How To Seal Spray Paint? (Water- & Solvent-Based)

The best way to keep spray paint from peeling off is to seal it with sealant. A sealant will not only protect the surface of your project but also make the spray paint last longer.

Sealants are available in mainly two types and can be used on any type of surface, including metal, plastic, and wood. They come in both water-based and solvent-based varieties. Water-based sealants are generally thinner than their solvent counterparts and may require multiple applications for full coverage and long-lasting durability. Solvent-based sealants are thicker and more durable, but they mostly contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are harmful to our environment.

In this article, we will discuss in detail how to seal spray paint on any surface, including metal, plastic, and wood. We will also discuss the pros and cons of each type of sealant so that you can choose the right one for your needs.

How To Seal Spray Paint On Any Surface

In order to protect the spray paint from peeling or chipping off, it’s important to apply a good quality sealer over it. This will prevent moisture from getting into the spray paint and causing it to peel off. Follow these steps mentioned below to get an effective result:

1. Let the spray paint dry completely

It is very important to apply the sealant once the final coat of spray paint has dried completely. Wait for at least 30 minutes after applying the final coat of spray paint on the surface before applying the sealant. If you don’t wait long enough, the sealant might run down the surface.

2. Shake the sealant can thoroughly

Shake the can of sealant thoroughly before using it. Shake the sealant can for at least 30 seconds to ensure all the contents are mixed well. Shaking the can of sealant helps in evenly spreading the sealant across the surface.

3. Apply the sealant evenly

Apply the sealant evenly across the entire surface area. Make sure to cover all the exposed areas as well, including the edges of the project. You should also avoid applying too much sealant at one single coat. Make the coating as thin as possible so that it doesn’t drip off.

4. Apply multiple coats for better results

You can apply two to three thin coats of the sealant over the spray-painted surface for better results. After applying each coat, wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before applying the next coat. This will allow the sealant to dry fully and creates a strong bond between the sealant and the spray paint.

5. Wait for 24 hours before using the product

After applying the sealant, let it sit overnight. It is recommended to leave it for 24 hours before using it. This will give the sealant time to cure and harden properly. Once cured, the sealant becomes extremely resistant to damage and provides excellent protection against weathering.

Also read: How to dispose of spray paint cans?

Water-Based Vs Solvent-Based Sealant

Both water-based and solvent-based sealants provide excellent results when applied over the spray paint. However, there are some differences between them. Solvent-based sealants can provide long-lasting protection, while water-based sealants require multiple coatings for long durability. Following are some pros and cons of water-based and solvent-based sealants:

Basis Of ComparisonWater-Based SealantSolvent-Based Sealant
Drying TimeIt dries slower than Solvent-based sealantIt dries faster
Number of CoatingsIt requires multiple coatingsA single coat is enough
DurabilityIt is less durableIt is highly durable
SafetyIt is completely safe to useIt contains harmful chemicals and is not safe for our health.
CostWater-based sealants are available at low costSolvent-based sealants are costlier than water-based ones
Comparison of water-based and solvent-based sealants for spray paint

Ease of Application:

Both these sealants are available in aerosol cans and hence are easy to apply on the spray painted surface. In terms of application, both are equally simple to use. You just need to shake the can of sealant properly for a few seconds initially. Then spray the sealant onto the surface and wait for a few minutes for the sealant to dry.

Drying Time:

Solvent-based sealants dry faster than water-based ones. They require less amount of time to dry compared to water-based sealants. Water-based sealants take longer to dry because they contain more water content which needs to evaporate.

Number of coatings:

A single coat of solvent-based sealant will be enough to protect the spray painted surface from weathering. On the other hand, a single coat of water-based sealant may not be sufficient to provide complete protection. Therefore, applying two or three coats of water-based sealants is advisable to get long-lasting protection.


Solvent-based sealants are durable and last longer than water-based sealants because they contain solvents that provide extra protection to the painted surface. Water-based sealants also provide good protection and durability if you apply multiple coats instead of a single coat.


Solvent-based sealant contains harmful chemicals that are unsafe for our health and the environment. Whereas water-based sealants are completely safe and do not contain any harmful chemicals.

Both water-based and solvent-based sealants have their own pros and cons. If you have painted an outdoor surface that requires strong protection against weather elements like rain, heat, and cold, solvent-based sealants are a great option. If you have painted an indoor surface that comes in your day-to-day contact, water-based sealant would be a better choice.

Also read: How to unclog a spray paint can?


It is very simple and easy to apply sealant on spray paint. You just need to pick the right type of sealant for the job. Water- and solvent-based sealants provide excellent protection against weathering, but each has advantages and disadvantages. So choose wisely based on your requirements.

If you want a safe and environment-friendly sealant that provides long-lasting durability, go with water-based sealants. These water-based sealants are safe and do not contain harmful chemicals, so you can safely use them indoors.

If you require strong protection against weather elements for your outdoor furniture or any other outdoor surface, then solvent-based sealant is what you should opt for. Solvent-based sealants come at a higher price than water-based sealants but offer superior performance.

So now you know how to seal spray paint and what kind of sealant suits your requirement best. Hope this article helps you make the right decision when choosing the right sealant for your project. Please let me know if you have any questions about this topic by commenting below.


What is a good sealant for spray paint?

Both water-based and solvent-based sealants are good options for protecting spray-painted surfaces. But if you are looking for a high-quality and long-lasting product, then solvent-based sealants would be a great option. Whereas if you are looking for a safer alternative, then water-based sealants would work well for you.

How do you keep spray paint from peeling?

You can keep spray paint from peeling by applying sealant after painting the surface. This way, the paint will stay protected and won’t peel off easily.

How do you make spray paint last forever?

If you want to make your spray paint on the surface last longer, then the best option is to protect it by applying sealant after painting the surface. You can follow this article for steps on how to seal spray paint.

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