How To Use Airless Paint Sprayers: Easy To Follow Step-by-Step Guide

If you have ever wanted to learn the steps involved in using an airless paint sprayer or you are in the market for the most convenient and effective way to complete your painting task, then this post is for you.

The Airless paint sprayer is the best thing that ever happened to the painting world. It is the quickest way to complete painting jobs effectively and it has a myriad of advantages over the traditional brush and rollers especially when you have an enormous project on your hands.

The airless sprayer is a tad different from your regular spray gun which requires a compressor. The airless sprayer as the name connotes doesn’t rely on air to apply the paint. Instead, it relies on pressure to push the paint out through the nozzle.

Why Should You Use Airless Paint Sprayers?

You can control the flow of the spray, so it does not splash and leave a big mess or cause excessive spray. Rollers can cause strains on your painting surface if not carefully applied. Also, rollers would not be recommended to paint uneven surfaces but the airless paint sprayer is largely recommended for painting over such surfaces and is remarkably easy to utilize.

The airless sprayer comes with a plethora of new features that rollers and paintbrushes do not have the luxury of providing. This makes the sprayer perfect on a variety of surfaces such as textured and drywalls.

However, just like most inventions that provide improved features and enhanced quality, the airless paint sprayer has its own unique procedures for usage. This is not to say that it is not easy to use but you might want to consider learning how to use airless paint sprayers to make your work easier, faster, and more effective.

How To Use Airless Paint Sprayers?

Before you start painting with your airless spray gun, you would need to identify and get familiar with the various parts of the equipment.

Once you learn about using airless paint sprayers then you need to know how to safely use them. Make sure to keep a distance, thin the paint, and once you are done clean the tool.

If you do not know the various parts of your equipment, what they look like, and what they are used for, you might end up with a real muddle on your hands when you are done painting and no one likes a poorly painted surface. Let’s go over some vital parts of the airless paint sprayer.

Learn How Airless Paint Sprayer Parts Work

The safety: This part of the gun when in use prevents you from accidentally pulling the trigger and spray paint where you do not intend.

The pressure knob: This part is sometimes located near the trigger. It affects the amount of paint that comes through the nozzle or the amount of force generated by the sprayer.

The suction tube: This is the long tube you submerge into your paint. It sucks up the paint that eventually flows out through your nozzle.

The nozzle: This is where the paint escapes through. It is one of the most important units of the equipment that determines the quality of your result after painting.

The trigger: This performs the same function as the trigger on a regular gun. It is the lever you pull when you want the paint to come out.

The tip: It’s the small key like a part on the top of your gun near the nozzle. Different paints require different tips. For example, the 515 key is used for latex exterior paint so you might need to check your paint guide for more information especially if you are new to painting or you are using that particular type of paint for the first time.

Other parts such as the hook, the guard, the pump, and so on are equally important so you need to check out the manual that comes with your equipment to get even more familiar with these parts and what they look like.

Now let’s move on to actually using your equipment.

Get The Surface Ready

The first thing to do before you start painting is to get yourself and your surface ready. To do this, you need to ensure the surface is dry, mask off or remove everything you do not want to paint such as the doors, the floor, electronics, and the likes so the paint doesn’t get on them.

I would recommend using a water-resistant tape. You will also need to cover yourself. Put on some old clothes that cover your limbs, use a face mask, and a pair of goggles. Then you are good to go.

Afterward, you need to pick a suitable tip for your paint. Earlier we discussed how each paint job has its own tip for its application. You need to pick the best tip for your job.

Generally, larger tips require more pressure and are advised when you want to paint a broad surface. However, if you need to do a more careful and precise paint job like painting hedges or corners, you will definitely need a smaller tip and smaller pressure for accuracy. If you are unsure, check your guide for which tip to use or ask for help from a professional painter.

Thin & Strain The Paint

After picking the right tip, you need to thin the paint. As you probably know, the latex paint is very thick and you may need to make it thinner (that is, less thick) before you start spraying. This is an important process you do not want to get wrong so you might want to experiment on the thinness of your paint by spraying on some disposable item or cardboard. You can use chemical thinners or water to thin your paint.

The next step is to strain your paint. Most of the time, you will have lumps of paint which can eventually clog up your nozzle so you need to make sure your paint is as smooth as possible.

The next step after you smoothen out your paint involves putting in the suction tube. What to do with your suction tube is you submerge it into the paint. Make sure the tube is well buried in the paint to ensure the maximum pull force.

Prime The Pump

When you have submerged your suction tube, then you need to prime the pump. Trust me, It is not as difficult as it sounds. Priming your pump is a pretty basic task. Put your suction tube into the paint and the return tube into a waste container.

The suction tube as described earlier sucks up the paint and the return tube puts back any residue to prevent wastage. Make sure the nozzle is directed downwards to prevent any mishaps. After that, turn the “spray and prime” knob to “prime” and turn your pressure knob to your desired number ranging from 1-5 depending on the amount of pressure you require.

When this is done, you wait for the paint to start flowing. This way you can be sure the system is primed. Then you turn off the equipment, put the return tube into the paint together with the suction tube, get your spray gun ready by taking off the safety lock, and voila! You are ready to go. However, you need to do a quick test run to avoid a big flop. After your test run, if the result is as desired,  you can go on to paint your surface gently.

Airless Paint Sprayer Safety Tips

While using your airless paint sprayer, there are a few safety precautions to consider. Most of them are to ensure your work is clean and nice while others protect you. Accidents can happen even when you are painting.

Keep The Distance

First of all, you need to keep the distance between your spray gun and the surface between 10-12 inches. This ensures even distribution.

Next, you need to ensure your arm is constantly moving. Don’t spray a surface for too long except it’s required which I highly doubt. So keep your arm moving.

You would notice I used the term “arm” and not “wrist.” Using your wrist would result in uneven distribution and a bad paint job. You need to ensure a firm grip on your sprayer and move your arm slowly from right to left. You can use both hands if you please.

Overlap While Painting

Also, you need to overlap while painting. This means you need to paint an area at least twice. Don’t just spray over an area once and move on. The result would not be pleasant as the paint applied to that area would be too light.

You definitely would not want to spray paint on your skin, so direct the nozzle away from yourself or anyone present. The paint is rushing out with an increased amount of force and this can go directly into your blood supply if you spray the paint on your body accidentally. You do not want that.

If you take into consideration all of these steps and you are pretty confident and pleased with your test result, then you can go ahead and start painting.

Clean The Paint Sprayer

Finally, as pleasant as using an airless sprayer sound, you need to take care of your sprayer as well. This includes cleaning it immediately after use. Learn here: How To Clean An Airless Paint Sprayer?

If you leave your sprayer with paint residue in it, the paint will become harder after a few minutes and this will block your nozzle or tube affecting your job the next time you decide to use the equipment. Other ways to take care of your airless sprayer include keeping it in a cool and dry place, replace any faulty or old parts and keep out of reach of kids after using it.

So there you have it. Now you know how to use your airless paint sprayer. Let me know if you find any part of this post useful in the comment section.

Have a nice painting experience.

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