Is Spray Paint Oil Based Or Water Based? – Detailed Guide

Are you confused about whether the spray paint is oil-based or water-based? This article will end all of your thought processes. Your confusion will be solved and you will get to know everything about spray paint construction and whether they are oil-based or water-based. Generally speaking, most spray paints are based on construction with the use of solvents such as propane, butane, and hexane.

But it does not mean that there are no water-based spray paints. Certain companies are manufacturing water-based spray paints. And they make sure that they use more solvents in the composition of the paint. Let us now look into what type of paint is oil-based and what type of paint is water-based. And what are their pros and cons depending upon their construction?

Is Spray Paint Oil Based Or Water Based?

Is Spray Paint Oil Based Or Water Based

Spray paint can be oil-based and can be water-based, depending upon the chemical used in its construction. Both of these types are different and unique from each other and have their advantages and disadvantages. An in-depth description is written below so you can make the right choice and can get to know the answer to this query.

Things through which you can judge oil-based OR water-based spray paint

There are some important things that you can use to judge whether the spray paint you are selecting or using is oil-based or water-based. All of them are mentioned below. Make sure you are paying attention, so you can make the correct choice.

Spray Paint Brand Game

The most reliable source that tells you about the paint whether it is oil-based or water-based is the brand, and where it is manufactured. You can look at the brand and can tell whether the paint you’re using is oil-based or water-based.

Oil-Based Paints

Those spray paints that are constructed under the brand Krylon’s Indoor/Outdoor graffiti or Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2x, are oil-based. You can say that these paints are oil based in construction. This is because these companies are known for constructing oil-based spray paints and they only do that.

Water-Based Paints

On the other hand, if you are purchasing the paints from Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch, then I can assure you that these paints are water-based in construction. This tells you that if you want to purchase water-based paints, you can reliably select the paint from Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch. And if you want to get some oil-based paints, go with the selection of Krylon’s Indoor/Outdoor graffiti or Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2x.

Compatibility With Surface

To check whether the paint you are using is oil-based or water-based, you can perform the surface test simply. This involves checking the compatibility of the paint with the surface it is painted on. This is a reliable method because both types of paints, the water-based and the oil-based, act differently when painted on the same surface.

Simply apply a layer of paint on the surface whether it is wood, glass, cloth, or some piece of metal. If the paint is stuck to the surface tightly and is unable to be removed easily with your finger, then it is most probably oil-based paint. Alternatively, if you can easily wipe it, and it gets absorbed into the surface, without forming any layer on top of it, the paint is water-based.

Dried Paints Texture

When it’s time to check whether the paint is oil-based or water-based in composition, you can simply put your finger on the surface of the dried paint and check on its texture. Then look at your finger, if there is some oily residue then the paint you are testing is oil-based.

Alternatively, if the fingertip is dry and there is nothing on your finger, the texture of the paint is the dry texture. It is telling you that the paint you have used is water-based.

Difference In Safety Precautions

Water-based colors are not compatible with freezing; they cannot tackle the minus temperature. So there is this precaution always mentioned on water-based colors that do not freeze them and spray when the temperature is above 50 degrees. This tells you that the paint you are using is water-based in construction.


  • Water-based paints take time to dry.
  • They are comparatively lighter in weight than oil-based paints.
  • They are long-lasting and durable.
  • Water-based paints are not easy to remove.
  • Create a more fine and smooth look.
  • They are comparatively expensive.


  • They dry up quickly.
  • These paints are heavier than water-based paints.
  • They are not durable.
  • They can easily be removed.
  • Comparatively less smooth look.
  • Affordable and inexpensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which company constructs water-based paints?

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch is a company renowned for constructing water-based colors. If you’re searching for the best water-based paint, this company is the best choice to visit. Further, because it uses more solvents that’s why we can’t doubt the quality of the paint.

Does oil-based paint come in a spray can?

Those sprays that are constructed with the use of either acrylic or oil, have a higher shelf life and don’t expire easily. Further, it speeds up the drying process. What now has been noticed is that there is no more oil abundance in the construction of the spray paint colors, in the last few years. This is analyzed by comparing the oil amount of recent paints with the traditional ones.

Is spray painting water-based or oil-based?

It can be water-based and can be oil-based, depending upon the brand, chemicals, and company it belongs to. You can read the details mentioned above and can get to know whether the paint is oil-based or water-based with the help of the ways explained.

Final Thoughts

Both of these types of paints, oil-based and water-based have different characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Hopefully, you have understood all the specifications of both of these and can now select the best paint, according to your need.

I have enlisted some of the key features that help you depict whether the paint is oil-based or water-based. You can go through the description written above and can check the construction of the paint you are using easily and reliably.

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