Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Do You Have To Be 18 To Buy Spray Paint?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Have you ever wondered if there’s an age limit for buying spray paint?

Federal law requires that individuals be at least 18 years old to make a purchase.

It is not advisable to buy or use spray paint below the age of 18. The law forbids anybody to sell you spray paint if they know you are under 18. A punishment of up to $5,000 might be imposed on the vendor. If you wish to purchase spray paint, the shop assistant has the authority to request verification of your age.

In this article, you will learn more about spray paint and the laws governing underage spraying.

Why Do You Have to Be 18 to Get Spray Paint?

Most of the time, the minimum age requirement for purchasing spray paint is there to prevent people from misusing the product somehow. These days, a significant portion of acts of vandalism are committed by adolescents who have access to spray paint and who are acting alone.

Do You Have To Be 18 To Buy Spray Paint

The age requirement for buying spray paint is typically 18 years old, due to concerns about inhalant abuse and graffiti vandalism. State and federal laws regulate the purchase of aerosol paint, with varying age restrictions across different regions.

Spray paint has dangerous chemicals in it. These chemicals can hurt people and property. That’s why there is a rule that you must be 18 to buy spray paint. This law helps keep everyone safe.

People worry about young folks using spray paint the wrong way, like for graffiti or sniffing it to get high. Keeping spray paint away from kids helps stop these bad things from happening.

It also makes sure that only grown-ups who know how to use it safely can buy it.

Comparison of State and Federal Laws

The age limit helps keep spray paint away from kids who may misuse it. Both state laws and the federal law agree on this. The federal law says no one under 18 can buy spray paint. States usually follow this rule too.

But each state can make its own rules about buying spray paint. Some states might be stricter than the federal law, but they cannot let people younger than 18 buy it.

State laws sometimes say where stores can put spray paint or how to check a buyer’s age. Stores have to follow both their state’s rules and the national ones. This makes sure that all over the country, young folks aren’t buying spray paint when they shouldn’t be.

Some Important Spray Paint Laws by State

The sale and usage of spray paint are subject to several state rules, some of the most important of which are listed below. To acquire spray paint, you must fulfill all of the prerequisites and adhere to all of the government’s rules.

Some Important Spray Paint Laws By State


Under California’s legislation, anybody under the age of 18 is not allowed to purchase or receive a spray paint canister that is capable of vandalizing property. Spray paint is available for purchase only to at least 18 years old. In no way are the responsibilities of the parents or guardians altered.

It violates the law to carry spray paint in plain view at a location that prominently displays a sign stating that spray paint is prohibited on the premises. This was done to protect the property located in a public area, such as a street or sidewalk, from being damaged.

It is the responsibility of sellers of spray paint to display a warning to customers that their purchase constitutes vandalism and might result in a monetary penalty, time served in prison, or both (California Penal Code 594.1).


Broad-tipped indelible markers and spray paint are considered adult-only items in Guam, and anybody under 18 is not permitted to purchase or sell these items.

The following factors are responsible for this result:

  • Painting in writing or doodling may not be done on any building, public or private unless prior written permission has been obtained.
  • A teenager is guilty of committing graffiti by using spray paint or an indelible pen with a wide tip; and
  • Minors who own spray paint or other marks on public or private property without the owner’s authorization.

It is unlawful to sell broad-tipped indelible markers or spray paints to underage. Because of this rule, businesses must put signs near product displays to warn purchasers that graffiti is a criminal offense (supported by the 9 Guam Code Ann. 34.70).

New Jersey

In New Jersey, vandalism is referred to as “criminal mischief,” which primarily encompasses accusations of property damage. As a criminal mischief offense, graffiti on a building is likely to be prosecuted under N.J.S.A. 17-3. Typically, you’ll be punished simply for the harm you’ve done and not for the message you’re trying to convey. Graffiti may also be used to commit other offenses.

The offense might be prosecuted under New Jersey Statute 2C:33-11 instead if the property harmed is a church or other religious structure. It is very uncommon for gangs and other criminal organizations to employ graffiti to delineate their area or to terrorize members of certain ethnic or religious groups. It might be a distinct crime for graffiti to include racial rhetoric, threats, swastikas, or other pictures or statements designed to intimidate or fear others.

