Did you recently spray paint your house and wondering how long it will last?

Perhaps, it has been a while since you spray painted a surface and the paint is still looking fresh, making you wonder how long it will remain like that. Don’t overthink it. You will find all the answers to your question in this article.

  • Generally, spray paint lasts for a few years; so far you apply it on a clean, dry surface. Nevertheless, how long spray paint lasts depends on the surface you are painting
    and the type you are using.

Note that regardless of what type you are using, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly before painting.

You can clean the plastic surface using soap and water. Afterward, sand it lightly to roughen up the surface. Sanding will help the paint adhere better. Also, ensure to wear a mask and gloves when painting for protection.

There are various factors affecting how long spray paint lasts on a surface, such as the surface type you are painting, the primer type you use before applying the paint, and the sealer type you use whether it is acrylic or polyurethane top coat. In this article, I will be explaining how long spray paint lasts on different surfaces and conditions.

How Long Does Spray Paint Last

How Long will Spray Paint Last on Metal?

How long spray paint lasts on metal depends on the metal type, the paint’s thickness, and the environment. Spray paint will last longer if you apply it in a thin coat and keep it in a cool, dry place. If you apply it on a metal surface, it should last on average 8 – 10 years. However, if you apply it in a thick coat or store it in a hot, humid place, it won’t last as long.

The best way to ensure that your paint lasts as long as possible is to apply it in a thin coat. Additionally, it would help if you stored it in a cool, dry place. Factors affecting how long spray paint last on metal include,

  • The metal type
  • The paint’s thickness
  • The environment

The table below gives a full explanation of how each factor affects how long spray paint lasts on metal.

The Metal TypeThe metal type affects the spray paint’s life. For example, if you apply spray paint on aluminum and steel, expect the paint to last longer on aluminum than on steel. However, if you apply the paint in thick coats, it will not last as long on either metal
The Paint’s ThicknessThis factor also affects how long spray paint lasts on metals. A thinner coat is better and lasts longer than a thicker coat. In addition, applying excess paint can make the paint crack and peel off
The EnvironmentThis factor also plays an important role in how long the spray paint lasts. If you live in an area having high humidity, the paint won’t last as long. Also, if you live in an area having extreme heat, the paint won’t last as long  

How Long Will Spray Paint Last on Plastic

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to change your plastic surfaces’ color, you may consider using spray paint.

Oil-based spray paints are durable and should last for many years without chipping or fading. Nevertheless, they can be challenging to remove if you decide to change the color later on.

Water-based spray paints are less durable than oil-based paints, however, they are easier to clean up if there is a mistake in their application. Additionally, they won’t yellow over time as some oil-based paints can.

If you are using spray paint on a plastic surface that will get exposure to sunlight, including other harsh conditions, it’s best to apply outdoor-rated spray paint. Such paints are designed to withstand weathering. Additionally, they will not fade as quickly as ordinary spray paints.

How Long will Spray Paint Last on Glass?

Spray paint lasts for about six months on glass. Note that the paint will fade over time; thus, ensure you apply a fresh coat every few months.

Spray paint on glass doesn’t last as long as on other surfaces. This is because the surface is more exposed to the elements. Also, the paint will fade faster if it is exposed to direct sunlight.

You can extend your spray-painted glass shelf life by applying a clear sealant over the paint’s top. It will help protect the paint from chipping and fading. You may also use specialty glass paints. These glass paints are designed to last longer on glass surfaces.

How Long Does Spray Paint Smell Last

On average, it takes 2 – 3 days and good ventilation for the spray paint fumes to get entirely dissipated. Sometimes, it could take at least a day for their smell to become unnoticeable. In cold or damp areas, their smell can last for a few weeks. 

If the paint’s smell is making you uncomfortable, you can get rid of it by,

  • Getting some bowls and filling them halfway with water. You can also use lemon and salt, and fill a few bowls halfway with vinegar
  • Place the bowls around the room and allow them to sit overnight or perhaps until the smell is gone.
  • Instead of using the options above, you can also place some coffee grounds in the room’s corner. Activated charcoal and baking soda are also excellent options.
  • Note: Inhaling spray paint fumes can be hazardous to your health whether your exposure to the VOC fumes is minimal or extended. This is because there are definite risks and side effects of inhaling those fumes. Short-term effects may include throat, nose, and eye irritation, nausea, headaches, and coordination loss.

