UPDATED (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MAY 20, 2020 11:51 PM)
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The origins of spray paint can be traced back to the early 1880s, when Joseph Binks, a maintenance supervisor at a Marshall Field store in Chicago, rigged a cold-water-operated hand pump to whitewash the basement walls of the store. In 1893, Binks used his new spray system to paint the buildings at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Known as the White City, the buildings took far less time to whitewash with Binks’s contraption than they would have with rollers or brushes. In 1949 an aerosol spray paint can was invented. Today’s aerosol spray paint cans contain compressed air that propels paint out of a spray nozzle. It’s important to use a quality nozzle—or cap, as some makers call it—so you can properly control your paint flow and get the right spray pattern. Browse our selection of the best ones below. (Please note that caps are either female caps, compatible with male valves, or male caps compatible with female valves. Make sure you pick a cap that will work with your can. And remember to check out our favorite spray paints for artists here.)
1. Montana Cans Spray Paint Cap
Montana Cans’ offers 10 different caps that are color-coded so you can easily tell them apart. These caps offer varying spray output patterns from thick to thin, square to circle. These caps are easy to switch out and clean and fit all female-valve cans.
2. Art Primo Graffiti Spray Paint Cap Pack
Build your supply of spray paint caps with a set of 50 assorted caps from Art Primo, an industry leader in graffiti art supplies. This set features 10 packs of five assorted female spray paint caps made for male-valve cans. Experiment with a range of spray patterns with these assorted caps.
3. New York Fat Nozzle Cap
The wide-line, old-school New York fat cap has been a favorite of street and mural artists for decades. This version fits perfectly on all female-valve aerosol spray cans, though they require an adapter if you want to use them on Rustoleum, Krylon, or other brands with male valves.
4. Montana Gold Green Caps
Montana Gold’s Level Cap System offers interchangeable caps in a variety of sizes and spray styles, color coded for ready identification. Great for use on murals, street art, canvases, stencils, and furniture, this pack of six features nozzles in ultra-skinny, fine-skinny, skinny, soft fat, and fat versions. The soft fat cap and the fat cap spray a 4-inch and 6-inch line, respectively. Though these male caps are optimized for the Montana Gold line, they work on a variety of Montana cans and most other cans from major spray paint brands.
5. Liquitex Professional Spray Paint Nozzles
Liquitex’s set of 6 standard replacement caps is a necessary purchase if you used the company’s spray paint, which clogs more easily than non-water based spray paint. These male caps are easy to clean and fit on a variety of female valves. Give new life to spray cans with clogged nozzles.