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Can You Spray Paint A Cowboy Hat?

No matter the time or event, a cowboy hat can be a fun accessory. While the hat you found isn’t the right color, you can purchase spray paint that definitely is. Will it work to revamp your hat?

Spray paint is a great option to paint your felt, straw, plastic, or leather cowboy hat. Using spray paint will deliver a nice even coating of the color you choose, transforming the hat you purchased. 

While being a great option, spray paint can get messy. Let’s take a look at things to consider and the best ways to use spray paint to transform your plain cowboy hat into a masterpiece of its own.

Can You Spray Paint A Felt or Straw Cowboy Hat?

Like mentioned cowboy hats are made of different materials including felt, straw, plastic, and occasionally, leather. You’ll want to pick out the right spray paint to cover the hat you have and give the look you desire.

A hat made of straw will absorb multiple types of spray paint easily to create a longer-lasting look. Hats made of plastic would require specific plastic spray paint to coat the surface. And while you can spray paint leather, it won’t absorb paint as well which could end up chipping off after application.

Materials Needed For Spray Painting A Hat

To properly decorate your cowboy hat for a long lasting design, there are certain materials you’ll need. You should have these things on hand to make for an easy and mess free experience:

  • Drop cloth or cardboard
  • Spray paint
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Tape (painters or packaging)
  • Mask (optional)
  • A hat stand (optional, you could use an item like a cardboard box or even a bowl)

Drop Cover

A drop cover is used as a covering for your floor or whatever surface you’re painting on. It makes for easy cleanup and is necessary when using spray paint. You can purchase one designed for paint at any craft or home supply store. Or you could use a flattened cardboard box. Just make sure it’s large enough to catch any over-spray around the edges of your hat.

Spray Paint

To spray paint a cowboy hat you definitely need spray paint. But there are a ton of options at the hardware store, so what works best? For hats made of felt or straw you could opt for outdoor fabric spray paint to last no matter the weather. Plastic-specific spray paints work best of course for plastic hats. All-purpose spray paint is designed to cover any surface which makes it a great option if you can’t find either of the other specific types mentioned.

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This Montana Black Spray Paint set is a great choice. It works on many surfaces including cowboy hats of all materials.


While not required for spray painting a cowboy hat, gloves will keep excess spray paint off your hands. Disposable gloves will be the best option as they may get ruined in the process. They can be purchased at nearly any grocery or drug store.


If there are parts of your cowboy hat that you don’t wish to paint, tape will come in handy. This is also an optional step. Take your time and be patient when applying tape. You’ll want to ensure coverage of any and all spots you won’t want covered in spray paint. The best option would be painters tape, but packing tape or painter’s tape you have at home should work alright as well.


This is also optional. But spray paint fumes can be dangerous when inhaled in large amounts. If you’re painting in a tight or enclosed area, wearing a mask or other facial covering will keep your lungs protected from the fumes.


While optional, you can choose to place your hat on a stand for an elevated painting location. It may help you to get better coverage with the paint. Any disposable object you have at home that’s a few inches high should do the trick. A cardboard box or an old bucket would do well.

The Best Way To Spray Paint a Cowboy Hat

Now that you know everything you’ll want on hand, here is the best process for spray painting your cowboy hat:

Setting Up The Area

You’ll want to place the drop cloth or other cover down in the area you wish to paint in. If you’re using a stand you can place it under the drop cloth to save it from overspray while painting. Choose a place with good ventilation or windows that can be opened if you’re not outside.

Prep Your Hat

You’ll want to prep your cowboy hat to be painted. Make sure it’s taped in places you wish to keep their original color. If you want a fun design you could purchase stencils for added personality. Consider taping off or placing a cover over the inside of the hat.

Time To Paint

Put on your mask and gloves and get ready to start painting. Begin with light coats, to cover every part of the hat you can see. Allow the hat to dry fully before applying another coat. It may take some time and quite a few coats to obtain the color you’re going for.

Spraying paint on too heavily will make the hat too wet and could cause it to lose shape. You’ll want to avoid flipping the hat to coat the bottom until the paint has fully dried. Not allowing it to dry properly before flipping can also result in a misshapen hat which will remain that way after drying.

Final Thoughts

No matter the reason for needing a different colored cowboy hat, the right spray paint should do well to transform your hat.

Hats made of felt, straw, plastic, or leather, can be coated with an all-purpose spray paint. It will transform a boring old hat into the perfect accessory.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your cowboy hat turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!