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It seems like it happens randomly. Sometimes I can use a can of spray paint on a dozen different occasions with the same nozzle and it never clogs up. Sometimes they clog up after the first use. Sometimes they even clog up suddenly while I’m using them! And then it seems impossible to unclog without damaging the nozzle. What exactly causes nozzles to suddenly clog up and how can it be prevented or fixed?

  • Have you tried trading nozzles, or keeping good ones to re-use? Are the good ones from the same brand, or size? How old are they? Where were they stored? – Stan May 4 '18 at 4:45
  • @Stan that’s what I currently do, but I’m asking the question because that can be annoying having to keep track of the caps and move them from can to can. It’s new spray paint and I store it according to the instructions. – Josh Withee May 5 '18 at 0:22
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DISCLAIMER: I've never actually used spray paint.

The clogging is caused by dry paint mainly. To prevent this the paint manufacturers advice, after you've finished using it on the occasion, to turn it upsidedown and spray away the paint that was left in the tube-ways, so that there will be no paint left to dry and cause clogging.

Another reason for clogging is poor quality paint (most likely the reason it cloggs all of a sudden in miduse). I don't think there is anything you can do about it (exept for buying a different brand of paint).

As a last resort you could try soaking the clogged nozzle in paint solvent for a while, but I don't know if that would make any difference.

  • I should have mentioned this in my question - I have tried that method of turning the can upside down and clearing out the nozzle, and I’ve had mixed results. And it doesn’t work with cans that are made to spray at any angle. I’ve used the solvent too, but that’s one of the things I’m trying to avoid having to do. – Josh Withee May 5 '18 at 0:18

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