How Much Does Spray Paint Cost? (2020 Guide)

Are you wondering how much spray paint costs?

You’ve come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • The typical cost of a variety of spray paints
  • How to save money when using spray paint
  • How much it usually costs to DIY various things with spray paint
  • Estimated cost of supplies you'll need to spray paint

And much more!

How Much Does Spray Paint Cost? (2020 Guide)

So, if you want to learn how much you should plan on spending on spray paint, keep reading our cost guide below to learn everything you need to know!

How Much Does General Purpose Spray Paint Cost?

While there are big price variances between different brands and types of spray paint, you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $4-$16 per can of spray paint.

That said, there are all sorts of different things to look for when choosing the right spray paint for a particular painting project.

For instance, while you could go pick up a can of $4 spray paint for your next DIY project, it won't be saving you money if it's not the right spray paint for the job.

If you're looking to paint on metal or paint some outdoor furniture, using the wrong type of spray paint is only going to yield bad results. You'll find the spray paint chipping and wearing off after a few days - maybe a few weeks if you're lucky - when applied improperly.

That's why I'm going to break down the different prices and the different types of spray paint you can find and when to use each.

However, when we're talking about general-purpose spray paint for low traffic/low-touch areas, you can usually find a good can for around $10.

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What Are The Best Spray Paint Brands?

Choosing the right brand of spray paint is a huge factor in the overall quality of your finish.

There are 3 key brands that I recommend most often when working with spray paint, and that's because they've run the market on spray paints for years (and for good reason.)

These brands produce high-quality paints that are easy to apply and often create a beautiful end result. Plus, they tend to come in at a pretty low price for the amount of quality they offer.

Rust-Oleum

Rust-oleum takes the spray paint cake in my opinion because of the variety and quality of its products.

Not only do they usually have a nice spray paint can to work with (meaning easy to apply) but they have low prices and good quality across the spectrum of their spray paint lines.

Their gloss black and gloss white options from their Touch 2x Ultra Cover line offer a nice quality finish and they tend to be pretty durable. Plus, for about $5 per can, they're pretty hard to beat!

Krylon Spray Paint

Krylon, in my opinion, is right up there with Rust-Oleum when it comes to their quality and their product offerings. 

Their gloss black spray paint and gloss white spray paint are very comparable to Rust-Oleum's and at the low price for around $5/can as well.

They also offer a really nice semi-gloss black and semi-gloss white from their ColorMAXX series, however, these are often out-of-stock on Amazon for some reason and can be more expensive (around $13/can) so if you have your heart set on that finish, be prepared to hunt for it.

Krylon still offers a ton of variety though and they're generally pretty easy to find at art stores and other home improvement shops for a low price.

Montana Spray Paint

Now, if you're looking for a high-end artistic spray paint brand that is going to have optimal color saturation and spray control, Montana is the top dog.

If you're an artist, this stuff is almost essential if you're looking to up your game.

While other brands will do the trick, they're generally not going to offer the vibrancy and spray pattern control you're looking for when creating your next masterpiece.

So, if you're looking to upgrade your style, I highly recommend reading my article below about the best graffiti spray paints. 

That will fill you in on more of the details and a few other artistic spray paint brands as well as the best lines of spray paint to choose from.

These will cost you a pretty penny though, with a set of 12 colors coming in around $80-$90!

But, if you want to use the best stuff to create a beautiful work of art, it's probably worth the price.

Read More >> What Are The Top Spray Paints For Graffiti?

How Much Do Different Types of Spray Paint Cost?

One of the biggest factors that impacts the cost of spray paint is the type of spray paint you're using.

There are tons of different types of spray paints out there ranging from your basic DIY friendly spray paints (which are generally less durable) to your high-end professional spray paints that are more expensive (but highly durable).

Metallic Spray Paint

Metallic spray paints are one of the most commonly used for DIY painting projects, and also one of the more expensive styles of spray paint out there.

For the high-quality metallic spray paints, you can expect to pay between $10-$15 per can.

