Whatever type of painting project you’re taking on, from furniture to your garden fence, paint sprayers can help you out. If you’re new to working with one of these tools, you could probably benefit from a few tips to make sure that your project is a success, not a mess! With that in mind, here’s our complete guide to working with one! We’ll teach you how to use a paint sprayer easily and effectively.
How to use a paint sprayer
Set up your workspace
Before you begin, you need to make sure that your workspace is fully prepared and equipped. You don’t want to have to stop mid-task to fetch something you need or to move some things around. If you are painting a larger item, you could benefit from building a stage that will keep the item at a convenient height for working or using a ladder. A sawhorse is ideal for this, however, if you are painting a smaller item, you can simply use a lazy Susan which will be perfectly suited to the job.
Before setting up your equipment, think hard about the space that you are planning on using. You will need to work in a location with plenty of ventilation to ensure that you are protected from potentially hazardous fumes. If you can possibly work outdoors, for fence spraying projects, do so. Otherwise, a garage with an open door is a suitable alternative. If you have no other option, you can work indoors, however, you will need to open all your windows and switch a fan on while you spray and dry your item may it be furniture, kitchen cabinets, or indoor walls.
Pay Attention To The Weather Forecast
If you are spray painting outdoors, check the weather to ensure that the temperature will be over 40 °F. If it is colder than this temperature, the pressure inside the paint can drop. Also, it is important to avoid spray painting outdoors during the rain. Plus, inclement weather will wreak havoc with your drying time.
Prepare Your Surface
A lot of paint that’s sprayed has a glossy finish that highlights all imperfections, so you need to be sure to sand your item before cleaning and rinsing it and then, finally, drying it thoroughly. In case you apply a primer, the surface will be smoother and you will obtain a finish that is truer in color and which lasts longer.
Protect against overspray
First, if you are working with a large piece, lay down a cloth over your floor. In case you are finishing a smaller project, you can set it inside a large cardboard box.
Read the instructions
Always read the can and manufacturer notes to check the correct spraying distance as well as the drying time before you start to paint.
Test your paint
Spray a piece of spare material before you begin spraying the actual item itself. Make sure it’s coming out the way you intended before you continue.
When you begin to spray paint, use even long passes and always overlap the previous pass to ensure better coverage. Be aware that positioning your nozzle around 8” from the surface and apply several thin coats will give you a good finish. Always remember to begin and end every coat off the side of the material and always complete a single coat in one session for a better finish and consistency of color. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next coat.
Allow plenty of drying time
Each brand of paint and different finishes all have different drying times, always wait until that time has elapsed before you move your project.
Clean your spray valve
You can easily prevent clogging of the spray valve by turning the paint can upside down. Then spraying until just a clear gas is emitted. Should the tip be clogged, wipe the opening using lacquer thinner or warm water. This should clear the issue. Be aware that you should not try unclogging the tip by inserting a metallic rod.
Tips For Preparing A Surface
When preparing different surfaces for spray painting, you need to know the right steps to take for each. Following are some handy hints:
- Ceramics – use sandpaper to rough up the surface
- Vinyl and fabrics – prewash any apparel-grade fabric before you paint it. Then, ensure that any outdoor fabric or upholstery has not been treated with a protectant that could prevent adhesion of the paint
- Glass – use frosted glass paint and stencils to create a custom etched look. Else use a translucent or pearlized spray for more privacy
- Metal – should you be repainting a rusty grill or appliance. For this, use a paint that has magnetic or heat-resistant qualities. You should remove all existing rust before oiling and lightly sand the glossy surfaces before beginning
- Plastic – clean all-new plastics using paint thinner. Clean old plastics with a cleaner that has an ammonia base
- Sisal – vacuum or shake out all loose fibers before taping down a stencil or pattern
- Wooden Wicker – sand, wipe, and prime before spraying. Always ensure your surface is dry before you begin.
- Resin Wicker – clean using a cleaner with an ammonia base
- Wood – remove any pre-existing stain or paint before sanding and wiping clean
Best Paint Sprayer Reviews
If you need some advice about choosing the right paint sprayer, check our homepage for more advice. Here are two of our faves!