How Long Does a Can of Spray Paint Last

Once you open a spray paint can, its shelf life is of about three years. However, if the product is stored in an extremely hot or cold environment, the time frame could be shortened to a year.

Unopened spray paint cans should last for years; so far you store them appropriately. Unused water-based acrylic and latex paints can last up to ten years. Oil-based and alkyd spray paints can last up to fifteen years if you don’t open them.

If you are thinking about how far your spray paint can go, know that the coverage varies depending on the paint’s viscosity and application method. However, the 4.5 oz should cover about 7 square feet. The 11 – 12 oz net weight covers about 20 square feet, while the 16 oz can cover up to 30 square feet.

how long does spray paint last in a can

How Long Does Spray Paint Last in The Can

Unopened spray paints last for between 2 and 10 years. If you are using brands like Ironlak and Krylon, note that they can expire between 2 and 5 years. However, Montana has a shelf life of 10 years; so far you store it properly and don’t open it. On average, unopened spray paint goes bad within three years, but it still depends on their production time of them.

There is a shelf life guarantee after paint production. This guarantee is up to ten years with exception of the Granit Effect which has a shelf life of five years. Nevertheless, it is best to store your paint cans at the appropriate temperature.

The storage temperature should be 10°C – 25°C with the relative humidity not exceeding 60%. Also, ensure to store your paint cans in a cool, dry place, and away from direct sunlight.

How Long Does Spray Paint Last in Sunlight

Spray paint doesn’t last very long in sunlight. This is because the ultraviolet radiation from the sun will make the paint fade and lose its color. Additionally, the paint becomes brittle and begins to flake off. The best way to protect your spray-painted surfaces is to keep them away from direct sunlight.

If you must spray paint in the sun, ensure to apply a UV-resistant clear coat over the paint’s top to protect them from fading and flaking. Therefore, if you must apply paint in the sun, take note of the consequences. The major consequence is that the paint won’t last as long and you may need to touch it up sooner.

How Long Can Spray Paint Last in the Rain

Most spray paints are weather-resistant; therefore, they can last for a few months in the rain. Nevertheless, exposure to direct sunlight, including other harsh weather conditions can damage the paint’s finish. Additionally, it can shorten its lifespan.

It is not ideal to spray paint in the rain as controlling the paint application can be challenging, and it may not adhere to the surface properly. If you must spray paint in the rain, ensure to protect the area around your work site from overspray. Also, please clean up any drips or runs immediately.

Generally, lacquers and water-based acrylics are more weather-resistant than oil-based paints, thus, they will last longer in the rain. However, it is best to remove all spray paint types from surfaces before exposing them to direct sunlight or other harsh weather conditions. Ensure to consider all these before using spray paint.

How Long Can Spray Paint Last Indoors

When used indoors, spray paint can last up to ten years. When you use exterior paints, finishes, and stains inside, it helps prolong their lifespan up to ten times. Rubbing or exposing such surfaces to dirt or water increases the wear process almost immediately.

You can follow simple guidelines like using storm windows when painting in rainy weather. You can also use doormats with felt bottoms when coming from outside. Note that you can enjoy incredible weatherboards for decades without breaking your budget.

How Long Can Spray Paint Last Outdoors

Outdoor spray paint’s lifespan varies depending on the substrate to which you apply it. Generally, it should last up to five years before showing signs of deterioration.

Certain factors that may affect how long spray paint lasts outside include weather conditions, type of them, and the surface to which you apply it. The weather conditions include temperature, humidity, and exposure to sunlight.

Applying a top coat or primer over the spray paint helps to extend its lifespan. Also, storing them in a cool, dry place will enable them to last longer. Applying it on metal surfaces means it can last up to ten years before giving signs of wear. Wood surfaces may only last 3 – 5 years before the paint starts to chip and peel.

If you live in an area having harsh weather conditions, repainting may be necessary later on. This is because surfaces that have exposure to direct sunlight or high temperatures may experience fast deterioration than those that are not.

