How Does a Can of Spray Paint work?

Working Of Spray Paint CansAre you looking for creative ways to put a new life into the aging walls of your house? Or your wife has once again made up her mind to change the color of furniture? Or maybe your kids want to retouch the old dog house for new cute pups. Well, worry not! Luckily, there is simple solution to your all regular issues and available in a can of spray paint! Now the question is how does a can of spray paint work?

Working Of Spray Paint Cans

Isn’t it fun to just press the nozzle ‘Psssssssttt’ and ‘boom’, colors everywhere? It is! Right? Let me tell you how this magic happens exactly.
a) When the nozzle is pressed, the button pushes the valve down.
b) As valve is tightly closed but as soon as it goes down, the mixture rushes up the dip tube and comes out of the nozzle in a pressurized manner.
c) The one end of dip tube is connected to the nozzle and the other reaches the bottom of the container. When propellant gets free of the compressed container through dip tube and nozzle, it expands and covers the targeted surface evenly. (But here comes a question that how a can of spray paint; colors the surface evenly without causing any flaw?)
d) Before pressing the nozzle, you should always shake the can well. When the containers are shaken, the pea agitates the mixture to combine the substance and gas properly. Without a pea, the mixture will spur out unevenly.
Read more: Do you need an air compressor for a paint sprayer?

Everything You Need to Know About Spray Paint Cans

What is Spray Paint?

What is Spray Paint?You must have heard of spray paints, also called aerosol paints. An aerosol paint is just like another simple paint stored in a pressurized container. This container has a valve at the top that can be pressed to release the mixture of paint and propellant. A propellant can be any substance causing spurring, for instance, compressed air or pressurized gas.
Pressing the valve of spray paint container releases a colored mist that can be applied on different textured surfaces such as wood, plastic and fabric.
You must have an idea about two primary methods of paint application:

  1. Paint Brush
  2. Paint Roller

But, use of spray paints can help you to paint quickly as well as neatly to enjoy a smooth and shinier coating.
We see cans of spray paints in garages and paint shops and use them to spread the colors according to our need. But have you ever wondered about their making and working? If yes, then continue reading!

The Container of Spray Paints

The spray paints come in simply designed containers exhibiting the shape of cylinder. These cans are quite light in weight and can be easily held and used by you. Cans of spray paints are made up of either steel or aluminum and one spray paint can involve a valve, a dip tube and a pea.

Manufacturing process of Spray Paint cans

Manufacturing process of Spray Paint cansUsing spray paint cans can be fun and easy but it’s time to know how that bottle of fun is actually prepared. To manufacture a spray paint can, a proper procedure is followed that can be broken into two parts: Construction of Can and Filling.

1. Construction of Can

To construct a can, these all little items are required:

  • Nozzle: it is the top button that is prepared of plastic and allows the use of spray paint.
  • Valve:without a valve, spray paint can cannot operate properly. This piece allows the escape of inside content in a controlled manner. It is prepared of plastic and placed right beneath the nozzle.
  • DipTube: this tube is a plastic straw. There is a round metal connected to one end and the other one is plain.
  • Pea: it’s a metal ball that causes agitation.
  • Propellant: it’s a gas that gets turned into liquid form at higher temperature.
  • Bottle: the bottle of spray paint can is prepared with a sheet of aluminum that is rolled properly to get a nice round shape.
2. Filling
  • First, the metal peas are dropped into each empty bottle.
  • Then liquid paint of any color is poured in a fixed proportion.
  • After that, liquid form of gas called propellant is poured.
  • Then, dip tubes having spring and valve at top are dropped in each filled bottle. The metal top of dip tubes is pressed by machinery to fix it and confine the content.
  • At the end, nozzles are attached and bottles are completely ready.

Harmful Propellants

Harmful PropellantsYou must be thinking that a can of spray paint brings happiness and colors in your life. But this small bottle may contain bad elements to harm you and your environment just like initial years.

Until 1978, the most popular aerosol paint manufacturers used Chlorofluorocarbons as the foremost prioritized propellant. Later it was discovered that Chlorofluorocarbons can cause damage to ozone layer hence their use was banned.

Then the spray paint industries began using Hydrocarbons, mixture of hydrogen and carbon, as propellant. This alternative was also declared to be harmful in 1980s because hydrocarbons such as methane and propane may cause smog.

Currently, the spray paint makers are using hydrofluorocarbons, a mixture of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. This propellant has fewer risks and doesn’t cause notable damage to environment, but still, beware!

