Is Spray Paint Waterproof? (Different Types)

Spray paint is a type of paint applied by using a pressurized container with a nozzle. It’s known for its colorful finish and easy application. But, is Spray paint waterproof?

Exterior Spray paint is waterproof, while Interior or decorative Spray paint isn’t waterproof.

To know if a finish is waterproof, check the container, check the finish once it dries, or test its finish by adding a few drops of water.

Optionally, you can apply a sealer over the finish to protect it from constant water or moisture.

Waterproof vs. Non-Waterproof Spray Paints

What Makes Spray Paint Waterproof?

Spray paints with water-resistant or waterproof qualities have a glossy top coat that prevents water from penetrating their coating. The glossy top coat is what makes the coating waterproof or water-resistant.

The additives in the coating and the sealer also make it waterproof. Spray paints that have plastic additives in their paint formula are water-resistant. The plastic additives when dry prevent water from getting into the finish.

On the other hand, those that don’t have a glossy top aren’t waterproof. Non-waterproof spray paints usually have a textured finish and are made for indoor use.

However, if the spray paint isn’t waterproof, you can make it waterproof by sealing it with a waterproof sealer such as wax or lacquer. These sealers have the paint particles tightly packed and strengthened to prevent moisture from penetrating the material.

How To Know If Spray Paint is Waterproof?

How To Tell If Spray Paint Is Waterproof?

To know if Spray paint is waterproof, check the container, check the finish once it dries, or test the finish by adding a few drops of water.

The container will indicate if the Spray paint is waterproof (you will see a “Waterproof” text). The paint isn’t waterproof if there’s no indicator or inscription.

Check the type of the finish once it dries; the finish is waterproof (or water-resistant) if it has a glossy finish.

You can also test the Spray paint finish once it dries by adding a few drops of water over the finish and waiting a few minutes. The finish is waterproof if water doesn’t soak into it and you can still see the water you applied. If the water soaks into the finish, it isn’t waterproof.

Also, if the water appears tinted, the colorant of the finish has been dissolved by the water. This wouldn’t have happened if the finish was waterproof.

Does Rain Wash Off Spray Paint?

Does Rain Affect Spray Paint

Rain does wash off normal and indoor spray paint, but doesn’t wash off exterior spray paint (unless the finish isn’t fully dried). Exterior Spray paint is formulated with extra additives that make its finish waterproof after it dries.

Exterior Spray paint must fully dry (cure) for 3 days before rainfall. The effects of rainfall become limited if the coating is fully dry (cured).

Interior or decorative Spray paint shouldn’t be exposed to rainfall regardless of how long its coating is left to dry (cure). They aren’t formulated with protective additives and will wash off if exposed to contact water or rainfall.

To make indoor Spray paint waterproof seal it with a waterproof sealer, such as exterior polyurethane. The sealer will produce a protective layer over the finish and protect it from water or rainfall.

Can You Wash off Spray Paint With Water?

You can wash off Spray paint with water if the coating is still wet (hasn’t dried yet). Wet coatings are water-soluble and will dissolve in water. Indoor Spray paint will also get removed if exposed to constant water for extended periods.

You can’t wash off a Spray paint coating if it’s fully dry (cured). Exterior Spray paint can withstand water for extended periods without vanishing. You must use an alcohol-based solvent or sanding to remove an exterior-based finish.

Which Types of Spray Paints Are Waterproof or Water-resistant?

The following types of spray paint are waterproof or Water-resistant.

Acrylic Spray Paint

Acrylic spray paint is water-resistant and not waterproof. When dry it produces a water-resistant sheen or gloss that seals the finish and prevents most of the water from penetrating. 

Its finish will begin to soften and gradually allow water to pass through if exposed to high moisture content (or constant rainfall). This is why the term “water-resistant” is used instead of “waterproof”.

For a finish to be waterproof, it must withstand moisture completely for extended periods.

Exterior acrylic spray paint has impressive water-resistant qualities and is as close to being waterproof as you can get. Its finish can cope with rainfall due to its flexible and impermeable top layer.

You can also improve its finish by applying a waterproof sealer.

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

Rust-oleum spray paint is waterproof. When dry it forms a protective barrier that prevents water or oils from penetrating the finish. This is one of a few spray paints that is fully waterproof.

The protective barrier that it forms is strong enough to block moisture content for over 10 years. This is because of the chemicals and additives in the paint coating. It is particularly designed to prevent water from damaging metal.

This spray paint is commonly used on metal and its main feature is that it prevents rust by blocking out moisture. So if used, you are guaranteed a waterproof coating on the surface.

Krylon Spray Paint

Krylon spray paint is waterproof as it is specially made for outdoor surfaces. It comes with a formula that gives durability to outdoor surfaces. You can use it for wood, metal, plastic, and fabric. 

The Krylon spray paint takes less than 1 hour to dry. Once it dries it can withstand rain and water. So, it’s a great choice to waterproof outdoor objects. 


Is Spray Paint Permanent?

No, spray paint isn’t permanent. After a few years, it will wash off from surfaces. But, this usually takes more than 10 years.

The time it takes for it to wash off depends on the type of paint and where the painted object is located. For example, spray-painted indoor objects tend to last longer than outdoor objects.

Do You Need to Seal Waterproof Spray Paint?

You don’t need to seal waterproof spray paint as it’s strong enough to withstand constant water.

On the other hand, you must seal a non-waterproof and water-resistant finish. The sealer will give the finish waterproofing features, and protect it from moisture and water.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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