Picture of Custom skinny spray paint cap
The needle cap is used in technical aerosol painting for effects and detail work. This tutorial shows how to modify it into a custom skinny cap. If left unmodified it produces a strong flow of paint suitable for bursts of color as well as drip effects, basically a splatter cap. Experimentation with custom tips is the key to understanding how to atomize the paint in different ways.

Items needed:

bic lighter
miniature safety pin (smallest possible)
needle cap (either hooded or normal)
Spray paint
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Step 1: Shape the tip

Picture of Shape the tip
1. Hold the cap at its edge furthest away from the straw. Don’t allow the cap to slip into the fire when smelting its edge.

2. Flick the bic lighter and hold the flame for a few seconds. Make sure you are not in a cold location because the metal guard on the lighter will not get hot enough.

3. Place the straw of the needle cap approximately 2/16 inch from flame. Don't let the straw enter the flame. Allow the plastic to soften for about 3-4 seconds.

4. Let go of the button on the lighter releasing the flame. Immediately take the soft part of the straw and press it flat against the warm metal guard of the lighter. Do not press too hard, just enough to lightly seal the plastic. The seal should be a very thin layer that closes it shut.

Step 2: Create the aperture

Picture of Create the aperture
5. Take out the pin and lightly puncture the plastic. Make sure the aperture is in the center of the straw. When puncturing the straw, have the needle perpendicular (right angle) to the sealed surface.

6. Put your mouth over the flute (part that connects to the can) or straw and blow some air through it. This will ensure the cap is not still sealed.

Step 3: Test it and use it

Picture of test it and use it
7. Test out the cap with a well-shaken can. Wear a glove. Use in a well ventilated area. Do a test spray on a piece of cardboard to see what type of mark it makes.
linny2 years ago
Apropos spray paint, I need a tip: wondering WHY spray paint gets all over my finger and hand, the one that's pressing down on the paint? IS there a solution other than wearing a disposable glove? Is this a problem for everybody or what do I do wrong? ------ I only spray paint outdoors on occasion, and I seem to  do better work without a glove for some reason. Can old paint be the problem / do you always need to use the paint up? Before I store spray paint, I always invert the can & spray upside-down til the gas comes out "clean" so a messy valve shouldn't be my problem.
conceptualstratagem (author)  linny2 years ago
If the excess paint is emerging from the cans valve its the can, if its sputtering from the tip then its the tip. Not all tips and cans are compatible. This tip shouldn't make a mess on your hand. I would recommend using a glove or finger protector every time you paint.
netgrazer2 years ago
Very useful, super easy!
jackfaciale2 years ago
sunshiine2 years ago
Thanks for sharing!
rimar20002 years ago
Interesting, thanks for sharing.