While painting, it’s essential to know which paints can go together. Otherwise, you may put your entire project at risk of being ruined.

Acrylic paint is an adaptable paint, which is why so many people enjoy using it. Acrylic paint and spray paint are both very popular options, but can you paint over spray paint with acrylic paint?

  • Although acrylic paint is water-based and spray paint is not, you can apply acrylic paint over spray paint, as long as you do it correctly.

We will discuss ‘Can you paint over spray paint with acrylic paint?’ in today’s article. We hope that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible better understand the process of using acrylic paint and spray paint together.

Can You Paint Over Spray Paint With Acrylic Paint

 What Is Spray Paint Used For

Spray paint allows you to apply an even coat of touch-up paint without using a paintbrush.

Spray paints are liquid paints that contain an aerosol can. A can of spray paint comes with a button on the top that dispenses paint when you press down on it. Using spray paint can be an alternative painting method to traditional brushwork. It is available in different textures and finishes from high-gloss, to matte, to high-heat paints for cooking appliances.

You can use spray paint to cover surfaces quickly and more evenly than traditional paint and can be an effective way to touch up or apply a new coat of paint for different kinds of painting projects.

 Types Of Spray Paint Finishes

Spray paint comes in a variety of different finishes that can help you achieve your desired look. Here are some of the most popular spray paint finishes. They are flat, semi-gloss, gloss, high-gloss, satin, and metallic.

1. Flat spray paint appears completely matte on a surface with little to no gloss.

2. Semi-gloss spray paint has a finish that is between matte and gloss paint. This allows your painting project a subtle shine that is not overly glossy.

3. Gloss spray paint has a moderately glossy finish.

4. High-gloss spray paints offer the highest level of gloss. This produces the shiniest coating of all the spray paint finishes.

5. Satin spray paints have a medium gloss and low-sheen finish.

6. Metallic spray paints make surfaces highly reflective, resembling a metallic finish.

 What Is Acrylic Paint Used For

Acrylic paint is a water-based, non-toxic, and quick-drying paint that you can use for many applications. This type of paint is easy to clean and opaque, which means you can correct mistakes just by painting over them. Depending on the type of acrylic paint, you can apply it indoors or outdoors and should last for the life of your product without fading or cracking.

You can use acrylic paint on surfaces besides canvas, such as wood, metal, fabrics, and ceramics. You can also use decorative painting techniques and faux finishes to decorate objects of ordinary life. 

 Benefits Of Using Acrylic Paint

In the 70 or so years because artists started using acrylic paints, their popularity has increased exponentially.

  • The main reason that acrylic paints are so popular is that they dry so quickly. It dries within ten minutes.
  • Acrylic paint is flexible and elastic for the chemicals it contains. It means that the paint can expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall, and do so without flaking or cracking. Even if the paint dries fully, it will remain flexible.
  • Acrylic paint is permanent when it is dry. It is also popular as lightfast. It means that the colors remain true and do not fade over time. Some cheaper student-grade acrylics could lose saturation over time, although they never fade completely.
  • You can use acrylic paint on any surface provided there is no wax or oil on it. Apart from canvas, paper, and card, you may use acrylics to paint on glass and plastic, metal and stone, fabric, and leather.
  • Acrylic paint is water-soluble. You can wash your brushes and palette, as well as your hands, with soap and water. You don’t need to use paint thinners or turpentine to clean up. Furthermore, when the paint is dry, it is waterproof.
  • Acrylic paints are non-toxic, non-flammable, and do not emit any fumes. It means that they are safe for children to use, and they are not harmful to pets.

 Can You Paint Over Spray Paint With Acrylic Paint

You can paint over spray paint with acrylic paint, but we recommend that you use water-based spray paint rather than the more common oil-based spray paint.

If you apply spray paint with acrylic paint, the surface should be flat to have an easier application process. There are some guidelines to follow when applying spray paints onto the surface of a dry coat of acrylic paint.

 How To Paint Over Spray Paint With Acrylic

Now, we will show how you can apply acrylic paint over spray paint. Spray paint may have a harder time adhering to acrylic paint, even if you take the proper steps.

All you really need is:

  • Spray paint
  • Water
  • Air blower

Clean up the surface

To have a better surface, you should clean it. You can use a cool air blower for cleaning the surface. You should avoid using a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner to avoid the risk of messing up. If you just painted the surface a few days ago, you can skip the cleaning part and move to the next step.

Apply Spray Paint

You should apply a thin layer of spray paint to a completely dry surface. Make sure the surface is completely dry; otherwise it may become very messy. The paint may also not stick as well. When you are applying, make sure the layers are thin and not too thick. It is to avoid creating a mess or unevenness in the paint job.

Let The Surface Dry

After this process, allow it to dry. Before handling or applying anything else to the surface of your project, it should dry.

You may need to sand the old paint to ensure better adhesion of the new paint if the surface is too smooth and glossy. When you choose to sand, make sure to take very fine grit sandpaper and sand lightly. This ensures that the canvas remains safe.

 Can You Paint Over Acrylic Paint With Spray Paint

It is possible to apply spray paint over acrylic paint. It will be good if you use water-based spray paint rather than the more common oil-based spray paint. This makes a huge difference and ensures that the acrylic paint will work well with the spray paint once it has dried onto your paper of canvas.

We may see some people making the mistake of trying to mix oil-based and water-based paints and the result may be bad. You should use water-based spray paint if you are looking to paint over it with acrylic paint. You ought to also ensure that the base layer of spray paint is fully dry before going over it with acrylic paint. Before applying paint, make sure you have a clean surface. And apply thin layers of compatible paint over top.