The good news is, the spray paint cans that they come in have a more precise nozzle, like Krylon's Premium Metallic Spray Paint that comes in silver, gold, and a whole bunch of other metallic tones. 

This one will usually cost between $12-$14.

However, if you want a slightly cheaper option, Rust-Oleum's Touch 2x Ultra Cover Paint + Primer is usually just under $10 and still offers great color and coverage.

Matte Spray Paint

Matte Spray Paints usually come in at a low price compared to metallic spray paints or gloss spray paints.

You can expect to pay between $4-$6 per can.

I think the best options on the market are the Krylon Fusion All-In-One Matte Black which is usually around $5 and the Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte spray paint which is a bit more expensive at around $6 per can.

Gloss Spray Paint

Gloss spray paints are usually somewhere in between a Matte and a Metallic in terms of price, but they're some of the most commonly used spray paints because they provide a lot of versatility for home improvement projects.

A typical can of either semi-gloss spray paint or gloss spray paint will run you between $5-$8 from either Krylon or Rust-Oleum.

High Heat Spray Paints

Now let's dive into some of the more high-end types of spray paint.

High-Heat spray paints are most often used in automotive applications and other areas that are going to be exposed to intense elements.

These are important to get right if you're looking to repaint a vehicle or paint something that is going to be exposed to high temperatures regularly.

Luckily, despite their amazing performance qualities, you'll still be able to find incredible high-heat spray paints for around $5 like this one from Krylon and this one from Rust-Oleum.

Exterior Spray Paints

Just like high-heat spray paints, exterior spray paints are necessary if you're painting project involves something that will be exposed to the elements for an extended period of time.

You don't want to go to all the trouble of spray painting something just to have it wear off due to the weather, so choosing the right exterior spray paint for the job is really important.

The typical exterior spray paint on the market will run you between $4-$10 depending on the quality, the durability, and whether it's an all-in-one or note. 

Though I would suggest using a high-quality primer if you're painting something for the outdoors just to make sure that paint stays put (but more on that in a moment.)

If you're going for a highly durable exterior spray paint, look no further than Rust-Oleum's Enamel Spray Paint which comes in multiple finishes and will usually come in around $5-$7.

Want a low price option from Rust-Oleum? Their gloss protective enamel spray paint is still pretty durable but usually costs less than $5/can.

Automotive Spray Paints

Automotive spray paints are one of the other types that it's best not to skimp on.

Ensuring that the spray paint you're using for your car's paint job is going to adhere and remain durable is essential.

While you probably could get away with using a "standard" spray paint here, it wouldn't yield the best results long term (or even short term...we've all seen those poorly spray-painted cars on the road haven't we?).

You can generally expect to spend between $7-$13 per can for a high-quality automotive spray paint like this one from Dupli-Color.

You can also find durable ones from Rust-Oleum like this enamel spray paint that is a bit cheaper (roughly $9 per can) than the Dupli-Color one but still offers just as much coverage for an automotive paint job.

Read More >> What Are The Best Spray Paints To Use On Metal?

All-In-One Spray Paint

All-In-One Spray Paints can be an excellent option that is budget-friendly and effective for home improvement and DIY projects. 

For example, this Krylon All-In-One is around $5 per can and it comes in gloss, matte, satin, and flat finishes.

It's pretty common to see All-In-One Spray Paints that come in under $10/can so it's a great choice for a small painting project or something that doesn't need to be super durable like patio furniture.

Professional Spray Paint & Artistic Spray Paint

And finally, the most specific of the spray paints - professional spray paint and artistic spray paint that is used for making art.

These paints are often at the highest price point, but that's typically for good reason.

These spray paints need to pack on the color and stay super vibrant and saturated when they're sprayed on a variety of surfaces. If they get all muddy, chip, flake, or fade it's going to ruin the piece.

That's why they typically cost between $8 and $20 per can!

Yes, it might seem like a ton of money, but these go well above and beyond your typical white spray paints.

