How Much Does a Can of Spray Paint Cost?

Last Updated on February 11, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Spray paint is a versatile product used for many DIY, craft, automotive, and artistic projects. But how much does a typical can of spray paint cost? The price can vary quite a bit based on the brand, quality, type of paint, and size of the can.

How Much Does a Can of Spray Paint Cost?

Generally, expect to spend between $3 and $20 per can at most hardware or home improvement stores. Professional-grade or specialty spray paints could cost even more. Let’s dive deeper into the key factors that influence spray paint pricing.

Paint Strategies, for example, outlines that general-purpose spray paint costs about $3-$8 per can, while more durable options like epoxy spray paint can range from $10-$15 per can.

High heat spray paint, designed to withstand high temperatures, might cost around $10-$20 per can, and chalkboard spray paint, popular for DIY home projects, tends to be priced between $5-$10 per can​.

Here’s a table with different brands and types of spray paints and how they differ in features and price:

Feature Budget Option Mid-Range Option Premium Option Eco-Friendly Option
Brand Krylon Short Cuts Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Krylon COLORmaxx BEHR Premium Interior/Exterior
Size (oz) 12 12 12 12
Type Basic Enamel Multi-Surface Acrylic High-Performance Enamel Low-VOC Acrylic
Price per can $3.98 (Home Depot) $5.98 (Walmart) $8.97 (Lowe’s) $7.49 (Amazon)
Coverage (sq ft per can) 100-130 150-200 200-250 120-150
Durability Low Moderate High Moderate
Finish Glossy Satin/Matte/Gloss Specialty (Metallic, Textured) Matte/Satin
VOC content High Moderate Low Very Low
Additional Costs May need primer/clear coat May need specific equipment May need specific primer/clear coat
Pros Cheapest option Good balance of price and quality Excellent performance, specific features Environmentally friendly
Cons Limited quality, fewer options Moderate price Most expensive May have limited performance

The cost of spray paint depends on several important considerations:

Brand Name vs Store Brand

National brands like Rust-Oleum, Krylon, and Montana Cans usually cost between $5-15 per can on average. More affordable generic store brands like Walmart’s ColorPlace or Home Depot’s Rust Stop start around $3-5 per can.

While more expensive, brand name spray paints often offer better quality with more consistent coverage, easier spraying, and wider color selection. Store brands work fine for simple projects.

Paint Quality

Higher-quality spray paint contains more premium pigments and resins. This means better durability, more vibrant colors, increased UV-resistance, and smooth, professional finishes.

These features come at a price – expect to pay $8-20 per can for top-tier spray paint. Cheaper paints may be more prone to fading, chipping, or uneven coverage requiring more coats.

Paint Type

Specialty spray paints like metallic, pearl, matte, or textured finishes are more expensive to manufacture. These paints create unique visual effects but cost $3-5 more per can than basic colors. For example, a gloss enamel may be $5, while a metallic enamel spray from the same brand is $10.

Can Size

Standard spray paint cans contain 12 ounces (340g) of paint, costing $5-8 on average. Larger 16 ounce cans are available for bigger projects, averaging around $8-12 per can.

Though more expensive upfront, larger cans offer a lower cost per ounce – helpful when painting large surfaces. Smaller 150g cans are also available.

Intended Use

  • Automotive spray paints designed for auto body work resist grease and withstand engine heat. This specialized formulation costs between $6-12 per can.
  • Art-oriented spray paints like graffiti paint have ultrathin caps for detailed work. These can cost more than $10 per can.
  • Industrial spray paints hold up against heavy wear, weather, and high temperatures. Expect to pay a premium of $15 or more per can.

Additional Costs

Don’t forget primers, clear coats, masks, drop cloths, and other supplies needed to properly prep and finish a spray paint project. This can easily add $5-20 in additional expenses per job. Factoring in these hidden costs gives a more accurate project estimate.

You might also like our articles about the cost to paint a car hood, a full car, and to hire Certapro painters.

Choosing the Right Spray Paint

Spray Paint For GrafittiWhen selecting a spray paint for your next project, consider your budget, needs, and goals:

  • For small hobby projects, inexpensive basic spray paints ($3-7 per can) work fine. Go with your preferred brand.
  • For refinishing furniture or repainting a room, a mid-range paint ($8-12 per can) offers better quality without breaking the bank.
  • Larger jobs like painting siding or vehicles justify a heavy-duty premium spray paint ($15+ per can). The extra durability and coverage is worth it.
  • For metal surfaces prone to rust, spend a little more for industrial rust-preventative coatings like Rust-Oleum ($10-15 per can). It’ll save you money in the long run.
  • Metallic or pearlized paints create unique effects but also increase costs. Weigh if the aesthetic value justifies the higher $10-15 per can price for small projects.

Save on Spray Paint

Here are some tips to save money when buying spray paint:

  • Opt for affordable store brands that offer decent quality for most DIY projects.
  • Watch for sales, coupons, rebates, and clearance deals from big retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and Amazon.
  • Buy large multi-packs when painting big areas – you can save 20% or more per can on bulk orders.
  • Check eBay or Craigslist for unopened surplus spray paint cans being resold at a discount.
  • For disposable painting clothes, reuse old shirts and drop cloths instead of buying new.

Eco-Friendly Spray Paint

Environmentally-friendly low-VOC spray paint is slightly more expensive but contains no hazardous pollutants. This can improve indoor air quality. Expect to pay a 25% to 50% premium over regular spray paint.

hile not the cheapest option, non-toxic spray paint may save money long-term thanks to lower health risks and disposal costs.

Final Words

The cost of spray paint varies greatly based on your specific needs and preferences. Carefully weigh the cost vs expected longevity when choosing paint.

A more expensive premium paint could end up saving money by avoiding repeated touch-ups or redoing projects. Don’t equate low cost with value – sometimes it’s worth paying a little more for quality results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much spray paint is in a can?

The standard size for a spray paint can is 12 ounces (340 grams). Larger 16 ounce cans are also common for bigger jobs. Some smaller cans may contain as little as 150 grams for touch-ups. Always check the label for the exact contents before purchasing.

How much will 400ml spray paint cover?

A 400ml can of spray paint will cover approximately 10-15 square feet with a single coat. This estimate varies based on the paint’s spreading rate and the surface material. More porous surfaces require more paint. Apply multiple thin coats for best results, improving coverage but using more paint per area.

Is spray paint waterproof?

Some spray paints are formulated to be water-resistant or waterproof, while others have no water protection. Look for descriptive terms like “enamel”, “acrylic lacquer”, or “urethane” on the label, as these indicate a water-resistant coating.

Outdoor spray paints also typically offer more water protection than indoor varieties. Test a small area before relying on spray paint as a waterproof coating.

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