 Is It Possible To Mix Acrylic Paint With Spray Paint

Many people mix them to get a great effect. Even though the most common method is to use spray paint as a base layer, there are several techniques where you can mix the two together to excellent effect with relative ease.

You can blend spray paint with acrylic paint too if needed. Allow your acrylic colors to be closer to that of the spray paint if you use water-based spray paint. Because the two can mix very well. If you use oil-based spray paint, it will not mix correctly with acrylic paints.

Water-based paints are better than they used to be and now offer much better performance. They are also available in a wide range of colors. That helps you get exactly what you need with your spray paint without having to use an oil-based formula. It allows you to mix it with your acrylic paint much easier.

 Dissimilarities Between Acrylic Paint And Spray Paint

The main dissimilarity between them is that spray paint is mainly oil-based, and the other is water-based.

Spray paint may turn yellow over time in indoor areas where there is not enough sunlight. Acrylic paint doesn’t turn yellow over time.

Acrylic paint dries faster than spray paint. It takes 2-3 hours to dry completely. On the other hand, spray paint may take from 6 to 24 hours to dry completely.

Spray paints have a glossy look and acrylic paint has a matte finish look.

The spray is restricted when it comes to color variation. They are very few main colors available. You can find acrylic paint in almost every shade and hew. Unlike acrylic paint, spray can last longer, and it’s more resistant to cracks and does not fade.

Enamel paint requires a paint thinner to be cleaned. You can clean acrylic paint with only water and soap, which makes it easier to clean and a more environment-friendly option.

Acrylic paint doesn’t have a smooth surface after application. You can see brush marks, and may easily get dirty around high-traffic areas, such as handles, drawers, and door frames. They are not as durable as oil-based.

The main disadvantage of spray paint is the fact that there is a high content of VOC materials.

According to the new LEED guidelines for paint, toxic chemicals must be under 150 grams/liter for flat finishes. Most oil-based enamel paint contains more than 300 grams/liter. Acrylic enamels have less VOC consistency. Acrylic paint is non-toxic. It contains less amount of carbon-based chemicals (VOCs) – under 50 grams/liter which makes it the more eco-friendly choice for your home.

Advantages and disadvantages of acrylic and spray paints

 AdvantagesDisadvantagesDry timePerfect for
Acrylic paintIt’s versatile, water-soluble, less toxic, durable, and flexible. Acrylic paint dries quickly.Its color becomes darker when dry, and hard to remove from nails or clothing, once dried.30 minutes to an hour.Canvas, wood, paper, and more.
Spray paintSpray paint offers more even coverage without brush strokes. It is fast-drying, durable, easy-to-use.Spray paint is extremely toxic. It is expensive. Spray paint is typically oil-based, so it requires mineral spirits or strong exfoliation to clean up.Ten to thirty minutes.Exterior projects, interior decor pieces, or any other surface that’s normally painted.

 Things To Avoid While Painting

When you decide to paint your home, you won’t want to take the chance of making any mistakes. Yet, most times painting a home is a point where people make mistakes unknowingly. For example:

 Using the Wrong Paint

While painting, you should choose the appropriate paint for your project. There are a few things that can help you to find the right product.

 Interior Paint

Do not use interior paint on the outside of your house. The formulation of interior paint is not resistant to outdoor elements like moisture, sun, and pollutants.

Exterior Paint

You can use exterior paint inside, but be aware that the finish won’t come out as clean when using exterior paint for an interior paint job. If you’re purchasing a new can of paint, pick the correct application (interior or exterior, depending on what you’re painting).


You should paint a primer with a top coat within two weeks of its application, or it will fail. Like interior paint, primer is not resistant to the elements, inside or out. It requires real paint on top to complete the sealing system for which it was designed.

Not Cleaning the Walls

You can prevent this from happening by cleaning the walls before you start painting. First, run a vacuum over the walls. Then mix one gallon of warm water with two cups of vinegar and wash them with a rag. Remember the corners and baseboards.

 Not Properly Preparing the Surface

Before applying a wall, you’ll want a smooth surface. It means taking a putty knife to any loose or peeling paint. You should clean up the surface properly before painting. Whether you’re painting the interior, or your home’s exterior, prep the surface before bringing out your paint.

 Not Buying Enough Paint

You’ve just finished painting the third wall. And you’re on the home stretch, but the paint can be running on empty. No one wants to run to the store mid-project and be covered in paint. Take measurements and estimate correctly. A gallon of paint typically covers 400 square feet. Then add extra to your estimate for future touch-ups. Use our Paint Calculator to estimate how much paint and primer you’ll need for your paint project.

 Painting in Cold Weather

You may paint your kitchen or living room no matter the weather. However, if you’re painting the exterior of your home, you should make sure the temperature is appropriate for painting. These sealing products need to dry, and if the temperature is below a comfortable level, it’s impossible for the chemical reaction of drying to take place.

Not Using Enough Coats

If you paint a lighter color over a darker one, make sure you apply a solid primer coat and at least two top coats. Certain colors like red, green, and black also demand a three-coat system because the chemistry of the pigments isn’t ideal for coverage.

 Not Waiting for Paint to Dry

You may get impatient waiting for the primer to dry before applying paint. But it’s essential to allow dry time between coats. Wait for 12 to 24 hours between coats for an optimal finish.


That brings our article going over if you can paint over spray paint with acrylic paint. We hope that we have helped you understand how you can use spray paint over acrylic paint. Always use water-based spray paint if you want to go over it with acrylic paint. Your results will be considerably better than if you had used oil-based spray paint.