Introduction: Spray Can Silencer

Picture of Spray Can Silencer

Need to use aerosol products inaudibly, with out that rattling sound?
These instructions regard spray paint cans that contain a noisy metal shaker. Most aerosol companies manufacture 13 oz. cans with glass rattlers, these cannot be magnetically silenced. The 3 oz. paint cans have metal shakers and are a stealth size.

Step 1: Obtain a Small Powerful Magnet, Preferably a Flat One.

Picture of Obtain a Small Powerful Magnet, Preferably a Flat One.

This magnet was scavenged from an old hard drive. The arch shape fits the curved rim of the can, with plenty of surface contact.

Step 2: Place the Magnet on the Bottom of the Can Near Its Edge.

Picture of Place the Magnet on the Bottom of the Can Near Its Edge.

Give the can a shake, the magnet will hold the little metal marble in place. If the magnet used is the right type it won't fall off when the can is shaken vigorously. Remember to mix the paint prior to its immediate usage, otherwise many problems could occur. If the primer, pigment and solvent aren't mixed thoroughly, the valve could jam or the spray nozzle could clog. The results are huge mess along with wasted can and tip.

Step 3: Additional Uses for This Technique.

Picture of Additional Uses for This Technique.

Update 11-14-07 Apparently the most popular and widely used magnet is the speaker magnet. Its diameter fits the entire bottom of the 13 ounce can. These magnets are alternately used to make leashes, so several cans could hang from ones belt. Magnets can also hold a light source such as a glow stick.


cap826 (author)2013-12-08

there are artists and there are punks. most taggers are punks. when graffiti artist work sells for millions. are they defacing property when the peace of wall is worth more than ten times as much as the building.

antagonizer (author)2008-06-02

Don't you ever wonder why people DON'T want your crap on their walls? Perhaps it's because 99% can't even read it. We don't care if you can write your name in some obscure text, it looks like crap, keep it off our walls. I've seen some amazing rattle can artists and guys that hang from bridges to scribble their names are nowhere in the same league as they are. Learn rattle can art and I'll respect you, keep defacing walls crapping up cities, and you can go back to my last post to see how I feel about taggers. If I ever see anyone tagging I'd rat them out to the cops faster than they can shake their magnetically silenced spray cans.

Although you seem to hate taggers the simple fact is no tagger worth his salt would tag on any building that is privately owned, why should some home/business owner be tasked with cleaning my ink off his walls.

Also you will find that most rattle can artists started out as taggers as this is all part and parcel of getting up. All rattle can artists started doodling in black books, then moved to walls to hone their craft and eventually got to the point where people where willing to pay then to ply their trade upon peoples walls for money. Everyone has to start somewhere and you cant hate taggers and love rattle can artists. 90% of Banksys stuff is illegal and people are willing to pay tens if not hundreds of thousands for pieces of his work.

Yes I see where you come from, a mindless tag does not look good on private property, but I do agree with pyelitegamerro76 that graffiti adds color and character to a place, but I'd much rather see a work of art that was legally done on a wall, more thought can be put into it, along with time, giving the painting alot more quality. Also, people paying you to do work on their building tend to not allow racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive things on their wall, which don't belong anywhere.

i prefer to think of it not as destroying or defacing the city but more as "giving it character" and technically if the cans are magnetically silenced then there would be no point in shaking them seing as the point of magnetically silencing the spray cans is to keep the marble from moving and since the marble is what mixes the paint, shaking it would make no sense... just a thought

Aside from the mixture issue which is a more important technique than the silencer. With the magnet engaged it will still need vigorous shaking prior to immediate use. The magnet is both a technique for shaping the atomization of aerosol and a risk prevention measure. I wrote only about the former not the ladder.

lvr (author)2009-06-07

Nice instructable. My main concern is how to get the speaker magnets. I found an old TV on curbside and took the speakers. But then, I can't manage to get apart the magnets. They seem to be sealed. Any idea how to remove the magnets from the speakers ?

conceptualstratagem (author)lvr2009-06-07

Hi. Speaker Magnets are infuriatingly difficult to remove in one piece. Initially this project required scavenged materials, till I added the third step. My suggestion is to locate the nearest electronic surplus store, they'll have inexpensive magnets in every size, strength and shape available.

lvr (author)2009-06-07

Nice instructable. My main concern is how to get the speaker magnets. I found an old TV on curbside and took the speakers. But then, I can't manage to get apart the magnets. They seem to be sealed. Any idea how to remove the magnets from the speakers ?

lvr (author)2009-06-07

Nice instructable. My only though is how to get the speaker magnets. I found an old TV lying on the street and removed the speakers. But I can get the magnets. They seem to be sealed ! Any idea on how to extract them ?

