Is Spray Paint Oil Based? How To Choose the Right One for You!

is spray paint oil based

When it comes to giving a smoother finish to various surfaces such as wood, tin, ceramic, terracotta, canvas, spray paints are the best choice. But people often ask this question: Is spray paint oil based?

Most spray paints are oil-based. That’s why they have a better adhesion power on various surfaces. However, these paints include solvents, making them different from one another.

What Is Oil-Based Paint?

Oil-based spray paint has incredible popularity, whether it is any professional project or household project. Oil-based spray paint consists of two components: ‘Paint thinner’ and ‘Mineral spirits’.

The paint thinner makes the oil-based spray paint more flexible and simple to use. It also makes the removal task easier. On the contrary, mineral spirits mean a high concentration of minerals to ensure higher attachment.

This well-known paint has a lot of benefits. Compared to traditional paints, oil-based spray paint can provide better coverage, more durable, much less likely to peel or crack over time. In addition, it takes less time to dry, making your paint project quicker.

Is All Spray Paint Oil Based?

Most spray paints are oil-based, but not all. Many solvent-based spray paints are available in the market, which doesn’t contain any oil at all. You will find other versions of spray paints that serve a different purpose.

Generally, alkyd-based primers are mainly oil-based, which come in aerosol form. Apart from that, waterborne spray paints, lacquer-based spray paints, polyurethane-based spray paints are on the market.

What Brand of Spray Paint Is Oil Based?

Though dozens of brands sell oil-based spray paints in the market, not all of them maintain a decent quality standard. With years of experience, I have found some best oil based spray paint brands that make high-quality oil-based paints.


Rust-Oleum is one of the most popular spray paint companies in the market that sell hundreds of types of products. But is Rustoleum spray paint oil based?

Not all spray paints of Rust-Oleum, but they surely sell a lot of oil-based spray paints. Take an example of Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic. This oil-based spray paint is available in dozens of colors.

Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic

The flexible Rustoleum oil based spray paint works on various surfaces. Its adhesion power will blow away your mind. Rusts, fading, corrosion, or chipping —nothing can affect its long-lasting durability.

It works quickly on any surface and takes only 30 minutes to dry. The best thing about this product is its eye-catchy, bold, gleaming metallic appearance on surfaces.


When you want added protection, appearance, and performance on a particular paint surface, Dupli-Color is a reliable name. Dupli-Color HVP106 is perfect for various auto parts, automotive accessories, and other surfaces. Its shiny black appearance will give a sparkling effect on your preferred surface.

Dupli-Color Vinyl and Fabric Spray

Since it comes with a self-priming formula, you don’t have to add extra prime. As a result, many customers appreciated its long-lasting result.


Another reliable name for the oil-based product is Krylon. Is Krylon spray paint oil based? Yes, the brand makes oil-based spray paints apart from other types of paints.

Take an example of Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint. This versatile oil-based paint is suitable for outdoor and indoor purposes, and you can use it on various surfaces. It is one of the best matte black spray paint on the market.

Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint

Whether you talk about its shiny appearance, enhanced coverage, or extreme durability, it can satisfy you in all aspects. That’s why it is not hard to see why almost 17000 users gave reviews about this high-quality product.


Though KILZ is not a much popular brand, —since I have personally used it, I know how good this brand is. I have especially become a fan of the KILZ ORIGINAL PRIMER13OZ.


This spray paint appears good for upcycling furniture. It is useable as a primer. So, no need to buy any extra primers. It comes with a quick-dry formula that works quickly and becomes ready for the next coating.

When you want to achieve a premium matte finish, the KILZ spray paint is one of the best options. You don’t have to worry about messing up issues since it is easy to use. Just use soap and water to clean.


Is Montana spray paint oil based? Most of the Montana spray paint is not oil-based, but you can paint over Montana GOLD with oil-based tube paints. It is optimal for all layers of paint to be cured before painting over with oil-based tubes or marker paints.

Montana Gold can show a shiny gold effect on various wood and metal surfaces.

Montana Goldchrome Spray Paint

Since it is free from CFC, it is 100% eco-friendly. Moreover, this flexible spray paint is undoubtedly hard to beat due to its extremely high coverage and color vibrancy.

How to Tell If Spray Paint Is Oil Based?

You can easily tell whether your spray paint is oil-based or not by reading its product label. If the product label of the spray paint mentions the ‘cleanup’ category and suggests, you use mineral spirit or paint thinner to clean up the paint properly, your spray paint is oil-based.

If the paint is oily, it is most likely oil-based and it will be thicker and more viscous.

The best way to tell if spray paint is oil-based is to smell it. If the smell is like a petroleum smell, then it is most likely oil-based.

When anyone asks you the question of ‘How to know if paint is oil based,’ you should first ask if the spray paint is a combination of ‘Paint thinner’ and ‘mineral spirits.’ If yes, it is an oil-based paint.

