Which spray paint is best for graffiti?
In this section we’re asking which spray paint is best, of course it’s subjective and depends on what you plan to use it for so we’ll try and include that as well. Firstly though we have to point out that in different parts of the world different brands, makes, models and cans are available and are often not internationally known. We will try and keep this broad enough to include all the big names though, people like Montana and Molotow are available all over the world and with good reason.
Montana went back to the drawing board with their new generation of Montana Gold cans. They feature a new design and formula that gives incredible control, more pressure than a Mtn 94, less likely to clog and an awesome flexibility that really allows artists to get creative. The new and specially developed low pressure system provides expert results and great accuracy. Very fast drying, high covering spray paint in many matte finish colours, the only downside to these cans is that they tend to be slightly more expensive than some of the other cans in my top ten.
2. MTN 94
This is the can that feels like a eureka moment when you first try it, if you’ve never sprayed before – this is the one to start with! The Mtn 94 (Montana) is a synthetic based acrylic spray paint that has a very low pressure system that can be released at alternate pressures allowing for incredible control with second to none coverage. The paint dries incredibly fast with a matte finish and the supplied standard cap that is great for detail work. There are only two problems with Mtn 94’s to my knowledge and that is every so often they produce a dud can where there is no mixing ball something like that. The other problem is brought on by the low pressure nature of the can which means that they are more vulnerable to clogging. These issues however should not be enough to put anyone off and they’re normally pretty decently priced online.
3. Molotow Premium
With more pressure than both the Montana Gold & Mtn 94’s the Molotow Premium cans by Belton are an interesting alternative and may not suit everyone. That said they represent the highest quality cans on the market with incredible coverage, precision and reliability as they are market reference cans. With that added pressure these cans can create lines from as low as 0.5cm all the way up to 30 cm using different caps. More colours is always better and with this range you’re looking at the largest and most comprehensive range of colours at over 250 different shades. Price wise I buy these locally at around £3.30 but online they can cost considerably more.
First thing to point out with Kobra paints is that they are generally only available in Europe (sorry to the US). These paints will cover any surface with an awesome coverage that is pretty much second to none. Within the Kobra formula they have included a high solid content meaning that it more readily adheres to any surface you point it at, whether that be wood, metal, glass, stone, brick, plastic you name it. It dries quickly and with it’s fast adherence, drips are brought to a minimum. Another great feature is Kobra’s any season formula of paint meaning that you won’t suffer in cold or very humid conditions. In fact you can compare Kobra paints to any of the market leaders – acrylic, fast drying, matte finish and a soft valve allowing extra control.
The Ironlak range represents a high quality can at a reasonable price that has been designed with the artist in mind. Featuring an especially vibrant 90 colour range this spray paint also performs incredibly well in all climates whether they be hot or cold. It boasts good coverage and control and are pre-fitted with an Ironlak Widow Maker fat cap.
6. MTN Hardcore
Back in 1994 the Spanish branch of Montana released their new can – the MTN Hardcore. It was the first spray paint to be specifically designed for street artists and in the interim it has proved itself to be a favourite among many artists. It features an excellent range of colours, great coverage , excellent performance in all weather conditions including very cold all packages within a traditional high pressure can. It has been updated over the years and now features virtually instant dry paint and is fitted with the excellent Montana Skinny Cap.
This new brand of spray paint has been specifically designed for street artists and graffiti writers. It has an especially high resistance to light and fading and has a quick drying matte finish. The creators behind these cans have tried to make them as environmentally friendly as possible with a recycled aluminium can, no cfc’s, no lead in the paint or aromatic solvent they are the essential low impact spray paint. The valves on Scribo cans also allow incredible control with a half pressure control and the cans have an ergonomic shape making them THE most precise spray can available (arguments by email!). It’s a new brand and is fairly untested by the masses so we might be seeing Scribo topping lists like this one in a few years.
NBQ spray paints have been designed specifically for graffiti artists. They’ll give a nice matte line that offers awesome coverage even on surfaces that are tough to cover. It’s a low pressure can which makes it more suited to detail work and will give great results on all surfaces. The colour range is a bit limited with only 50 shades to choose from on the plus side they come pre-fitted with a nice skinny cap that’s comparable to the Mtn 94’s.
9. Monster Colors (Best budget option)
If like many artists starting out you’re on a restricted budget spray paints are an expensive proposition, to be creative it helps to have more colours. In steps Monster Colors who ship their paints worldwide and provide an excellent service and paint range with can prices some of the lowest you will find. They may not have the greatest colour range but they have good coverage and are compatible with Mtn94 caps.
10. Liquitex (Indoor use only)
Another newcomer is the great range of spray paints from Liquitex that have been developed for professional artists. These pretty awesome cans aren’t cheap but what they do offer is an excellent light fast colour range with a vibrant finish that is a water based formula using professional grade pigments. As they are water based they do not carry the same dangers as conventional spray paints and are low odour. However being water based means they are only suited to non permanent or indoor use as water will wash the paint away.