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Urban art: spray paint caps

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Now we will learn how to recognize the different types of nozzles, or caps, which can be used on cans of spray paint.

Each one gives a different line thickness, and some allow you to create special effects.

- The "universal" cap gives an average thickness, and can be used on almost any 400mL spray cans without clogging.


"Skin" caps have three different sizes going down to "superskinny," which have a very fine spray paint line.

It is not recommended to use these caps with high-pressure spray paint cans since the can become easily clogged.

"Fat" caps like "pink dot" and "astrofat," the largest nozzle of all, have thicker spray paint lines.

They allow you to cover large surfaces quickly and with less paint.

The "New York" cap, which is also "fat," works with all types of spray paint cans thanks to its shape.


There are also caps for special effects, like the "needle" cap, which is used from a distance, and the "transversal" cap, which is used for calligraphy.


In addition to caps, you can also choose the pressure of the spray paint can depending on the art you want to create.

Low pressure cans are used for drawings and thinner spray lines.

It's even possible to lower the pressure of the can in order to get thinner lines.

To do so, simply turn the can upside-down to release some air.



High pressures are used to make fillings and broader strokes.



Most artists prefer working with matte paints, but the choice between matte and glossy paints depends entirely on the artist.

Glossy paint can sometimes lose its lustre due to bad weather or over-exposure to sunlight.

To create a glossy effect, it is also possible to use a matte paint and then paint over it with varnish spray.

Interestingly, some artists have taken to recycling used spray paint cans by transforming them into works of art.

For instance, this can here was made by the artist Dalata.

This is a marker filled with water-based paint, which is different from the paint used in spray cans.

As a result, it is not permanent. You can remove it with rubbing alcohol, or by simply by scrubbing it away.

It doesn't cover other paints well, but it is ideal for adding details and finishing touches.

This marker, however, contains the same paint as the spray cans and so has the same qualities.


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