What Temperature Should You Use for Your Oil Based Painting?

Very factors are as important as the temperature itself since it affects the result of spray paint. Therefore, choosing an appropriate temperature is necessary to get the best result.

The ideal temperature of oil-based spray painting is between 50° to 90° F. However, the temperature range can be more or less based on the brand recommendation.

Thus, it is a solid rule of thumb to go through the product label to learn a certain temperature range. Choosing the wrong temperature may lead to a crackled surface.

Also, it will take more time to dry, and you will spend more time finishing off the spray paint task. Since oil-based paints are thicker, they need a little more time to dry. So, try spraying paint when the temperature is more than 50° F.

What Surfaces Can You Use Oil Based Spray Paint On?

best oil based spray paint brands

The best part of spray paints is that they are pretty versatile to use on various surfaces. Its flexible nature assures you to stay in a stress-free condition since you can work on multiple surfaces.

Oil-based spray paints are suitable for fiberglass, wood, tin, ceramic, masonry, glass, plaster, MDF, concrete, canvas, terracotta, Styrofoam, laminate, etc.

If you’re looking to repaint a metal piece or sculpture, oil-based paint is your best bet. While these paints don’t dry as quickly as water-based paints, they produce less dust and fumes, which makes them ideal for spraying into crevices and hard-to-reach places. Look for oil-based primer and spray paint that can both be used indoors and outdoors.

Oil-based spray paint is also best used on interior projects (for example, walls and furniture). Oil-based paint lasts up to three months longer. So when you are painting a piece of furniture that you want to last for years, oil-based spray paint is a better choice than water-based. It’s also great for use in high moisture areas. You can find it in both satin and gloss sheens, depending on your project needs.

You can use them to adore various furniture surfaces. But, avoid using them on any surfaces that are prone to contact food residues. This will affect their painting quality.

Can You Use Primer with Oil-Based Spray Paints?

Yes, you can use primer with oil-based spray paints; let’s first look at what exactly primer is. Primer is essentially a layer of paint that you put on your surface before applying your color coats. This layer allows your colors to be more opaque and vibrant than they would be if they were applied directly to your surface without primer. Primer also creates a barrier between your original surface and whatever is underneath, protecting them from fading or chipping over time.

You can use spray primer with oil-based paints. However, they won’t be compatible once they dry, so if you want to prime before applying a final coat of paint, make sure to use a latex-based primer.

Some Basic Painting Techniques That Makes Oil-based Spray Paint Effective

Before starting, you should know how to apply oil-based spray paint on a particular surface; you must follow some step-by-step techniques.

However, the best thing is you don’t have to be a professional man to handle this task. Some basic techniques will be enough to take the job.

Here are steps to follow if you want to perform a successful oil-based painting on your preferred surface.

Rule: 1—Ensure Enough Ventilation

It is crucial to ensure enough ventilation before painting a particular thing. This will ensure quick drying.

Plus, don’t forget to wear a paint respirator to protect your mouth, nose, and eyes while painting. This will keep you safe.

Don’t worry what neighbors think about it. You should primarily focus on completing the painting task successfully.

Rule: 2—Shake, Shake, and Shake!

Whether you have purchased the oil-based paint recently and have stored the can for a long time, you must shake the container for a few minutes.

Since oil-based spray paint is made from different ingredients, some components may go at the bottom of the container.

A few shakes will make an even mixture. This will aid you in achieving an even coating on your preferred surface.

Rule: 3—Don’t Come Too Close

If you are doing the DIY project for the first time, you may come too close to the paint surface while spraying. It is a wrong approach.

Maintaining at least 6 to 8 meters of distance from the paint surface is a good rule of thumb. The speed of the spray paint may be a little bit high for the first stream.

That’s why instead of spraying the first stream on your preferred surface, do it on a newspaper to test it. Plus, this will ensure even coverage for the upcoming streams.

Rule: 4—Maintain Consistency

It is necessary to maintain consistency while painting the entire surface. You should do it in slow and confident motion.

Start from the bottom and work your way up. This will cover any flaws in your previous layers of paint and help ensure that your final coat goes on smoothly.

Ensure you have spray paints from all angles precisely without pausing too long at the middle of the paint. Otherwise, the paint’s effectiveness will be compromised.

You can use a piece of cardboard to avoid painting on the unwanted surface. Turn the cardboard while moving one area to another. Avoid touching the surface.

Rule: 5—Ensure Enough Dry Time

When it comes to oil-based painting, they need less coating. However, regardless of how many coatings you prefer, allow each layer to dry perfectly before the next one.

You should not go for another layer of paint unless it is fully dried. Otherwise, the paint surface will become too heavy. It will start dripping.

