One of the main reasons for using spray paint is its convenience. These aerosols provide a quick and easy way to apply the paint and achieve the desired coverage even without prior painting experience.

But if you are working on a project exposed to weather elements, you will want to use paint that can withstand the elements. So, is spray paint waterproof? Can it withstand rapid temperature changes and prolonged exposure to moist conditions?

Read along to learn about the various types of spray paint and how and where to use them for the best results. The article also reviews the five best spray paints to choose from.

Is Spray Paint Waterproof? 

Some types of spray paint are waterproof, while others are not. Most spray paint you are likely to find on the market is water-repellent but not waterproof. However, unlike ordinary spray paints, exterior spray paint is often formulated to be waterproof. 

Even with the waterproof outdoor spray paints, ensure you properly prep the surface and seal it to enjoy the full waterproofing qualities of your chosen paint. 

What Makes Spray Paint Waterproof?  

Waterproof spray paints have specific water-repelling ingredients added to their formulas in the correct ratios to make them waterproof.  

Different paint types will have varying levels of water repellency based on the amount and type of water-repelling ingredients in their formulations.

These ingredients influence the physical properties of the respective paints and, ultimately, their response to water. 

In any case, coating a painted surface with a sealer such as polyurethane or varnish can always make the paint more waterproof.

Often, just a single coat of the sealer is enough to waterproof the surface, but you can add more depending on the level of protection you want for your project. 

How to Tell if Spray Paint is Waterproof

To determine if spray paint is waterproof,  check the container for that information. Spray paint manufacturers typically indicate if their products are waterproof or simply water-resistant. 

Paints that are not waterproof will not have that information specified on the label. Once you find it missing, you should know that the product is anything but waterproof. 

As such, you should not apply such spray paint on projects bound to be in contact with moisture for prolonged periods. 

Do You Need a Primer for Spray Paint?

Not all spray paint projects will require a primer, but we recommend always using one. The primer goes a long way in ensuring the paint sticks better to the substrate and remains durable. Priming also makes the paint last longer by keeping moisture and water from breaking and damaging the paint in the long run.

Read also: Can you put shellac over paint?

How to Prepare the Surface for Waterproof Spray Paint  

The quality of preparation you give a surface can significantly influence the outcome and how durable the paintwork will be. Good prep work is essential and will create a smooth surface that ensures a smooth finish.

Tools and materials

  • Sandpaper
  • Random orbital sander or sanding block
  • Dishwashing soap or laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Cleaning sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tack cloth (optional)
  • Clean rag
  • Primer

Steps to follow

Thorough surface preparation should not be difficult if you know what to do step-by-step. Here is some heads-up.

Step 1: Clean the surface

You can use mere soapy water for the cleaning. You should have some dishwashing soap or laundry detergent lying around. Add this into a bucket of water and mix well. Dunk a cleaning sponge into the soapy solution and rub the surface with it.

If the item has stubborn stains, use paint thinner or rubbing alcohol to cut through the grease. After removing the dirt, rinse the surface with clean water and leave it to air dry.

Step 2: Sand it

Once the object is completely dry, use fine-grit sandpaper for sanding it into a smooth, even surface. Again, you want to keep a light hand, so you do not dig into the surface, but just scuff it up and smoothen it enough to match your desired finish.

Step 3: Wipe it

Depending on which object you are working on, you can use a tack cloth or clean rag to wipe away the sanding dust and debris.

Step 4: Apply a primer 

Choose a primer that is compatible with your selected paint. You can always ask your paint supplier for recommendations. Once you have the product, follow the instructions on the label t apply it to your project. 

How to Apply Waterproof Spray Paint

After finishing the surface preparation, your item is ready for painting. You only need to let the primer dry completely before following through with the waterproof paint. 

Tools and materials to assemble 

The procedure to follow 

Step 1: Prepare the workstation 

Start by moving anything that the paint might affect out of the way. Then, cover everything else with plastic sheeting or drop cloth to avoid getting paint on it inadvertently. This includes the floor under your project. 

Step 2: Protect yourself 

Most waterproof paints may have a strong odor or high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Inhaling such substances may affect your health, so ensure you wear a protective face mask or respirator to protect your lungs.  The best remedy for accidentally inhaling spray paint fumes is to move to a well-ventilated area and seek fresh air immediately.


