Spray paint is a convenient and efficient way to paint a variety of surfaces. With spray paint, you can achieve smooth, even coverage without the hassle of brushes or rollers. Most major paint brands offer spray paints in a wide range of colors, but you may be wondering – can you get any color paint in a spray can?
The short answer is yes, spray paint is available in virtually any color. However, there are some limitations to be aware of when selecting custom spray paint colors. In this article, we’ll discuss how spray paint colors work, what’s available, and how to get the exact color you need in a spray can.
How Spray Paint Colors Work
Most ready-made spray paints you find at the hardware store contain pre-mixed pigments suspended in a solvent. The pigments provide the color, while the solvent carries the paint and propellant to allow spraying.
These off-the-shelf spray paints come in popular colors – glossy primary colors, metallics, whites, blacks, wood stains, etc. Hardware brands offer anywhere from 10 to 100+ standard colors in spray paint form.
If you need a custom color outside of the standard palette, spray paint manufacturers can create it for you. They start with a base paint formula in either a water-based acrylic or solvent-based enamel. Then they add concentrated liquid pigments to tint the base to achieve the desired custom color.
The pigments used to tint spray paints are translucent. When combined, they produce varying hues, saturations, shades, and opacity. With the right pigment ratios, spray paint manufacturers can match virtually any color.
What Custom Spray Paint Colors are Available?
Most major spray paint brands can offer custom colors in either acrylic or enamel finishes. Here are some of the custom color options available:
– Match any color sample with their 3680+ color lab – colors match to the RAL, Federal Standard 595C, BS-381C, or TPX color systems
– Minimums start at 9 cans for metallic/pearl colors, 6 cans for solid colors
– Turnaround time is roughly 9-14 business days
– Match any color with their Krylon Color Lab
– Minimum order of 12 cans
– Lead time of 7-10 business days
– Over 180 RAL color swatches to choose from
– Minimum 12 cans per custom color order
– 5-7 day turnaround time
– Custom colors made to match any sample
– 36 can minimum order
– Lead time of 5-7 business days
So whether you need to match an existing paint color, Pantone color, RAL color, or anything else, spray paint manufacturers can custom tint products to your exact specifications.
How to Get Exact Color Matches
To get an accurate custom color match in spray paint, you’ll need to provide an appropriate sample. Here are some tips:
– For matching existing paint colors, provide a paint chip or swatch sample. Scrape off some paint from the wall into a plastic bag.
– Provide a Pantone, RAL, BS-381C, or Federal Standard 595C color reference number if you have it.
– Use a color lookup tool like Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore to get a numeric color code.
– Purchase a fan deck with color chips from a paint brand in the finish you want. Select your color and provide the code/name.
Keep in mind that paint colors can look different in different finishes. A glossy paint color won’t necessarily match the same color code or name in a matte finish. So select sample colors in the same finish you want for your spray paint.
The color-matching process will never be 100% perfect. Slight differences may occur between the sample you provide and the final spray painted result. Some colors are also difficult to fully match in spray paint form. Metallic, pearlescent, and neon colors will have the biggest color shifts.
Request a test spray can before ordering a full batch so you can confirm the color is acceptable. Checking samples under the actual lighting conditions is also a good idea. If the first attempt isn’t quite right, the manufacturer can adjust the formula until the color is spot-on.
Finding Local Custom Spray Painting Services
If you only need a small amount of custom colored spray paint, you may not meet the minimum order requirements from large brands. Or you may need the paint quickly without waiting a week or more for delivery.
In these cases, local auto body shops and custom paint services can mix up custom spray paint for you. Here are some tips for finding local custom color matching:
– Check with auto body and collision repair shops. They frequently mix custom paint tones for touch-up jobs.
– Search for “custom paint and powder coating” to find shops offering specialty spray painting services.
– Arts and crafts stores may also do small custom spray paint batches for crafters and DIY projects.
– Ask if they can match the color sample you provide and make it into spray paint.
– Lead times are usually only a day or two for small custom orders.
The per-can cost may be higher than buying in bulk from a national brand. But you’ll get fast turnaround on exactly the spray color you need in a small quantity.
Achieving Consistent Coverage with Custom Spray Paint
When using custom spray matched paint, it’s important to follow best practices to get uniform, consistent coverage:
– Always spray in a well-ventilated area and use respiratory protection.
– Shake the can vigorously for at least one full minute before spraying. This thoroughly mixes the pigments.
– Hold the can 10-14 inches from the surface and apply light, even coats rather than one heavy coat.
– Spray using a sweeping motion parallel to the surface. Overlap passes 50% to build up layers.
– Let each coat fully dry before applying the next coat. Multiple thin layers provide better coverage than one thick layer.
– Apply at least 2-3 coats for complete opaque coverage with even color distribution.
– Maintain the same distance and sweeping technique when applying all coats.
If using multiple cans for a large project, shake all cans beforehand and mix cans together occasionally during application. This will help avoid any possible variances between different cans.
