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Whether it be for art or design, paint sees an extensive amount of use among the world’s population. With such a prolific role in the crafts, it goes without saying that a lot of effort has been placed into the development of painting techniques throughout the course of history. This is what brought us to 1949 when a version of this material called spray paint would be invented. It is arguably the easiest painting medium to work with and its use is seen extensively among street artists. The reason for its popularity in guerrilla art stems not only from its ease of use but also its durability as a painting medium. For a product advised to be used outdoors, how well does it fare against the elements? What about the sun? What about rain? Is spray paint waterproof? If you want answers to these questions, you have come to the right place.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Spray Paint?
- 2 Is Spray Paint Waterproof?
- 3 How to Use Water-Resistant Spray Paint Safely
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Spray Paint?
Although most typically referred to as “spray paint”, the medium is most properly defined as aerosol paint. As the name itself would suggest, this is because it comes in a can that is pressurized with an aerosol before sealing so that the paint inside can be dispensed directly onto a surface when the valve’s nozzle is pressed down. Given the uniquely direct application process, spray paint attaches to surfaces and dries in an even, smoother layer. This is unlike what could be expected from other forms of painting that rely heavily upon the use of bristled brushes or fabric/foam rollers. Designed initially in 1949 for the purpose of coating radiators with aluminum paint, spray paint is now almost synonymous with graffiti and street artists who favor its ease of use, portability, and durability after drying.
While the price ceiling for the best spray paints is high enough to get your head spinning, your typical spray paint of average size is relatively affordable. Beyond that, spray paint is easy to store and transport given how lightweight it is and that you do not have to carry any adjoining tools with you. These inexpensive, portable, and lightweight paints also have primers that can be bought in the same format; you can use these aerosol primers to prime your painting surfaces just as easily and free from hassle as would be the case with spray paint.
If time is money, then spray paint is a cash register. If you want to cover something in paint super quickly and have it dry almost instantly, spray paint is your go-to. Spray paint comes in an aerosolized can with a nozzle that can be pressed to eject a mist of paint onto most surfaces, with each layer taking no more than roughly 20 minutes to dry. Compared to other types of paint, such as acrylic and oil-based, spray paint boasts the fastest drying times. If you want a quick turnaround time on your painting projects, you may need not look any further than spray paint.
In terms of workflow, the obvious benefit here is that spray paint does not demand any additional tools for the job. Thus, you will most likely not be needing any extra brushes, rollers, or anything else of the like unless demanded for a particular sort of task. The arc, radius, and thickness of spray paint coatings can all be determined by the wielder of the aerosol can. And, like with any tool, the craft of applying spray paint can be honed to degrees that allow for greater creativity and improved aesthetic value. However, this is not to say that working with spray paint is difficult. In fact, spray paint is arguably the easiest paint medium with which to work.
Spray paint is ostensibly considered to be the easiest-to-use painting medium out there. Between its exceptionally fast drying times, portability, and straight-out-the-can application, it is difficult to argue with the notion. But how does it fare against the elements, or water more specifically? Join us as we delve deeper into this particular subject in our regular comprehensive fashion.
Is Spray Paint Waterproof?
For the most part, spray paints tend to be either water-repellent or waterproof. While the former is treated so that it provides substantial protection against water for long periods of time, the latter offers complete resistance. Since spray paint is most commonly used externally, the average variety of this medium will be specifically designed to withstand exposure to moisture and rain.
So, to answer the question, “is spray paint waterproof?”; yes, but it depends. There are plenty of water-resistant spray paint products that are durable enough to withstand water and other environmental elements, but only up to a point. You can, however, purchase varieties of spray paint whose fixtures are designed to offer complete impermeability and resistance against water. It entirely depends on the product you choose.
How to Tell if Spray Paint Is Waterproof
It is pretty easy to figure out which spray paints are waterproof, even when not specified by the labels and branding. Most typically, if a spray paint is waterproof then the product’s labeling will indicate such. However, the exact opposite can be said about spray paints whose labeling does not indicate whether or not they are waterproof. If you cannot find any visual indication that the product is waterproof, you can bet your life that it is not.
If you want to avoid purchasing spray paint that does not offer invulnerability to water, make sure to always inspect the label. Spray paint manufacturers who go through the efforts required to produce waterproof products will not waste the opportunity to advertise them as such.
So, we have established that most spray paints carry a certain degree of water resistance whereas others are designed to offer complete water protection. The degree to which any spray paint is able to repel water is entirely dependent on the types of water-resistant ingredients that are added and the quantities thereof.
