shop for graffiti supplies - graffiti store
Fast, Same Day Shipping
My Account  |  Cart Contents   |  Checkout   
  What's New? more
Art Primo Caps 101: An introduction to Spray Paint Nozzles



Caps (also know as: nozzles, tips, actuators, etc.) are like a brushes to an artist. They come in many sizes shapes and colors and can produce a variety of desired line widths, spray effects and overall output volume. Although most spray paints include a spray nozzle or “cap” it is typical for painter to remove the “stock cap” and replace it with a more task appropriate one. Using the wrong cap can be like writing with a dull pencil, resulting in shaky and undesired strokes. It can also be like trying to paint a house with a q-tip. Using the right caps can give you the sharp, crisp and accurate lines you are looking for as well as speed up larger tasks.

-Identifying Caps

A quick way to determine the general output volume of a cap without doing a spray test is to turn the cap upside down and examine the size of the slit at the end if the stem. Large notches or slits will allow more paint to flow through when pressed and are typically going to be a fat cap. In contrast thinner or no slits will allow less paint to flow through and are usually pegged as thin caps. Another way although less effective is to blow through the stem and determine how much air volume is being projected out of the output hole.

In the case of NY Fats and NY Thins one can simply observe or feel the grooves along the sides of the cap. The fat caps have larger further spaced grooves along the sides while the NY thins or outlines have thinner closely spaced grooves.

Consider pressure differences (a higher pressure can has a lot higher and faster output than a lower pressure can)

See our pressure page for more info Click Here

Cap Types

A. Domestic Caps- "O.G." NY Fat, NY Outline, Rusto fat
Work on most U.S. domestic cans.

B. Euro or German style Cap-
Works on most European cans and some domestic cans.(easier on the finger)

C. Female Caps (assorted types)-
No stem in bottom of the cap (for male valve cans only)
See charts below for details

Line thickness/Spray volume

  • Thins- Thin spray for painting small areas, fine details, thin lines, light shading, highlights etc.
  • AP Micro Grey Dot MSS GSS Black Dot Black Solid CSS Black Callig

  • Outline- Medium sized spray for solid clean lines

    NYO GO1 SBN Universal GO3 GO4 GOS

  • Fats- Large spray used for painting larger areas, filling in
  • Rusto NYF Blue Dot Orange Dot Red Callig

  • Super Fats- Very large and fast output volume typically used for filling in very large areas in a short period of time
  • Pink Blaster Euro Fat Silver Astro Red Astro 49er

  • Calligraphy- Chisel tip type of squared off line. The caps are great for achieving calligraphy pen or marker type writing. They are also good for painting furniture, bikes etc. The protruding tranversal tip can be turned to achieve a vertical or horizontal line spray pattern.
  • Red Callig Black Callig

  • Needle cap- This cap has a short straw projecting out of its discharge area. This thin tube allows a very thin stream of paint to shoot a further distance into a spatter pattern. Good for spatter effects and high reach lines.
  • Needle Cap

  • Stencil Cap-Very thin lines. Recommended for detail only (can be very messy).
  • Stencil Cap

  • Mixing Caps-Used for mixing 2 cans together. Not typically used for painting.
  • Mixing Caps

  • Female Caps- Assorted thins and fats that are only compatible with male valves. They do not have a stem in the bottom of the cap. See the Cap Compatibility section below to learn more
  • EZ AP Thin AP Precise AP Touch AP Female Fat
-Cap Compatibility, Can & Valve Types

Will your cap work with your can? What kind of valve do you have?

a. Male Caps & Female Valves
The cap's stem inserts into the can's valve.
b. Female Caps & Male Valves
The can's stem inserts into the cap.

Fan Tips (Newer Krylon, Dutch Boy etc.)

These types of cans have a specific type of male valve system that will not accept new caps. We do not recommend trying to do so.

a. 360 Tips
b. Fan Tips

-Spray Patterns

Each cap will have a different colored insert that determines the shape of the spray pattern. This is the the pattern that is produced after one depression onto the cap without the can being moved in any direction. This is the basis how the shape and edge of a line will look. Some spray patterns will be round and solid others may have a soft middle and hard edge. Results will vary by paint type but they are generally similar. Here are some examples of different spray patterns and tests. Pressure and distance from the wall are considered.