Instructables
Picture of DIY spray paint
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Making your own custom spray paint is easy and produces some interesting results. Maybe they don't sell the exact colour you're looking for, or you just want to a use for all those old almost-empty cans of paint you have hidden in your garage. Time to put them to good use and make your own spray paint!

Using the spray mechanism found in standard spray cans and some common discarded items you can make your own spray paint. This project uses a bicycle pump to pressurize a small PET pop bottle, and by varying the amount of pressure you pumped into the 'can' and the types of paint added you can produce different effects. The style I got based on the paints I used and the pressure applied is reminiscent of a graffiti mop style.

Enough talk, let's make our own spray paint!

*Inspiration for this project was drawn from the short movie splay


 
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Step 1: Tools + materials

Picture of tools + materials
tools:
  • hobby knife
  • drill and bits
  • hacksaw
  • bike pump
.
materials:
  • bicycle inner tube
  • Sugru (or other elastic binding agent/adhesive)
  • empty PET bottle
  • empty spray paint can
  • assorted paint

Step 2: Old spray can

Picture of old spray can
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To start, find an old spray paint can and depress the nozzle to release any remaining pressure inside. This is important as you risk having the can explode when you saw it open if there's any pressure difference.

Once all the pressurized air has escaped, place the can in a vise and saw around the neck of the can. This will separate the can into the lower housing and the upper nozzle. Keep the upper nozzle and tip out the glass marble found inside the can housing, you can discard the can housing after.
does it shoot the paint very far? I have always found a serious deficencie in store bought water guns and am always been looking for better solutions.
I want to fill it with water and use it as a water gun incase you couldn't tell. ;)
I would highly doubt it, as the plastic bottle couldn't hold very much pressure at all. You could still modify the instructable, but use a stronger casing instead and maybe attempt to make the nozzle a bit wider or make your own, otherwise it'll just "spray" rather than fire a stream of water.
ya it was just an idea.
I just saw this & thought if you combine RichardBronosky's cap valve with a small bike pump secured to the bottle, you'd wind up with something like a supersoaker...
Actually, PET bottles can hold tremendous pressure. They have to in order to survive shipping. I carbonate my own beverages in 2 liter bottles with a cap that I put a chrome Schrader valve (rubber gives a nasty taste) into. My CO2 regulator maxes out at 60PSI. I've used all of that pressure experimenting, though now I only use about 30PSI. The more important thing is your glue joints. The PET bottle flexes. Your glue is not likely to flex at exactly the same rate. That means failure. I don't have to worry about that because I put my valve in the cap which does not flex.
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sabu.dawdy5 months ago
cool
turbanator7 months ago
nice man
awesome
rimar20009 months ago
Very useful recycling idea.

Maybe you choose a wrong sprayer, and that is the cause of paint jets instead of spray. Or the paint is too thinned.
mikeasaurus (author)  rimar20009 months ago
The stream can vary with paint viscosity and pressure. The mixture I show I think was both too thin and under-pressured. I kind of like the effect, but with more experimentation you can produce something more consistent.
foobear9 months ago
wow wow wow, I had no idea this was possible. This is so amazing. Luv!
I'd use a 2 liter bottle because they're pressure tested.
what about replacing the plastic bottle with acrilic?
I'd been planning to make my own airbrush using an electric car tyre inflator and a 2l plastic bottle. Good to know it works in principle.
I'm gonna do this for a 2 liter and then see if i can find a way to do it with a hose.
That'd be awesome, keep us posted.
good idea
caarntedd1 year ago
Great work I'm trying this.
hurten1 year ago
I wounder if an aluminum beer bottle would make a good alternative to the pet bottle? Would you be able to get a better, higher pressure seal around the schrader valve? What about soldering the salvaged spraypaint tip to the cap?
Thanks for the cool and low cost instructable
I was in Berlin this summer and I met the most amazing heavy duty PET bottles I ever seen, very thick walled. Just 500 ml but I think it could be easy to connect two of them by a low diameter pipe, in this way the inlet valve would be more protected from paint . One bottle as air reservoir and may be a small scavenged or built pump also , the other for spray nozzle and paint. Unfortunately I only took home one as technology souvenir. Don't you live in Berlin do you ?
in kinda getting the idea that it comes out in a stream because of the running, i would probably go up to at least 30-35 maybe even 40 PSI for a more even and lighter spray pattern instead of the stream.
would not suggest over 35 PSI on plastic bottle. Unless it is hardened with ducktape - lots of it.
actually, thats not a bad idea... or you could use an aluminum bottle instead and pump it up to 50 if you figure out how to attach the spray cap to a metal lid or bolt that will fit inside the bottle to make it refillable
alluminium bottle are also used for gas stoves. They should be safe then :)
A tight-fit hole for the tube + epoxy/rubber cement would work. The force acting on the spray cap is proportional to the area exposed to the can contents, so a tight fit would only produce slight pressure, and the glue would hold.
I would say that is all the seals are well glued, this could easily take 60 PSI.

