Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Can I Use Base Paint Without Tint?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Have you ever wondered if you can skip the tint and just use base paint? It turns out, using base paint without adding any color might not give you the look you’re after. In this post, we’ll dive into what happens when you go untinted and how to ensure your painting project turns out great.

What is Base Paint?

Base paint is a kind of starting material for creating colors on walls and other surfaces. It’s made to mix with color tints that bring out the final shade you want. Think of it like a blank canvas.

There are different types such as white base, light base, medium base, deep base, and others used for pastels or stronger colors.

Using this type of paint by itself won’t give much color. It might look white or very light because it doesn’t have the colorants mixed in yet. It’s also not great at hiding marks or spots on your wall since those usually need colors to cover them up well.

What does it mean to tint paint?

To tint paint, you add colorants to base paint. This is how you make the paint turn into the exact shade you want. You start with something like a pastel base or an accent base, which are kinds of untinted bases.

They’re like blank canvases. Then, painters mix in little bits of color to create all sorts of hues, from soft pinks to deep blues.

The process ensures your painted walls or projects have the perfect color that matches your vision. After mixing colors into the latex paints properly, there’s no worry about things like color bleeding.

Now let’s talk about what can happen if you use just the base without adding any tint.

Can I use Base Paint Without Tint?

Yes, you can use base paint without tint, but there can be issues. Depending on your chosen base, it is an un-tinted deep base or an un-tinted light base paint. Most of these paint bases do not have additional pigments needed to create tones and tints. They do have some basic neutral pigments. You can use base paint as regular paint whenever you want.

Can I Use Base Paint Without Tint

If you feel that the color does not seem right, then that is when you can decide to use tint on their base paint. One thing to note is that even without using tint, you will not have any color, even a white look. If the paint does not have the colorant, it is not considered a complete paint that will give you the right coverage.

Although you can use base paint without tint, you must first look at what base paint you have and what you are painting over. You are essentially just refreshing the current color using base one or a white base and painting over a white surface. Sometimes, going this route will require more than a couple of coats.

In most other instances, just using a base paint without the tint it is not going to work. The base paint is clear, so they will not give you complete coverage. The result may be patchy or streaky if you are covering a white wall and using any base paint but white.

Often, base paint without tint will not cover the old paint because they are not rich in pigments. They do not offer strong coverage. You will still be able to see the old color.

Related Reading:Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Metal?

Paint Bases Explained: The Different Kinds of Paint Bases

A painted base will determine how resistant the paint will be to stains and dirt. It will also determine the paint’s durability if you have to do intense scrubbing. When looking at base paint, you will see a number. The higher the number the darker the tint paint color will be. There are several types of paint bases, which include:

Different Kinds Of Paint Bases

  • Light: this tint will give you a light color
  • Medium: this will give you a little darker color
  • Deep: this will give you the darkest color
  • Pastel: this has a lot of white pigments. There is very little room inside the can to add any colorant. These are the ones that most will be used on surfaces that you want to protect from water.
  • White: these make the lightest color
  • Clear: these are often used when you want to create a darker color than you would get with a dark base.
  • Accent base: this is an enriched formula that will give you the maximum color richness. It will also give you shades that are darker than other paints cannot compare to.

They also number base paints.

  • Base 1: this base contains mostly white pigments and is best for pastels or whites
  • Base 2: this has a slightly darker hue with some white pigments
  • Base 3: this is the best base for paint that is mid-toned and does not have as much white pigment, allowing this base to accept more of the tint color.
  • Base 4: this base is for dark paint and has the smallest amount of white pigment. It can take in more of the color.

The base paint is not a primer. Primer can be used as a base coat before you put a new color on the wall, but the base paint is not used as a base coat. The base paint is just used by itself or to create colored paints.

Potential Issues with Using Base Paint without Tint

Using base paint without tint can result in lacking colorant and unappealing results.

Lacking colorant

Base paint without tint is missing something important – the colorant. This simply means it won’t turn out with the color you might want on your walls or furniture. If you try to use this kind of base paint as-is, it usually looks unfinished or just not right.

Many people think white base paint can work alone because it seems like a light color already. But even whites need tint to look good and cover surfaces well. Without adding any tint, what you get may be dull and lack the vividness or brightness most folks look for in a freshly painted space.

Unappealing results

Using base paint without tint can lead to unappealing results on your walls. The color may appear uneven and inconsistent, with some areas looking darker or lighter than others. Additionally, the lack of tint can result in insufficient coverage, leaving patches of the wall exposed and the overall finish looking incomplete.

Furthermore, the dried, untinted color of base paint might not match your desired aesthetic, leading to an unappealing outcome. It’s important to understand that tinting base paint enhances its appearance and ensures a more satisfying end result for your painting project.

Benefits of Tinting Base Paint

Tinting base paint offers improved color, better coverage, and customization options for your project. By adding colorants to the base paint, you can achieve the perfect shade and ensure a more professional finish.

Improved color

By tinting base paint, you can achieve a more vibrant and appealing color for your walls. Tinted paint offers a wider range of colors, allowing you to find the perfect shade for your space.

