Is Spray Paint Waterproof – Insightful Detailed Guide

spray paint waterproof

Spray paint is probably the easiest way to paint an object, making it a preferred addition in most DIYs. However, many worry if it will last or simply wash away with water. I will help you debunk misconceptions about different kinds of spray paints and reveal the answer to the most common question: “is spray paint waterproof?”

In general, spray paints are not waterproof, but they are water-resistant. However, exterior-grade spray paint is waterproof and can withstand weather elements like rain and snow. You should read the label carefully before buying spray paint to ensure it can resist moisture.

Several types of spray paints are available on the market, but if you know what you’re looking for, selecting the perfect one for the job gets easier. With my help, you will be able to identify which spray paint is waterproof the next time you walk into a paint shop.

Is Spray Paint Waterproof or not?

Some types of spray paints are waterproof, while others are not. Most of the options you will find are water-repellent but not completely waterproof.

However, exterior spray paints are formulated to endure weather elements, including moisture. But when dealing with outdoor spray paints, it is important to prep and seal the surface correctly to get the full benefits of waterproof paint.

How To Tell: is Spray Paint Waterproof?

You can tell whether the paint is waterproof by carefully reading the spray paint’s label. If the product is waterproof or water-resistant, the manufacturer will indicate it on the container. But if you don’t see a mention, it will probably wash away effortlessly.

What Makes Spray Paint Waterproof?

Waterproof spray paints contain a special water-repelling ingredient in their formula. When added in proper ratios, this increases the paint’s ability to withstand water. However, all paints aren’t created equal– some have a higher level of water repellency than others. The amount of water-repelling agents used in the paint formulation changes its characteristics and response to water.

Waterproof vs. Water-Repellent- What is the Difference?

Moisture causes mold, mildew, and rot in wooden and masonry surfaces. For this reason, many people prefer to use spray paint that doesn’t let moisture in and keeps the color looking vibrant for longer. There are two basic types of spray paints: waterproof and water-resistant. But the difference between them can be confusing for first-time buyers.

Waterproof paint combines pigments, resins, and solvents that create a moisture barrier on any surface that it’s applied. It also has additives that prevent the growth of mildew and mold. Thus, this type of paint is water-insoluble and designed to keep the color and finish intact even if the surface comes in regular contact with water. You can apply a sealer to build another protective layer against water for a long-lasting finish.

On the other hand, water-resistant spray paints can endure water, but they aren’t entirely waterproof. They will eventually break down, fade, chip, or wash away over time. So, waterproof paint will give the best results if you’re planning to paint on a surface outdoors, in the bathroom, kitchen, or any other area with more humidity and moisture.

is spray paint waterproof

Different Types of Spray Paints

There are two broad categories of spray paints: they are either water-based or oil-based. When we say a color is oil or water-based, we are actually referring to the type of solvent used in the paint. It is the liquid component that evaporates when the paint dries.

  • Water-based paints are more eco-friendly and don’t require mineral spirits or turpentine for cleaning. Instead, it easily washes away with soap and water. They can expand and contract with changing weather conditions, making them more resistant to cracking.
  • Oil-based paints dry harder, which makes them more resistant to wear and tear. But since the paint dries harder, it doesn’t have the same flexibility as water-based paints and becomes dry, brittle, and chalky over time.

Here are a few basic types you can buy from a paint store. Each of them is either water-based or oil-based.

1.   Acrylic Paint

Acrylic, also known as Tempera, consists of pigments, flour, and water. So, is acrylic spray paint waterproof? No, it’s not.

This chemical-based paint is often used for painting cars, but it has to be covered with a clear coat or sealant to make it waterproof. Applying acrylic paint to surfaces is relatively easier, but it cannot endure moisture once the paint dries.

Montana Black Color Spray Set of 12 one of the best choices for acrylic spray paints for graffiti arts.

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2.   Epoxy Paint

Epoxy spray paint can be water-based or oil-based, so you can choose one according to your preference. This type of paint contains adhesives and polymers, which makes it resistant to stains, chemicals, and water. Although some epoxy paints are labeled waterproof, they don’t respond well to heat or frost.

