I read questions every day related to spray paint and tumblers. The long and short of it is that there is no best spray paint for tumblers. There are some types and brands that work better or worse for me, and there may be different types or brands that work for you. Here, I am going to break down the spray paints I have found that work, as well as some non-aerosol options for getting a base coat on your tumbler.
Before You Choose a Spray Paint for Your Tumbler
You have to make sure you have primed your tumbler for paint.
Stainless steel tumblers come with a protective coating that repels water (to keep them from rusting and whatnot). This coating can also repel spray paint and other bases for your tumbler. It doesn’t always happen, but why risk it?
I “sand” my tumblers with Klean Strip Concrete and Metal Prep from Home Depot. I can literally sand 20 tumblers in less than 45 minutes while saving my elbows. You can read more here.
You also have to make sure you have the right conditions for spray paint.
Spray paints do not like to be too cold or too hot. Get them to cold and you run the risk of having adhesion problems, or paint that is too thick or dries to fast.
On the other hand, spray paints used when it’s too hot outside can lead to blistering or cracking paint, as well as paint the poten tially dries before it hits the tumbler, leading to wasted paint and coverage issues.
Humidity also plays a role in successful spray painting. If it is too humid, it will take a lot longer for your tumblers to dry. Streaking or fading can also happen with humidity, especially if condensation occurs.
To sum it up, spray paint likes a not too hot, not too cold climate with not a lot of humidity.
The Best Spray Paint for Tumblers
Rustoleum 2x Paint and Primer
This is hands-down by far the best spray paint for tumblers. It gives great coverage, comes in loads of colors, and dries quickly.
Well, the flat dries quickly. The satin and glossy options do tend to take a little longer to dry than the flats, but still worth it.
After you spray paint, I would let your tumbler sit for about 12 hours before moving to the glitter or epoxy stages. This gives the paint time to dry and the chemicals time to dissipate so they don’t mess up your glitter or epoxy layers.
I have only used this brand of spray paint with any success. I have only ever used Rustoleum 2x for my tumblers when talking about spray paint.
Helpful tip: mkae sure you paint your base the same color as your glitter to make it easier to cover. For example, if you have a black cup with a gold glitter base, make sure you give a little gold paint to the base too. That way you’re not trying to cover up black paint with gold glitter. Make sense?
But what if I can’t spray paint because the weather/ I live in an apartment/ I’m too messy / I can’t find any spray paint?
Whatever the reason, there are times when you can’t use spray paint for whatever reason. If that case, you can always use acrylic paint as a base for your tumbler.
I really love the Apple Barrel brand acrylic paints. The color choices are great, they mix and it provides one coat coverage.
Just prep like normal and then paint. Let it dry for about 12 hours before moving on to the glitter or epoxy.
So those are the two ways I base color my tumblers. Have you found a different way that works for you? Just into the comments and let me know!
If your looking for a place to buy some tumblers, check this article out for my recs and maybe some discounts.