This can create a more visually pleasing and personalized result that suits your preferences and complements your decor. Tinting also helps to enhance the overall quality of the paint, making it suitable for different applications such as creating accent walls or adding depth to a room.

When using base paint without tint, it may lack the necessary colorant needed for achieving the desired hue on your walls. However, this issue can be avoided by simply choosing to have your base paint tinted before application.

Better coverage

Tinting base paint enhances its coverage. The colorant in tinted paint provides better hide and opacity, reducing the need for multiple coats. This results in a more efficient and effective painting process, saving time and effort.

With improved coverage, tinted base paint ensures a smoother and more professional-looking finish.

The use of tinted base paint is essential to ensure optimal coverage on various surfaces. It helps achieve a consistent and opaque appearance while minimizing the visibility of imperfections or underlying colors.

Customization options

By adding tint to base paint, you get the flexibility to create a wide range of custom colors for your project. This allows you to match specific shades or create entirely new ones, giving you more control over the final look and feel of your paint job.

Modernizing a colorant set can also help expand the available color space while maintaining low-VOC levels.

Now let’s move on to exploring the potential issues with using base paint without tint.

What to do if Base Pant is Mistakenly Used Without Tint?

If you accidentally started to paint with base paint that has not been treated, it is easy to correct. The first thing to do is let the base paint completely. Once it has dried, you can apply the new paint that has been tinted over un-tinted base paint. Being dry, the two paints will not mix together. The new tinted coat will just cover the base paint.

Sometimes, if you have just used a little of the base paint that is not tinted, you may be able to return it to the home improvement store and ask them add the tint to it. Then you would just paint as you normally would.

If you have used too much of the base paint and there is not enough to be tinted, then you will probably just have to buy more paint that has been tinted and redo the entire painting project.

How to Tint Paint (4 Steps)

When you want to have your paint tinted, you can have the professionals at the hardware store do it for you or you can do it yourself. There are several steps that you need to follow

How To Tint Paint

1. Match your color choice

To do this, you need to get some of the color palates from your home improvement store or where you are going to purchase the paint. You are looking for the closest match to the color paint you want. You can choose a shade that is a little darker than the one that you want. The reason is that the dark tints, have a higher pigment, making them easier to be lightened.

2. Match the colors

Once you have made your color choice, you will have to figure out which base color you need to use with the tint to get the desired color. You will need the base with the white paint if you need to tint it a lighter color. Just make sure that before you purchase the paint that the colors match what you want or are as close as they can be.

3. Get enough base paint

To be sure you get enough of the base paint, you want to make sure that you get enough to cover your project. You will need about one-fifth of the volume of your base color to tine.

4. Process base paint

Take the lids off the cans one by one and stir them completely. Pour a few drops of the tint into the can and stir together until you get the desired shade. If the professional, does it, they will add the tint, shake it, and shake it until it is mixed. They will show you the finished product and get your approval.

Once you have the paint to the color that you desire, you are ready to paint.


Can I use base paint without tint and the answer is yes, but there can be issues doing so? These issues have been explained in this article so you can decide if you want to use the base paint or add a tint. We have also covered the different base paints and how to tint them yourself.

Related Read: Water-based vs oil based enamel paints

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use base paint without tint?

No, base paint should not be used without tint. Base paint is designed to be mixed with tint to achieve the desired color. Without tint, the paint will appear as an untinted base, which typically has a white color

What does “must be tinted” mean on paint?

“Must be tinted” means that the paint should be mixed with tint to achieve the desired color. It is a requirement for using the paint effectively, as untinted base paint may not provide the desired color on its own.

What is tint base paint used for?

Tint base paint is used for painting walls, ceilings, and other surfaces where color is desired. It allows you to choose a specific color by adding the appropriate tint to the base paint.

Can I use base paint without a tint for trim?

Yes, it is possible to use untinted base paint for trim. Trim paint is often available in a specific color, such as white or a specific shade, and may not require additional tinting. However, if you want a different color for your trim, you will need to have it tinted.

What are the different types of base paint?

There are different types of base paint, including medium base, deep base, and pastel base. These bases have different properties and are used for different purposes. Medium base is commonly used for most interior walls, while deep base is used for darker colors and pastel base for lighter colors.

Can I paint my walls with base paint without tinting it?

A: It is not recommended to paint your walls with base paint without tinting it. Base paint without tint will appear as an untinted base, usually white, and may not provide the desired color or coverage.

Is it possible to use base paint without tint by mistake?

Yes, it is possible to use base paint without tint by mistake. If you are not aware of the need to tint the base paint or accidentally forgot to have it tinted, the result will be an untinted base color.

Can I use base paint as trim paint?

Yes, base paint can be used as trim paint. However, if you want a specific color for your trim, you will need to have the base paint tinted to achieve the desired color.

What is the base number in base paint?

The base number in base paint refers to the level of tint that can be added to the paint. Base 1 is the lightest base, while higher numbers like base 3 or base 4 can accommodate darker tints.



Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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