Is Spray Paint Waterproof? (Different Types)

Spray paint is used for its beauty and easy application. But for the finish to last long, it must also thrive in wet conditions. 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, such as spray exterior enamel, have impressive water-resistant qualities that make the paint thrive when exposed to moisture or rainfall. Also, spray sealants, such as spray polyurethane, are water-resistant. 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 spray paint container. There is more to know about spray paints and their waterproof or water-resistant qualities. So let’s dive in.

Waterproof vs Non-Waterproof Spray Paints

What Makes Spray Paint Waterproof?

Spray paint is waterproof based on the texture of the top coat. Spray paints with water-resistant or waterproof qualities 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.

The additives in the spray paint coating and the sealant also make spray paint waterproof. Spray paints that have plastic additives in their paint formula are water-resistant. The plastic additives when dry prevent water to get into the finish.

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

However, if the spray paint isn’t waterproof, you can make it waterproof by sealing it with a waterproof sealant such as wax or lacquer. These sealants 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?

Check the paint container to know if spray paint is waterproof. The container will indicate if the paint is waterproof or not. If there is no indication or inscription that the paint is waterproof, the spray paint isn’t waterproof. And as such, it shouldn’t be used on surfaces or materials that will see moisture constantly.

You can also know if the spray paint is waterproof or not by checking the type of finish you get once the paint is dry. If the finish is glossy, there is a high chance that the spray paint will be water-resistant.

You can also tell by testing the paint. Spray some of the paint on a dispensable material 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 you applied to it, the spray paint is waterproof. Also, if the water remains clear, the spray paint is waterproof.

If the water has soaked into the finish, the spray paint isn’t waterproof. Also, if the water appears tinted, the colorant in the spray paint has been dissolved by the water. This wouldn’t have happened if the spray paint was waterproof.

All these methods can help you point out the waterproof spray paint but, the best way to be sure is to check the info on the paint container.

Does Rain Wash Off Spray Paint?

Does Rain Affect Spray Paint

Rain only affects normal and indoor spray paints. For outdoor spray paints, rainfall doesn’t affect the paint coating. Unless the exterior spray paint isn’t fully cured 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.

So, how long does spray paint need to be dry before rain? This depends on the type and brand of spray paint. But on average, spray paint should fully cure for at least 3 days before rainfall. But, for the best results, let the spray paint dry for about 7 days before rain. This prevents the rainfall from smearing or washing off the spray paint.

Indoor and decorative spray paints shouldn’t be exposed to rainfall regardless of how long the paint is left to cure. 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?

Can You Wash off Spray Paint With Water?

Spray paints come off with water if the paint is still wet. This is because wet spray paint is water-soluble, meaning it will dissolve in water. However, spray paint becomes water-resistant once the paint has hardened or cured.

Spray paint will still come off if exposed to high moisture content or water for extended periods. However, this goes for indoor spray paints.

Once the paint has cured, exterior spray paints don’t come off in the water. To remove cured exterior spray paint, you 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.

However, if exterior spray paint is still wet, it will come off with water. 

Types of Spray Paint That Are Waterproof:

Acrylic Spray Paint

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

If exposed to high moisture content or constant rainfall, 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, the 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 spray paint’s flexible and impermeable top layer. So, for surfaces that will see rainfall or moisture regularly, you should use exterior acrylic spray paint.

You can improve the water-resistant qualities of acrylic spray paint by sealing it with waterproof sealants. Top choices included spray enamel and polyurethane.

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

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

The protective barrier rust-oleum spray paint forms is strong enough to block moisture content for over 10 years. 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.

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 sprayed item.

Related Read: Does Unopened Spray Paint Expire?

Krylon Spray Paint

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

The Krylon spray paint takes less than 1 hour to dry. Once the spray paint is dry 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, the spray paint will wash off from surfaces. But, this usually takes more than 10 years.

The time it takes spray paint 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.

You don’t have to seal waterproof spray paint. But, you should seal non-waterproof and water-resistant spray paint. The sealer will give the spray paint waterproofing features, and protect it from moisture and water.

However, if the spray paint is already waterproof, it doesn’t need those features. But, if you want to reinforce the finish, you can also seal waterproof spray paints.

Final Words

Overall, spray paint isn’t waterproof. But, some specific brands 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.

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.

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