improving its moisture resistance. 

As you can see, there are many ways to modify your paint to meet a specific purpose. Rather than buying multiple cans of paints with different properties, you can mix in additives instead. Remember, however, that you should add only a tiny portion of additives to your paint to avoid ruining it. 

How Do I Mix Additives Into My Paint? 

Most paints already have additives that support these functions, so you’re already enjoying the benefits that we’ve listed above. You should only mix in additives by yourself if you have a specific need for your paint. It’s best only to add one or two additives to ensure that your paint still retains most of its properties

In general, it’s best to add additives slowly and by portion rather than adding them all at once.

It’s easy to add more additives onto paint, but it’s impossible to remove an additive once it’s been mixed in already. If you add too many additives by accident, you can add more paint into the mixture to dilute it.  

If you want to skip having to add additives in the first place, you can opt to buy paint that is compatible and manufactured to work with the surface that you are working on.

This is a more practical option if you plan on painting larger portions of your house, such as all your exterior walls, and ensures that consistency is maintained. 

If you’re painting your patio or any concrete surface, check out this article I wrote about the 10 best choices for paint to use on these surfaces.

What Are the Uses of PVA? 

PVA’s main property as a chemical is to act as an adhesive, and it works well on porous materials. PVA is used as a primer for painting purposes, which is supposed to help your finish work better by changing the characteristics of what you want to apply paint, whether that be reducing porousness or smoothing out a surface

Aside from that, PVA still has many uses in a home, both as an adhesive and as a sealant. In case you still have some sitting around in your toolkit, you can do it for the following: 

  1. To seal up any small holes along your walls. 
  2. To reattach any broken wooden tiles. 
  3. Wood sealant
  4. Primer for walls (There are better options aside from PVA) 
  5. Arts and crafts
  6. Light furniture/fixture repairs
  7. Wallpaper Adhesive

It may seem quite far from paint, but this is how PVA is used in a home setting. It’s great to always have some on hand for those quick repair jobs or for touching up a space. You can use PVA to cover up any small dents or holes and just paint over it for painting purposes.  


PVA should not be mixed with paint under normal circumstances. If your paint does not stick too well with your finish, you can add in a bit of PVA to increase the paint’s adhesiveness. In general, paint is already manufactured to have some amount of PVA.