I need a "Mix your own paint" instructible - I have a airhose HVLP sprayer

I got a hvlp sprayer for Christmas and I've studied up on the ratios, thinner, viscosity  and general best practices for the sprayer itself.  Setup, cleaning, technique, filters and all that.  Lets pretend I have that figured out and jump to how can I mix my own colors? 
I've mixed press ink in the past and that was a matter of a scale and 40g of cyan and 50g of red --- and so on...  Mix it all up and you have your custom ink.   Assuming I could get Red, Green, Blue at the same viscosity first, then thin out as needed.  Is there a website or an app that can give me the mixing amounts or is this not how it's done in the paint world?  I'm not painting a house.  These are small projects like refinishing tables or chairs or mods to my computer.  I'm aware I won't be using the same paints for those different applications.  I don't  need my table to be rust proof.  On the other hand if it's just easier than I don't care.  I also don't need to be matching 100% to a paint chip at first.  I need to be in the ballpark and learn from there.   

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caitlinsdad4 years ago
I would think unless you are in a pro shop or somewhere with access to all the pure tints, mixing is usually done by eye and a paint sample dried if you really want an accurate color match. Color mixing for inks may be different because of the printing techniques used to fool the eye. If you know the basics from kindergarten and using primary colors you can mix everything, lighten and darken with black and white.
dtommyd (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
I should probably be talking about the colors in CMYK instead of RGB in the first place. That doesn't change your advice though of course. We had an ink making machine (worked as a pressman) that made almost every press ink but it also had about 10 different base inks in it (plus viscosity additives). I'm not trying to take this too deep. Fairly simple, small projects that I'd only need a pint at the most. I'm just amazed there isn't a system or product that covers the chasm between a DIY'er, and a $10,000 system. There are books about how to disappear forever, but I can't get the recipe for mango orange paint. We can put a man on the moon ...... You know the rest. :)
Moem dtommyd4 years ago
That may be because there isn't one single mango orange. Also, there is no one single cyan, magenta and yellow, as there is in ink. Even if there were, colour-wise, it would still not work to make recipes, because the amount of pigment varies per brand, and from colour to colour within a brand. You will always need different amounts depending on which brand you are using.

You're right: what you are describing is not how it's done in the paint world. Paint is not mixed from CMYK, and it's also not mixed from red, green and blue; dark colours are mixed from a different base than light ones. I'm a painter, and lf I need a pint (that's like half a liter, right?) of a certain colour, I go and have it mixed. The machine doesn't tell you what colours it uses but I know for sure that no hardware store sells cyan, magenta and yellow paint for mixing.

But if you want to avoid the machines (although I don't really see why, because they're good) you could always start with a base that's close to what you need, and add what's lacking, by eyeballing it. For example, if you want orange, start with yellow and add small quantities of red.