The Ultimate Guide To Buying The Best Spray Paint

We’ve analyzed 726 reviews of spray paints, and compared them side-by-side.

Below you will find comparison chart(click on the product name to read full review).

Ratings

Rating #1 #2 #3
ProductRust-Oleum Automotive 251591 12-Ounce Caliper Paint Spray
Rust-Oleum Automotive 251591 12-Ounce Caliper Paint Spray
Rust-Oleum 7776830
Rust-Oleum 7776830
Rust-Oleum 7791830 Satin Enamel Spray
Rust-Oleum 7791830 Satin Enamel Spray
Price$8
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editors choice
$6
GET BEST PRICE
$3
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Score
100
0
80
100
0
78
100
0
70
Safety
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Protection
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Coverage
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
Cleanability
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9

Spray painting is a time-saving way to paint interior and exterior items, especially those that have detail or crevices that a standard paint brush cannot effectively reach. Paint in convenient aerosol spray cans is not a new concept. Aerosol spray cans originally contained pesticides nearly a century ago. In the last sixty years, spray propellants have been periodically modified to be more environmentally-friendly, making spray painting an every-day function for us all.

Spray paints and stains are also faster-drying, durable, and heat, weather, and rust resistant. There is no equipment cleanup, although you should check locally for appropriate empty aerosol can disposal (empty aerosol cans are considered “hazardous waste”).

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Spray painting is for anyone from hobbyists to semi-professionals and contractors. There is a nearly inexhaustible supply of brands, types, finishes, colors, and sheens to choose from. The selection can be overwhelming, and you do not want to spray paint your project only to find paint streaks, bubbles and drips, or lack of adhesion to the project’s material. Before you buy spray paint, consider:

  • What type of project are you painting? Interior? Exterior?
  • What type of material are you painting? Wood? Concrete? Metal?
  • How big is your project?
  • Does it need primer?
  • Does it need a rust preventative?
  • What color(s) and finishes will look best?

Top 10 Spray Paints

We’ve compared top-rated spray paint, their uses, applications, and unique features.

Rust-Oleum Automotive 251591 – Best Automotive Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum Automotive 251591Rust-Oleum Automotive Caliper Paint Spray is a durable, high-temperature, gloss spray paint coating specifically formulated for painting vehicle brake calipers, rotors, drums, and springs. It is a rust-resistant product so no clear coat is necessary. This product has been reviewed as the best, smooth finish, rust-resistant, high-temperature, automotive spray paint formula. It is made to withstand severe braking conditions that tend to create brake dust and temps as high as 9000F.

This Rust-Oleum automotive caliper spray paint can is equipped with a comfort tip spray nozzle. The nozzle design allows you to maintain a consistent and adequate spray when the can is held upside-down, or at any other angle. One 12 oz. spray can will paint all four calipers. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Any-angle spray
  • Comfort tip
  • Dust and high-temp resistant
  • Rust-resistant
Cons
  • Not to be used on (hot) engines.
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Rust-Oleum 7791830 Satin Enamel Spray, 12-Ounce – Best Satin Enamel Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 7791830 Satin Enamel SprayRust-Oleum Satin Enamel Paint Spray is a superior rust-preventive, chip-resistant, long-lasting, exterior satin spray paint coating. It may be applied to metal, plastic, wood, steel, masonry, or concrete surfaces. It may also be applied, without primer, to lightly-rusted surfaces. This Rust-Oleum satin enamel spray paint produces an exceptionally outstandingly smooth finish that is durable, resists chipping, and provides long-lasting protection. This product also retains its color.

This Rust-Oleum satin enamel spray paint is available in 14 true colors plus black and white. One 12 oz. spray can provides more coverage than other comparable spray paints. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting. It dries, to the touch, within approximately 30 minutes.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Non-clog tip (free replacement)
  • Chip-resistant
  • Rust- resistant
  • Retains its color
Cons
  • Not for sale in Catalina Island

Rust-Oleum 7776830 Stops Rust Spray Paint, 12-Ounce, Flat Black – Amzaon Spray Paint Choice

Rust-Oleum 7776830Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint is a No. 1-rated, weather resistant, corrosion- and rust-preventive. It is an oil-based, flat enamel spray paint designed to provide a durable protective coating for metal, plastic, wood, steel, masonry, concrete, and other interior or exterior surfaces. Its flat finish reduces surface imperfections and provides superior resistance to chipping, fading, and abrasions, in addition to its superior rust-prevention quality. Rust-Oleum Stop Rust is durable, retains its color, and provides long-lasting protection.