However, the Rust Oleum Appliance Epoxy Spray Paint works best on appliances and can resist heat and frost in long run. The rust-resistant, white paint provides a glossy finish to the product and lightens up the surroundings.

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3.   Chalk Paint

This is another water-based paint widely used for spray painting furniture, patio, floors, etc. It is not waterproof, but it’s water-resistant. However, an added layer of sealer or lacquer can significantly increase the paint’s life and protect surfaces from damage by water.

The Rust Oleum Chalk Spray paint is an amazing quality paint spray paint which comes in many colors and shades of blue, grey, rust and white.

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4.   Enamel Paint

Enamel paints can be water-based, oil-based, or lacquer-based, and the solvent used determines how weather-resistant the formulation is. Therefore, if you’re wondering, ‘is enamel spray paint waterproof,’ you should know that oil-based or lacquer-based enamel paints are waterproof and can be used without a sealer.

Water-based enamel paints are not waterproof like the other two variants and need the surface to be primed and sealed to make it withstand moisture.

Rust Oleum’s Enamel Gloss Spray Paint is one of those high quality spray paints that come in vibrant colors. It is a must try for all your DIY projects.

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5.   Latex Paint

Latex paint is often referred to as ‘acrylic latex’ because of its similarities with acrylic paint. However, a prominent difference between them is that latex is water-based while acrylic is chemical-based. Moreover, latex paint is cheaper and easier to use, but it’s not as weather-resistant as acrylic, making it more suitable for indoor projects.

I would highly recommend Krylon Latex Aerosol Spray paint as it gives the most durable finish.

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6.   Metallic Paints

Reflective pigments in metallic paints make them ideal for projects where you want a high-shine finish. Moreover, this paint is a cheaper alternative to enamel-based colors but still offers impressive results.

Water-based metallic spray paints are suitable for indoor projects as the paint is not waterproof.

However, exterior-grade metallic paint is mostly oil-based and highly resistant to water, making it a waterproof spray paint for metal and other surfaces.

You will find a number for different metallic shades with the Rust Oleum Metallic Paint and Primer in One, extremely durable and highest quality spray paint for a smooth finish.

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Here is a little summarized version

Type of Spray PaintWater-Proof X-BasedSealant Required
Acrylic Paint Chemical BasedYes
Epoxy PaintWater BasedYes
Epoxy PaintOil BasedYes
Chalk PaintWater BasedYes
Enamel PaintWater BasedYes
Enamel PaintOil BasedNo
Enamel PaintLacquer BasedNo
Latex PaintWater BasedYes
Metallic PaintWater BasedYes
Metallic PaintOil BasedYes
Waterproof Spray Paints

*Although some paints do not require sealant, however its highly recommended for a long lasting finish


Does rain wash off spray paint?

Wet paint easily washes off with rainwater, but waterproof paint will not wash away with rain if it has dried for long enough.

Is spray paint permanent?

Spray paints can last between three to five years, depending on the quality and type used. Exterior-grade waterproof paints have a longer life than regular spray paints.

Does spray paint need to be sealed?

It is not necessary to seal spray paint, but it is recommended to seal the surface after using water-based paint. Also, if you are working on an outdoor project, a sealer can help increase the life of the coat.

Does spray paint come off easily?

You can clean water-based spray paints quickly when wet. Oil-based paints require turpentine and other strong chemicals for removal.

Is spray paint toxic?

Most spray paints are toxic as they contain hazardous elements called VOCs. Also, you should always wear protective gear when using spray paint to keep yourself safe.

Is spray paint heat-resistant?

Yes, some spray paints can resist high heat levels and you can use them for painting outdoor surfaces and appliances such as ovens.


Whether or not you need waterproof paint for your project depends on its exposure to humidity, moisture, and water. Most outdoor spray paints are waterproof, but the longevity of the color depends on how you prepare, prime, apply, and seal the paint.

We hope to have answered your question “is spray paint waterproof” in detail. So, here is a detailed guide on how to apply waterproof spray paint, check out the details and let us know what you think.

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