Step 3: Apply a painter’s tape if necessary

If there are adjoining sections that you do not wish to cover with the paint, apply a painter’s tape to mark the edges for a clean, professional-looking paint job. Unless you’re unlucky and the paint leaks on unwanted surfaces, remove spray paint from the wood surface before it dries up.

Step 4: Spray it up

Finally, apply the paint by spraying it evenly, ensuring you cover every inch of the surface that you want to be covered in paint. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying time and recoat two or three times.

The levels of coverage will vary from one paint formulation to the other, so you may apply more coats with low-coverage brands than with high-coverage types. 

In any case, ensure you keep each coat thin and even to achieve faster drying times and avoid undesirable layering. Thining rustoleum with mineral spirits, for instance, can be an effective method for achieving the right consistency, but it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the recommended thinning agents and ratios.

It is essential to let every coat of paint dry completely before recoating, as this will directly affect the final outcome. 

More importantly, ensure you do not leave any spots uncovered in the paint as they may let in water, leading to unwanted moisture damage. 

So long as you follow the application instructions correctly, you should achieve a perfect finish. 

Do You Need to Seal Spray Paint?

Sealing is not always required with all paint types, but we recommend it. Applying a clear, hard-wearing top coat on your painted surface can help preserve the paint color and make the coat more durable. 

The sealer adds an extra layer of protection to the painted surface, making it more waterproof even if the paint is not sufficiently water-resistant on its own. 

Leaving your paint job without a sealer can reduce its service life by exposing it to scratching and denting, eventually giving way to water and moisture damage. 

How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry?  

Spray paint can often dry to the touch within 30 minutes of application but takes about 24 hours to finish drying. It is essential to wait for at least 24 hours before putting the painted item to use.

This measure will help ensure the paint holds up well against moisture and water. You can expect any spray paint to dry sooner if you apply thin coats or run a space heater, fan, or dehumidifier to accelerate the drying process.

Does Spray Paint Come Off in Water?

Yes, most spray paints will come off in water if they are still wet. This explains why planning your paintwork in dry weather, away from rainfall, is essential.

However, the paint coat becomes resistant to water as soon as its binding agents have fused together to form a solid coat. 

You can always tell when the paint is ready to resist water by how it feels dry to the touch. Both water-based and oil-based paints need to dry completely before being exposed to rain or moisture. 

Related Post: Does spray paint come off skin?

Is Waterproofing Spray Paint for Wood Toxic?

Most waterproof spray paint brands are considerably toxic due to a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their formulas. Such products with significantly high VOC levels emit gases that can affect your health when inhaled. 

While the levels of toxic chemicals vary from one exterior spray paint brand to another, exterior grade paints are likely to contain higher levels of such chemicals than interior grade options, making them potentially toxic.  

So it is recommended to wear protective gear when handling such products to avoid inhaling them or letting them come in contact with your skin. 

The Best Waterproof Spray Paints

1. Best all-weather spray paint – Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

Rust-Oleum 334090 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray...
  • Ideal for use on interior/exterior surfaces including wood, plastic, plaster, metal, masonry and unglazed ceramic
  • Oil-based formula is low odor, resist chips and provides long-lasting protection
  • Dries to touch in 20 minutes and covers up to 12 sq. ft. per can

If you are looking for the most versatile waterproof spray paint, Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch is by far the best spray paint to use on wood.

It is specially formulated for interior and exterior applications and works across multiple surfaces, including wood, plastic, unglazed ceramic, metal, and masonry. 

The paint is extremely durable and dries to the touch in just 20 minutes, which is pretty fast for an oil-based product. Despite being oil-based, this Rust-Oleum product is a low odor, so people with smell sensitivities can use it. 

Once you apply it to a surface, you can expect it to hold well against various weather conditions without chipping or peeling in the long run.

2. Best waterproof outdoor spray paint – Krylon Outdoor Decor Spray Paint

Krylon Outdoor Décor Spray Paint, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1),...
317 Reviews
Krylon Outdoor Décor Spray Paint, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1),...
  • Rain ready in 1 hour
  • Spray any way tip
  • Fade, crack and peel resistant

This outdoor spray paint is another masterpiece from the renowned Krylon brand. The paint comes in a range of exciting colors, so you can never go wrong with this choice.