These paints need to have high-quality sprayers that are easy to control so you can really control where the pigment is going.

That's why I typically recommend Montana Spray Paints because they have a reputation for being easy to apply, durable, and highly pigmented.

Although they do cost quite a bit, like this gold one that clocks in around $18.

They do have less expensive cans though like this one that's only about $9. Plus, they also have sets of colors that they bundle together which drives down the price of each individual can.

Overall, if you're looking for high-quality professional spray paint for graffiti or other artistic applications, Montana is a good brand to turn to.

Read More >> How Do You Fix Uneven Spray Paint?

How Do You Properly Apply Spray Paint?

Now that you have a good grasp on the main types of spray paint, let's go over how to properly apply it in a way that's going to look great and stay vibrant for as long as possible.

While this varies quite a bit depending on the surface you're working with, there are a few key steps that apply to almost every spray paint project you might encounter.

Spray Primers & Clear Coats

First things first, let's talk spray primers and clear coats.

Spray primers are a fantastic choice for creating the best paint adherence possible.

While many spray paints (including many of the ones I mentioned above) claim to be a paint and primer combo, I almost always suggest using a spray primer first.

That's because it creates a smooth surface to paint on so that the color of your choice is going to stand out the most and adhere the longest.

This is truly the best way to take your painting project to the next level because it's going to make the vibrancy of the color you chose to stand out even more.

If you're trying to repaint a surface that isn't already white, this is especially true, because I've found that even the best spray paints can end up looking a bit more "muddy" if they're not applied over a bright, white surface.

Plus, spray primers are generally pretty inexpensive compared to high-end spray paints, like this one from Rust-Oleum that is only about $4 per can and can help your paint bond to plastic, vinyl, metal, and even wicker. 

So this is a fairly inexpensive way to ensure your next painting project turns out perfect!

Clear Coats

Another way to ensure that your project looks stunning is using a clear coat. 

This is especially true if you're working with something like metal because it adds that "shine" that a metal surface usually has.

It's also a great option for fine art or graffiti because it protects your end result and keeps it from blurring or fading over time. 

So if you took the time and effort to create a beautiful work of art on canvas, concrete, or wood, I'd highly recommend adding a clear coat like this one from Dupli-Color over the top.

Clear coats do cost a bit more than primers though and can range between $8 and $12 per can. 

But, if you're trying to protect your hard work, it's probably worth it!

Read More >> What Are The Top Spray Paint Primers Out There?

Should You Be Sanding First?

One more question people often have is "should I sand my surface first before I spray it?" and the answer is: maybe.

It really depends on the surface you're working with.

If you're spray painting some outdoor patio furniture that is made of metal, I'd recommend roughing up the surface with some sandpaper first (just lightly) and then priming.

This is because metal is notorious for not holding paint very long, and when you rough up the surface a bit it helps the primer adhere to it better which then helps the spray paint adhere better, too.

However, if you're just repainting a wood surface or something else for a DIY project that isn't going to be a "high touch" surface like a piece of furniture, you can probably skip this step. 

Especially if you plan on priming first.

I'd also say that if you're trying to create a high gloss finish and you're working with a rough surface, it's probably better to sand it first with high grit sandpaper so that the surface is really smooth before applying the paint.

It just depends on what look you're hoping to achieve and what type of surface you're currently working with.

Did you know: Most spray paints are oil-based. This means that they're not water soluble (like permanent markers) which is why they're harder to remove.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

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How Do You Remove Spray Paint From Surfaces (If You Accidentally Stain Something)?

Now for the golden question...what do you do if you accidentally create a spray paint mess while taking on your DIY project?

Luckily, there are several spray paint remover products to help you.

We've created a whole bunch of articles on how to remove spray paint from a variety of surfaces, so don't worry if you got a little trigger happy with that spray paint can.

However, before you dive into your next project I'd recommend using a cardboard box to spray into if possible or picking up a portable spray painting tent like this one to contain all of the paint. 

This will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run if you like to use spray paint quite often.

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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