The world of spray paint has grown from primarily being used for murals and street art, to all kinds of art applications. There are new formulas of spray paint being made with a variety of properties for different applications. Cowan’s offers two lines of spray paint made by Montana, the Black and the Gold line. This blog will outline the different properties of these two lines and clarify which line is better suited to individual projects.

Montana Gold










Montana Gold is an acrylic based spray paint. This paint is the ideal choice for fine arts and mixed media projects. The surface created by the Gold line is toothy and semi absorbent. It readily accepts a number of mediums including any type of paint, (oil, acrylic and watercolor) as well as dry medias like colored pencil, pastel or even collage projects.  It creates a flexible surface that can adhere to a number of different surfaces including canvas, wood, glass, fabric, metal and concrete. The surface of spray paint is however not very durable. A layer of acrylic spray fixative or varnish can be applied over top to protect the surface of the paint.                                              


The gold line is available in 215 colors that are all lightfast. This makes the gold line ideal for fine art work that will withstand the test of time. All the colors in the Gold line have a matte finish.

Pro tips

Montana Gold is extremely fast drying. This can lead to challenges in the paint actually drying before it reaches the desired surface to be painted. If the can is being sprayed too far from the surface, or the temperature in the area you are working in is too hot, then the paint can actually dry midair.  In that case the spray paint will leave a dry powder layer that can scrape right off.

The Gold line is in a low pressure can. This means that you can have more control over the quality of line being created while you spray. It also means you can take more time while working with it, because less paint is coming out at a time, so it is less likely to run and drip.


Montana Black










 Montana Black is a lacquer based spray paint. The lacquer base creates a slick surface that is not suited for mixed media applications. An application of Acrylic paint over this spray paint can easily be peeled right off because it doesn’t properly bond to the surface. The Black line makes a hard, rigid surface that is nonabsorbent. The slick and non-flexible nature of the surface makes it very durable. The black line is so strong that it can withstand cold temperatures and is ideal for murals and outdoor projects.


The black line is available in 187 colors. Unfortunately, this line is not very lightfast so is best used with the intention of non-permanence. The sheen of this line of paint varies from color to color, from matte to semi-gloss.

Pro Tips

The Montana Black line is a high pressure can. This makes it very effective at covering large surfaces. Due to being high pressure the black line is more likely to run and drip. To prevent running you have to work quickly and avoid spraying in one spot for any duration of time. There is a way to release pressure in the can and create lower pressure. Simply hold the can upside down and press the nozzle down. This will release pressure without spraying paint. This is also a method you can use to keep nozzles clean and free of clogging.



General Tips for Montana Spray Paint




Spray paint nozzles have a tendency towards clogging, there are simple ways you can keep your nozzles clean and prevent clogs. Montana makes a spray can of Acetone that you can spray through your nozzles to clean them. You can also store your nozzles in a jar of Acetone when they are not in use.

A can of both the Gold and Black line should cover 20 – 30 square feet of surface.

Montana makes a variety of nozzles that you can change out with the nozzle that comes on the can. The different nozzles create different qualities of line by changing the size or shape of the opening that the paint is sprayed through.

The Black line has 10 different nozzle options available and the Gold line has 6 nozzle options.

In order to get the best results from a new can of spray paint you must follow a few steps before you start to spray paint

-first remove the nozzle and turn the can upside down to allow the black washer to fall out (the washer is there to prevent accidental spraying)

- with the can upside down strike the bottom a few times to release the ball bearing within

- with the can still upside down shake it vigorously for at least 2 minutes to properly mix the paint

- now you can replace the nozzle and try a test spray on a piece of cardboard before applying it to your project

Montana makes a vast range of other products including…

- Stone Sprays

- Crackle Sprays

- Spider Web Sprays

- Glow in The Dark

- Florescent (black light reactive)


Thank you for reading! Hopefully you gained some knowledge and confidence when selecting the right can of spray paint for an exciting creative project.


April 15, 2016 — Dale Butterfield


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John M.

John M. said:

This is the most concise and informative overview I have found on the Montana line… the only place, including the Montana website, I could find clear info on the make-up of the paint and how it bonds to surfaces and works with other paint. Thank you; can’t believe I found this on an office supply site.

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