The Industrial Spray Painting

Since Seymour has invented magical containers confining paints, industries have begun using this invention innovatively. Let me tell you how manufacturers are using spray paint cans working strategy for bigger purposes. Here are three methods of applying paints used by industries:

Electrostatic Spray Painting

This method is also called powder painting that is used to apply dry paints on different types of surface. Just like the spray cans are used to release the compressed colored compound, industries use spray guns to drive the atomized color particles onto the targeted surface with the help of compressed gas. These powder like particles get charged by the friction as they pass through the spray nozzle. Before they make the contact with targeted surface, the positively charged particles repel each other and distribute evenly. The surface of grounded item metal is negatively charged hence attract the opposite charged particles like a magnet.

Vacuum coating

The vacuum coating method is used by factories to apply liquid paint on surface such as wood, plastic and glass. These surfaces require a thin layer of coating. During the procedure of vacuum coating, the targeted object is placed in a chamber to dip in into a paint solution or use a large nozzle to spray it. The object gets covered in a liquid paint evenly with a smooth coating. Then it is removed from the chamber and goes through a UV curing process. UV curing is a process of drying the object by exposing it to UV light that causes the drying faster than heat.

Flatline Spray

This method is used by companies which manufacture small item of less than 4 inches. This method involves a machine that is specifically designed for Flatline spraying. The objects are placed into this machine for paint coating. This machine has multiple spray guns that are automated to complete a series of movements while spraying the object from each and every angle.

Spray-on Tanning Procedure

Who doesn’t like tanning? I mean brown skin is quite attractive. Isn’t it? The sun tanning and tanning beds are the popular tanning methods. But since the damage caused by ultraviolet rays has been proved, these methods are becoming less attractive. Don’t worry because you can still enjoy tanning. How? Well, salons are offering an alternative way of tanning by introducing spray-on tanning method. Once again the spray paint can working strategy saved the day!
Spray-on Tanning Procedure
The spray-on tanning procedure is quite similar to the function of spray paint bottles. You walk into the big booths of sprays. These can be either manual or automatic. A compressed gas will be used to apply the solution onto your skin. That solution doesn’t involve paint but dihydroxyacetone substance that is a sugar. When this material will touch your dead skin, a reaction will take place and your skin will begin turning brown temporarily.

Cosmetic use of spray paints

Who knew that a spray paint can will bring an exemplary change in the makeup world? Nowadays, beauticians and expert make-up artists are using small air-powdered tools to apply the cosmetics. The cosmetic airbrushes work same as spray paint cans. These brushes use the pressurized air to atomize the powdered particles or liquid makeup. You can use these brushes to enjoy the smooth makeup application with an even layer. The airbrushes eliminate the chances of makeup flaws by applying the cosmetics uniformly. And let me tell you that these days television artists also use airbrushes because cameras reveal all flaws!

The rise of Graffiti Art

The rise of Graffiti ArtIf you’re a graffiti artist then you must know what I’m going to tell you! After the invention of spray paint cans, the graffiti art moved up to a whole next level!

Graffiti artists use spray paint cans as the most preferable medium for painting the public places. In 1960s and 1970s, the graffiti artists’ came up on the surface and painted every street and subway of New York to highlight their artistic endeavors.

As graffiti art is done in dark by crossing the limitations of law, the spray paint cans turned out to be an ideal tool for the artists. Spray paints are the best medium for graffiti artists and reason are quite obvious. Spray paint cans:

  1. Are available in various bright colors.
  2. Can be applied to a number of surface involving walls, streets and doors.
  3. Provide flawless painting in shorter duration.

Graffiti is being considered against law and leading towards vandalism. But, this trend has evolved completely after the invention of spray paint cans. The big companies and manufacturers are hiring graffiti artists to advertise their products through street arts for better production and sales.

Is Spray Paint a Narcotic?

Normally paints are harmful because they contain a solvent called hydrocarbon toluene. This element has the property of evaporating at room temperature. During this process of evaporation, two things happen:

  • Dryness of paint
  • Release of chemical vapors

These chemical vapors can be intoxicating if inhaled and can also cause high hallucination. Besides the harmful solvents, the spray paints also contain vicious aerosols that can turn out to be even more damaging. This product is available in the market and easily accessible. Which means those who want to get high can purchase a spray paint can and satisfy their narcotic addiction!


In short, a can of spray paint can do great wonders by spreading colors everywhere. These cans are manufactured with great strategy that all you need to do is press the ‘button’ and play with colors!