Huray4Insanity (author)2009-01-03

I've opened up krylon and rustoleom cans and the both have glass marbles so what does the metal marble look like

its pea size

jungletek (author)2008-06-04

FYI- You can mix a can of spraypaint, without having to shake it "up and down". Holding the can so it's still correctly oriented, use your wrist and shake the can's bottom end in a sort of circular motion. Basically you want the ball to stay on the bottom of the can, and just spin around the outside edge, along the inner wall. Not as quick as shaking it, mind you... but certainly quiet. Do it for a minute or so to achieve uniform mixing.

good point.

jimihendrix4753 (author)2008-06-01

Would this work with a marker?

Cool it works! Try it out with a broad nibbed DECO paint pen.

Yea That's what I use. I'm making an instructale on hiding markers and stickers within a book so as not to arouse suspicion. Thank You for the POSITIVE feedback. Are you an artist?

antagonizer (author)2008-06-01

Maybe 2% of people who deface buildings are 'artists'. The rest are just taggers scribbling garbage. Real artists don't need to 'silence' their cans because the people who own the buildings are usually the ones that hire them. Taggers are the only losers that actually need to hide what their doing.

skimask (author)2008-05-26

i havent really ever had the need to silence cans, but i can tell you that it isnt always a metal ball inside the can. I think krylon might use glass. not sure though

Vintage Krylons have the metal shakers. The short Cuts have them too.

antagonizer (author)2007-09-15

Since the only use I can see for this is for taggers who like to carry cans of paint in their pockets, so you know how I rated this. Anything that helps people trash the environment is a waste. If there's any other practical application for this I can't see what it is, but if there is, then I appologize.

erm graffiti is not only for defacing property. it is an art that can be put to constructive use.

Dr.Paj (author)pyelitegamerro762008-02-06

If its for constructive use, than why would he need to silence it?

omnibot (author)Dr.Paj2008-04-14

YES! That niose from the ball can drive anyone insane after a twelve hour run of painting.

dplus (author)Dr.Paj2008-04-02

living in a small apartment with no art space that can be used with spray paint, i must resort to my fire escape. now, to access the fire escape, it's right next to my bedroom where my girlfriend sleeps. i am a night owl, so I prefer to do things by night (well not really, but i got a job) so i don't want to be waking up the gf with the shaking a can, hence the need for a silencer.

When a can is half depleted its so nice to work with. Unfortunately the shaker is so louder than ever because there isn't as much paint and pressure to keep it from clanging around. I always haul around a few older cans because they have just the right amount in them for a painting. When I'm driving with my painting supplies the annoyance of those half empty cans is really at its worst.

This isn't only a tactic of civil discontent. I've used this silencer for painting a hippie bus on a defunct reality show called Monster House. On set this effectively cuts out the sound disturbance.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-12-20

:-\. the ball or thing inside the can is there to mix the paint up (witch is a good thing, lol)

Dr.Paj (author)!Andrew_Modder!2008-02-06

Believe me you do not want to spray a badly mixed spray paint can if you only have one chance (like I did). You will have to sand it down and start over (also what happened to me).

zachninme (author)2007-09-15

I also agree with leminator. Since you aren't going to shake it anyway (it wouldn't help), then why don't you keep silent by just... not shaking it?

if you are walking with a can in your pocket/backpack you don't want to sound suspicios with a rattling sound coming from you.....especially if you just illegaly spraypainted. good idea conceptualstratagem!

pyelitegamerro76 (author)2007-09-15

just noticed. Belton and Montana are popular tagging paints. but @conceptual, get the spanish montana, thats the real stuff, the german montana just stole the name. the real montana abbreviates its name with mtn.

Good point this trick isn't anything new, it's a conventional technique. Here's a better picture that includes the (preferred) Spanish Montana and KILZ.

pyelitegamerro76 (author)2007-09-15

erm i dont mean to be pointing a finger or anything but this is a commonly used trick among taggers to stop the cans from rattling when their not supposed to "after you just tagged something and the cans are in your bag going away from the scene of the tag" wich would also explain wanting to keep his spray finger clean. =O do i smell a graff artist?

lemonie (author)2007-09-15

I agree with T3h_, but this would be useful to stop rattling when you didn't want it, e.g. in a pocket.


T3h_Muffinator (author)2007-09-15

Err... the little ball in the middle is there to stir up the paint that has fallen out of solution... you might not want to do this, unless you really want an uneven/spattered coat. But hey, whatever you'd like! -Muff

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