This flat finish enamel spray paint product is available in 30 true colors plus black and white. The spray paint can is equipped with a comfort tip spray nozzle and broader finger pad to reduce hand/finger fatigue. The nozzle design allows you to maintain a consistent and adequate spray when the can is held upside-down, or at any other angle. One 12 oz. spray can provides up to 15 SF of coverage. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting. It dries, to the touch, within approximately 2 to 4 hours.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Any-angle spray
  • Comfort tip; wider finger pad
  • Rust- resistant
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
Cons
  • Long drying time

Rust-Oleum 269038 Specialty Camouflage Spray Pack, 12-Ounce, 6-Pack – Best Camo Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 269038The Rust-Oleum Specialty Camouflage 6-Spray Pack contains six oil-based, non-reflective, ultra-flat finish camouflage spray paints, which are ideal for hiding anything! They are for indoor as well as for outdoor use. This flat enamel spray paint is designed to provide maximum concealment of metal, plastic, masonry, wood, or plaster, as well as vehicles, tree stands, boats, decoys, and more. No primer is needed.

This camouflage flat-finish spray paint kit contains six 12 oz. spray cans of camo colors, including 2 Forest Green, 1 Army Green, 2 Earth Brown, and 1 Khaki. They are non-glare, durable, long-lasting colors. One 12 oz. spray can provides up to 12 SF of coverage. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting. It dries, to the touch, within approximately 20 minutes.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Six 12 oz. spray can set
  • Fast-drying
  • No primer needed
Cons
  • (Review) Chips over time

Rust-Oleum 280724 American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint, Metallic Gold, 11-Ounce – Best Metallic Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 280724Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X metallic spray paint provides long-lasting protection, excellent durability, smooth coverage, and a fresh metallic shine to old surfaces. Ultra Cover 2X is also available in vivid colors, black, and white.

The double-coverage technology provides twice the amount of paint coverage as its competitors, which allows you to complete your projects faster due to its superior coverage and hiding power. It is ideal for painting nearly any surface, including wood, plastic, metal, wicker, steel, masonry, plaster, concrete, unglazed ceramic, and other interior and exterior surfaces. This metallic spray paint product is designed to provide a smooth, vivid metallic-colored, durable protective coating. Its matt finish also reduces surface imperfections.

This Ultra Cover 2X metallic finish spray paint’s can is equipped with a comfort tip spray nozzle and broad finger pad intended to reduce hand/finger fatigue. The nozzle design allows you to maintain consistent and adequate pressure and spray when the can is held upside-down, or at any other angle. One 12 oz. spray can provides twice the coverage than other comparable spray paints. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting. It dries, to the touch, within approximately 30 minutes.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Any-angle spray
  • Comfort tip; wider finger pad
  • Fast-drying
Cons
  • Fumes

Rust-Oleum 249090 Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint, 12-Ounce, White

Rust-Oleum 249090Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint is a fast-drying, long-lasting, durable, smooth, interior/exterior gloss spray paint. It is available in a wide variety of popular, vivid colors, black, and white.

The double-coverage technology provides twice the amount of paint coverage as its competitors, which allows you to complete your projects faster due to its superior coverage and hiding power. It is ideal for painting nearly any surface, including wood, plastic, metal, wicker, steel, masonry, plaster, concrete, unglazed ceramic, and other interior and exterior surfaces. This product is provides a smooth, durable protective coating.

This Painter’s Touch multi-purpose gloss finish spray paint’s can is equipped with a comfort tip spray nozzle and broad finger pad intended to reduce hand/finger fatigue. The nozzle design allows you to maintain consistent and adequate pressure and spray when the can is held upside-down, or at any other angle. One 12 oz. spray can provides more coverage than other comparable spray paints. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Any-angle spray
  • Comfort tip; wider finger pad
  • Fast-drying
  • No priming necessary
Cons
  • Not for sale in Catalina Island

Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint Crystal Clear in 11-Ounce Aerosol

Krylon K01303007Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear spray paint is a hobby/craft protective finish product that provides a protective, non-yellowing, gloss coating. It generally protects and improves the values and contrasts of your photos and artwork. It resists smudging and is moisture resistant. This clear coat product may be used on a variety of surfaces to preserve and seal, sucha as murals, glitter, paper/paper mache, wood, plastic, metal, plaster, ceramic, silk flowers and more!

