Can You Successfully Brush Paint Over Spray Paint? Discover How!

Bob Thomas


Have you ever wondered if you can brush paint over spray paint?

The good news is, yes, you can!

However, the process requires some extra care and attention to detail. In this article, we'll explore the factors to consider and guide you through the step-by-step process of brush painting over spray paint, ensuring a smooth and professional-looking result.

Quick Summary

Learn whether you can brush paint over spray paint, the factors to consider, and the step-by-step process to achieve a professional-looking result.

Factors to Consider When Brush Painting Over Spray Paint

  1. Paint compatibility: Make sure the brush paint and spray paint are compatible. Generally, it's safe to apply water-based paints over oil-based paints, but not the other way around.
  2. Surface preparation: Properly preparing the surface is crucial to achieving a smooth and durable finish.
  3. Type of brush: Use a high-quality brush that's suitable for the type of paint you're using.

Step-by-Step Process for Brush Painting Over Spray Paint

  1. Clean the surface: Remove any dirt, dust, or grease from the surface with a mild detergent and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.
  2. Sand the surface: Lightly sand the spray-painted surface with fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit or higher) to create a slightly rough texture. This helps the brush paint adhere better.
  3. Remove sanding dust: Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust.
  4. Apply primer (optional): If you're painting over a dark or glossy spray paint, applying a primer can help improve paint adhesion and coverage. Choose a primer that's compatible with your brush paint.
  5. Stir the brush paint: Stir the brush paint well to ensure even consistency and color.
  6. Load the brush: Dip the brush into the paint, and then tap off the excess on the side of the paint container. This helps prevent drips and runs.
  7. Apply the first coat: Using smooth, even strokes, apply the first coat of brush paint. Work in small sections, and always maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.
  8. Allow the paint to dry: Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended drying time.
  9. Sand between coats (optional): For a smoother finish, lightly sand the surface between coats using fine-grit sandpaper.
  10. Apply additional coats: Repeat steps 6-9 until you achieve the desired coverage and finish.
  11. Clean up: Clean your brushes and tools with the appropriate solvent, and dispose of any waste materials according to local regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Is it necessary to sand the spray-painted surface before brush painting over it?

  A: Yes, it is essential to sand the surface lightly before brush painting over spray paint. This helps create a rough texture that allows the brush paint to adhere properly to the surface.

Q. Can I brush paint over any type of spray paint?

  A: It is generally possible to brush paint over most types of spray paint.

However, it's important to ensure compatibility between the two paints.

Always check the paint manufacturer's recommendations before proceeding.

Q. Can I use both oil-based and water-based paints when brush painting over spray paint?

  A: Yes, you can use both oil-based and water-based paints when brush painting over spray paint. Just make sure to follow the proper preparation steps and use a compatible primer if necessary.

Q. How long should I wait for the spray paint to dry before brush painting over it?

  A: It is crucial to allow the spray paint to dry completely before brush painting over it.

The drying time depends on the type of spray paint used and the environmental conditions.

Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours for the paint to dry fully.

Q. Can I brush paint over a clear coat spray paint?

  A: Yes, you can brush paint over a clear coat spray paint.

However, you must sand the surface lightly to create a rough texture for the brush paint to adhere to.

Also, using a compatible primer is recommended for better adhesion and durability.

Q. Will brush painting over spray paint affect the final finish?

  A: Brush painting over spray paint can affect the final finish, as brush strokes may be visible on the surface.

To achieve a smooth finish, use a high-quality brush and apply the paint using even strokes. Additionally, sanding between coats can help minimize brush marks.

Q. Can I use a roller instead of a brush to paint over spray paint?

  A: Yes, you can use a roller to paint over spray paint, provided that the surface is adequately prepared.

Using a roller can help achieve a more even and smooth finish compared to a brush. Just make sure to choose the right type of roller for the paint being used.


Brush painting over spray paint is entirely possible, but it requires careful surface preparation and the right tools for the job.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a professional-looking result that will stand the test of time.

So, go ahead and give it a try – you might be surprised at how well it turns out!

Suggested Products:

  1. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Primer: This primer is specifically designed to provide a strong base for painting over spray paint. It ensures excellent adhesion and durability, making it the most helpful product for this task.
  2. Purdy XL Series Glide Angular Trim Paint Brush: This high-quality paintbrush is perfect for brush painting over spray paint. Its synthetic bristles provide a smooth and even finish, minimizing brush marks on the surface.
  3. 3M Pro Grade Precision Sanding Sponge: This sanding sponge is essential for preparing the spray-painted surface before brush painting. Its flexible design allows for easy sanding of curved and contoured surfaces, ensuring proper paint adhesion.
  4. KILZ Original Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior Oil-Based Primer: This oil-based primer is perfect for use when brush painting oil-based paint over spray paint. It seals porous surfaces, ensuring excellent adhesion and a durable finish.
  5. Wooster Brush R959 R959-9 Painter's Choice Roller: If you prefer using a roller for painting over spray paint, this product is a great option. Its 3/8-inch nap works well with various paint types and provides a smooth and even finish.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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