Best Spray Paint

To help you choose the best spray paint for your home maintenance or art projects, we’ve tested dozens of top models, preferring paints that excel with a variety of materials, including wood, metal and plastic. We also liked paints that dried to the touch quickly, those that did not leave a foul odor after use and products with easy-to-use cans that boasted wide radiuses of contact.

The best product we tried was easily Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint, which is available in a wide variety of paint and primer options, including gloss and matte, and can be purchased in multipacks of six units. The paint is dry within 20 minutes, which is pretty fast, and one unit boasts 12 square feet of coverage. The oil-based formula does not leave much of an odor and helps to cover up imperfections in materials. Keep reading to learn more about the Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint and the other products on this list.

Top 7 Best Spray Paint Compared

 #1  Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely reliable oil-based product that dries to the touch in less than 20 minutes and leaves no foul odors in its wake, with the ability to be purchased in a variety of colors, finishes and multipacks of up to six units.

Pros
  • Very fast drying
  • Not much of an odor
  • Available in many colors, finishes and multipacks
Cons
  • Do not inhale fumes or ingest paint
  • Some other products on list boast more color options
  • Does not work well with some types of vinyl

This Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint is a high quality oil-based formulation that is easily applied via an intuitive spray tip and dries to the touch within 20 minutes. It doesn’t leave much of an odor, covers 12 square feet with one can and is available in a wide variety of colors and finishes. It is also available in multipacks of up to six units, which we liked. We found the colors it produced to be rich, warm and smooth.

Though this product shined with nearly every surface we threw at it, including ceramic and wood, we did run into some trouble while trying to paint vinyl furniture. Additionally, this is an oil-based formulation, so it is fairly toxic until dried. Prepare accordingly and wear gloves. When working with wood, it is not always necessary to paint, sometimes you can just use the best wood polish. Hit it with the best duster now and then and it will look great.

 #2  Krylon ColorMaster Spray Paint – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Product dries in just 15 minutes and comes in an extra-large can that boasts 15 ounces of paint, as opposed to 12 ounces, and is available in dozens of color options, in addition to a variety of finish options.

Pros
  • Works on wood & metal
  • Dries in 15 minutes
  • Dozens of colors
Cons
  • Stronger odor than top pick
  • Not safe to inhale fumes or come into serious contact with until dry
  • Not safe to inhale fumes or come into serious contact with until dry

This Krylon ColorMaster Spray Paint comes in an extra-large canister that boasts 15 full ounces of product, as opposed to the industry standard of 12 ounces. It dries to the touch in around 15 minutes, which is slightly shorter than our top pick, and is available in dozens of colors, which should suit the needs of most consumers. We found that it excelled with a high variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, wicker, plastic, glass and even fabric.

Though this is by no means a difficult-to-use product, we did find that the spray tip applicator was not as adjustable as our top pick, which could become frustrating while painting at awkward angles. Also, this product leaves a slightly stronger odor in its wake than our top pick, though it is by no means a deal breaker. You should always some paint on hand for projects, just like you have the best all purpose cleaner.

 #3  Rust-Oleum American Accents Spray Paint – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: Comes in a handy six pack, which is perfect for the budget-conscious consumer, and can be applied to just about any surface.

Pros
  • Paint + primer
  • Extremely vivid finish
  • Great with plastic
Cons
  • Does not do well with cold temperatures
  • Not for outdoor use
  • Toxic until dry

This Rust-Oleum PK American Accents Spray Paint is a high quality product by one of the market leaders, offering similar functionality to our top pick, including a quick dry (20 minutes) and lack of any noticeable odor post-use. We also liked that it comes in a budget-conscious six pack, with one can boasting 12 square feet of coverage. It also bonds to plastic, making it an ideal choice for plastic-centric paint jobs.

Though this product does excel with a variety of surfaces, especially plastic, we found that it does not do well with cold temperatures, anything lower than 60 degrees, and is not suitable for outdoor use. Additionally, this is an oil-based formulation, so keep it away from the eyes and try not to inhale it. You can use the best cleaning cloths when prepping your surface.

 #4  Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Spray Paint – Best Metallic

WHY WE LIKE IT: High quality paint that leaves a gorgeous metallic finish that excels on nearly any surface and features a formulation that can stand up to extreme weather conditions, rating it for outdoor use.

Pros
  • Prevents rust
  • Excels on nearly any surface
  • Odor is not overwhelming
Cons
  • Slightly smaller can than standard
  • Applicator does not work as well as some other picks
  • Dries in 30 minutes

This Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Spray Paint boasts a gorgeous metallic finish that really makes it pop on a wide variety of materials. On that note, it excelled with nearly every surface we tried it with, including fiberglass, concrete and metal. We also liked that it doesn’t leave too much of an odor after you paint and that the formulation stands up well to extreme weather conditions, making this great for mailboxes and the like.

The applicator here is different than other Rust-Oleum products and we found it to be slightly less efficient. Additionally, this product takes 30 minutes to dry to the touch, which is longer than the 15 and 20 minutes found in our top picks. That’s longer than the best floor cleaner.

 #5  Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint – Fastest Drying Product

WHY WE LIKE IT: Innovative formulation that dries to the touch in ten minutes or less, the fastest on this list, with availability in dozens of colors and finish options and can be used outdoors, thanks to the addition of rust-resistant materials.

