How to Use an Airless Paint Sprayer – Comprehensive Guide

An airless paint sprayer offers fast and efficient means to undertake most painting tasks. This sprayer provides a smooth finish that you can’t achieve when using conventional methods of painting.

However, to accomplish this, you have to know how to use it. Below is a comprehensive guide on how to use an airless paint sprayer.

Prepare the Surface and Surrounding Area

The first thing you need to do is to prepare the surface you want to paint and the area around it. Ensure the surface is clean and dry to prevent peeling of paint within a short time. With airless paint spraying, you will always get over-spray.

You should therefore cover the objects and other elements that are near the painting area. Use canvas to cover them.

Setting Up the Sprayer

Sprayer set up will vary depending on the model of airless paint sprayer you are using. However, the basic set up procedure entails:

1. Attach the spray gun and hose

2. Prime the sprayer
To prime the sprayer, place the smaller priming tube in a waster container and the suction tube into a paint container.

Turn the spray valve and prime and then switch the pump on. Gradually increase the pressure until the paint starts to ooze out of the prime tube and then put it in the paint container.

You should ensure there is no air trapped in the tube to avoid getting an uneven finish or excess overspray. Allow the paint to flow out of the prime tube until you can see any air bubbles coming out.

Then fill the hose with paint, remove the guard and spray tip and then point it to a waste container. Switch the valve to spray and allow the paint to flow until the flow becomes even. Release the trigger and lock it.

3. Release the pressure
Switch off the power and ensure the sprayer lever is set to prime mode. Hold the gun over a waste container, pull the trigger to release pressure, and then lock the trigger.

4. Install the tip and guard
Connect the guard to the gun at an angle of 900 but don’t tighten it. Insert the tip into the gun and then fasten it. Set spray valve to spray and then adjust the pressure appropriately.

It should not be too low because you will get an irregular pattern while high pressure will result in excess over-spray and quick tip wearing out.

Ensure you use the right tip to obtain the best finish. The right tip will ensure you carry out your painting job fast and more efficiently. It will prevent over-spray which will save you from using too much paint hence the overall cost of painting.

Spraying Using an Airless Paint Sprayer

When spaying, the best approach is to start from the top and work your way down. This makes your work efficient by avoiding repeating paint an area due to dripping paint or moving a ladder now and then if you are using one.

Start your motion before triggering the gun and maintain a steady movement and stop only after releasing the trigger. Spray in section and start with the outer edges and move the gun in straight lines across the surface.

Ensure the gun is 12 inches from the surface but if you are using tips that are too large, you will need to move back a bit further. Overlap your spray pattern by around 50% by aiming the tip on your next pass at the edge of the area you had painted before.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

A clogged tip is the most common trouble you will experience when using an airless paint sprayer. To troubleshoot this issue, rotate it to 1800, point the gun to a scrap paper and pull the trigger. Then rotate it again to 1800 again and spray to test whether the clog is gone.

Leaking pump, clogged filters and stuck valves are other problems you may encounter. Proper cleaning and maintenance will help you avoid such problems.
If you experience too much over-spray, set the pressure control to the lowest pressure while maintaining a solid fan pattern.

Also check to ensure the tip you are using isn’t too large. Then if you have an uneven finish, the tip you are using may be wrong, or you may not be well experienced in using the sprayer. Practice to perfect your skills.

Safety Measures and Precautions to Observe

When using an airless paint sprayer, ensure you observe the following:

  • Read and follow the manual of the spraying unit you are using
  • Ensure the trigger is locked and follow the right pressure release procedure when stop spraying when cleaning or installing the tips
  • Never place your hand before the tip unless the sprayer is switched off and depressurized.
  • Wear safety clothing especially glasses and approved respirator
  • Seek medical advice if you puncture your skin with the sprayer
  • Ensure the area you are working in is well-ventilated
  • The pump should be well lubricated

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