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Spray Paint

Spray paint is an extremely convenient way to achieve a professional spray smooth finish without needing, or cleaning, spray equipment. MyPerfectColor makes spray paint in any color - and any sheen, so now you don't need to settle for the small selection typically available at the store. MyPerfectColor offers you the freedom to use exactly the right color for your project. All spray paint is custom made to order - with no minimum order quantity

Learn how to buy spray paint on MyPerfectColor, about custom color spray paint and custom color matching.

MyPerfectColor offers the largest selection of colors anywhere including difficult to match industry standard colors such as Pantone, RAL, Federal Standard and Munsell, matches of many powder coats including Tiger Drylac and IFS Coatings as well as matches of any major paint brands including Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr and much more.

Search by Color Code or Name - Use this Search Box (or the one at the top of every page) to find a specific color:

 

How Does Spray Paint Work?

spray paint cans - top view

 

Spray paint is a very convenient way to paint. It enables a very smooth finish without the need to own - or clean - expensive spray equipment. Spray paint is also a fantastic way to cover hard to paint surfaces like railings, hard to reach places, wicker and other intricate surfaces.

The paint is forced through a spray tip (actuator) that atomizes the paint into a fine mist as it is forced through the tip. The mist settles onto the surface as small drops which coalesce into a smooth coating as it dries.

But how does spray paint work? We all know what a spray paint can looks like, but beyond the cylindrical can and the depressable nozzle, what is happening inside a can of aerosol spray paint to make it work?

Cross Section of Aerosol Spray Paint CanCross Section of Aerosol Spray Paint Can - While Spraying

An aerosol can of spray paint has several components:

  • Actuator (aka nozzle or tip)
  • Spray can - usually tin or steel
  • Actuated valve
  • Tube
  • Shaker ball (usually glass)
  • Paint
  • Solvents
  • Propellant

 

The paint used in spray paint is usually a fast-drying paint that atomizes well. Most common types of paint used in spray applications are lacquer or acrylic enamels which air dry (single component) as well as two-component paint such as urethane or epoxy that starts to dry when mixed together. This article covers the single-component air dry types of spray paint.

The solvent is usually a blend of materials to reduce the paint to its optimal viscosity for spraying. If the paint is too thick it won’t atomize or spray well.

The propellant is usually a compressed gas that stays liquid while under pressure in the can. The most common propellants are hydrocarbons like propane.

The spray can, while held upright, will have the paint at the bottom of the can where it can enter the bottom of the tube. The propellant and solvent, in liquid form, mix with the paint. To the extent there is room in the can, the propellant turns to gas and maintains the pressure. Once the nozzle is depressed and opens the valve, the paint is then pushed up the tube and out the nozzle. As the material leaves the can the pressure is reduced allowing more liquid propellant to change to gas, thus maintaining the pressure and pushing more paint out of the can.

This explains why spray paint only works when held upright. If the paint isn’t at the bottom of the can where the tube is, then the paint doesn’t get pushed out. If you depress the tip while holding the spray paint can upside down, you’ll get a little paint since some is already in the tube, but once that is gone only gas will come out. The liquid is at the other end of the can away from the tip. (Tip: Whenever you are done spray painting you should always spray the can upside down for a few seconds because it clears any paint out of the tube so it remains clear for the next time you want to use it. Otherwise that paint can dry in the tube and permanently clog the can.)

Please contact us with questions about spray paint, touch up paint or any other questions you may have.

