5 Effective Floetrol Substitutes for Painting

If you’re looking to give latex paint a smoother appearance without obvious brush marks, Floetrol is a great option. 

However, it’s not the only product of its kind. There are a few other products that improve paint flow and level out brush strokes. Additionally, these Floetrol competitors also can help to reduce stress on paint spray guns as well as buildup on paintbrushes.

In this post, we will discuss 5 effective Floetrol substitutes.


5 of the best Floetrol substitutes include:

  • M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender
  • Owatrol Easy Flow 
  • Penetrol (for oil-based paints)
  • Water (for thinning paint)
  • XIM Latex X-Tender

M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender

Similar to Floetrol, M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender is a paint additive/extender that’s used with thick latex paints, primers, and solid latex stains. It can also be used with acrylic paint. When added to latex paint, you’ll find it easier to spread your paint and you get a smoother finish as well. 

Latex and other water-based paints are known to dry quicker than oil-based paints. This makes them harder to work with. With M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender, the drying time of latex paint is prolonged. This makes it easier to spread the paint on your surface evenly without racing to do so before it dries. 

M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender extends the paint without diluting it, unlike water. A brush of paint added with M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender will cover more area than the same paint without the additive.

Compared to Floetrol which has a milky appearance, M-1 Latex Paint Additive And Extender has more of a water-like consistency. You don’t have to use too much of it to get the desired results compared to Floetrol.

View M-1 Latex Paint Additive and Extender on Amazon

Owatrol Easy Flow 

Owatrol Easy Flow is a water-based paint conditioner, much like Floetrol. It helps make water-based paints work more like oil-based paints in terms of flow and smoothness. More importantly, it helps reduce brush and roller marks. It gives the paint job a more professional finish.

Water-based paints are known to be harder to use in adverse weather conditions. Too cold, and the paint dries slower. Too hot, and the paint dries too quickly. Owatrol Easy Flow makes it easier to work with water-based paints even in adverse weather conditions. It allows the paint to adjust to extreme weather conditions.

Unlike paint thinners or water, Owatrol Easy Flow does not thin the paint. It also increases the coverage of the paint without reducing the color.

Owatrol Easy Flow can help reduce the wear and tear on spray guns. When applied with a spray gun, it will reduce the pressure and help prevent clogging. The spray pattern and performance of the paint won’t be affected negatively.

According to some reviews, Owatrol Easy Flow is less prone to forming lumps compared to Floetrol. You shouldn’t have to worry as much about straining Owatrol Easy Flow before adding it to your paint.

View Owatrol Easy Flow on Amazon 


Floetrol is only usable with water-based paints (e.g. latex, acrylic). It’s not an option if you plan to paint with an oil-based paint. Fortunately, Penetrol is essentially a Floetrol alternative for oil-based paints.

Penetrol is an oil-based paint additive. It improves the penetration, adhesion, and flow of oil-based paints. It also works with oil-based stains, varnishes, and primers.

Just like Floetrol, Penetrol helps make the appearance of oil-based paints look smoother. It reduces brush and roller marks, making it look like you’ve used a spray gun to apply the paint. Also, it extends drying time, which makes the paint easier to work with.

When added to oil-based paint, it will improve the coverage of the paint. That said, you can get more bang for your buck on your paint. 

Outside of being a paint additive, Penetrol can also be used on its own as a primer or sealer. It can restore the luster to faded, weathered fiberglass. It also inhibits rust on metal surfaces.

View Penetrol on Amazon


Floetrol vs water: Which is better?

If you’re looking to only thin your water-based paint (and nothing else), then you can skip getting Floetrol. Instead, you can just use water (and save money in the process). Do note that adding water to a water-based paint will dilute it, which can potentially lighten its color if too much is added. 

Water, on its own, does not provide all the same benefits as Floetrol. It cannot extend the drying time of the paint. It does not help reduce brush strokes or roller marks. It also does not enhance the inherent qualities of the paint. It’s only effective for thinning water-based paints so they can be spread more easily. 

If you only need to thin your paint, then go with water. After all, it will save you a bit of money. Otherwise, go with Floetrol or the other alternatives mentioned in this post.

XIM Latex X-tender

XIM Latex X-tender essentially provides the same benefits as Floetrol.

For instance, this product extends a paint’s open time for about 10-15 minutes, allowing more time to repaint any botched painted parts on your surface. Additionally, XIM Latex X-tender, just like Floetrol, helps in eliminating brush strokes and roller marks.

However the product also has a leg up on Floetrol. 

One issue with Floetrol is it can reduce the sheen in gloss paint if applied in excessive amounts. For example, a semi-gloss finish might become flat with Floetrol. This is not an issue with XIM Latex X-tender. So if you’re working with paint that has a gloss or semi-gloss finish, then you might want to consider XIM Latex X-tender over Floetrol.

View XIM Latex X-tender on Amazon

Floetrol Vs Pouring Medium

As mentioned, Floetrol is a water-based paint additive. With it, you can reduce brush strokes and roller marks when applying paint. Its self-leveling qualities essentially help you achieve a smoother, more flawless finish for your paint project. 

Pouring mediums are paint additives that alter the properties of paint. They give acrylic paint a smoother flow. They also change the consistency of the paint, allowing it to pour more fluidly. They make the paint more suitable for acrylic pouring, which is a fluid painting technique that involves pouring paint onto a canvas. 

Here are some of the most popular pouring mediums:

While Floetrol is gaining popularity in the acrylic pouring space, it is technically not a pouring medium. Floetrol is typically used for painting furniture and walls, rather than for acrylic pouring art. 

That being said, Floetrol is considered a pouring medium alternative by some, but it likely won’t provide the same benefits or effects as a a true pouring medium. If you really need the benefits of a pouring medium for an acrylic pouring art project, avoid Floterol and its alternatives.



Explaining Paint Additives From Flood: Floetrol, Penetrol and Emulsibond- Serving Warsaw, Indiana



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