Krylon acrylic crystal clear dries to the touch in 10 -15 minutes, and your project may readily be handled within two hours.

Pros
  • Does not yellow
  • Smudge-resistant
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Fast-drying
Cons
  • Not rust-resistant
  • Does not work well on metallic paints

Krylon K04290007 Camouflage Made with Fusion For Plastic Paint Technology Spray Paint, Black, 11 Ounce

Krylon K04290007The Krylon Camouflage spray paint is a non-reflective, ultra-flat finish camouflage spray covering that requires no prior sanding or priming. Its fusion paint technology maximizes its bonding power, allowing it to bond to most plastics, hard vinyl, woods and metals, and a variety of other indoor/outdoor surfaces. It ideally conceals hunting and sporting items and equipment, vehicles, tree stands, boats, decoys, and more!

This camouflage matt-finish spray paint is non-glare, durable, long-lasting colors. An additional clear coat ensures color will not fade when continually exposed to sun/UV. It becomes “fully chip-resistant” after seven days of curing. One 11 oz. spray can provides coverage comparable to competitors’. Always clean and prepare the surface before painting. It dries, to the touch, within approximately 15 minutes.

Pros
  • Fast-drying
  • Chip-resistant after 7 days
  • No primer needed
  • No sanding needed
Cons
  • Only available in single cans
  • Does not “remove” scratches
  • Not for sale in Catalina Island

Dupli-Color EHVP10600 Flat Black High Performance Vinyl and Fabric Spray – 11 oz. – High-Performance Vinyl/Fabric

Dupli-Color EHVP10600Dupli-Color Vinyl and Fabric spray paint is a high-performance vinyl and fabric spray is a coating designed to refurbish interior upholstery. No priming is needed. It is fast-drying and guaranteed to not peel, chip, or crack. It is specially formulated for maximum adhesion to interior vinyl seats, consoles, door panels, dash, sun visors, and shifter boots. It is equally suitable for refurbishing interior carpets and furnishings (i.e. vinyl chairs, sofas, RV carpets, etc.). For maximum results, always thoroughly clean and prepare the surface before painting!

This is a flat finish high-performance spray paint product is available in a variety of colors (and flat black) that match most original equipment and hot tuner shades. One 11 oz. spray can provides a long-lasting, durable finish.

Pros
  • For interior vinyl and fabrics/carpets
  • Fast-drying
  • Crack- resistant
  • Peel-resistant
Cons
  • Not for sale in Catalina Island

Dupli-Color EBPR00310 Gray Perfect Match Scratch Filler Primer – 8 oz. Aerosol – Best Seller – Automotive Primer

Dupli-Color EBPR00310Dupli-Color Perfect Match Scratch Filler Primer is a best-selling, high quality, easy-to-apply, acrylic lacquer spray primer coating. It is ideal for small scale touch-ups, painting (vehicle) accessories, fill scratches, and create a smooth paint surface prior to topcoat application. It provides a perfect solution for smoothing chipped, dinged, or scratched surfaces before painting.

This acrylic lacquer paint primer is formulated to match the factory-applied coating. Perfect Match carries a complete line of “exact-match colors” for current and late model domestic and import vehicles. The Perfect Match spray primer’s can is equipped with an adjustable EZ-Touch 360-degree nozzle designed to allow you to maintain a consistently wide, smooth, and even spray pattern. Thoroughly clean and prepare the surface before priming!

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Fast-drying
  • May be sanded
  • Smoothes scratches, dings, scrapes
Cons
  • Not a filler
  • Small 8oz. can

Spray Paint Buyers’ Guide

Low-odor spray paint formulas are under development. However, for now, proper safety measures should be taken when applying spray paint. If you do not have the equipment, purchase it when you buy your spray paint!

  • Wear a mask or respirator and protective glasses.
  • Spray painting should be done outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid spraying around children and pets

Basic Kinds of Spray Paints

Aerosol spray paint has traditionally been oil-based enamels. Today you may also choose water-based or latex spray paint products. Water-based spray paints emit fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and smog- producing emissions.

Latex Water-Based spray paints typically emit fewer odors, fill porous surfaces well, and dry quickly. Overspray or mistakes may be wiped clean with (soap) water before they dry. Plastic items, indoor and outdoor items (tables, chairs, mailboxes, flower boxes, lawn and garden furniture, etc.) may be spray painted and used within 60-90 minutes. Surfaces should be clean and dry before spray painting them.

