Montana Gold vs Black: What’s The Difference?

montana gold and black spray paint on wall
Written by Richard September

Two of the best spray paints for art on the market, but what exactly makes them different?

Germany-based Montana Cans have been producing some of the highest quality art and graffiti supplies ever since it was founded by a collection of artists in 1995.

Fast forward over 25 years and they’re still one of the big players in professional spray paint, thanks to their popular Montana Gold and Montana Black range.

But what makes Montana Gold and Montana Black different? And what are some of the best alternatives?

What’s the difference between Montana Gold & Montana Black?

The main difference between Montana Gold and Montana Black is that Montana Gold is a low-pressure spray paint, whereas Montana Black is a high-pressure spray paint.

Montana Gold’s low-pressure system offers more accuracy and control because it has a lower paint output.

This is unlike Montana Black’s high-pressure system which allows for higher coverage and faster painting due to its higher paint output.

The different spray paint caps that come stocked on Montana Gold and Black also have an effect on the paint output.

Montana Gold comes stocked with a Gold Cap, which is a skinny cap designed to produce thin to medium-sized lines of around 2cm. This cap allows for a lower output as less paint is released at once.

This is much different to the Montana Black stock cap, which is an Orange Dot fat cap designed for thick lines of around 4-7cm wide. Because the cap is much wider, more pressure is released from the can when sprayed, which results in a higher paint output.

Montana Gold and Montana Black won’t have any issues being used together. This is unlike other paints which may react with each other when layered.

Artist testing Montana Gold
Artist testing Montana Gold (Image credit: Unsplash)

What is Montana Gold used for?

Because Montana Gold is a low pressure spray paint, it’s best for fine lines and smaller projects. Although it’s designed for all artists – fine artists, street artists and creative workers will benefit the most from its low pressure system.

When you need precision and control over speed and coverage, Montana Gold is better than Montana Black.

Canvas art is a good example of when it would be better to use Montana Gold. The low pressure is more forgiving on a small surface – reducing the risk of drips and splashback from the pressure.

However, although many professional artists choose Montana Gold for its low pressure, those experienced with can control are usually able to switch between low and high pressure paint with ease.

Montana Gold also comes in over 200+ colour shades. This is partly why it’s so popular as it makes finding colour schemes for graffiti or street art pieces easy.

What is Montana Black used for?

As Montana Black is a high pressure spray paint, it’s more focused on speed and coverage than precision and control. This means it’s favoured by artists who need to cover large areas and paint fast.

Montana Black was developed as a solution to the lack of high-quality paint on the market back when graffiti was becoming popular. Graffiti artists needed a paint that was high output and covered surfaces quickly, so Montana Black was born.

This isn’t to say Montana Black doesn’t allow for precision and control. Experienced artists shouldn’t have a problem controlling Montana Black for small or complex details.

However, it takes a lot of practice to get to this point and there’s still a higher risk of paint dripping. So it’s recommended that beginners find their style with a low pressure spray paint like Montana Gold first.

Montana Black has a slightly smaller colour chart than Montana Gold at 187 colours. Although, 187 is still plenty of colours to choose from.

If your graffiti style is big, bold and fast, Montana Black is the better option over Montana Gold.

Top of various Montana Black spray cans
Top of Montana Black cans (Image credit: Unsplash)

Is Montana spray paint matte?

Montana Black is designed to leave a matte finish that can be applied to any surface. This means it won’t have a shiny look to it, which is usually preferred by graffiti artists to give pieces a flat feel with truer colour.

This is unlike Montana Gold which leaves a semi-gloss finish. This is somewhere between flat and glossy, which works well for things like street art and canvas art.

In my experience though, there isn’t a hugely noticeable difference between the two finishes. So don’t worry too much unless you need a specific finish for your project.

Montana Gold alternatives

Although Montana Gold is one of the best professional spray paints available, it comes at a professional price.

If you want to save some money and achieve similar results, here are a few cheaper alternatives I’d recommend:

  • Flame Blue is a similar spray paint designed with a low pressure system available in 120 colours. It’s manufactured by Germany-based Molotow who are renowned for their high quality art supplies.
  • Kobra Low is another good alternative to Montana Gold. The price per can is quite a bit cheaper. Although admittedly some of the colours aren’t as high standard as Montana Gold.
  • Dope Classic spray paint is one of the cheapest alternatives. It’s a very good low pressure spray paint if you’re working on a budget. However, the colour chart isn’t as extensive and some colours aren’t as vibrant.
artist spraying kobra low pressure paint
An artist using Kobra Low (Image credit: Unsplash)

Montana Black alternatives

Let’s face it, Montana Black isn’t cheap either. And although it is one of the best spray paints for graffiti available, if you’re using it all the time it’s going to add up.

Here are a few Montana Black alternatives I’d recommend if you want to keep your costs down:

  • Flame Orange is a great quality high-pressure spray paint range from Molotow. They’re a fair bit cheaper than Montana Black, but have a very similar feel to them. In fact, I’d choose Flame Orange over Montana Black in most situations as the price to quality is spot on.
  • Kobra High Pressure is another good alternative to Montana Black. It has a high output which is great for speed, and also a decent colour chart. Plus the red skinny cap it comes stocked with is a favourite of mine.
flame orange high pressure sprayed on wall
An artist using Flame Orange (Image credit: Unsplash)

Final thoughts on Montana Spray Paint

Montana Cans produces some of the best professional spray paint available. It’s no wonder why they’re so popular and have been for over 25 years.

Montana Gold is an excellent choice for all artists, but specifically those who are doing more detailed work. The low pressure is much more forgiving for artists learning can control. Plus, the semi gloss finish gives a more decorative look.

Montana Black is a better paint for graffiti because the high pressure system allows for higher coverage and faster painting.

Paired with a fat cap, artists will have no problem achieving speedy results. Just remember that it might be a bit harder to control the can compared to Montana Gold.

Although you should check out alternatives to Montana Gold and Black, for professional projects like commissions, it’s a good idea to use the best paint available.

But if you want to save a bit of money, definitely try some of the cheaper alternatives and see how you get on with them.

What are your thoughts on Montana Gold and Black? Leave a comment below and let me know.

About the author

Richard September

Growing up in London, I've always been fascinated by the graffiti that covers the cityscape. From seeing it around where I lived to reading it on the train lines, I was hooked straight away. For over 15 years, I've been painting graffiti and immersing myself in the culture. I graduated from the University of Sussex in 2019 with a BA in Sociology and Media Studies. My final year research project, entitled "Vigilant Vandalism or Mindless Mischief: A Narrative Analysis of Graffiti Writers in London & Brighton", exposed me to the lives of graffiti writers in the field and better shaped my understanding of the culture. I created Graff Storm in 2021 with the mission to help new artists learn more about graffiti culture, find the right tools and avoid toy status.

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