To prevent the spray tips on cans of spray paint from clogging after use, turn the can upside down after using and spray until no more paint comes out.

To clean spray tips that have become clogged:

  1. Soak the spray tip in mineral spirits to soften any paint residue.
  2. Use the thin wire from a twist tie to clean any remaining paint out the holes in both ends of the spray tip.
  3. Put the tip back on the spray can.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: There’ve been some great advancements in spray paint recently, but the one problem they’ve not solved is, how to keep the tip from clogging with paint after you’ve used it.

Now, the first rule is whenever you spray paint, at the end of the project, turn it upside down and spray it until it comes out clear. Just like that. That’s all it takes, just a couple of seconds. And that one tip alone will keep paint from clogging up the tip of the spray can.

Then the other thing is take it off, and soak it in mineral spirits. That will soften any remaining paint that’s stuck in there. Now, sometimes that’s not enough, and you need to clean the tip.

Now, there’s a hole at the bottom and at the top where the paint comes out. And the only wire I’ve found that can fit in that hole is from a twist-tie. This is from a loaf of bread. Just pull off the paper or the plastic to expose the wire. And that will fit right in that little hole. Small as that hole is, this is the only wire I’ve found. Let me see, right there, it fits right in there.

You can use that to clear out what’s left of the paint. And that paint’s usually soft, so it comes out pretty easily. And then you can just put it back on the spray can, and finish spraying the paint.

Now, when you’re done and you’ve emptied the can, before tossing out the can, take the tip off, save it and soak it, and you can use it on another can.

Further Information

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Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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