Normally, most brand manufacturers mention a specific drying time. Therefore, you should stick to the timeframe. However, temperature and humidity will also affect how quickly the paint surface will dry. For quick drying you can try hair dryer. Check this article— Can You Dry Spray Paint with a Hair Dryer for more details.

Rule: 6— Blending

Whether you’re painting wood, metal, plastic (or even glass), blending is a great way to create beautiful and unique effects. You can blend by hand or use an airbrush—but whichever method you choose, be sure to thin your paint, so it flows easily through your tools.

Rule: 7— Protection from UV Rays

Keeping your painting out of direct sunlight is key to protecting it from UV rays. While many paints have built-in protection, oil-based paints are particularly vulnerable. Place a sheet or tarp over your work area when spraying outside. If you can’t cover your space completely, make sure that you don’t leave it uncovered for more than 10 minutes without re-spraying it with a protective sealant.

oil-based spray paint

Contrasting the Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Oil Based Spray Paints

Like other spray paints, oil-based paints have some pros and cons. If you did not use oil-based spray paint in the past, it is mandatory to learn about them.

Advantages of Using Oil Based Spray Paints

When you want a hard-wearing and smooth finish, very few options can come close to the oil paints. Most oil-based spray paints include a carrier substance that allows the paint to dry more precisely and gives a smoother appearance.

Their thick formula ensures a long-lasting coating that can easily withstand substantial wear and tear. Thus, typical knocks and scuffs can’t affect the durability of this spray paint.

Compared to traditional spray painting, you will have more coverage from oil-based spray paints. More importantly, they are versatile enough to use a wide range of surfaces we have already mentioned.

Apart from that, it will take a minimal to complete your DIY project with oil-based spray paints. Worry about clean-up issues? Leave that thought! Spray paints are easy to clean. A simple wipe can do the job.

Downsides of Spray Painting

Just because oil-based spray paints are effective to use doesn’t mean they are free from flaws. They have some limitations too.

For example, there is not much availability of oil-based spray paints. You may struggle to find a particular color to match your DIY painting job. Thus, you have to manage based on product availability.

Additionally, the cost per square foot is slightly higher for oil-based spray paints. Hence, if you are looking for a highly affordable option, an oil-based spray paint may not be the right ticket for you.

Other than these, oil-based spray paints have a strong smell, and they can be tough for sensitive noses. So, make sure you use this paint in a well-ventilated area to allow it to spread properly.

Another wrong side of oil-based spray paints is that they are not 100% eco-friendly. After all, using mineral spirits or turpentine is necessary to clean them.


Is All Rustoleum Spray Paint Oil-Based?

No. Rust-Oleum is a company that manufactures and sells a variety of different paints. Therefore, all of their spray paint is not oil-based. In fact, there are many kinds of paint, so it’s essential to read the labels carefully before purchasing anything.

Is Krylon Colormaster Spray Paint Oil-Based?

It depends on the specific product. However, few Krylon Colormaster spray paints are oil-based and should be used with a suitable oil-based primer. You can use this spray paint with a paintbrush or roller for the best result.

Is Most Spray Paint Oil-Based?

The short answer is yes. But what that means exactly depends on which brand you’re using. A few brands are composed entirely of oil-based ingredients, while others may be a mixture of water and oil.

How Long Will An Oil-Based Coat Last?

An oil-based coat will last a long time, but it depends on its thickness. If you apply multiple thin coats, your paint might peel away after one or two years. A thicker coat of oil-based paint should last for at least five years, maybe longer. You can’t say exactly how long is spray paint good for because it depends on a variety of factors like weather conditions and traffic levels around your home or business.

Is Rustoleum 2x Spray Paint Oil-Based?

Rustoleum 2x spray paint is oil-based and not water-based. You can check the label on the can to know if it is oil-based or water-based. If you use Rustoleum 2x spray paint for wood, use only a high-quality primer before applying the spray paint for best results.

Is Acrylic Spray Paint Oil-Based?

Acrylic spray paint is not oil-based. Acrylics are a type of water-based paint that uses acrylic polymer to bind the pigment and the carrier. This means that acrylics are not thick like oil paints, which makes them easy to work with and allows for a wide variety of colors and effects.

Is Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Oil-Based Or Water-Based?

The company offers both oil-based and water-based spray paint. You can find cleanup instructions on the can’s back. If it mentions cleaning up with a solvent other than water, it’s oil-based unless it’s a water-based formula. Most cans will clearly state what type of paint they are. Try looking for information on Rust-Oleum’s website if it doesn’t say. If fails, contact their customer service department and ask them directly.


Though a large number of spray paints are oil-based, other types are available too. Choosing the right oil-based spray paint is important for your DIY or professional purposes.

Hopefully, this article gives a complete overview of choosing the best oil-based spray paint and the technique you should apply to complete your painting job successfully.