In addition, its superior waterproofing qualities mean your project will be safe outdoors for many years. We love how quickly this paint dries and cures.

With only one hour of curing time, you can apply this paint to your project on a day when rain has been forecast and still get away with a perfectly and safely finished project.  

Additionally, the paint coat has excellent resistance to peeling, cracking, and fading. So you can rest assured that it will remain sound for a long time. 

3. Best white waterproof spray paint – Rust-Oleum Professional Enamel Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 7590838 Professional High Performance Enamel...
  • Ideal for use on ferrous, non-ferrous metal, wood, concrete, masonry and other such surfaces to provide rust protection and a tough attractive finish that withstands weathering
  • High quality, durable oil-based formula maintains consistent, corrosion-resistant color despite the elements
  • Covers up to 14 sq ft, dries to touch in 15 minutes and recoats within an hour for quick project completion

If you want to go white with your waterproof paint job, there is no better way to do it than with Rust-Oleum Professional High-Performance Enamel Spray Paint.

This professional-grade paint checks all the right boxes and is versatile enough to work with wood, metal, masonry, concrete, and several other surfaces to make them weatherproof and rust-proof. 

The paint is made of high-quality oil-based ingredients, making it durable and resilient against weather elements. 

Despite its oil-based formula, this paint dries to the touch in just 15 minutes. This paint takes only one hour to be ready for recoating, guaranteeing quick completion of your projects. 

4. Best black waterproof paint – Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Krylon K02702007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for...
  • ALL-IN-ONE SPRAY PAINT – Krylon black spray paint delivers best in class adhesion, durability and rust protection. This all purpose spray paint bonds to difficult surfaces without sanding or priming, including plastic, wood, metal, PVC, tile and more.
  • INDOOR/OUTDOOR SPRAY PAINT - Whether your project is inside or out, this gloss black spray paint offers maximum rust protection. Color changes everything – from DIY projects to giving metal furniture a quick refresh.
  • GLOSS BLACK COLOR – Black gloss spray paint offers a modern, sleek finish to any project. Black is a classic color spray paint that should be kept on hand with DIY supplies and in a craft or tool kit.

Krylon’s all-in-one spray paint is formulated to deliver the best rust protection, durability, and adhesion of any paint in its class. 

It bonds easily to various surfaces, including wood, plastic, metal, tile, PVC, and more, without sanding or a primer. 

You can use it on outdoor and indoor projects to give them a glossy, black finish that looks sleek and contemporary. 

If you are pressed for time, this product can help you complete your project quickly with its fast-drying quality. The all-in-one spray primer and the paint dries to the touch in well under 20 minutes and are ready for recoating in an hour.

5. Best waterproof clear spray paint – Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray Paint

Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint Crystal Clear in...
25,298 Reviews
Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint Crystal Clear in...
  • Moisture-resistant and smudge-proof.
  • Improves artwork and photo contrast.
  • Dries to the touch in 10 to 15 minutes. Dry to handle in 2 hours.

For a piece of wood that you love its natural color, there could be no better way to preserve the look than with this crystal clear acrylic spray paint from Krylon. 

The paint is high-coverage and offers superior protection against water damage. Thanks to its superior versatility, you can use it on indoor and outdoor projects to protect your wood, paper, glass, metal, ceramic, plaster, plastic, and dry silk flowers. 

The paint creates a smudge-proof coat that resists peeling and cracking. Even better, it dries in just 10 to 15 minutes, the fastest drying time on our shortlist.

Types of Waterproof Paints

Applying waterproof paint is a great way to protect your home against water damage. It is important to know what kind of paint can you use on wood to ensure long-term durability and enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

Here are the various paint types you can use. 

Masonry Paint

This type of paint is formulated specifically to adhere to concrete, brick, and other materials in homes. 

Masonry paint typically contains latex and ceramic materials for waterproofing. While they do not absorb water or moisture, they clean easily with soap and water and boast superior resistance to molds and mildew. 

