Why Is My Spray Paint Splattering? (Tips To Fix It)

Have you ever noticed that when you spray a can of paint, the first few drops always seem to be on the tip of your finger and then it starts to drip down your hand? Why does this spray paint splattering happen?

Spray paint splatters when the spray paint can’s nozzle is clogged or damaged. Because spray paint cans are pressurized and rely on pressurized aerosol propellants to work, a clogged or damaged nozzle will cause intermittent spray, reduced spray, irregular spray, and paint splatters.

In this article, we will discuss why this happens and how to stop it from happening in the future.

Why is my spray paint splattering?

The most common cause for this type of spray paint splatter is the air pressure inside the can of spray paint. As soon as you open the can, air rushes into the can and pushes out any excess paint.

That’s because there is a small amount of pressure in the container, and as soon as the air gets into the can, the pressure builds up and forces the liquid out through the nozzle.

The same thing happens with any kind of pressured paint applicators such as paint guns or sprayers. If you don’t have enough pressure in your spray gun, the paint will dribble out instead of spraying. You’ll notice this if you’re using an aerosol can or a pump-action sprayer.

If there is too much pressure, the paint will squirt out like a fountain. This is called overpressure. Overpressure causes the paint to spray farther than normal.

It also makes the paint harder to control. That’s why you should never use an overpressure sprayer unless you really know what you are doing.

Related: Why does spray paint crackle?

How do you keep spray paint from splattering?

There are various ways to prevent spray paint from splattering, some of which are:

1. Make sure your spray can nozzle is not clogged

We mentioned this before, but the first thing that you should check is the nozzle on your spray paint can. If you have used the can before, there might be dried paint inside the nozzle, preventing the flow.

Whatever the issue, we have an excellent resource all about how to unclog a spray paint can nozzle!

2. Always use a good quality spray paint

Cheap spray paints usually contain cheap ingredients. They won’t hold up well after years of use. Quality spray paints are made with high-grade materials that last longer. The pressure inside good quality spray paint cans is also higher than those used by cheaper brands.

3. Use a low-pressure sprayer

If you spray paint with a paint sprayer or gun, always use one with a lower-pressure setting. A lower-pressure sprayer gives less force to the paint so it doesn’t shoot out of the nozzle at such a fast rate.

4. Spray at a lower angle

It is also very important to spray at a lower angle. When you spray at a high angle, you get more overspray. Overspray is the excess paint that comes off the surface being sprayed. It is very hard to clean and remove once it has dried. By spraying at a lower angle, you will also keep the pressure in the can lower.

5. Hold the spray gun away from your body

When you spray, the spray gun needs to be held at least six inches above your body. If you hold it closer to your body, you will get overspray all over yourself.

6. Keep the spray gun steady

Keeping the spray gun or spray can steady throughout the painting process helps reduce overspray. This will also help to avoid unnecessary splattering.

Related: Why is my spray paint bubbling?

How do you fix speckled or splattered spray paint?

If you accidentally spray paint something and end up with a lot of splattered paint, the first thing you should do is immediately wipe down any area where you’ve splattered spray paint.

You can use a rag or paper towel for this. Once you have wiped down the area, try to cover as much of the splattered paint as possible. Then wait until the paint dries before moving on to the next step.

Once the paint has dried, you can now start using sandpaper to sand it down. Sanding down the area will remove the old splattered spray paint and make the surface smooth again. However, it may take a lot of effort and time. You can use fine-grit sandpaper to accomplish this task.

Once the sanding work is done and you’re satisfied with the results, you can now apply another coat of spray paint. Be sure to choose the same color that was previously applied. This way, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding any mistakes.

You can always go back to the previous steps and repeat them until you achieve the desired look. Remember that these methods are only effective if you follow them properly. Otherwise, you might just end up wasting a lot of time and effort again and again.

How to create a splatter effect with spray paint?

Splatter effects are created by applying multiple layers of spray paint. The idea behind creating splatter effects is to give an appearance of depth to the surface. To create a realistic-looking splatter effect, you need to start with a flat surface.

Spray paint splatter effect
Spray paint splatter effect

For example, you can start by spraying a layer of white paint onto a piece of wood. After that, you can add some black paint to the top of the white layer. Finally, you can add some red paint to the middle of the black layer. By doing so, you will have created a very realistic-looking splatter effect.

However, you may not get the desired splattered effect on your first go. It depends on how well you sprayed the paint. Also, it is very difficult for a beginner to recreate the exact same splatter effect every single time. Hence, it is best to experiment with different colors and see what works best for you.

You can easily create a realistic-looking splatter spray paint effect with some practice and patience. So, why not give it a shot today?


Spray paint splattering is a very common problem among amateur painters. Although there are many ways to avoid spray paint splatters, none of them are perfect. Therefore, the best solution is to be prepared in case of such situations. Always remember to wear protective gear like masks, goggles and gloves when working with spray paints.

Also, never forget to clean up after yourself. Spray paint splatters are hard to clean off, especially if they are on walls or ceilings. Make sure that you clean all surfaces thoroughly before proceeding to the next step. If you don’t, you might end up having to repaint the entire wall or surface.

Finally, you should always consider buying good quality spray paint. This way, you won’t have to worry about the unexpected splatters that come along with cheap spray paint.

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Why is my spray paint can Spitting?

This usually happens because you didn’t tighten the lid properly. You should make sure that the lid is tight enough so that no air gets into the can.

How do I remove spray paint splatters from walls?

The easiest way to remove spray paint splatters is to use a damp cloth. Simply wipe away the excess paint using a soft towel. If required, sand the surface again and apply a fresh spray paint coat.

Why is my spray gun sputtering?

It’s probably because you’re holding the nozzle too close to the surface. Try moving the nozzle further away from the surface. High-pressure sprayers also tend to cause splatter problems.

How do I stop my spray paint from dripping down my hands?

You can wear gloves while painting. Alternatively, you can cover your hand with a plastic bag.

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