HomeRight HVLP Sprayer
- PAINT SPRAYER FOR COUNTLESS DIY PROJECTS: The HomeRight Super Finish Max paint sprayer offers the ultimate DIYing experience. It’s an easy-to-use electric paint sprayer that’s the perfect step up from the Quick Finish and Finish Max paint sprayers. It’s great for applying a professional-like finish on countless small to large sized DIY projects like fences, decks, furniture, cabinets, dressers and more!
- ADJUSTABLE SETTINGS TO SUIT ANY PROJECT: The paint spray gun features easily adjustable settings to help complete any project. You can adjust the air cap to spray horizontal, vertical, and round. You can also adjust the material flow control knob to quickly increase or decrease the material output to customize your paint flow and project/coating needs
- MORE POWER=SPRAY MORE MATERIALS: The Super Finish Max offers 450 watts of powerful spraying experience, which is great for projects big and small. It can be used to spray a wide variety of paints and stains such as chalk type paint, milk paint, latex paints, enamels, primers, clear sealer, polyurethane, stain and varnish. When you’re done with your project, simply clean the sprayer with water for water based materials or mineral spirits for oil based. The sprayer also comes with a useful cleaning brush to make clean-up quicker
- 3 BRASS SPRAY TIPS INCLUDED FOR GREAT FINISH ON COUNTLESS PROJECTS: This professional quality paint sprayer includes three brass spray tips to suit your project needs. These brass spray tips offer superior performance and precision over plastic counterparts. They provide consistent, high quality spray pattern and offer corrosion and wear resistances. Use the 4.0mm (red) tip for primer and latex paint, 2.0mm (green installed on sprayer) for latex and chalk paint, and 1.5 mm (blue) for stains and sealers.
- U.S. BASED CUSTOMER SERVICE AND 2 YEAR WARRANTY: If you have any questions about your sprayer, please call or chat with our HomeRight U.S based customer service team for quick and efficient assistance. We’re proud of our products, which is why the Super Finish Max is backed by a 2 year warranty
Why do we like it?
Anyone working on a smaller project will love this sprayer. It’s cost-effective and efficient! If you are planning on working on furnishings or cabinets, this paint sprayer is very accurate and will spray pretty much any kind of coating as long as it is properly thinned. From furniture varnish to latex paint or deck stain, this thing can handle them all. It comes complete with a viscosity cup as well as a tool to help the user to work out the correct balance.
There are also in-built filters that will help to prevent clogging of the tip. Moreover, the flow of pressure can be easily adjusted and there are three different spray patterns to select from. Because of its brass components, it can last for a long time and is simple to clean thanks to the included cleaning brush.
Find our complete, in-depth breakdown of the HomeRight
Campbell-Hausfeld Gravity-Feed Spray Gun Kit
- Provides optimal atomization and particle size of paint for an even spray. Use this Spray Gun Kit for automotive painting, carpentry Painting and a variety of other home projects
- The design reduces paint waste and delivers precise results for maximum efficiency
- Includes 2 spray guns, 2 adjusting valves, 5 in-line paint filters, 10 paint filters, 3 cleaning brushes, metal file, coupler, PTFE thread tape, and a wrench
- Carrying case makes for convenient storage as well as portability
- 2 spray guns require 2.1 SCFM and 0.7 SCFM at 40 PSI respectively. Finish your projects faster and easier with Campbell Hausfeld. The air power expert
If you own an air compressor, this spray gun is a great choice for larger coverage areas. First, this piece of equipment comes with two ergonomically designed guns for both large and small projects. Both of these supplied with adjustment valves, accessories, and cups as well as a carry case. Furthermore, this affordable kit performs well and is capable of laying down a smooth coat of paint on all kinds of projects from cars and walls to furniture. Also, the paint cup has a 550ml capacity and the spray pattern is adjustable up to 9” and the entire kit is very quick and simple to clean.
Finally, we’ve got a more comprehensive look at the Campbell-Hausfeld set on our homepage. Also, you might want to head to our article on HVLP spray gun or cordless handheld units if you need to choose your DIY gun, else jump to airless paint sprayers.