Last Updated: August 11, 2020
There are times when it’s okay to accept a second choice when shopping for something. When it comes to metallic silver spray paint, that’s just not the case. We’re talking about something that, while pretty inexpensive, will be noticed if you screw up a job. Getting it right starts with good spray paint that will go on evenly and have a uniform appearance. Figuring out which brand delivers can be a bit of a chore.
We reviewed some of the paints you’re apt to find while shopping, to give you an idea which ones will deliver the best, most consistent results. There’s also a buyers’ guide to help you out if you expand your search or can’t find any of the products we looked at. We wish you luck in finding the right one, and getting that project you’re working on looking spiffy.
|Best Overall||Krylon Silver Shimmer||
|Krylon COLORmaxx (Aerosol Silver)||
|Rust-Oleum Hammered Silver||
|Design Master Modern Metals (Champagne Silver)||
One of the best metallic silver spray paints is Krylon’s Silver Shimmer. The Shimmer line as a whole is known for its high-quality appearance, making whatever you paint look lustrous. The silver is no exception. It goes on quickly and evenly, and assuming you’ve done proper prep work, there’ll be no bubbling or running.
Two things set it apart from the competition. It dries hard, so it’ll last a long time. You also won’t need to put a sealant coat over it.
Make sure you buy a few cans, however, because it’ll spray out quickly. We hesitate to question the value you get from it because that’s all in the appearance, but be prepared to spend a little more for additional cans.
Based on pure appearance, Rust-Oleum’s 1915830 Metallic Spray Paint could easily contend for the Top Pick. In fact, if you were looking for an alternative to the Krylon Silver Shimmer, this would be the one we suggest.
One thing that stands out about it is its coverage area. It’s not just the size, which you can modify depending on how far away you hold the can, but the consistency of spray within it. It’s more even within that space than most of its competitors.
A word of caution, however. If you’re planning to put your finished piece someplace warm and where people might handle it, the paint will come off on their hands. It won’t dry completely. If that’s the case, make sure you apply a final exterior coat of sealant.
Krylon’s silver COLORmaxx Spray Paint is a good option if you really need to save a couple of bucks. We don’t recommend buying spray paint based purely on price, because appearance is more important.
The color is good, but not as spectacular as our top two choices. It is also easy to use and comes out evenly. The primary thing you need to account for is operator error.
One thing to watch is that the paint comes out a bit thin, so it’s prone to streaking if too much is applied. If you buy it, be careful with how it’s applied, and maybe plan to do several coats rather than trying to do it all at once.
By its very nature, a hammered silver spray paint is going to be a poor choice to deliver a metallic look. Metallic finishes tend to be highly glossy in appearance. Hammered is a lot more subdued. It still looks like metal, but it’s just not as shiny.
Like the COLORmaxx, Rust-Oleum’s Hammered Silver is a budget-friendly spray paint. If you’re looking for a specific look, we don’t recommend that price be an important factor in choice, but if you’re just looking for something that can color things silver, it’s not bad to save a few bucks.
Aside from its flatter finish, this spray paint has a spray pattern that takes some time to master. If you buy it, you might wish to spend a little time with a piece of cardboard figuring it out before you take it to your workpiece.
We like the way the Design Master Modern Metals (Champagne Silver) looks. It’s got a nice, rich appearance that can compete with our top two picks. If they aren’t offering exactly what you’re looking for, this one is worth consideration.
Know what you’re getting yourself into first, however. The can has a habit of leaking all over the person using it. The coverage and spray efficiency are both pretty bad, so you’ll have to keep going over the same things while other parts of your workpiece are finished to your liking. Because of that, it’s also a pretty bad value.
It might seem pretty simple to buy a good can of metallic silver spray paint. Aside from a few differences between brands, how much variety in quality can there really be, right? That’s partially true. Some brands like Krylon just consistently turn out great spray paints. But that’s also because they consistently get the same things right. If you really want to put time into shopping for metallic silver spray paint, we’ve got a few handy tips to help you know what to look for.
It’s one thing to claim to have a metallic silver paint, and it’s another thing to actually produce a paint that is metallic silver when it dries. If you’re taking the time to research which paint is best for you, figure out which paint will give you the color you’re actually looking for. Who knows, when comparing paints, you might find one you like better than what you first envisioned.
One important quality in finding a good spray paint is consistency in application. A good spray paint will come out smoothly and at an even rate. That way, all you have to worry about is making sure your arm motions are consistent in getting a good, even coat. Coats that go on unevenly will produce blobs of paint that either detract from the look of your finished project or create run marks.
The amount of time it takes spray paint to dry is probably as much a matter of personal preference as it is a necessity. A faster-drying paint allows you to do a job more quickly. If you’re okay with a paint taking its sweet time in setting, you might not mind a paint that takes a while if it compensates in how it looks in the end. However, we’d advise keeping your paint piece in a pretty controlled environment. Wet paint draws dust particles like a choke hazard draws toddlers, and if it sits out for a while it might attract enough dust to look like it’s grown a coat of fur.
We hesitate to talk about comparing prices for a couple of reasons. The first is that there just isn’t much difference. Most cans of spray paint will come in either at the very lower end of a double-digit dollar price or upper single-digit price. You also really want to make sure you get the color, evenness of coat, and dry time right first and foremost. If these aren’t all that important to you, or you just want to touch up something that sits in a garage, you can find budget spray paints that will do the job and save you a couple of dollars.
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Two names popped up prominently in our reviews: Krylon and Rust-Oleum. Krylon’s Silver Shimmer is the pick of the litter. It looks great, finishes hard, and doesn’t need an overcoat to protect it. Rust-Oleum’s Metallic Spray Paint looks great and goes on easily, but watch using it on things that people handle. Krylon’s COLORmaxx is a great choice if you just want a decent coat of paint and don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. It won’t look as great as our top two choices, and the paint is thin. That means it could streak easily.
Rust-Oleum’s Hammered Silver is another budget-friendly choice if you just want something that looks silver-ish instead of eye-poppingly lustrous, and need to save a few bucks. The Champagne Silver from Design Master Modern Metals has a pretty good appearance, one worth standing next to our other choices. That’s more than undone by the can’s tendency to leak and its bad, inefficient coverage.
David Janus is the founder and CEO of Paint Sprayer Magazine. He has over two decades of experience in the spray paint industry and still enjoys writing about new products and technologies.
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