Nov 1, 2016 | OTHER SHOP WORK

Did you know the rattle-ball in an aerosol can is called a “Pea”? Here’s a few tips on how to use every drop of paint from an aerosol can. We all know that an aerosol paint can is a tank filled with compressed air that pushes out fluid when the valve is opened. A typical 16oz paint can will have 11 to 12 ounces of fluid (paint and solvent) and the rest is the propellant; basically compressed air. The valve/nozzle is connected to a dip tube which is directed to the bottom crease of the can. The propellant is at the top of the can pushing down on the fluid causing it to spray out of the nozzle. – A simple configuration that has been used to spray paint since the early 50’s. It is fool- proof except for clogging, which causes a lot of waste in most shops. Simple tips for getting every drop of paint out of an aerosol can: – 1. Shake it. It’s important to thoroughly mix the contents. Most cans suggest shaking for 2-3 minutes so watch the clock because 20-seconds of shaking seems like minutes. – 2. Spray it upside down “before you start painting”. Turn the can upside down and spray until a consistent stream of air comes out and clears the nozzle. – 3. Spray upside down “after you are done painting”. Turn the can upside down and spray again until a steady stream of air comes out of the nozzle. Remember, when the can is upside down, the end of the dip tube is in the propellant so you are blowing air through the dip tube and valve to clean it. – 4. Shake at least once per year to keep the solvents mixed and your aerosol paint can be stored upright for years.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO.
November, 2016