Is Spray Paint Waterproof? – Detailed Guide

Spray painting has a wide indoor and outdoor application since it is handier than the regular roller painting and brush painting methods. Also, spray paint gives a superior finish with little effort. However, before buying and spray paint for your project it’s crucial to ensure if it is waterproof or not. A few years back it was hard to find fully waterproof spray paint.

But today you can find a wide range of spray paints designed for various indoor and outdoor applications. Advanced spray paints use special additives for improved water resistance. The water resistance of the spray paint depends upon the application method and the type of surface on which they are applied. If you wonder is spray paint waterproof? Here is everything that you need to know about it.

Is Spray Paint Waterproof?

Is Spray Paint Waterproof

All spray paints are not waterproof. Special purpose spray paints are designed for commercial grade applications like automotive and antique pieces are waterproof. Regular spray paints and water-based paints are usually not waterproof.

However, there are different types of additives and coating that can make the spray paint water resistant or in some cases waterproof. Multiple paint spray formulas are available in the market and each of them reacts to water differently.

Here is everything that you need to know about the different types of spray paints and their ability to resist water.

Types Of Spray Paints

Types Of Spray Paint

1. Chalkboard Spray Paint

Chalkboard spray paints are widely used on various surfaces like metal, wood, cement, and polymers. The main components of chalkboard spray paint are silica, easters, and opacifiers. Chalkboard spray paint is not waterproof. Also, it doesn’t resist the water very well. The chalkboard can absorb the water and long-term contact can make them completely washable.

Therefore it is not advised to use chalkboard spray paints on outdoor surfaces that are highly prone to water damage. However, Chalkboard paint can be used for various outdoor applications by using different waterproof sealants like lacquers. Objects painted with chalkboard paint should not be scrubbed and washed with hot water.

2. Enamel Spray Paint

Enamel spray paint can be oil-based or water-based. Water-based enamels are new to the market and they are also called acrylic enamels. Water-based enamels are not waterproof and they are ideal for indoor projects. Oil-based enamel is widely used for its ability to cure perfectly with wood and cardboard.

Acrylic enamels contain water-resistant components that make them supper glossy in the final finish. Oil-based enamel spray paint can resist water and all other tough weather conditions. Since enamel spray paints are highly water resistant you can easily make them waterproof by adding a thin sealant layer.

3. Acrylic Spray Paints

Acrylic spray paints are not waterproof. However, some paints contain additives like epoxies and varnishes for enhanced water resistance. Acrylic paints have wide application in car painting and outdoor painting projects.

For outdoor applications, you need to make them waterproof by applying a premium quality sealant or epoxy. Once the sealant layer is washed away the paint layer starts absorbing water and peels off more quickly.

4. Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paint is a type of spray paint that is completely waterproof. These paints offer a glossy finish when cured. This finish can repel water with maximum efficiency. Oil-based spray paint can resist rainwater for a long time. These paints are widely used in outdoor metal painting applications.

On the porous surfaces, they need multiple coats to form a durable and long-lasting finish. Since these paints are completely waterproof they can slow down the rusting of the metal grills and gates.

5. Lacquer Spray Paints

Lacquer Spray Paints are formula paints known for their incredible ability to resist water damage. Liquor is added to the regular spray paints in a fixed proportion to make them fully waterproof. Lacquer is a sealant and after applying lacquer paint, there is no need to apply a sealant coat.

Lacquer paints come in thin consistency and you cannot apply them on porous materials. Also, lacquer paints are pretty expensive, limiting their application to small antique objects.

6. Epoxy Spray Paint

Epoxy spray paint contains epoxy resins making them highly resistant to water. These paints are also known as automotive spray paint. Epoxy paints are 2-in-1 paints and you don’t need to prime the surface before applying epoxy spray paints.

Epoxy spray paints are highly resistant to water and chemicals. Automotive parts are painted with epoxy paints to make them waterproof, resistant to chemicals, and corrosion proof. Also, these waterproof spray paints are widely used to preserve antique ornaments and vintage furniture.

7. High Heat Spray Paints

High heat spray paints are used for appliances like stoves and ovens. These paints are the most expensive type of spray paint. High heat spray paints are waterproof and can resist temperatures as high as 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Waterproof Spray Paints

1. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

This is one of the most versatile and dependable spray paints that you can buy. This waterproof spray paint works equally great on a wide range of surfaces like plastic wood and metal. This is an oil-based spray paint that comes in thin consistency and offers an ultra-smooth coating with a glossy finish. The paint is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

2. Krylon Outdoor Decor Spray Paint

Krylon Outdoor Spray paint is an outdoor spray paint that comes with a premixed sealant. This paint is available in a wide range of colors. The paint offers compatibility with multiple surfaces like wood, plastic, metal, cement, and many more. Its ability to resist water and moisture makes it the best outdoor spray paint.

What Makes A Spray Paint Waterproof?

Spray paints come with a wide range of components making them water-resistant or waterproof in some cases. Water-based acrylic paints used in car painting are highly elastic. Elasticity in the structure helps them fight well against water. Depending upon the temperature condition it contracts or expands. This property of the paint reduces its ability to retain water for a long time.

Latex paint is also stretchable and the elastic components allow them to release moisture without splitting the surface. The elasticity in the latex paint allows them to release moisture quickly. Special additives like epoxies and lacquers can make paint waterproof. These waterproofing agents are added to the paint to enhance its ability to resist water.

How To Tell If The Spray Paint Is Waterproof?

Outdoor spray paints are usually waterproof. However, some water-resistant spray paints are also advertised as outdoor paints. It can be deceiving and therefore you must read the product label carefully to see if the paint is actually waterproof or not. A product label contains all the information about a paint.

