When you think of spray paint, you probably picture graffiti artists or someone enjoying a spot of easy home improvement of a weekend. As well as these personal uses of spray paint, it is also used on a large industrial scale for any items that need painting, such as cars or furniture.

Another way the science of spray painting has been used is in the world of makeup, tanning and popular culture. Having a spray tan has become increasingly popular since UV rays and tanning beds have both been linked to a higher risk of cancer. Salons across the world now offer spray tanning options, adopting methods similar to those used in industrial processes.

A customer looking for a sunless tan steps into a spray booth where sprayers that are either hand-held or fixed on the walls, use compressed air to spray a chemical solution onto the skin. Whether you have a booth for spraying cars or people, get your Spray booth filters from www.dustspares.co.uk/spray-booth-filters

Surprisingly, it isn’t paint that turns the customer’s skin a lovely shade of brown, but a sugar. The sugar is called dihydroxyacetone and when it comes into contact with dead skin, a chemical reaction occurs, turning the skin a bronze colour for a short period of time.

Cosmetic artists have also begun to use airbrushes instead of traditional ones. These are small hand-held air-powered brushes that can be used for the personal application of makeup. The airbrushes use compressed air which atomizes a liquid makeup in a similar way that propellent does in a spray paint aerosol can. The makeup released covers the skin in an even and smooth layer, much smoother than can be applied with a traditional brush. This has become a popular method for applying makeup for TV and film, where cameras can reveal every flaw!

One of the most well-recognised applications of spray paint is street art and graffiti artists. The use of this new technology of aerosol cans grew in the 1960s and 70s in American cities like New York and Philadelphia. Street artists began creating colourful images, tags and murals on urban places like subways, walls, underpasses. As well as making strong political and social comments, it was also an opportunity to show off their artistic endeavours on a huge concrete canvas.

As graffiti remains a criminal offence in most countries, the lightweight, portable nature of aerosol cans made them ideal for covert carrying. Spray paint is also available in a huge range of colours, provides excellent coverage and will adhere to almost any surface.

What was once a symbol of lawlessness has now evolved into a distinct form of art in its own right. There are now gallery exhibitions, pieces selling for millions and work being displayed in museums across the world.

From its humble beginnings of wanting to complete a paint job in a quicker and more efficient manner, spray paint has had an incredible impact on popular culture across the world, whether that’s to create an urban masterpiece, cover up facial imperfections or get a safe, sunless tan.