Following these guidelines will provide a uniform finish and prevent blotchiness, streaking, or inconsistencies with your custom spray paint color.
Achieving Different Sheens and Finishes
Most stock spray paints have either a gloss, semi-gloss, or matte finish. But custom spray paints can achieve an even wider range of sheens. Other specialty finishes are also possible, depending on the paint formulation.
Here are some of the different sheens and finishes you can request for custom spray paint:
– Gloss: High-sheen, reflective, and shiny finish. Highest luster available in spray paint.
– Semi-gloss: Medium sheen with some reflectivity. More luster than satin but less than high-gloss.
– Satin: Low-luster with a soft hint of sheen. Smoother than matte but not highly reflective.
– Matte/Flat: No reflectivity or shine. Provides a dull, opaque finish.
– Metallic: Contains metallic flakes and pigments for a glimmering, sparkling effect.
– Pearlescent: Interference pigments produce a multi-colored iridescent sheen.
– Crackle: Intentional cracking effect for aged, distressed appearances.
– Textured: Small granules or particles create a bumpy, irregular feel.
– Glow in the Dark: Contains phosphorescent pigments to glow under black light.
The base paint formula impacts the sheen possibilities. Acrylic latex paints offer flat, satin, semi-gloss options. Solvent-based enamels can achieve super high-gloss. Metallic or pearlescent particles require a clearcoat to create those finishes.
So you can get virtually any finish with custom spray paint, from ultra matte to super shiny. Just communicate your specific sheen needs when ordering.
Common Uses for Custom Spray Paint Colors
Now that you know any color can be matched in spray paint, what are some useful applications for custom spray colors?
– Matching existing paint: Touch up minor flaws or mismatches with an identical matching spray color.
– Matching product colors: Change the color of tools, appliances, equipment, vehicles, or other products.
– Unique art pieces: Create one-of-a-kind spray painted artworks, canvases, sculptures, etc.
– Custom automobile painting: Match any factory or custom car paint color for automotive touch-up spraying.
– Crafty accents: Spray paint crafts, vases, frames, decor pieces, and more in any color imaginable.
– Furniture makeovers: Transform tired old furniture with fresh new custom colors in any style.
– Home decor updates: Quickly redecorate any room by spray painting furnishings, accents, accessories, and more.
So whether you need to match, change, or create a color, custom spray paint offers limitless possibilities. The key is first verifying that the color is truly achievable in spray form and providing an accurate sample for matching.
Choosing the Right Sheen for Each Project
Sheen, or paint finish, impacts the aesthetic as well as durability of the final spray painted object. Here are some guidelines for selecting sheens:
|Gloss, Semi-gloss (most durable for outdoor use)
|Satin or Semi-gloss (withstands wear, easy to clean)
|Semi-gloss (smoother finish than glossy)
|Matte or Satin (hides imperfections)
|Matte (reduces glare on fabric)
|Any finish depending on desired look
|Gloss (makes grain/texture pop)
As a general rule of thumb:
– Glossy and semi-gloss finishes are most durable for high-traffic/outdoor use
– Satin is versatile for walls, trim, doors, and accent furniture pieces
– Matte works well for hiding imperfections and reducing glare on fabric
Of course, you can always pick the finish purely based on aesthetic preferences. Just consider the functional pros and cons of each sheen. A glossy paint may look amazing but show more imperfections. Soft finishes hide flaws but scuff easier.
Combining multiple sheens can also create cool effects. Use glossy paint on ornate trim or metalwork, with flatter finishes on walls or furniture frames. The right sheen blend enhances dimension and visual interest.
Achieving Consistency Across Large Projects
For large custom spray painting jobs, consistency across multiple surfaces or objects is key. Here are some tips to ensure uniformity:
– Prep properly: Clean and lightly sand surfaces so the paint adheres evenly everywhere.
– Maintain temperature/humidity: Paint in similar indoor conditions without too much variation.
– Use consistent technique: Keep the same distance and sweeping motion when spraying.
– Mix paint between coats: Blend together cans or additives to eliminate variances.
– Allow proper curing: Give each coat time to fully cure before adding the next. Rushing causes blotchiness.
– Add a clear topcoat: A single clearcoat at the end unifies the look and sheen across the entire painted project.
Avoid trying to stretch paint too far or touch up later with a different can. Recoat the entire surface evenly if needed rather than touching up spots. This prevents lap marks or changes in color depth.
Patience is also key for large-scale painting projects. Rushing the process risks ruining the uniformity of the finish. Taking your time leads to professional, consistent results.
In summary, spray paint offers a quick, convenient method for painting almost any color imaginable onto a variety of surfaces. Major brands can easily match existing paint colors, Pantone and RAL swatches, or any other color sample you provide. Local auto body and paint shops can also mix up small custom spray paint batches.
Achieving uniform, consistent coverage simply requires proper spray painting technique. And opting for the right finish – anything from matte to high-gloss – ensures durability while providing your desired aesthetic. With custom spray matched paint, you can touch up, change colors, or create unique pieces in any color for almost any application.