Spray paints that fit the bill as waterproof contain a specific assortment of ingredients, such as polyurethane, that increase the water resistance of the paint. This degree of resistance against liquids should improve exponentially as more of these ingredients are added provided that they bond well with one another. These ingredients will alter the physical nature of the paint and make the mixture more hydrophobic. When combined in just the right way, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts and the spray paint can become 100% waterproof.
How to Prepare Surfaces for Waterproof Spray Painting
To prepare any surface for a coat of water-resistant spray paint, you need not do anything dissimilar to how one would prepare an interior wall for a coat of latex paint. For starters, you should clean the surface of your “canvas” using a damp towel. Be sure to clean any and all dirt, dust, and debris to prevent poor adhesion or the development of mold. It will not be necessary to sand your surface before you begin spray painting given how easily the medium can establish firm bands against the surfaces it is applied to.
If nevertheless, you would like to preserve your spray paint job for as long as possible, you should consider using something like a polyurethane water sealant spray to increase the overall waterproofness of your project. Water sealant spray can be applied to your surface after it has been painted. Alternatively, depending on the material you are painting on, you can use a varnish. You could also apply one layer of waterproof clear coat to render your surface 100% waterproof before you get to painting. In many cases, the addition of a waterproof clear coat can increase the gloss of your finish.
Do You Need a Primer for Spray Paint?
A question we hear a lot pertains to whether or not primers are a requisite for a long-lasting, durable spray paint job. While the surface material and its surrounding environment can contribute towards the weakening of the adhesive properties of the paint’s binder, most varieties have properties designed to combat these issues without the need for additional materials.
That being said, primer can provide your spray paint with another protective coating that can extend the lifespan of your project even further. Protective coatings will increase the adhesion – also known as the staying power – of your spray paint, which has the added benefit of preventing fading and flaking. Additionally, using a primer to prepare the surface before spray painting will assist in the production of a smooth and even finish.
How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry?
The time it will take for your spray paint to dry will depend largely on the ingredients, most particularly the type of paint used. Water-based spray paints like acrylics will take significantly quicker to dry than, say, lacquer spray paints.
Irrespective of the binders, pigments, and vehicles present in any spray paint, however, it should have a relatively fast dry time compared to most other painting mediums. Although this number is subject to differences among brands and types of spray paint, a layer should be dry to the touch within no more than 5 minutes. For spray paints such as those made using lacquer, layers should be completely dry within just 3 hours.
How to Use Water-Resistant Spray Paint Safely
While spray paint is substantially easier to work with and offers the fastest turnaround time on a painting job, it is not without its drawbacks, the most critical of which is its hazardousness. Unlike paints such as acrylics and oil-based versions, spray paint is ejected from an aerosolized can, which will inevitably see the dispersal of paint particles across the space it is being used in.
Inside these particles of paint is a mix of toxic materials and chemicals that could cause a series of health issues. Given how minuscule these particles are, they may find little to no trouble entering the respiratory system. For this reason, we would advise that you avoid using spray paint with and around children.
Irrespective of the age of the user, however, working with spray paint will require them to wear personal protective gear to decrease or prevent the chemicals of the spray paint from causing any physiological issues. The equipment you will need to ensure sufficient protection will include an air-filtering mask or respirator and eye-protection goggles. Your hands should also be protected with waterproof gloves.
In terms of your workspace, the best place for spray painting is outside. Since spray paint particles can diffuse throughout the area in which it is used, using it in exterior settings allows for these harmful chemicals to disperse across a greater volume of space, which significantly decreasing the likelihood of any harmful exposure. With the sufficient air circulation granted by working in an open environment, the chances of chemicals reaching your eyes or respiratory system are well mitigated.
Thanks for taking the time to make it to the end of this article, if you are indeed still here. You should by now have a fair understanding of the degrees to which spray paints can be resistant or impervious to water. You should also have a clearer understanding of what makes spray paint waterproof and how to spot which ones are. Whatever sort of project you intend on using this information for, we wish you nothing but the best of luck in your pursuit and hope that we have dispensed some helpful particulars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Waterproof?
Is Rust-Oleum spray paint waterproof? Yes! Rust-Oleum spray paint is counted among the handful of reputable spray-painting products designed to be 100% waterproof.
Can You Spray Paint in the Rain?
While you are most definitely better off picking a day with plenty of sunshine and clear skies when working with spray paint, you could still use this medium in the rain if absolutely necessary. However, this is likely to adversely affect the durability and aesthetic qualities of your spray-painted finish.