Spray paint is commonly used for its beauty and easy application. But for the finish to last long, it needs to thrive in wet conditions too. So is spray paint waterproof?
Generally, spray paint isn’t waterproof. But, there are types of spray paint with additives that make the spray paint coating water-resistant and in some cases, waterproof. These spray paints are usually outdoor spray paints or sealants.
Outdoor spray paints like spray exterior enamel have impressive water-resistant qualities to make the paint thrive when exposed to moisture or rainfall. Also, spray sealants like spray polyurethane are water-resistant since these sealants are sprayed on finishes to protect the finish from moisture.
To know if your spray paint is waterproof, you should check the information inscribed on the container of the spray paint. There is more to know about spray paints and their waterproof or water-resistant qualities. So let’s dive in.
What Makes Spray Paint Waterproof?
Spray paint is waterproof based on the texture of the top coat. Spray paints that have water-resistant or waterproof qualities often have a glossy top coat that prevents water from penetrating the spray paint coating. The glossy top coat is what makes the spray paint waterproof or water-resistant.
Other factors that make spray paint waterproof include the additives in the paint coating and the sealant used on the spray paint. Spray paints that include plastic additives in the paint formula are often water-resistant. This is because the plastic film makes it difficult for water to get into the finish.
Also, when you seal the spray paint coating with a waterproof sealant like wax or lacquer, the spray finish will become waterproof even if the spray paint ordinarily isn’t waterproof or water-resistant.
This is because these sealants have the paint particles tightly packed and strengthened to prevent moisture from penetrating the material.
But as explained earlier, not every type of spray paint is waterproof or water-resistant. So how can you tell if spray paint is waterproof? Let’s find out.
How To Tell If Spray Paint Is Waterproof?
The first step in discovering if spray paint is waterproof or not is to check the paint container. Spray paints will indicate if the paint is waterproof or not. If there is no indication or inscription that the paint is waterproof, it means that the spray paint isn’t waterproof. And as such, shouldn’t be used on surfaces or materials that will see moisture constantly.
Another way to know if the spray paint is waterproof is to check the type of finish that you will get when the paint is dry. If the finish is glossy, then there is a high chance that the spray paint will be water-resistant.
You can also tell by testing the paint. You can spray some of the paint on a dispensable material or surface and leave it to dry. When the spray paint is dry, add a few drops of water to the finish and leave it for a few minutes. After about 10 to 15 minutes, check the spot that you put water on.
If the surface doesn’t seem wet and you can still see the water that you applied to it, that means that the spray paint is waterproof. Also, if the water remains clear, it means that the spray paint is waterproof.
If the water has soaked into the finish, it means that the spray paint isn’t waterproof. Also, if the water appears tinted, it means that the colorant in the spray paint has been dissolved by the water. This wouldn’t have happened if the spray paint was waterproof.
All of these methods can help you point out waterproof spray paint but the best way to be sure is to check the info on the paint container.
Related Read: Is Spray Paint Heat Resistant?
Does Rain Affect Spray Paint?
Rain does affect spray paints but only for ordinary spray paints or indoor spray paints. For outdoor spray paints, rainfall doesn’t affect the paint coating. Unless the exterior spray paint wasn’t given enough time to cure and harden before being subjected to rainfall or washing. The effects of rainfall on the spray paint become limited if the spray paint is allowed to cure fully.
That being said, how long does spray paint need to be dry before rain? This depends on the type and brand of spray paint that you purchased. But on average, you should let spray paint cure fully for at least 3 days before rainfall. For best results, let the spray paint dry for up to a week before rain. This is to prevent the rainfall from smearing or washing off the spray paint.
You should also know that indoor spray paints and spray paints designed for decorative use shouldn’t be exposed to rainfall regardless of how long the paint is left to cure. This is because these paints aren’t built to withstand intense moisture or rainfall.
If exposed to rainfall, the paint will be washed off. But you can make the indoor spray paint water-resistant by sealing it with a water-resistant sealant like exterior polyurethane. This will prevent rainfall from washing off the spray paint.
Exterior spray paints on the other hand can withstand rainfall and other weathering effects due to the additives and gloss in the paint formula. But you can also seal exterior spray paint to make the finish withstand heavy rainfall better.
Related Read: Can Spray Paint Freeze?
Does Spray Paint Come Off In Water?
Spray paints come off in water especially if the paint is still wet. This is because wet spray paint is water-soluble meaning that it will dissolve in water. Once the paint has hardened or cured, spray paints usually become water-resistant.
But, the paint will still come off if exposed to high moisture content or water for extended periods. However, this goes for indoor spray paints.
Exterior spray paints on the other hand don’t come off in water once the paint has cured. While the paint will also come off in water while still wet, it becomes waterproof when the coating is dry. To remove cured exterior spray paint, you’ll need an alcohol-based solvent like isopropyl alcohol.
This is because the spray paint will no longer be water-soluble. As a result, it will not wash off or come off with just water. You’ll need a solvent strong enough to dissolve the spray paint coating to remove it.
Is Acrylic Spray Paint Waterproof?
Acrylic spray paint is not waterproof but the paint is water-resistant when dry. This is because acrylic spray paint when dry produces a water-resistant sheen or gloss that seals the finish and prevents water from penetrating but not totally. Though the top gloss of acrylic spray prevents water, it doesn’t do this completely.
If exposed to high moisture content or rainfall constantly for extended periods, the acrylic spray paint will begin to soften and gradually allow water to pass through. This is why the term “water-resistant” is used instead of “waterproof” For paint to be waterproof, the finish has to withstand moisture completely but most paints including acrylic spray can’t do this.
However, acrylic spray paint especially exterior acrylic spray has impressive water-resistant qualities that are as close to being waterproof as you can get. The paint can cope with rainfall due to the flexible and impermeable top layer of the spray paint. So, for surfaces that will see rainfall or moisture regularly, you should use exterior acrylic spray paint.
You should know that you can improve the water-resistant qualities of acrylic spray paint by sealing it with sealants advertised as water-resistant or waterproof. Top choices included spray enamel and polyurethane.
Is Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Waterproof?
Rust-oleum spray paint is waterproof. The spray paint is one of a few spray paints that is termed as being waterproof. Rust-oleum spray paint when dry forms a protective barrier that prevents water or oils from penetrating the finish to get to the material underneath.
This barrier is strong enough and can block moisture content for over 10 years if applied properly. This is because of the chemicals and additives in the paint coating. Rust-oleum spray paint is particularly designed to prevent water from damaging metal.
The spray paint is commonly used on metal and its main feature is that it prevents rust by blocking out moisture totally. So if used, you are guaranteed a waterproof coating on the item that is sprayed.
Related Read: Does Unopened Spray Paint Expire?
Overall, spray paint isn’t waterproof. But, there are specific brands that have water-resistant and in some cases, waterproof qualities. Always check the information on the spray paint container to know if the paint is waterproof or not.
But you should know that even if the paint is advertised as waterproof, chances are it is rather water-resistant. To improve the water-resistant qualities of any spray paint, you can seal the finish with a glossy or any other water-resistant top coat.