Enamel Oil-Based spray paints are effectively used to cover metal items that require a durable, finished surface, such as outdoor metal tables and chairs, appliances, or cabinets. Enamels provide a resilient, weather-resistant finish.

Types of Spray Paints

General Purpose spray paint is a multi-purpose paint intended to spray with few drips and dry quickly. It effectively covers and adheres to an array of indoor and outdoor material composed of plastic, wicker, and wood; metal, masonry, and stone. Crafters and hobbyists, DIY-ers, and others with furniture, shutters, picture frames, or shelves to restore, generally purchase general purpose spray paint to complete their project more neatly and faster.

General purpose spray paints also come in the most extensive variety of colors and finishes, from primer to matt and satin, semi-gloss, gloss, and clear coat, as well as more unique antique, stained glass, and stone effects.

All-surface spray paints combine paint and primer in a single can and application. It is designed to provide a smooth, durable finish for most surfaces. It effectively covers and adheres to an array of indoor and outdoor materials, such as plastic, wicker, and wood; metal, masonry/concrete, and stone, as well as glass, fiberglass, and vinyl/ laminate. All-surface spray paints come in “on-trend premium” colors and finishes.

Primers are used to coat the surface prior to applying the top paint coat. They provide a base surface to which the top coat can properly adhere. Actual primer application varies according to the brand/product and material or item to be treated. Primers may provide a rust preventative that preps-and-protects in one application. Top coasts cover tinted primers better.

Primers are particularly needed when the top coat is a lighter color that will cover a darker surface. Primers are also useful in providing a solid undercoating on rusty and raw wood surfaces. Topcoat color should be applied after the primer has thoroughly dried.

Rust Prevention spray paint (not a primer) is provides continuous corrosion protection for items subject to outdoor environments and conditions. Rust prevention spray paints effectively cover masonry, metal, wood, and other typically outdoor materials, but may also be applied to indoor items to resist affects of continual humidity or dampness. Swing sets, bicycles, cars, wheelbarrows, mowers, wrought iron furniture and other items are protected by rust prevention paint.

Rust prevention spray paints are available in a wide variety of bright colors, textures, and finishes, including metallic. Finishes are glossy, long-lasting, abrasion-resistant coatings that also resist chipping, fading, and dulling.

High Heat spray paints can withstand temperatures as high as1,2000 F. High heat spray paints coat and protect stoves, grills, and radiators. can be used to paint barbecue grills, radiators and woodstoves. They are not intended to be applied to surfaces that will be exposed directly to open flame. For example, high heat spray paint may be used to refurbish the outside of a barbecue grill or stove, but it should never be used to coat the inside of the item.

Automotive spray paint provides smooth and durable, and often colorful, touch-ups, details, and finishes for exterior metal surfaces and plastic auto parts. Automotive spray paints also include primers used for vehicle engines, wheels, bumpers, undercoating, hitches, and other auto parts and accessories. Metal surfaces must be cleaned (wire-brushed and/or sanded) and sponged with warm, soapy water, to ensure they are free of dirt and dust, prior to spraying.

Professional-Grade and Striping and Marking spray paints are formulated to be the fastest-drying (15 min. or less) enamel paints, suitable for commercial and industrial applications.

Professional- and industrial- grade spray paints are fast-drying, colorful, gloss enamels. They provide rust and corrosion protection and are available in a variety of safety colors. They are used to coat wood, metal, masonry, and other professional and industrial items. They may be used to customize or decorate pieces, signs, parking bollards, railings, and other hard-to-coat items.

Striping and marking spray paints are typically bright, safety-colored (for clear visibility on rough or uneven surfaces) paints that are used for outdoor marking for buried utility lines, lumber and equipment yards, and law enforcement activities on pavement, sidewalks, athletic fields, etc. They are also intended to withstand weathering and continual foot- and vehicle-traffic. Striping and marking paints endure on asphalt, concrete, wood/lumber, metal, dirt/grass, etc.

Specialty spray paints are used to create unique aesthetic effects, customization, or to coat difficult-to-coat surfaces such as tile, high-heat, tubs, roofs, etc. They may also be used on surfaces all-surface spray paints are suited to (i.e.: metal, plastic, drywall, wood, etc.). Specialty spray paints create reflective, metallic, antique, chalkboard, stone or patinas (i.e.: hammered, verdigris, rust, etc.). They allow you to add glitter, frosting, metallic accents, or glazed effects to items or projects.

Finish Lacquer spray paints are applied in layers (multiple coats) to produce a durable, polished, high luster finish to items. Urethane coatings provide a protective satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish typically seen on furniture items.