FAQs about Spray Paint

What is spray paint?
Spray paint is paint that comes in a pressurized (aerosol) can with an actuated valve. When the valve is depressed, the paint is forced out of the can through the spray tip which atomizes the paint into a fine spray mist. The spray mist can be applied to the surface without any brush or roller marks. Spray paint typically is thinner so it atomizes well and is best applied in multiple thin coats. With the right technique (not too close and not too far while constantly moving), one can achieve professional looking results. Most spray paint needs to be sprayed upright. This is because a tube extends down to the bottom of the can. When held upright, the gas is pushing the liquid paint down and into the tube and then out through the tip. If the can is turned upside down, only the gasses come out. Spray paint is normally only available in a relatively small selection, but MyPerfectColor offers spray paint in over 250,000 colors. Learn more about about the huge color selection available in spray paint.
What type of paint is spray paint?
Normally spray paint is made with a fast-drying solvent paint so that the paint begins to set up right away. This not only minimizes dripping, but also lets you finish your project more quickly. These solvent-based spray paints also atomize very well, and enable you to achieve a professional looking finish. Make sure the spray paint you choose is durable and suitable for interior or exterior use. MyPerfectColor uses an acrylic enamel which is a very quality coating that sticks well to most surfaces including metal, plastics, powder-coatings, cabinets and primed or previously painted wood.
What colors are available in spray paint?
Spray Paint is available in any color at MyPerfectColor. MyPerfectColor offers spray paint in over 250,000 colors, the largest selection of colors anywhere. And if you need a color we don't offer yet, then take advantage of our custom color matching services.
Can I spray paint furniture without sanding?
You may be able to spray paint furniture without sanding, but before providing an answer you need to know more about the surface and the type of paint you are using. If the surface has been primed and is smooth, then no sanding is necessary. But if the primer has tiny little bumps and you are looking for the smoothest possible finish, then you may want to sand with a very fine grit like 320 or smoother. If the surface is previously painted and the coating is a high-gloss, it would be a good idea to degloss by sanding the surface which gives the spray paint something to grip to. The answer to this question really depends on what you are painting, the substrate and its condition as well as how particular you are about achieving the best results. Often the best results come from lots of careful preparation. You could probably get away without sanding in most cases, but your final results may suffer, too.
Can I get spray paint that isn't gloss?
Unlike most places (everywhere) that only offer a limited selection in gloss, MyPerfectColor offers spray paint in 5 different sheens- flat, low lustre, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Learn more about sheens.
How much area will one spray can cover?
MyPerfectColor offers two spray can sizes - 11oz net weight and 4.5oz net weight. The 11oz spray will cover about 20 square feet per coat. The smaller can, which is perfect for manufacturers who want to include a can with product shipments, will cover about 7 square feet.
How to remove spray paint?
Spray paint would be removed just like any other type of paint. If the paint is adhering well you may not need to remove it and could probably just paint over it. But if you need to remove it, then you can use a paint stripper or an abrasive like sandpaper to remove it.
How long does spray paint take to dry?
Spray paint typically dries very quickly and is often dry to touch in 15 to 20 minutes. Different types of spray paint will have different dry times, so check the specific instructions. The Hedrix spray paint offered on MyPerfectColor will dry to touch in about 10 - 20 minutes depending on film thickness, humidity, temperature, and air movement and tack free at 30 minutes. Dry through times may take 8 or longer depending on film build, porosity of substrate, air movement as well as heat and humidity (8 hours @ 77-degrees F and 50% relative humidity).
How to get spray paint off hands?
Spray paint most often is a solvent-based paint which means it is not water soluable. It is best to wear gloves when using, but to clean spray paint off your hands, wash in warm water with soap and a scour pad.
How to spray paint?
Cover floor and furniture where spray might settle. Shake can for at least one minute, listening for rattle or mixing ball. During application, shake intermittently for approximately 10 seconds at 1 to 2 minute intervals. Press valve all the way down. Do not extend finger beyond the valve. Hold container about 6 to 8 inches from surface to be sprayed. Do not cover with continuous spray. Move back and forth, releasing sprayhead after stroke. Overlap each stroke. Apply two thin coats rather than one heavy coat. If paint runs or sags, paint is being applied too heavily, or container is too close to surface. For best results, spray at room temperature 68° to 78°F (20° to 26°C).
What is the use of spray paint?
Spray paint has many uses. For businesses, spray paint is often used for touching up equipment, fixtures and product that gets damaged during production, transit or installation. It is also commonly used for custom-color projects, or to make ancillary components match up to the rest of the components or to make things blend in (like painting security cameras to match the color of the building) or during the refurbishing process. Spray paint is also used by businesses for painting signs, displays and exhibits and for building models and prototypes during new product development. Homeowners use spray paint to paint railings, in wall speaker grilles, hvac vents, crafts and accessories, furniture, cabinets, bicycles and many other projects.
When will I get my spray paint?
All spray paint is made to order. Most orders ship within 2-3 days and 70% of orders ship within 48 hours. If you need guaranteed shipment within 1 business day we do offer an Expedited Production option available during checkout. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us. Learn more about Delivery Times.
What sheens are available for spray paint?
MyPerfectColor offers spray paint in 5 different sheens ranging from flat to gloss, so you can choose the gloss level best suited to your project. Learn more about sheens.
How many spray cans will I need?
A standard sized spray can will cover about 20 square feet per coat, but this depends on how thickly the paint is applied and the amount of overspray. It doesn't hurt to have an extra can or two to ensure you enough paint on hand to complete your project. You can always get more, but it will interrupt your project and there may be variation in color due to batch differences. It is usually best to apply the paint in multiple thin coats.
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