How To Make Spray Paint Not Sticky? – Detailed Guide

Do you want to remove tacky painted walls or sticky objects around you? Well, spray painting is all fun, but having a sticky finish, in the end, is pretty annoying. Spray painting is typical since it is easy, and spray paints are available in various colors, shades, and packaging options. However, spray painting can be messy if you don’t use the right approach.

The stickiness of spray paint is one of its biggest problems. Even after getting thoroughly dried or cured, the final finish feels sticky. Depending upon the type of surfaces you want to paint and the type of paint you will use, you need to adopt a specific approach to make spray paint not sticky. Today we’ll discuss different ways to make spray paint not sticky.

How To Make Spray Paint Not Sticky?

Before we discuss the methods that will help you make spray paint not sticky, it’s crucial to discuss why it is sticky. Knowing the reasons will enable you to figure out the dos and don’ts while applying spray paint.

What Makes A Spray Paint Sticky?


Overapplication can make the paint sticky. When you apply multiple layers, it takes longer to dry and makes the paint finish slightly damp.


Moisture and humidity can make the spray paint sticky. Moisture will make the paint tacky if applied to it. Also, water in the air plays a significant role in making the paint sticky.


When you apply the paint in a rush, stickiness is inevitable. If you don’t prepare the color and surface well before application, you cannot expect a non-tacky smooth finish.

Spray paint can be made non-sticky in several ways.

How To Make Spray Paint Not Sticky

1. Prepare the Surface

Whether you are applying paint on wood, cement, or metal. You must prepare it before applying. Here are the crucial steps that you must follow before applying the paint.

Clean The Surface

Clean the surface since grease, dirt, dust, or any previous paint layer can lead to poor adhesion between the paint and texture. Ensure the surface is clean and dry since a bit of moisture can lead to poor durability and adhesion.


Sanding is not required in every case. Nevertheless, non-porous surfaces can be different when applying paint. You can sand metal, plastic, or fiberglass to improve the adhesion properties. Better adhesion means good moisture resistance and low chances of stickiness.

Also, sanding allows you to smoothen the surface for an even and moisture-resistant paint finish.

Use A Primer

A primer can solve many problems you may face while applying spray paint. The primer improves the adhesion of paint to surfaces and speeds up the drying process. A well-primed surface can fight the moisture in the air and help you get a dry finish for paint application.

2. Shake The Can Well

While applying the spray paint, it’s crucial to shake the can well before applying it. Spray paint uses a propellant that allows you to push out paint from thin nozzles. Paint being thicker, sits at the bottom while fuel stays at the top. For proper curing and adhesion, color needs to be in a homogeneous viscosity. By shaking the can, you can achieve a smooth consistency that dries up quickly and helps you eliminate the stickiness.

3. The Time Between the Coats

There is an essential factor that you need to consider when dealing with the time between coats. Some paint dries more quickly than others. Spray paint usually requires multiple coats for proper coverage. You must allow the one coat to dry and cure completely to avoid stickiness. Your paint type will determine how long you should wait between coats. If you use oil-based paint, getting fully cured may take 24 hours.

Water-based or acrylic paints dry more quickly than oil-based paints. You must read the instructions carefully to determine the paint’s drying time. Furthermore, air temperature and humidity affect the paint’s drying time. If you are working with spray paint like enamel or lacquer, it’s advised to wait at least 24 hours before applying new coats.

Some spray paint products are advertised as quick-drying formulas. The product’s description may say the paint dries up in 20 minutes. Don’t believe this. Even a fast-drying paint needs at least 90-120 minutes to cure fully. I recommend scheduling big projects on alternate days if you’re working on them. This way, you can enhance the durability and avoid issues like sticky surfaces and uneven finishes.

4. Work In the Right Conditions

Humidity and temperature play a key role in making the paint sticky. If you are going to work on a big project like wall painting or window painting, it is better to wait for the right time. Wait for the days when the humidity level is low in the air. You can close the window and operate a fan or heater to reduce the moisture level in the air. You can spray paint for DIY projects and smaller objects in controlled conditions.

5. Applying A Paint Protector

Another way you can handle the stickiness of the paint finish is by applying a paint protector. A wide range of paint protectors like waxes, sealants, or ceramic coats can help you make the spray paint not sticky.


Paint sealant is used to make the paint fully waterproof and UV-resistant. Paint sealant offers a tough non-porous protective layer on top of the paint. The paints become less attractive to moisture and heat. Paint sealant can be opaque and transparent. They may alter the color and sheen of the final finish.


Auto wax is also called a clear coat. These clear coats allow you to add a non-stick surface on the top without changing the color and finish the original paint coats. Most clear coats are non-toxic and can be used with a brush or cloth. Auto wax is easy to apply and comes in quick-drying formulas. Once the coat is dried, you can smoothen the surface with a buffing cloth.

Talcum Powder

If you don’t have access to a professional-grade protective coat or paint sealant, you can use talcum powder to make the paint less tacky. Talcum powder should be used carefully since it can dim the color and alter the paint’s finish. Apply the talcum powder to a small area to see how it affects the paint color. If you are okay with the results, apply an even layer of talcum powder to the painted surface. The talcum powder will absorb the excessive moisture and help you make the paint not tacky.

6. Use Oil-Based Paints

You cannot control the temperature and humidity in the air. It is up to you to pick the right paint. Oil-based paints are highly moisture resistant and offer better durability outdoors. Enamel paints dry quickly, making them a suitable choice for humid conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Spray Paint Still Tacky?

Spray paint becomes sticky when it isn’t correctly cured or dried. The paint has trouble drying if applied on a moist surface or if the air is too humid. Overapplication is another reason that can make the paint tacky.

Will Tacky Spray Paint Eventually Dry?

Tacky paint may or may not dry eventually. If it is due to humid air, it may dry naturally when the conditions improve. But if it is due to a moist surface, overapplication, or improper application, it will never dry.

Wrapping Up

Do you want to remove tacky painted walls or sticky objects around you? Make spray paint non-sticky with six tips. This guide quill helps you deal with tacky and sticky spray paint finishes. A messy project is avoidable if you choose the right products.

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