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"Spray Paint Can Vortex Mixer: DIY ~$7" Topic

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Sgt Slag11 Dec 2020 11:50 a.m. PST

NOTE: the $7 USD price does not include a drill, which is also required. A corded drill will work, though he demonstrates using a battery powered drill. Used electric drills can be purchased for $10 USD, or new for $17.99 USD at Harbor Freight. Keep the RPM's below 1700.

I use, and love, my Jigsaw paint bottle mixer: bought an older B&D Jigsaw, at an estate sale, for $10 USD; bought a new blade for it, for $4 USD; bought a roll of Painter's Masking Tape for $2. USD I wrap the blade with blue Painter's Masking Tape, wrapping that around a paint bottle/pen; run it for 15 seconds, at 1/2 speed, to mix my paints, exceptionally well.

I didn't have any means of shaking spray cans of paint: taping a can to the blade is possible, but the cans are so large, I am afraid they might snap the blade, or fly off.

So I searched YouTube for Jigsaw Paint Mixers, and I came across this video: EASIEST Spray Paint Can Shaker… I recently needed to seal some seams on a new garage, with spray foam cans of insulation: they specify that you must shake the can, a minimum of one minute! That is a long time -- I went through 10 cans of spray foam, before I was done! Imagine how easy it would have been, if I had watched this video, prior to the job…

Watch the entire video. In the last few minutes, he takes a water bottle, filled with dyed water, and vegetable oil, with a steel ball bearing inside, to simulate the mixing ball within a spray paint can, and he mixes it. The results are impressive: it actually demonstrates that the ball creates a vortex within the liquid contents, mixing oil and water, superbly (actually, he uses a BB taken from a spray can). Imagine what it does to the paint mixture, inside a spray can! Thought I would share. Cheers!


Found a commercial version here, for $19.99 USD, on Amazon Read the reviews, then cut the shaft to no longer than you need to fit it into your drill's chuck.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Dec 2020 12:22 p.m. PST

Thanks! thumbs up

Stryderg11 Dec 2020 2:23 p.m. PST

That is dead simple, thanks for sharing.
I wonder if a smaller version would work for my paint bottles if I drop a few metal BBs into them?

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2020 6:58 p.m. PST

What's this for? Why not just shake the can by hand for a minute?

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2020 7:53 p.m. PST

Because ten minutes to shake ten cans is a long time.
Because some people are old or weak or infirm and shaking a can is difficult.
Because some things are simply done better in less time than doing them by hand.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Sgt Slag11 Dec 2020 8:45 p.m. PST

Oberlindes, because a machine can mix paint faster, more thoroughly, easier, and more entertainingly, than doing it by hand. As Mike Bunkermeister said.

I compared paint bottles I shook, by hand, to those I mixed on my Jigsaw… No comparison. The effort was ridiculously low, as well, to do it by machine. My cheap craft paints came out like they've never looked, behaved, before!

If a laboratory vortex mixer was $20 USD, I'd buy one. Unfortunately, they sell for $80 USD-$300. The quality of mixing paint bottles, is impossible to achieve by hand, without a very great deal of effort.

Watch some videos on YouTube, or better yet, dig out a Jigsaw, and some masking tape, and try it yourself. Thanks again, Mike Bunkermeister! Cheers!

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2020 1:36 a.m. PST

I hate shaking spray cans, looks like a trip to Lowe's is in order.

Stryderg12 Dec 2020 6:10 a.m. PST

I imagine this would also work well for all of the spray sealers, bug sprays and spray lubricants that sit on a shelf for a few months/years until needed.

CeruLucifus12 Dec 2020 2:27 p.m. PST

Great video. Thanks for posting.

Zephyr112 Dec 2020 2:39 p.m. PST

If you need to MacGyver it, duct tape the paint container to the hands of a 5-year old hopped up on highly caffeinated soda… ;-)

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2020 9:16 p.m. PST

OK, you've convinced me. I'm gonna borrow the neighbor kid. I already have duct tape.

Sgt Slag18 Dec 2020 8:16 p.m. PST

So I built one, per the video. I used the metal pressure cap, which he advised against -- it was the only plug I could find.

Verdict: it works, as described. I used it to mix up some white paint + primer. I used it multiple times to spin-mix the same can, to paint several batches at different times during the day, though several hours apart. The primer-paint worked nicely, every time.

After using my Jigsaw to mix bottles, this is the next best thing, being equal in service, but for a different type of paint.

I have more foam insulation cans to put to use. It will get a work-out in the next couple of months. It is a good investment for me. The two paint mixers, are some of the most valuable tools in my kit, for painting mini's! Cheers!

John Leahy19 Dec 2020 4:22 a.m. PST

I need to get one of these!

Great idea!



Sgt Slag19 Dec 2020 4:01 p.m. PST

Bought a new spray can at Wal-Mart, today. Shook it twice, at the store: the ball dislodged, on the second shake, barely moving. Brought it home, spun it up, then shook it: the mixing ball was completely loose, rattling away, freely. More real-world experience that this vortex mixing technique really does the job -- all with the pulling of a trigger. Super-fantastic labor saving device/technique! I have more cans of foam insulation in my near future -- I have no fear, the vortex mixer is here, in my hands!… Cheers!

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