How do you use a paint sprayer?

  1. Prepare Your Area
  2. Set-Up Your Spray Gun
  3. Begin Painting In Long, Horizontal Strokes
  4. Work in Sections

It’s amazing what you can do with a paint sprayer on your interior walls. But it’s important to remember that you can’t just hook up your gadget and expect amazing results. Like all tools, you will need to practice a bit with your paint sprayer to get the right technique down. Practicing is a foolproof way to get the coverage and results you need. Here’s a guide on how to use a paint sprayer at home!

Prepare Your Area

Work area of a home renovation

Prep work is the foundation of any paint project. It’s a step you can’t skip, especially if you want professional-looking results. Begin by preparing your area. Clear the space of any tripping hazards such as wires and miscellaneous objects sprawled about your floor. Removing these hazards can prevent your sprayer hoses from getting snagged. After clearing out your area, proceed to protect your interior surfaces. Mask areas or cover your windows, trims, and floors with drop cloths. This will prevent any unforeseen dripping or splashes while you’re using your sprayer.

Another aspect of preparation you need to remember is for your paint. Chunky paint will not do and it will clog your paint sprayer frequently. Remember that stirring and straining your paint can prevent clogs at the tip or the internal filters of your paint sprayer. You’ll know it’s the right consistency when it drips smoothly.

Set-up Your Spray Gun

Connecting a spray gun

It’s quite simple to use your paint sprayer. But, before you start painting away, read the manual and check all safety precautions before getting started. You will need some time to get comfortable with the paint sprayer. You can practice on a scrap piece of cardboard or a flat surface with your paint or with water. Using water is much easier to practice with and it allows you to learn the fundamentals without worrying about wasting paint.

There are some techniques you can try to sharpen your skills when using the spray gun. These techniques will help you feel comfortable and confident when you begin your project. To begin, start moving the paint sprayer in long, straight strokes. These strokes ensure that each coat you make is smooth and that it won’t run. Make sure to move fast, around 2 to 3 feet per second.

When practicing, hold the paint sprayer perpendicular to and about 12 inches away from the surface. If you change the distance, you can see the changes immediately. Avoid bringing it too close to the surface as you will apply twice as much paint. Also, avoid tilting the paint sprayer downward and upward. The paint will spit out of the gun and will give you an uneven application.

Begin Painting In Long, Horizontal Strokes

A man in protective gear pointing his paint spray gun

Remember the exact stroke previously mentioned? It’s time to put it to good use. When the primed wall is ready for painting, fill the paint reservoir with your strained paint. To use the appropriate tip on your rig, do a test spray on a scrap piece of plywood or a large piece of cardboard. Adjust the pressure nozzle accordingly until you see an even amount of coverage.

Hold the spray gun at least 12 inches away and use long horizontal strokes to begin covering the surface. Once you’ve completed an area, immediately start on the next section to keep the first from drying up. This prevents any overlapping marks.

Overspraying your strokes is a good technique as well. It prevents any splatters on the walls. Overspraying means you can depress the trigger a second before the spray hits the surface you’re painting. This technique also lets you use multiple thin coats of paint. The thinner the coats, the better layering you’ll get.

Work in Sections

A painter spray painting the walls of a house

Like your brushwork, painting with a spray gun is no different. Working in sections will go a long way in your project. Start with the corners. If you spot any protrusions, smaller ones should be covered first before you move on to the larger and flat areas. Spray your corners with a vertical stroke. You can aim the stroke directly at the corner to make it quicker. But, you need to remember to move fast as well. Outer corners can get overloaded easily so avoid lingering so as to not have thick layers.

When each area is complete, you can stand back and look for missed areas. Stand a few feet away and look for any light spots. An extra brush and paint roller are handy for your touch-ups if you want to avoid thick layers. You can touch up with your paint sprayer as well if you keep the gun moving as you spray. You will need to eyeball how many layers you need for the touch-up, but usually one or two is good enough to cover the missed spots.

Key Takeaway

How to use a paint sprayer? With this guide, it’s easy! The most important thing to remember with any painting project is to properly prepare your equipment, surfaces, and techniques before getting started. If this is a new tool you’ve never tried before, you’ll be amazed at the quick and professional results you can get. Try a paint sprayer now with your interiors and exteriors!


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