Is Spray Paint Waterproof? A Painter’s Guide to Weatherproofing

Bob Thomas


You might be wondering, "Is spray paint waterproof?" As a qualified painter and decorator, I've had my fair share of experience with spray paint.

In this article, we'll explore whether spray paint is waterproof and the steps you can take to protect your spray-painted surfaces from the elements.

Quick Summary

Spray paint is generally water-resistant, but not entirely waterproof.

To ensure a waterproof finish, you need to apply a clear sealant on top of the spray paint.

Understanding Spray Paint and Water Resistance

Spray paint is a versatile and convenient option for painting various surfaces.

However, when it comes to waterproofing, the paint itself is only water-resistant.

This means that while it can withstand some moisture, it's not designed to endure prolonged exposure to water or harsh weather conditions.

Prepping the Surface for Waterproofing

To achieve the best results and make your spray paint waterproof, follow these steps:

  • Clean the surface thoroughly: Remove any dirt, dust, or grease from the surface you plan to paint.
  • Sand the surface: Lightly sand the surface for better paint adhesion.
  • Apply a primer: Use a primer that is suitable for your surface to ensure a smooth and even paint application.

Spray Painting Tips

Here are some tips to help you get the best results when using spray paint:

Shake the can well: Shake the spray paint can for at least a minute before using it.

Test the spray: Test the spray on a piece of cardboard or scrap material to ensure an even flow.

Apply thin coats: Apply multiple thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Applying a Clear Sealant for Waterproofing

To make your spray paint waterproof, you'll need to apply a clear sealant on top of the paint.

Here are some options for clear sealants:

Clear acrylic sealant: A clear acrylic sealant is easy to apply and offers good protection against water and UV rays.

Polyurethane sealant: This sealant provides a more durable finish and is ideal for surfaces exposed to heavy wear or harsh weather conditions.

Essential Tools and Materials

Here's a table outlining the essential tools and materials for a successful waterproof spray paint job:

Tools & Materials

Spray paint

Painting the surface

Clear sealant

Waterproofing the painted surface


Prepping the surface


Improving paint adhesion

Clean cloth

Cleaning the surface

Protective gear

Protecting yourself

Maintaining Your Waterproof Spray Paint Finish

To ensure your waterproof spray paint finish lasts, follow these maintenance tips:

Clean the surface regularly: Keep the surface free of dirt and dust to maintain the integrity of the paint and sealant.

Inspect for damage: Check the painted surface for any signs of wear or damage and reapply sealant as needed.

Avoid harsh chemicals: Use gentle cleaning products to avoid damaging the paint or sealant. 

Last year, I painted my garden fence with spray paint and applied a clear sealant for waterproofing.

The results were impressive, and the fence has withstood various weather conditions without any signs of wear.

I highly recommend using a sealant to ensure your spray-painted surfaces remain waterproof and protected.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q: Can I use waterproof spray paint instead of applying a clear sealant?

  A: Waterproof spray paint is available on the market, but it may not provide the same level of protection as applying a clear sealant on top of regular spray paint.

Using a clear sealant allows you to choose the spray paint of your preference and still achieve a durable, waterproof finish.

Q: How long should I wait between applying spray paint and the clear sealant?

  A: It's important to allow the spray paint to dry completely before applying the clear sealant.

The drying time may vary depending on the specific paint you're using, but it generally takes between 24 to 48 hours for the paint to cure fully.

Check the manufacturer's instructions on the spray paint can for accurate drying times.

Q: Can I use the same waterproofing technique for both indoor and outdoor surfaces?

  A: Yes, the waterproofing process outlined in the article can be used for both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

However, keep in mind that outdoor surfaces may require a more durable sealant to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Q: How often should I reapply the clear sealant to maintain the waterproof finish?

  A: The frequency of reapplication depends on the specific sealant used and the environmental conditions to which the surface is exposed.

In general, it's a good idea to inspect the surface annually for signs of wear or damage and reapply the sealant as needed.

Q: Are there any surfaces that I should avoid spray painting or waterproofing?

  A: Spray paint may not adhere well to certain surfaces, such as plastics, vinyl, or materials with a glossy finish. 

Always check the compatibility of the spray paint with your chosen surface and ensure proper surface preparation to achieve the best results.

Additionally, avoid waterproofing surfaces that are meant to be breathable, as this may cause trapped moisture and potential damage.


In conclusion, while spray paint is water-resistant, it's not inherently waterproof.

To achieve a waterproof finish, you'll need to apply a clear sealant on top of the spray paint. 

By following the steps outlined in this article and properly maintaining the surface, you can enjoy a durable and weatherproof finish that will last for years to come.

Suggested Products:

  1. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint: This paint provides excellent coverage, is available in various colors, and works well for a wide range of surfaces.
  2. Krylon Colormaxx Acrylic Crystal Clear Spray: This clear sealant offers excellent waterproofing and UV protection, making it ideal for preserving your spray paint finish.
  3. Rust-Oleum Universal Bonding Primer: A suitable primer for various surfaces, it ensures a smooth and even paint application, enhancing the durability of the spray paint.
  4. 3M Wetordry Sandpaper: This high-quality sandpaper is suitable for wet or dry sanding, providing a smooth surface for better paint adhesion.
  5. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth: These cloths are ideal for removing dirt, dust, and grease from surfaces before painting, ensuring a clean and well-prepped surface.
  6. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape: This tape is essential for masking off areas you don't want to be painted, ensuring sharp and clean edges for your spray paint project.
  7. Safety Goggles and Respirator: These protective gears protect your eyes and lungs from spray paint particles and fumes during the painting process.
  8. Rust-Oleum LeakSeal Flexible Rubber Coating Spray: This waterproofing product is ideal for sealing leaks and providing a moisture-resistant barrier on a variety of surfaces.
  9. Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint: This paint bonds well to various surfaces without the need for a primer and is available in many colors.
  10. Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Spray: This clear sealant provides a durable protective coating, ideal for surfaces exposed to wear and tear or harsh weather conditions.

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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