PET bottles are TOUGH.
derte841 year ago
RESPECT! I always wanted to do that
CaseBoy1 year ago
I really would not feel safe use a plastic bottle like that.I would recommend using nalgen like this one mainly because they are so strong.

http://store.nalgene.com/Nalgene-16-ounce-Wide-Mouth-Water-Bottle-p/16%20ounce%20wide%20mouth.htm
mikeasaurus (author)  CaseBoy1 year ago
These type of water bottles are designed to accept pressurization, the Nalgene bottles are a different type of plastic and not designed to be pressurized and can shatter.
oh....well then i guess its safe then.
macboy982 years ago
instead of the spray can nozzle, can we use axe spray nozzle!!!!!! pls reply ASAP!!!! ur kindly me "lol"
yes but "output" wont be that thick
Oh , anyway thank u for replyin :D :D
Go to your local hardware store and buy one of the cheap pump pressure sprayer's (one with the pump plunger on top to pressurize) you use to spray your garden chemicals with, I got one for $5.

Take it home and pull it apart so as you can remove the plunger itself, put it all back together minus the pump plunger, so you will have a bottle with a small hole in the top, on the other side of the lid is the pressure valve only lets air go in not out.

Fill the bottle around half to 3/4s full with 60% paint and 40 % water.

Get your compressor, with your blow down gun attached and load air into the bottle through the hole, don't worry about over pressurizing it as it will only allow you to get in a certain amount of air anyway and the bottle's on these sprayers are thick enough to take it.

Then start painting, works really well, without all the hassle of trying to build something thats probably going to fail.

ASCAS2 years ago
Thanks for the idea!!! I find it pretty useful.
ANDY!2 years ago
Aha did you just videotape yourself doing something illegal? ;)
Thats a cool project. Looks like I can make one of those and not have to worry about dozens and dozens of spent spray cans anymore!
Really neat idea.

You could use denatured alcohol to thin the latex paint, and it would dry considerably faster as compared to using water as a thinner. At least that is what I read.

This reminds me of beverage carbonators I have made. Essentially the same thing, but no spray paint nozzle. The schrader valve is bought new for $1 per valve at Ace Hardware, and you install them in the cap of the bottle like you did with the spray can nozzle.

Just fill with food safe CO2 that can be bought online or through local restaurant supply shops. I used the disposable CO2 canisters with a CO2 bike pump. All in all about $30 for a system to make whatever carbonated beverage your heart can desire. Plus you get to control the sugar content. A big plus if you care about that kind of stuff.

Hmmm... I am thinking I am going to get egged on to post an instructable about this.
please do - I have been looking for the most cost effective (read - I am a cheapskate :) ) way of doing this.

I see from the number of people asking that this may be helpful to some. I'll try to get to it as soon as possible.
I believe a similar instructable exists, to make soda water.
Lots of good ideas there; thanks!
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