Difference Between Spray Enamel And Spray Paint – Detailed Guide

Most people cannot differentiate between spray paint and spray enamel unless they use one. I used to think that both of these are the same thing unless I used them for a DIY project a few months back. After doing my research and trying it out, I am explaining the difference between spray enamel and spray paint below. This article will help you understand the difference and clear the confusion. By reaching the end, you will be able to know the use of spray enamel and spray paint and how they are different.

Difference Between Spray Enamel And Spray Paint

Difference Between Spray Enamel And Spray Paint

What Is Spray Enamel?

People think that spray enamels are the same as spray paint but they are slightly different from one another. The spray enamel is available in a single finish so you do not have options when coating the surfaces such as wood, walls, and even floors. It can be painted on different surfaces but gives a glowy or satin finish as an end result. The best thing about using the spray enamel is that it can be removed with the help of water if you spray it at the wrong place mistakenly.

Spray enamel forms a protective coating on the objects and makes them weather and water-resistant. You do not have to worry about rust or corrosion if you paint the metal surface with spray enamel. Unlike paint, you do not have to prepare the enamel before spraying it. Furthermore, there is no need to prime or prep the wall or the floor, you just have to spray the enamel to get a smooth glowy finish.

What Is Spray Paint?

You all might be aware of spray paint and how it works. The spray paints can form a thin coating of color on different objects such as wood, steel, aluminum, ceramics, or even metal and give different finishes. You get different options such as matte, reflective, metallic, and glossy finishes for the surface you paint. The spray cans have a nozzle that is pressed and you target the area where you want to paint.

You will have to prime the surface before using the spray paint to get a smooth finish. When you plan on changing the base color of the object, you have to sand the surface, then prep and paint it to get a smooth and even finish. When compared with spray enamel, it is less durable and takes more drying time. Hence all spray enamels can fall into the category of spray paints.

Difference Between Spray Enamel And Spray Paint

There are a lot of differences between spray paint and enamel that most people do not understand. Let me discuss the differences one by one so you can have a clear idea about each one of them.

Difference Between Spray Enamel And Spray Paint


The first difference between these two is that they have different formulas. Spray enamel has an oil-based formula but it dries up quickly. Whereas spray paint has a liquid or water-based formula that spreads evenly onto the surface and gives a smooth finish. You can spray the paint in layers so it dries within a few minutes only. Spray enamel, on the other hand, is way more durable and is now available in water-based formulas too.

Texture and Application

The texture and application of both, spray enamel and spray paint are different from each other. Spray paint cans are sealed with pressure and have gas propellants. You can press the nozzle and spray it onto the targeted area whereas enamel can be applied with the help of a brush or you can use a spray gun too. The finish is extremely smooth and glowy when compared with the spray paints.


When we compare both of them, we get to know that spray enamel is more reliable than spray paint. As mentioned above, it has a smooth finish and shine that will last for years. It forms a protective layer on the surface and protects it against weather conditions or even water. Whereas the spray paint will lose its shine after a few years and you have to re-apply to freshen up the color. In this case, the quantity of spray paint used to get the desired results will be more than the spray enamel.


Spray paints are made with a combination of different materials including gas propellants which makes them dangerous when used near explosive materials. Whereas the spay enamel is safe to use and has no materials that can cause damage to you or the environment. Spray paints have VOC materials that are not eco-friendly and are toxic for indoor use as well. You cannot use them around the children or in places where there is less or no ventilation.


Spray paints are high priced and this is why they are not easily available on the market. Whereas the spray enamel is easily found at hardware stores with other tools. They are cheaper and can be bought in different colors so you can mix and match. Spray paints only work on their own and you cannot mix them with other colors too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Use Enamel Spray Paint For?

You can use enamel spray paint for covering different surfaces such as walls, doors, floors, or ceramics. This gives a smooth finish and dries up quickly too.

Is Enamel Paint Shiny?

Yes, enamel spray paint is extremely shiny and gives a flawless finish. You can apply it with the help of a brush or use a spray gun. It will retain its shine throughout the years and you won’t have to retouch it again.

Can You Paint Over Enamel Paint?

Yes, you can paint over the enamel paint but make sure that it is water-based. The oil-based enamel paint won’t let other paints stay on top of it.

Final Verdict of Enamel Vs Paint

A brief article on differences between the spray paint and enamel is given so you can have a clear idea about them. Both of these are used for different purposes and have different properties too. Spray enamels fall into the category of spray paints as they are present in a wide variety. I hope you can differentiate between them after reading my article today.

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