How To Apply A Waterproof Spray Pinay?

Water-repelling ability of the paint largely depends upon how well they are applied. Whether you are applying paint on metal, cement, or wood you need to follow some basic guidelines to get a long-lasting waterproof finish.

Applying Waterproof Spray Paint Preparation

Before you apply spray paint it’s crucial to ensure that the surface is clean and smooth. Dust, debris, or moisture has a negative impact on the adhesion properties of the paint. Weak bonding between the paint and surface makes the paint finish highly prone to water damage and can be easily washed away with a little moisture.

Whether you apply paint on a wooden surface or metallic surface make sure it’s clean. You can use water or any chemical like alcohol to clean the surface. If the surface is uneven, use a sander to make it even and smooth. Some surfaces require more sanding than others. After the cleaning process, wait until the surface is completely dry. Never spray paint on a moist or damp surface.

Priming Water Proof Paint

Priming is one of the most crucial parts of spray paint. Whether you are using oil-based paint or latex paint you need to prime the surface to get a smooth and even finish. Primer improves the adhesion properties of the surface and helps paint stick well to the surface.

A primer covers all the small imperfections in the surface and blocks all the gateways through which the moisture can travel underneath the paint layer. You need to buy a primer that is fully compatible with the type of paint that you are using in your project. Apply a thin and even coat of the primer to the surface you want to paint.

Before you apply the primer make sure the surface is clean and dry. Water-based primers dry quickly. At room temperature and normal humidity, a latex primer can cure in 90-120 minutes. In a humid environment, it may take as long as 3 hours to get fully dried. Oil-based primers need at least 12 hours to get fully cured.


Application of the paint is a crucial step. You need to maintain the paint consistency and viscosity as per the manufacturer’s guidelines or the project requirements. You may need to apply several coats to get a durable and long-lasting finish. Dry time in between the layers is a crucial factor that can affect the water repelling properties of the final finish.

Water-based paint takes 3 to 4 hours to get fully cured. Oil-based paints can take as long as 24 hours to get fully cured. To make the paint water resistant, you should never apply a second coat until the first coat is fully cured. Also, you should avoid over-painting the surface. A thick layer can lead to weak bonding between the paint and surface. In this way, paint becomes more prone to water damage.

Sealing The Spray Paint

Since most spray paints are not waterproof you need to add a sealant coat to make them waterproof. Sealant offers a clear coat on the paint finish making it highly resistant to moisture, heat, and UV. A top coat can maintain the original color and sheen of the paint for a long time.

Also, it slows down the weathering process. A sealing coat is crucial for outdoor painting projects. You need to buy a sealing product that fully complements the paint you’re using. The binding element in the sealant also needs some time to get fully cured. Allow the sealant to fully cure before exposing the surface to the water.

Best Sealants For Spray Paints

Best Sealants For Spray Paints

Aleene’s 26412 Spray Gloss Finish

It is one of the best-selling and top-rated acrylic spray paint sealers. This acrylic sealer offers a super glossy protective finish for both indoor and outdoor projects. This sealant doesn’t make the paint finish completely waterproof but can resist the water for a very long time.

Rust-Oleum 1906830 Lacquer Spray

Rust-Oleum Lacquer spray is one of the best sealants that you can buy for enamel paints. It offers a waterproof clear coat on the enamel spray. It works best with wood and polymer allowing you to get a durable finish on the furniture.

NeverWet By Rust Oleum

NeverWet by RustOleum is one of the most reliable all-around waterproofing agents that you can buy in 2022. It is equally suitable for all types of spray paints and materials. This spray offers a waterproof coating that can resist heavy rains and water splashes. NeverWet is available in both matte and glossy finishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does spray paint come off in the water?

Spray paint comes off in water if it is not fully cured. Also, some spray paints like chalkboard paint and latex spray paint can absorb water and come off when exposed to running water for a long time. However, waterproof spray paints do not come off in the water.

Is acrylic spray paint waterproof?

Acrylic spray paints are not waterproof. These paints can absorb moisture and can be washed if exposed to the moisture. You need to apply a waterproof coating as a sealant to make them fully waterproof.

How do you make spray paint permanent?

You can make spray paint permanent by applying a waterproof sealant coat. It can be a clear acrylic sealant, lacquer sealant coat, or epoxy resin. Also, you need to prime the surface before spray paint application to make the paint finish long-lasting and durable.

Is spray paint permanent on metal?

Acrylic spray paint with a clear sealant offers a permanent finish on metal and has a wide application in car painting. Epoxy spray paint and lacquer spray paint come with pre-mixed waterproofing agents and offer a permanent waterproof coating on the metal. However, water-based acrylic and latex paints are not permanent on metal.

Do I need a primer for spray paint?

Primer is not needed in all spray paint applications. However, to get a smooth finish and strengthen the bonding force between the paint and surface it is highly recommended to prime the surface before spray painting.

Does spray paint need a top coat?

If you are using spray paint that is not waterproof or moisture-resistant it is advised to apply a top coat. A top coat enhances the water repellency and protects from UV and heat damage. For waterproof spray paint like epoxy paint and oil-based paints, you do not need a top coat.

Wrapping Up Waterproof Spray Paint Guide

From the above discussion, we can safely conclude that a wide range of waterproof spray paints is available. However, waterproof spray paints are pretty much expensive and you can’t buy them for regular painting projects.

The good news is that you can make the spray paints waterproof by adopting the right approach and adding a waterproof coating on top. Waterproof sealants are not that much expensive and help you get a waterproof spray paint finish within a limited budget.

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