Can Spray Paint Freeze (And Will Aerosol Cans Explode?)

Can spray paint freeze in the can?

This is a question that many people have asked themselves, and with good reason. It seems like an easy answer to simply say “yes,” but there are actually a few factors at play when it comes to the temperature of spray paint cans.

Spray paint cans can indeed freeze, depending on the type of paint and the surrounding temperature. Water-based spray paints will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while acrylic and oil-based spray paints can freeze at temperatures below 32°F. Freezing can impact the functionality, flow, and overall quality of the paint and can cause cans to burst.

In this blog post, we will explore the science behind freezing spray paint and how it affects your ability to use them effectively in cold weather.

Do spray paint or aerosol cans freeze?

Yes, spray paint or aerosol cans freeze under certain conditions. Usually, spray paint cans don’t freeze when they are kept at normal room temperature, but if somehow the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the spray paint cans can freeze. The colder the temperature, the more likely it is for this to happen.

Once it is frozen, the spray paint becomes thick and clumpy. When you try to use it in this state, your spray paint won’t come out right away since the contents are thick and not spreadable. It can take longer to dry or it may even clog your spray paint nozzle, causing you problems down the line.

Can Spray Paint Freeze

Also read: What is The Ball in Spray Paint Can? 

When this happens to you, the best thing that you can do is wait for your paint cans to warm up before using them again. The easiest way to do this is to keep them at room temperature for a while.

This will help your spray paint cans thaw out, which will make them usable again. Remember that the colder it is, the longer it may take to do this. If you live in a cold climate, it may be worth your while to get an insulated bag so that the temperature change is not as extreme.

Is spray paint still usable after a can has frozen?

Yes, spray paint is still usable after a can has frozen. Once the cans are warmed up, they should be usable again once adjusted to normal room temperature.

It is important to note that if a can of spray paint has been exposed to freezing temperatures for a prolonged period, the quality and lifespan may be compromised. This is particularly true if the can has been frozen multiple times or the can has burst open.

Effects of freezing on spray paint quality

When spray paint is exposed to freezing temperatures, it can cause several issues that affect the quality of the paint and its application.

This includes changes in the paint’s texture and consistency, as well as issues with the nozzle functionality and spray pattern.

In this section, we’ll examine these issues in greater detail:

  • Paint texture and consistency
  • Nozzle Functionality
  • Spray pattern
Effects of freezing on spray paint quality

Paint texture and consistency

When spray paint cans are stored at room temperature, the paint inside remains smooth and evenly mixed. However, if the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, spray paint cans can freeze, affecting the texture and consistency of the paint. Once frozen, the paint becomes thick and clumpy.

When spray paint is water-based, it can freeze at 32°F, causing the paint to become ropey, stringy, or clumpy. These changes can make it difficult to achieve an even application and may result in a poor-quality finish.

Nozzle functionality

Frozen spray paint also affects the functionality of the nozzle. When the paint inside the can is frozen, it can clog the nozzle and disrupt the flow of paint.

A clogged nozzle makes it challenging to use the spray paint can effectively, leading to uneven coverage and potential damage to the project.

Nozzle functionality

Spray pattern

The frozen and thawed paint may also affect the spray pattern of the paint.

Frozen paint has a thicker viscosity, making it difficult to spray through the nozzle. The paint may not atomize properly, resulting in an inconsistent spray pattern. This can cause drips, runs, or uneven application, further compromising the final result of your project.

How cold is too cold for aerosol cans?

Aerosol cans should be kept at normal room temperature. If spray paint is exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the contents may become frozen. If the spray paint becomes frozen, it will need to be warmed up before use.

In general, aerosol cans should not be stored in a cold garage, shed, or other outdoor structure because the temperature may dip below freezing. The cans should also avoid being left outside in winter. If the cans are exposed to colder temperatures for too long, they will turn into a solid block of ice and become unusable.

Will aerosol cans explode if frozen?

No, aerosol cans will not explode if frozen. There have been claims that aerosol cans can explode if frozen. These rumors started back in the 1970s and continue to circulate today, even though there has never been any verifiable evidence of this happening.

will aerosol cans explode if frozen

Some have suggested that the pressure inside a frozen aerosol can is too great and, when it warms up again, will cause an explosion. However, the pressure inside an aerosol can is actually lower when it’s cold because gas molecules move more slowly at colder temperatures.

Also read:Is Spray Paint Bad for Your Skin?

The only reason that an aerosol can would explode is if the product is exposed to extreme heat. Since spray paints contain flammable liquids, it’s possible for them to explode if you use a blowtorch or lighter.

