Measuring Thinners and Catalysts

Old pros share several ways to measure proportions when mixing finishes. October 28, 2005

Question
What is the best way to measure the catalyst? Tablespoons, teaspoons and measuring cups do not seem to be accurate.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
I've used those little one ounce measuring cups you sometimes get with liquid medicine.
Iíve only found one place to buy them, so I got a case of them.



From contributor B:
I actually have a small 6 oz. glass bottle with markings on it that works very well for measuring the catalyst. Also, most paint stores sell paint mixing cups with markings for ounces and milliliters. A one ounce measuring container seems rather small to me since I use 4 ounces per gallon with Chemcraft Plastofix.


From contributor C:
Another option are the glass measuring cups, they sell different sizes.



From contributor D:
It may depend on your brand's percentage. We use MLC and their percentage is 10%. So we use a 1pt (500 ml) and 2 qt (2000 ml) measuring cups, and do it in metric. If we use 1500 ml of varnish, then 150 ml of catalyst.


From contributor E:
I use a stick marked at 5 inches, 5.5 inches and 6 inches for a 10% catalyst and 10% reducer mix. Set the stick in the mixing container, then, pour the lacquer to the 5 inch mark and the catalyst/reducer to the 5.5 and 6 inch marks. This only works with a non tapered container. For other percentages, just do the math and adjust the markings.


From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
The EZ Mix disposable measuring cups are handy for adding catalyst and thinning. They come in different sizes and are marked by ratios as well as liquid measurements. You can use the ratio markings to mix the right amounts of finish, catalyst, and thinner. Your finish supplier may have them or you can look for the nearest distributor.