is spray paint waterproof
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Is Spray Paint Waterproof?

Depending on what kind of project you intend to begin, you may have wondered (like I have), is spray paint waterproof? Some concerns come up about which paints to use to make sure your finished project lasts as long as you intended. If you plan on using spray paint for some of your outdoor projects we put together this article to help better answer this question.

Here is what I can tell you about this topic.

So, is spray paint waterproof? Yes, outdoor spray paint is waterproof in nearly all circumstances. You should read the can of the spray paint to ensure you are purchasing outdoor spray paint and that the can indicates that the spray paint is waterproof.

This is the simple answer to understanding if spray paint is waterproof, but you do have other considerations to keep in mind. If you stick around for a few moments, I’m going to break down those considerations in-depth to ensure you have a full understanding of what to expect.



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spray paint

Waterproof Spray-Paint and What to Expect

Spray paint is one of the fastest drying options you have when it comes to completing a project with eye-popping results.

Not only does spray paint dry quickly (Link to my blog post about spray paint dry times) but it’s typically water-resistant or “water-proof” once dried if you make sure to double-check a few things before your purchase. First and foremost, you want to ensure you are using outdoor spray paint.

Outdoor spray paint is going to be designed to be water-insoluble or waterproof due to the obvious reasons such as water and the general weather elements. Additionally, you need to purchase spray paint that clearly indicated that it’s formulated to be waterproof.

Most spray paint labels will include this information on the label making your job easier. Furthermore, don’t ignore the fact that application and preparation are critical to ensuring the spray paint acts the way it should. Just because spray paint is labeled as waterproof doesn’t mean much in all reality.

Poor preparation and application would be considered more of a user-error and not be a reason to consider a spray paint “water-proof”. Not being a bit over-cautious in these areas can still allow water to damage a finished project.

Here’s what it is important to know on these three subjects.

The Preparation Phase


Like stated before, although spray paint can be labeled and designed to be waterproof doesn’t mean you can ultimately achieve that goal if you take shortcuts and choose to be lazy during the process. Prepping the surface is critical to ensuring that water can’t penetrate underneath the paint film.

This is mostly common-sense type work that needs to be completed. For example, working with wood or a surface that needs to be sanded and smoothed would indicate that you need to complete this sanding before applying any spray paint to the surface. Not doing so is likely to cause the paint to bubble, crack or ultimately allow water to penetrate under the paint’s films.

We have all seen this at some point in our life. That project or yard decoration that has a beautiful finish for a short amount of time and soon cracking and beginning to look like it was painted nearly 40 years prior.

The Application Phase is Equally as Important

I think we all know some of the common principals that we need to apply when looking for that extra eye-popping finish to any of our projects. It’s not to be rushed, dry time is imperative, and several coats are often needed. This is another time where you may see waterproof spray paint failing if you get too ahead of the game.

Not allowing coats to dry in between applications and not applying enough coats can be a recipe for disaster. Typically, when applying spray paint to an exterior project, you will want to aim for 2-3 coats at the very least. Adequate dry time is also crucial.

Without the proper number of coats being applied to the project, you run the risk of the water still having the ability to penetrate behind the film of the paint and ultimately turn that project into a mess in a matter of no time.

spray painting

The Finishing Touches Phase is Critical

Here is where the rubber meets the road. You need to take your time not to rush the ending to get the most effectiveness out of your waterproof spray paint. Be sure to stick around for at least 2-3 more minutes and I’ll give you one additional bonus tip that you may not be aware of.

To get back on topic, you want to make sure the finish is allowed its proper dry time. Additionally, now is the time to inspect the project to ensure no mistakes have been made. Let’s pick a random project as an example.

Let’s assume you are applying water-proof spray paint to a set of wood shutters to make the windows on your home really pop out and create additional curb appeal.

In this situation, if you want the spray paint to do its job and remain waterproof you want to make sure that the entire surface has been painted and sealed. Any missed areas are an open invitation for the paint to crack and for the water to penetrate beneath the surface of your nicely applied and fresh paint.

Bonus Tip of The Day-Consider Using Never Wet from Rustoleum For Additional Waterproofing

Some of you may have not heard of this new NeverWet product from Rustoleum but from the reviews I’ve read and the videos I’ve watched it’s a miracle spray in one bottle. However, you do need to be careful about a few things that we will touch on now.

It’s a sealer that can create an additional waterproofing seal on almost any surface including cement, wood or even furniture. It acts almost like Rain X.

If you have never used Rain X, it’s the product that you apply to your windshield on your car and it repels the water nearly instantly.

Well, use that line of thinking when you think about NeverWet. It will help bounce water right off your surface to help further protect all the outdoor projects that you have recently finished. Here are a few additional tips to implement when using NeverWet.

12 Hour Dry Time

The first important factor I found was the fact that this product needs a minimum of 12 hours to dry to be effective. Rushing this process may defeat the purpose of using it altogether. Some individuals state that being more liberal with the NeverWet product increases its effectiveness even more.

Something to give some thought into for sure.

Beware, It Does Leave a White Residue

The only problem you will run into when using NeverWet to help waterproof your projects even further is the fact that it’s known to leave a white residue during drying and sometimes after. Clearly, for dark projects, you need to just follow the steps we laid out previously and avoid NeverWet.

However, for projects that are light-colored and that won’t cause an issue, this is an additional coating you can place on your project to give it that ultimate protection.

Final Word, Although Spray Paint May Be Waterproof, You Still Have Work to Do.

So, let’s re-emphasize for just a moment. Is spray paint waterproof? Yes, spray paint can be purchased waterproof for exterior projects. However, don’t allow this mere label to fool you into thinking your job with the actual painting can be done by using shortcuts or sub-par efforts.

You still need to put in the effort during the preparation, application and finish stage to ensure that your project is ultimately protected from water penetrating behind the paint film. Taking any shortcuts regardless of the spray paint properties is still going to result in sub-par protection and frustration.

Now it’s Your Turn

What are your thoughts on spray paint and tips you can implement to gain ultimate protection against water penetration? Do you have anything additional that should be added to this post? Be sure to share your stories by dropping a comment below.

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