Thawing and using frozen spray paint cans

Proper Thawing Techniques

When dealing with frozen spray paint cans, it’s essential to thaw them correctly to maintain their usability. First, move the spray paint cans to a room with a temperature above 32°F (0°C) and let them gradually thaw.

Avoid using direct heat sources, such as hairdryers or heaters, as rapid temperature changes can impact the paint’s consistency and may cause the can to rupture. Allow the paint cans to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours in the warmer environment to ensure proper thawing.


Once thawed, it’s necessary to test the spray paint to determine if it’s still usable. Shake the can well for several minutes to mix the paint and check for any solid clumps or unusual sounds. If the paint sounds or feels abnormal while shaking, it might not be suitable for use.

Spray a test patch of paint on a piece of scrap material and observe its appearance, consistency, and coverage. If the paint flows smoothly, dries evenly, and maintains its intended color, it’s likely still usable.


If the spray paint can’t be salvaged after proper thawing and testing, it’s essential to dispose of it responsibly. Do not throw used or unusable paint cans directly into the trash. Most areas have specific regulations for the disposal of aerosol cans and paint products. Contact your local waste management service or visit their website to find out about proper disposal methods in your area. By following these guidelines, you are ensuring a safe and environmentally responsible solution for disposing of frozen spray paint cans.

Preventing spray paint cans from freezing

Spray paint cans can potentially freeze under certain temperatures, which can affect the paint’s quality. There are several methods to prevent this from happening.

In this section, we will discuss climate-controlled storage and insulated containers as two effective ways to protect your spray paint cans from freezing.

Climate-controlled storage

One of the most effective methods to prevent your spray paint cans from freezing is to store them in a climate-controlled environment. By maintaining a stable temperature and humidity level, you can ensure that your paint cans are protected from extreme cold or damp conditions.

Storing them at ambient temperature within your home or in a climate-controlled storage locker can help prevent freezing. Make sure the storage space’s temperature is consistently above 32 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid any issues with water-based spray paints.

Insulated containers

For situations where climate-controlled storage may not be possible, using insulated containers is another effective option. These containers provide a barrier between the paint cans and the freezing temperatures, helping to maintain a stable temperature inside the container.

To store spray paint cans in insulated containers, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a container with good insulation – Look for containers made with high-quality insulating materials that can effectively keep out the cold.
  2. Place the paint cans inside the container – Make sure the cans are positioned securely and are not touching the container’s walls directly.
  3. Seal the container tightly – A well-sealed container will effectively keep the cold air from entering and maintain stable temperatures within.
  4. Monitor the temperature inside the container periodically – Check the inside temperature using a thermometer to ensure it remains above the freezing point.

By using these methods, you can confidently store your spray paint cans without fear of them freezing and deteriorating in quality.

Can spray paint cans freeze? – key takeaways

  • Spray paint cans can freeze at low temperatures, affecting the paint’s quality and functionality.
  • Different types of spray paints, such as water-based, acrylic, and oil-based, have varying freezing points.
  • Proper storage and usage in suitable environments are crucial to prevent freezing and maintain optimal spray paint performance.

Frequently asked questions about freezing spray paint cans

Does freezing affect spray paint performance?

Yes, freezing can affect the performance of spray paint. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water-based spray paints can freeze, while acrylic and oil-based spray paints may freeze at slightly lower temperatures source.

Freezing can cause the paint to lose its natural flow and viscosity, making it difficult to apply evenly and may result in clogging the nozzle while spraying.

What is the safe temperature range for storing aerosol cans?

The optimal temperature for storing aerosol cans, including spray paint, is at a normal room temperature of around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most aerosol cans have a temperature range printed on their labels, so it’s important to follow those guidelines for safe storage.

What are the consequences of frozen spray paint cans?

Frozen spray paint cans can have several negative consequences. The paint may become thick and difficult to apply, the nozzle may become clogged, or in extreme cases, the can may expand due to pressure and leak or even burst.

Can spray paint be revived after being frozen?

In some cases, spray paint can be revived after being frozen. However, this is not a guarantee, as the paint’s performance may still be affected. It is best to thaw spray paint gradually at room temperature and test it before applying it to a project.

How to prevent spray paint cans from freezing?

To prevent spray paint cans from freezing, store them in a climate-controlled environment close to room temperature. Avoid storing them in uninsulated areas such as garages, sheds, or vehicles during cold weather.

Tips for spray painting in cold weather

Warm up the can: Before you start spraying, warm up the can of paint by placing it in a bucket of warm water for a few minutes. This will help the paint flow more smoothly.

Choose the right time of day: Try to spray paint during the warmest part of the day, when the temperature is at its highest.

Keep the surface warm: Make sure the surface you are painting is warm enough. You can use a heat lamp or a space heater to warm up the area before you start painting.

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