How Long Can Spray Paint Last on a Canvas

Spray paint lasts on canvas for between three and five years. However, if you use high-quality materials and take good care of your painting, your spray paint can last longer. Spray paint should last for a few years if you apply it to a clean, dry surface.

Nevertheless, their lifespan on a canvas depends on the canvas type you are using, the primer you use before using the paint, and also, the sealer you use.

 If you are using a canvas, ensure that it is clean and dry before applying the paint. It would also help if you used a primer before painting as it will help the paint last longer.

Sealing the finish with an acrylic or polyurethane top coat will also help protect the paint from chipping and fading.

How Long Does Spray Paint Last if it Gets Wet

Paint’s longevity depends on the environment. If it’s humid with no protective topcoat, its lifespan will be significantly less than if it is in a dry area with some sealant types or coating atop.

Nonetheless, if you keep the paint can be sealed when not in use and also, store it in a cool, dry place, the paint should last for years. If it becomes wet, however, it will likely need repainting sooner than later.

Do Spray Paints Have an Expiration Date

No, they don’t. However, spray paints will eventually dry out and become unusable. How long spray paint lasts depends on how well you store it. For instance, acrylic spray paints last longer when you store them in a cool, dry place and keep them away from direct sunlight.

If you are unsure whether your spray paint is still good, you can test it on a small area before using it on your project. If the paint does not go on smoothly or if fits streaks, it means it is no longer good. Therefore, it would help if you purchased a new paint can.

To know if your paint is expired, you can check the expiration date on the paint can. Nonetheless, there are other ways to know if your paint has gone bad. One way is to look at the paint color. If it had turned a different color than when it was new, it is best not to use it. Another way to know if it’s no longer good for use is by checking the nozzle. If it has a clogged or rusty nozzle, the paint is unsafe for use.

Tips to extend your Spray Paint’s Life

Storing your paint in a cool, dry place can make it last for up to two years. Nevertheless, the sooner you use it, the better the finished product look. There are many ways to extend the spray paint’s life. Below are some tips.

Paint does not last forever, which is why you must store it properly. When not in use, keep the paint in a cool, dark place. Paint that is exposed to sunlight, including other extreme temperature changes is more likely to deteriorate.

  • Use an airtight container to keep the paint from drying out
  • Add one or two water drops to prevent the paint from becoming too thick
  • Keep the paint can upside down to keep the paint from settling
  • Use a smaller paint can as a smaller can lasts longer since you won’t be using as much

How Can I Make Spray Paint Last Longer

If you are wondering how you can make spray paint last longer, this section will help you out. You can check out the tips below.

1) Apply Light Coats

It’s best to apply thin layers instead of one thick layer to help make the spray paint last. This is because the thin layers will dry faster and are less likely to crack/peel. To learn more on how to apply light coats, check out the video below.

2) Give Time Between Coats

I recommend waiting at least one hour between each coat to make your paint job more durable. This gives each paint layer the to properly set and bond with the previous layer.

3) Clean the Surface before Painting

Ensure to clean your surfaces before applying any paint, topcoat, or primer. Dirt, oils, including other contaminants, can prevent the paint from adhering properly; thus, shortening its lifespan.

4) Apply a Topcoat

To make your paint job last longer, it is best to use a clear topcoat. Topcoats provide an extra protection layer against wear and tear; thus, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.

5) Store the Paint Properly


The surface you are applying spray paint determines how long the spray paint will last. Also, the paint type and the environmental conditions play their roles in determining how long the spray paint will last.

It is best to prepare the surface you want to spray paint before spray painting. Most spray paints last for a few years; so far you apply them on a clean, dry surface.


Do paint cans have dates on them?

Yes, they have. However, if you take care of your paint sprayer well. They can last beyond this point of expiry.

Is Sprary Paint permemant

In simpler terms: yes. Spray paint is permanent. However, there are many ways to get rid of it if that is what you want. Including using alcohol, turpentine nad other such things.

How long does spray paint dry up?

It dries up in between 10 to 60 minutes, in extreme cases. That just depends on the thickness of the coat, but if you are using a spray canister, you are unlikely to make a thick coat that will take a long to dry. However, it is still a good idea to give it ample time to dry. So, I recommend you wait 10-20 minutes on each normal coat.