Pros
  • Anti-rust formulation
  • Many colors and finish options
  • Shines with variety of surfaces, including paper mache
Cons
  • Semi-strong odor upon contact
  • Applicator can be hard to control
  • Toxic until dry

This Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint dries to the touch in ten minutes or less, which is the fastest formulation to be found on this list. It is available in dozens of color options, along with a suitable number of finish options, and boasts anti-rust materials, making it perfect for outdoor use, such as when painting the exterior of a garage or mailbox, among other uses.

Though this is a high quality paint that creates warm and natural colors, it does leave a semi-strong odor in its wake. Additionally, the big button applicator can be somewhat difficult to control while looking to perform minute adjustments. It’s a good paint to keep with your other household supplies like the best mop.

 #6  Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Paint and Primer – Best Paint and Primer in One

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantastic paint and primer combo product that is available in plenty of colors and finish options, with the ability to resist rust, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

Pros
  • Prevents rust
  • Plenty of color and finish options
  • Odor is not overwhelming
Cons
  • Slightly smaller can than standard
  • Applicator does not work as well as some other picks
  • Dries in 30 minutes (10 minutes slower than some)

This Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Paint and Primer is a great combo product that delivers on its promise to easily deliver both paint and primer in one can. The formulation produces some beautiful end results and is available in a wide variety of colors and finish options, in addition to boasting rust resistant materials that make it excel equally both indoors and outdoors. Plus, the odor is barely noticeable, which is always nice.

This is an 11 ounce can, however, which is slightly smaller than the 12 ounces typically found in comparable products. Additionally, it takes 30 minutes to dry to the touch, which is longer than the 15 or 20 minutes found in our top picks. Good paint is one of the best tools you can have.

 #7  Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Spray Paint – Best for Small Interior Pieces

WHY WE LIKE IT: Formulation that contains actual metal flakes, which makes it perfect for providing a unique accent to small interior pieces, such as vases, picture frames and small items of furniture.

Pros
  • Actual metal flakes for brightest shine
  • One can covers up to 12 square feet
  • Not much of a smell after use
Cons
  • Not for outdoor use
  • Extremely unsafe to inhale
  • Slightly smaller can than average

This Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Spray Paint is perfect for providing a bit of flair to small interior pieces, such as picture frames and candle holders, thanks to it being formulated with actual metal flakes which differ depending on which color option you go with. If you are looking to cover an entire wall, one canister will get you 12 square feet of coverage, which is in line with our top pick. Also, it doesn’t leave much of an oder post-use.

Thanks to the unique formulation on offer, this product cannot stand up to extreme weather conditions and is not recommended for outdoor use. Additionally, this can holds 11 ounces of product, as opposed to the 12 ounces found in our top pick. Always pick the best paint for the job, just as you would pick the best laundry detergent for your clothes.

How We Decided

To narrow down to the above list, we focused primarily on spray paints that truly excelled with delivering bold and vivid colors to a number of applicable surfaces. To that end, all of the above products excel with wood, plastic and metal, with many being highly usable with ceramic, concrete, fiberglass and other surface materials.

We also liked products that were available in dozens of color options, suiting nearly aesthetic, and a wide variety of finish options, including gloss and matte, among others. We also liked paint and primer combos, which allow consumers to stick the priming step and get right to painting.

We tended to prefer products that didn’t leave a strong residual odor and those that dried to the touch rather quickly, as little as ten minutes and as long as 30 minutes. Finally, we chose some truly unique formulations that offer rust resistance, to manage outdoor use, and metal flakes for aesthetic flourish, among other options.

Spray Paint Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Finish Options
    Spray paint, like most paints, come in a variety of finish options. These include gloss, which give the paint a smooth and shiny appearance, and matte, which is better at covering up imperfections on the surface. There is also satin, which tends to reflect more light than other options, and flat, which is low on bells and whistles but can cost less and provide more coverage. Additionally, there are paint and primer combos, which allow you to essentially skip the priming step.
  2. Applicator
    Look for an applicator that is easy-to-use and manages to easily cover a wide surface area while also retaining some measure of adjustment capabilities for performing the finishing touches of a paint job, which include corners and the like. Some spray paints boast big button designs, which are great for maximizing surface coverage but not so great at the little details, while others come with applicators that do not emit much paint at once, making them perfect for detail-oriented jobs.
  3. Odor and Toxicity
    Most spray paints are toxic on some level, thanks to their oil-based formulation. These paints only remain toxic until they are dried, however, so quick-drying products may be a favorable option. While they are drying, just do your best to avoid breathing in fumes and try to wear gloves whenever possible. On the odor front, many of these products do leave a residual smell after use, though the duration and intensity varies considerably from product to product.

Spray Paint FAQs

Can you use spray paint over spray paint?

Yes, if your spray paints are acrylic, and your overpaint is either acrylic or oil based, you can layer the paint. If your spray paint is oil based, you can only use another oil paint.

Is it OK to use spray paint on a car?

Sure, though you may want to use an older model vehicle. Clean and sand the surface of the car to create a smooth base on which to apply the primer and then go to town. This can be an inexpensive way to paint a car.

Can these spray paints be used to make graffiti art?

All of the above products would be appropriate to make graffiti art if you have a safe and legal area in which to produce said art.

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Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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