How to Make Spray Paint Adhere

Spray paint is made to adhere to most surfaces. Some smooth surfaces or coatings are resistant paints of any kind. There are several types of spray paint for different types of materials. Paint based on oil may not work as well on some items as acrylic based paint would. Each type of paint is labeled with a list of materials it works on and that can be difficult to paint. Spend some time reading to avoid misuse of the paint.


  1. Read the instructions. Different spray paints have different instructions. Some require a drying time between coats, while others need a second layer within a few minutes of the first. Some recommend a primer, while others recommend spraying directly on the surface.
  2. Paint in warm weather. Most paint will have trouble adhering to a surface if the temperature is too cold. It is best to keep your painting project until the temperature is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21° C) to paint outdoors.
  3. Clean the item you are painting. Wash the surface with hot water and let it dry before applying paint. If you paint without cleaning it first, you may paint over top on a layer of dirt or grease.
  4. Sand smooth surfaces like glass. Lightly sand the surface before painting will help the paint to adhere. Wash the surface after sanding to remove dust created by the process.
  5. Prep surfaces like wood. The wood needs to be sanded and cleaned and should apply a primer before using an aerosol spray paint. It allows the primer to cure before adding the layers of paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use spray paint in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors.
  • Place a piece of fabric under the item you are painting to avoid getting paint on places you do not want painted.