What to Look For When Buying Spray Paint

Paint sprayers may be selected not only according to initial cost, but also according to product brand reputation, the spray paint package (aerosol can and nozzle), and the end result (finish).

Cost

There are spray paints that cost one-dollar per can and those that cost $10.00 or more per can. Typically, mid-range, general or all-purpose off-the-shelf spray paints are suitable for most household and craft projects. It is not advisable, however, to buy the cheap ($1.00/can) spray paint. They are often thinner, requiring more coats, may drip or run/streak, or are slower to dry. Conversely, the most expensive spray paint is not necessarily “the best” for your particular project, material, or application.

Brands

There are many spray paint brands. The most cost-effective, value for the money, color, and application brands are Rust-Oleum and Krylon. Other comparable options are Valspar, Dupli-Color, Montana, and Seymour.

Rust-Oleum

Rust-Oleum is a popular spray paint choice because of its durability as well as its moderate cost/can. It comes in rust preventative, multi-purpose, plastic, and specialty products for interior and exterior use. Rust-Oleum offers a wide variety of and colors and finishes too. Rust-Oleum’s metallics, colors, and coverage are its strong suits.

Krylon

Krylon is a popular cost effective spray paint that comes in a wide variety of types and colors. They also have a 360-degree EZ-touch, dial spray tip, and their containers are recyclable. The newer chalkboard and metallic spary paints are the most highly-endorsed.

Krylon offers rust preventative, multi-purpose, plastic, and specialty products for interior and exterior use. It is formulated to be moisture-resistant and protect surfaces, such as metal, wood, wicker, glass and others.

Finishes

Spray paints are commonly available in matt, satin, semi- and high-gloss, and metallic finishes.

Primer

Most projects begin with a primer coat. You will have a better sheen/finish if you use a primer that also seals (i.e.: KILZ) prior to applying the top (gloss/semi-gloss) coat. The finish will appear satin-like rather than glossy. A few finishes do not require a primer coat and may be applied directly.

Specialty Finishes

Specialty finishes enhance and produce special effects, such as chalkboard, textured stone, glitter/sparkles, or hammered metal.

Chalkboard finishes may be sprayed onto poster board, wood, metal, glass, or plastic to create a chalkboard surface that is ideal for a home office or child’s playroom. Chalkboard spray finishes also add a clean-erase surface.

Frosted finishes are sprayed onto items (i.e.: glass doors, windows, shower enclosures, etc.) to create a mirror, etched, or decorative effect. Frosted spray-on finishes provide decorative, privacy, and shade (reducing sun glare) effects.

Nozzle/Trigger/Tip

Many brands have nozzles that maximize output and minimize dripping or uneven squirting. Some brands, such as Krylon, have developed a 360-degree EZ-touch, dial spray tip that helps spray more evenly and consistently.

Pistol-grip spray paint cans, and those with a built-in anti-gravity valve, allow you to spray upside-down or at any angle. They are also less tiring to use. Holding down the tip or trigger can become painful after some time. Clip-on store-bought triggers, handle attachments that snap onto the top of the can, may be purchased separately. They may relieve some of your hand pain while increasing spray control.

If you have a larger project, select a spray paint can with a nozzle/tip that is fan-shaped, so your spray pattern will cover a wider area. Check for nozzles that allow you to rotate or adjust the spray and spray pattern. Some nozzles shoot an oval-shaped pattern rather than a circular one.

Conclusion

Determine the size of your project first. Spray painting can reduce time and provide a smoother and more profession-looking result when finished. Spray painting your project is particularly a good idea if you need to apply a primer undercoat before your top coat.

Do your research before going to buy spray paint. There are many brands, types of paints, colors and effects, and finishes. Spray paint cans also are not all the same. Some have nozzles that can spray larger patterns and at any angle. There are also trigger handles that can be added to relieve the pain of holding down the trigger for long periods.

The “best spray paint” is the brand, type, and material you choose to use and paint. Rust-Oleum and Krylon brands are comparable in cost and product choices. They are the most commonly purchased brand products. Both offer indoor, outdoor, automotive, primer, and specialty spray paint options. Rust-Oleum tends to get better customer reviews, however.

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Mark
 

I've been working in professional paint service in Hampton, VA for the last 15 years. So i know a lot about painting and spray painters. With my team we made this site with to help you to understand why some spray painters are better than others, and how to find the best one for your type of job.

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