Acrolein Elasticized Paint

This kind of paint is often exclusively used to create waterproof coats on concrete surfaces. The paint is made of ingredients that inhibit mold and fungal growth, protecting these concrete surfaces from moisture problems and discoloration.  

Perhaps the only limitation of Acrolein elasticized paint is its high toxicity levels. Inhaling the fumes from this paint can lead to respiratory tract irritation and breathing complications.

The paint can also irritate the skin if it comes into contact, so it requires the careful use of personal protection when handling it. 

Epoxy Paint

Epoxy paint is a durable composite paint type mostly preferred for garage floors and basements due to its excellent durability.

The paint is highly resistant to water and moisture damage, thanks to the polymers and adhesives in its formula. It sets quickly to form a hard-wearing surface, making it ideal for places that experience a lot of physical impacts. 

Epoxy paint is also advantageous due to its adherence to various surfaces, including metal, stone, wood, and concrete. 

Automotive paint 

As the name suggests, automotive spray paint is formulated for use on vehicles. The paint adheres perfectly to the primed body of the vehicle, including the metal, fiberglass, grill, and plastic surfaces. 

General-purpose paint 

These paints are designed to adhere to many different surfaces such as wood, plastic, and metal. They are highly versatile and come in plenty of colors to choose from for exterior and interior applications. 

Rust-prevention spray paint 

Rust-prevention paints are formulated to protect metal surfaces from rusting. They create waterproof coats that act as barriers against rust-causing moisture and oxidization. Such paints are typically used on outdoor projects.

All surface

As the name implies, all-surface paint types adhere to various surfaces and work well in outdoor and indoor environments. You can use all-surface paints for residential and commercial projects. 

Enamel paints 

Enamel is a type of waterproof paint commonly used by professional painters to create lustrous finishes. They are highly resilient and can endure extremely high temperatures without peeling or cracking.

This kind of paint also dries quickly, so it can speed up your project. 

Can You Spray Paint in the Rain?

No. Spray painting in the rain is impossible, even with the most waterproof paint brands. The product needs to set and solidify to form a waterproof layer.

However, applying it in the rain means the rainwater will wash it away before its molecules bond and form a protective coat. 

How Long Does Spray Paint Last Outside?

Spray paint generally lasts three to four years outside. The paint job is likely to last longer (about four years) outside if it is applied on a well-sanded and primed surface, with a sealer applied over the paint. 


What happens if spray paint gets wet?

Unless the paint is waterproof and has completely cured, water will cause leaching out of some of the elements in the wet paint. This is likely to create brown streaks on the painted surface. However, the effect will be negligible or unnoticeable if the paint is waterproof and has cured.

Is Rustoleum spray paint waterproof

Yes. Rust-oleum spray paint is among the few spray paints that qualify as waterproof. It dries to form a tough protective coat barring water and other liquids from penetrating the substrate and wreaking havoc.

Related Post: Can Rustoleum Paint Be Used on Wood

Is Krylon spray paint waterproof

Yes, Krylon Outdoor Decor Spray Paint is waterproof and is available in various vibrant colors. It is a fast-drying paint that takes only one hour to cure fully and form a strong paint film resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling. 

What is the best water-resistant spray paint for metal?

The best water-resistant spray paint for metal is Rustoleum protective enamel pint. It is specially designed to resist oxidation and form a waterproof barrier around the metal, keeping it safe from rust. 

Is clear coat waterproof

Yes. Clear topcoats are designed to provide a waterproof, protective film over finished and unfinished surfaces of metal, wood, concrete, plastic, and more. They are typically hard-wearing and resistant to scratching, chemicals and moisture. 

What is the best waterproof spray paint for plastic?

Krylon Spray paint is the best waterproof spray paint for plastic. It is specially designed to quickly adhere plastic and color it while also protecting it against water, chemicals, and physical impact that could damage it. 

Is Spray Paint Waterproof: Final Thoughts

So, is spray paint waterproof? When working with spray paints, you will find that most exterior-grade spray paints are waterproof. However, the degree of water resistance differs from one paint brand to another.

Purchasing outdoor spray paint that is most suitable for your project and prepping the surface can lead to long-lasting results.

We hope this tutorial was helpful. Share your thoughts with us in the comments. 

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