Best Non-toxic Spray Paints For Internal & External Part Of Your Aquarium

Aquarium paints are yet another thing that you can use to make your aquarium glass look very attractive. You can use them in reef as well as freshwater aquariums, to paint the inside and outside. However, remember to use a non-toxic paint for the purpose!

What are epoxy paints?

Epoxy paints have a lot of advantages:

  • Chemical resistant
  • Extremely cleanable
  • Highly durable

These paints are designed for use in freshwater and marine aquariums. It is important to go for an epoxy paint that does not contain volatile organic compounds because VOC gases can harm the fish and aquatic plants.

What are the cons of not using aquarium-safe paints?

Most paints do not do well when exposed to water, which makes the aquarium full of it. Such paints makes the water colored and releases toxic chemicals.

Some paints absorb water and soon begin to peel or bubble up, which fills the aquarium with tiny flakes. These flakes look like fish flakes to the fish and they will eat it! And you won't know that there is a problem until your fish is dead!

Safe paints for inside the aquarium

Aquarium-safe paints can be submerged in your fish tank. They don’t peel, flake or leach chemicals when placed under water, keeping the marine life safe.

Unless stated, paints should never be used inside the aquarium. I have shortlisted some paints that are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

Spray Paints

Spray paints are the best – no need of brushes and nothing to clean up. Here are some of the best aquarium internal spray paints in the market.

Krylon Fusion

Krylon K02758007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use, Matte Ink Blue, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • ALL-IN-ONE SPRAY PAINT – Krylon blue spray paint delivers best in class adhesion, durability and rust protection. This all purpose spray paint bonds to difficult surfaces without sanding or priming, including plastic, wood, metal, PVC, tile and more.
  • INDOOR/OUTDOOR SPRAY PAINT - Whether your project is inside or out, this matte blue spray paint offers maximum rust protection. Color changes everything – from DIY projects to giving metal furniture a quick refresh.
  • MATTE BLUE COLOR – Blue matte spray paint offers a modern, cozy finish to any project. Blue is a classic color that should be kept on hand with DIY supplies and in a craft or tool kit. Matte finish color spray paint can soften and add a unique feel.
  • QUICK DRY – With the easy push big button spray tip, you can spray the paint and primer spray paint any way, even upside down. Dry to the touch in 20 minutes or less with no runs, no drips, no errors. 12 oz. can spray paint covers up to 25 sq. feet.
  • AMERICA’S FIRST SPRAY COATING – Krylon spray paint has been trusted by consumers since 1947. We offer a wide selection of spray paint products to help restore, refresh and recolor any project. With Krylon, today we spray.

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best quality spray paints for reef tanks, is Krylon Fusion. It clings to plastic, PVC, resin, dries quickly and has a clean finish. Moreover, it is available in a wide variety of colors!

This spray paint should only be used for painting plastics. It dries within 15 minutes, but takes almost a week to properly cure and become chip-resistant. 

Once a week is finished, you can rinse the tank in de-chlorinated water to remove any residue accumulated on the surface.

Plasti Dip

Plasti Dip Plasti Dip11203-6 Black Rubber Coating Spray - 11 oz.
  • Peel able, easy to remove from most surfaces when you're ready
  • Flexible, won't crack, chip, or become brittle
  • Insulates, electrical shock, vibration, heat, deadens sounds
  • Grip, provides non-slip comfort and control
  • Durable, resists weather, chemicals, impact, and abrasion

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This paint looks and works like a spray paint, but dries into a firm rubber. This unique property of Plasti Dip makes it flake and crack-free, even after years of being submerged in your tank.

Once finishing the final coating, wait for 24 hours for it to dry and then rinse the tank with de-chlorinated water. You can use this spray for decoration purpose as it is truly safe.


Drylok 27512 Latex Water Proofer, 1 Quart, White
  • GUARANTEED to stop water - withstands 10 pounds of hydrostatic pressure (PSI), equivalent to a wall of water 22 feet high
  • Fully transferable 10 Year Warranty
  • Helps protect against radon gas penetration by reducing vapor transfer
  • Low-odor formula complies with all current VOC requirements
  • Breathable film will not trap moisture in the masonry

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Drylok is more of a water proofer than a regular paint. It is usually used in large applications like ponds. But you can also use it inside the aquarium as it is fish-safe.

It is used in 3D aquarium backgrounds and seals whatever you coat it in, thus protecting it from water.

This paint is available in a variety of colors but only the white one is considered aquarium-safe. However, you can create your own colored waterproof spray paint by mixing Drylok with Quikrete Liquid Concrete paint, which is available in colors like:

  • Red
  • Brown
  • Charcoal
  • Terracotta
  • Buff (Dark Orange/ Brown)

Note: Drylok Pro and Drylok Extreme contain fungicides which can kill not only the beneficial bacteria inside the aquarium, but also the fish.

Safe paints for outside the aquarium

The most common part of the fish tank which is painted, is the rear glass. Painting an aquarium’s external makes the fish and plants more visible, as it blocks the distractions coming from the other side.

It doesn't matter what kind of paint you use on the rear part, as it will leave a smooth finish anyway. 

But overtime, the paint might scratch due to the wet environment or start peeling off bit-by-bit which will make it look even uglier.

Plasti Dip

For this purpose you can use Plasti Dip. It is easy to spray, gives clear coating and doesn’t brittle or crack.

And in case you want to change the aquarium background, you can simply peel it off! Since it is made of rubber, it is easy to remove.

Lastly, for stands and cabinets, you can use oil-based paints. They are water-repellent and hold up well to being splashed with water.


Different types of paints are available for different purposes. You can choose one of them according to your purpose and preference.

You don't need to spend a lot on them, as they are easily available at your local hardware store at a reasonable rate.


[Revised and Updated for July, 2019]
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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts

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