What type of paint is spray paint?

Spray paint consists of thin layers of a clear, white, or yellowish pigment which are spread over canvas and then dries into an opaque material. It is best for outdoor display. Spray paint is also called “cotton”.

You’ll need:
Spray paint art: Sun set falls | Artkraze | Buy Art Online

Drybrush (the kind you’d use to paint a baby’s crib)

2 ounces of water (we used 5 gallons)

Dry brush, a clean washcloth to wipe dry the brush

Some type of water-based paint (paint thinner (i.e. Krylon or Ziploc))

Tip You might have to use extra force with this one to get the paint to spray. You won’t get as much product as you would with a brush, so you run the risk of spraying too much.

Now that the paint is dry you are ready to paint!

Fill your dry brush halfway with a drop of water—this is your “spray gun.” The larger the amount of water you used the more paint you’ll get out of your brush. For our tutorial, the recommended amount is one quarter of a ounce, which equates to roughly one gallon in a single paint cup.

Fill your cup with the dry paint, leaving one side open. Then, with a clean washcloth, wipe the open surface clean of any visible paint. Then, cover the paint with the dry brush. As the dry brush dries the pigment in the water stays in the paint and doesn’t drip out.

Spray the dry paint until all liquid is wet. Try not to over spray!

When the paint has dried, squeeze a fresh coat out and press the empty cup over it to dry it completely. Then, repeat for the other side of the paint cup.

Drybrush tips

It’s always useful to know that the amount of paint you apply to a piece of canvas will vary from paint to paint.


In general, you will need to add more to the paint when you first start using it—that is, if it appears dry enough for your current style. As you work or practice the technique, it can become more consistent and effective.

Keep a clean washcloth and a dry brush handy when doing this. This allows you to see how much paint is left on the piece and how much has evaporated.

Be sure to rinse the paint well after wiping it off, just as you would if pouring a bath.