Difference Between Spray Enamel and Spray Paint? [Explained!]

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between spray enamel and spray paint? Spray paint is a modern alternative of regular paint to protect our objects from rusting, fading or chipping.

Spray Paint is a broader term that includes different types and finishes, whereas Spray Enamel is a specific type of spray paint. We will discuss the differences between spray enamel and spray paint in this article. But before we begin lets understand the meaning of both the terms.

What Is Spray Enamel?

Spray enamels are one of the most popular types of spray paint used for home and commercial projects. They come in various colors and finish options like matte, satin, gloss, etc.

The main advantage of using spray enamel over other painting methods is its ability to be applied directly on any surface without requiring primer first. It can also be easily removed with water if required.

How Does Spray Enamel Work?

When spray enamel is used it creates an even coat of color which makes it ideal for use on surfaces such as walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, windows, doors, and more.

The coating is designed to resist scratches, stains, mildew, and humidity. Its unique formula allows it to adhere well to all surfaces including metal, wood, concrete, and much more.

How To Use Spray Enamel?

To apply spray enamel, follow these steps:

1) Clean your project area thoroughly by wiping down with clean cloths soaked in warm soapy water.

2) Apply a suitable amount of spray enamel according to the instructions provided on the label.

3) Wait for about 15 minutes after spraying until the paint dries completely.

4) Once dry, remove excess dust particles by gently brushing them off with a soft brush.

5) If necessary, repeat Step 4 once again.

6) Finally, let the piece dry completely before moving it into place.

7) For best results, allow the item to fully dry overnight before applying additional coats.

To know more about enamel spray paint read: What is enamel spray paint?

What is Spray Paint?

Spray paint is a form of exterior paint that comes in many different varieties. It’s usually available in many types and finishes, such as flat, semi-gloss, high gloss, metallic, etc.

It can also be applied directly onto bare steel, aluminum, plastic, glass, or any kind of surfaces.

Edward Seymour invented the canned spray paint in 1949, the initial colour was aluminium. Bonnie Seymour, Edward Seymour’s wife, proposed using an aerosol can packed with paint.

The main advantages of using spray paint include:

• Easy application – Spray paint can be applied quickly and effortlessly while still providing excellent coverage.

• Durability – Unlike regular paints, spray paint is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and harsh chemicals.

• Resistant to scratching – Due to its unique formulation, spray paint offers superior protection against damage caused by everyday wear and tear.

• Removal – You can easily remove spray paint with soap and water.

• Low maintenance – Unlike regular paints, there’s no need to repaint every few years.

• Versatile – Spray paint can be used indoors or outdoors.

Disadvantages associated with spray paint:

Requires primer – Before applying spray paint, you must first prime the surface with a compatible primer. This helps prevent the paint from peeling and cracking due to exposure to moisture.

• Can stain clothing – Spray paint contains solvents that may cause staining when they get on clothes.

• Expensive – Compared to traditional paints, spray paint tends to cost more.

May contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – Some spray paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can harm human health.

Spray Enamel vs Spray Paint

The primary difference between Spray Paint and Spray Enamel is that spray paint is a very broad category that encompasses a variety of paints classified according to their texture and base material.

On the other hand, spray enamel is a specialised type of spray paint. While all spray enamels are also spray paints, not all spray paints are spray enamels.

In fact, most people don’t even realise that spray paint isn’t just one thing! There are actually several different types of spray paint out there.

Spray enamels were mostly oil-based products, however they are now available in water-based versions as well.

Spray paint is the simplest and most current form of painting. The liquid paint is stored in aerosol cans and dispersed through the dispenser’s nozzle.

Spray paints are further divided according to their type of paint. This is an extremely broad category. With a variety of paints to suit everyone’s tastes.

Enamel paints, on the other hand, are a type of spray paint. They are extremely popular due to their durability. They are shiny in appearance.

Additionally, they dehydrate rapidly. Spray enamels are typically used to coat outdoor furniture in order to protect it from harsh climate fluctuations. They are also ideal for use on metal surfaces. However, they tend to crack over time.

The main differences between Spray Enamel and Spray Paint

There are many differences between Spray Enamel & Spray Paint. However, here are the major ones:

1. Texture

Spray Enamel has a smooth finish. It doesn’t have any grit or roughness like Spray Paint does.

2. Base Material

Spray Enamel is made up of waxes, oils, resins, and pigments. These ingredients make it highly resistant to heat and weathering. Whereas Spray paints are usually made up of urethane resins, vinyls, and acrylics.

3. Application

Enamel paints can be applied by brush, roller or spray gun. On the other hand, Spray Paint needs to be sprayed using the spray can.

4. Durability

Spray Enamel lasts longer than Spray Paint. It can withstand extreme temperatures without losing its shine. Spray Paint, on the other hand loses its shine after a few years.

5. Price

Spray Enamel costs less than Spray Paint. You can find them at home improvement stores.

6. Health Hazards

As mentioned earlier, some Spray Paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These chemicals are harmful to humans. But Spray enamels contains less VOCs as compared to spray paints.

7. Cleanup

Spray Enamel requires little cleanup. If you accidentally spill it, you can wipe it off with a damp cloth. However, if you get spray paint on your hands, skin or cloths, it becomes very difficult to remove.

8. Maintenance

Spray Enamel will last longer than Spray Paint. Because it doesn’t need much maintenance. However, if you do want to keep it clean, you should apply a clear topcoat every once in awhile.

9. Availability

You can buy Spray Enamel in almost any hardware store. In contrast, you’ll only find spray paints in specialty paint shops.

10. Colour Mixing

Spray Enamel colours mix together easily. In contrast, Spray Paint tends to separate when mixed together.

Related: Spray paint vs Regular paint


These are the major differences between spray enamels and spray paints. Hope, now you have understood the difference between them.

As we know that spray paint has become the preferred method of painting surfaces these days. The primary reasons are they take less time and, do not require a great deal of expertise. We use it frequently in our DIY projects.

Spray paints, can be generally classified according to their texture and base, including metallic, acrylic, enamel, frosted, glossy, and matte.

Spray enamels are a form of spray paint that when dry, leave a glossy reflective shine. Although we know that enamel paints are difficult to apply in an outside or open atmosphere.

But they are extremely robust due to their ability to withstand adverse weather conditions. Because enamel paints dry quickly, so one must work swiftly otherwise the paint may begin to flake.

So which one would you choose? Well, that depends on what kind of project you’re working on. If you’re looking for something durable and long lasting, then go for Spray Enamel. Otherwise, if you want something that looks great right out of the box, then go for Spray Paint.


What is enamel spray paint used for?

It’s commonly used for interior walls, ceilings, trim and furniture. It gives a shiny finish to wood, metal and plastic surfaces.

Can I spray enamel over spray paint?

Yes, you can. However don’t paint water-based paint over oil-based or vice versa.

Is enamel spray paint strong?

Enamel spray paint is stronger than regular spray paint.

Does enamel spray paint need a clear coat?

No, you don’t need a clear coat, if you are painting with enamel spray paint.

Do I need a top coat for spray paint?

Top coats are needed for spray paint because it dries up too fast.

Hi, while painting our various DIY projects, we have spent many years researching the best spray paints. We realized that many people are searching for the same thing on different sites. We, therefore, have created this standard blog to provide effective solutions for the best spray paint.

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