How long should you shake a can of spray paint?


For years I have always wondered if I really need to shake a can of spray paint “One to two minutes”. Have you ever tried vigorously shaking a can for two minutes? It’s not easy! I’m going to guess that nobody shakes that much. I’ll bet few people even shake cans for a full minute.

I decided to test it out and see what is needed to get an even coat.


  1. The tube in the can is curved, not straight. The tube inside the can is designed to curve into the bottom corner of the paint can. Lining up the the “black dot” with the nozzle tip lines up the nozzle with the curve of the tube. Since we normally tilt the can towards the nozzle tip, the bottom of tube in the corner that allows the evacuation of the most paint out of the can. Otherwise you get more propellant and ultimately end up leaving paint in the can.

    That black dot is very important, whether it be paint, lubricant, or anything in a spray can. To use the material in the can to the max…to get as much as you possibly can out of the can, line up the black dot with the nozzle tip.

  2. It also depends on the color.

    When mixing normal cans you can usually see what you get. Recently I used some brown paint that, when opened without shaking, was completely gray. All the “colorful stuff” was sitting at the bottom.

    If the same happens in a can of spray paint, then without shaking you may get different results at the beginning or at the end of a can. Yeah. So a good test would require using all of the can at once, haha. What a waste would that be.

    I like the idea of this video. I would love to see a similar comparison of various lacquering techniques (including mistakes), because I always wonder how much better or worse can my finish look if I pay more attention.

  3. I did a lot of spray painting this last weekend, is it possible that shaking the can help the total output? I went through 6 cans of spray paint in a fairly short amount of time, but to get the most out of each can, I had to re-shake the cans a lot towards the end of each can.

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