The government must establish that you intentionally destroyed someone else’s property to charge you with criminal mischief. If you use explosives, fire, or other hazardous materials, you might be prosecuted for reckless property damage. The seriousness of the offense is determined by the amount of damage done:

A third-degree offense results in property damage of $2,000 or more.

A fourth-degree crime is committed when the damage exceeds $500 but is less than $2,000, whereas a disorderly person violation is committed when the damage is $500 or less.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island General Law 11-44-1, criminal penalties can be imposed for acts that undermine lawful activities and vandalism. Under the provisions of this act in Rhode Island, a potential sentence of one year in prison and a fine of one thousand dollars are both on the table.

The degree of vandalism will determine the severity of the consequences, which might vary from a fine to a criminal record. If the amount of damage is more than $400, the perpetrator risks a possible jail sentence of one to three years and a fine of $10,000 or more. When the amount of property damage is less than $400, the perpetrator may be prosecuted for a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and a year in county jail.


Spray paint fumes are being used as a deterrent in Texas to keep minors from abusing it. According to the law, stores cannot sell or distribute “abusable glue or aerosol paint” to minors.

Having a state permit is required for these merchants. Selling to minors is against the law and is punishable by a third-degree crime. Thus, they must post a sign stating such.

A location that is (1) immediately visible to the cashier or another continuously occupied workstation, (2) accessible only by shop personnel, or (3) monitored through surveillance equipment is required by merchants to exhibit spray paint (under the V.T.C.A. 485.012 to 485.019 clause).

How to Get Free Spray Paint If You Are 18?

You may get spray paint by using a Visa gift card that you’ve already loaded up with cash from a previous transaction. You may use PayPal to make online purchases in addition to using your bank account if you already have one.

How To Get Free Spray Paint If You Are 18

Racking may be accomplished in several ways, one of which is by going to the nearby shop and buying a bunch of spray cans to have on hand. You could go to the store very early when the kids are still in school, and it would practically be empty. Then proceed to roll out as you have in the past.

Nevertheless, if you can do so, invest in some spray paint. If you are caught doing the same crime more than once, the court will severely punish you. This is also true if you are caught repeatedly putting graffiti on walls.

What Happens When I Am Caught Spray Painting Illegally?

Compared to adults, juveniles who commit crimes are punished differently. The juvenile justice system deals with graffiti-spraying juveniles rather than the criminal court system.

The offense of graffiti is the same for juveniles and adults. However, juvenile courts have significantly more leeway than adult courts when making decisions. It’s common for a child to be charged with a graffiti violation and for the case to be resolved in one of three ways.

1 Dropped charges. Graffiti charges may be dropped or dismissed by a prosecutor. If, for example, the juvenile is under the age of 18, is a first-time offender, or if the prosecutor considers that the youngster has already been punished sufficiently, this may occur.
2 Informal adjudication. In this case, the prosecutor or juvenile court can reach an informal agreement to conclude the case. An informal probation or community service program may be used as a punishment for a youngster who has been charged with a crime. Graffiti charges will be dropped if the youngster completes these activities.
3. Formal Charges Prosecutors can commence formal juvenile adjudication in the most severe circumstances. If this were an adult criminal trial, the prosecution would have to produce evidence. If the court finds that the minor is guilty (delinquent), he or she will impose several sanctions on him or her, including a fine, counseling, probation, restitution to the property owner, and time spent in a juvenile detention facility. Depending on the specifics of the case and the local or state legislation, a child accused of graffiti may face various consequences, just like an adult.

Consult a Lawyer

If you are caught tagging or spraying graffiti, it is considered an infraction that results in a series of legal actions. If you are convicted of a graffiti offense in your state, you might face serious repercussions. If you’re accused of a crime, no matter how little or trivial it may appear, you should always see a criminal defense counsel.

Final Thoughts

If you are over the age of 18 and wish to use spray paint for your personal use, it is perfectly legal for you to purchase spray paint and use it. To put an end to acts of vandalism, the government has imposed an age limit on the purchase of spray paint.

Nevertheless, before you start spray painting anything, you should always verify with the relevant authorities in the area. Be careful to inquire about the regulations that govern the use of spray paint in your region.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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