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Common Problems with Airless Paint Sprayers and Their Solutions

  1. I have excessive overspray – Overspray is challenging with airless sprayers because fluid has to be under high pressure to force breakup of the paint at the tip of the unit. The result is that the paint hits your target with a lot of force and can create a lot of oversprays. However, if you are trying to minimize overspray consider the following factors.
    • How much Air pressure is being supplied to the pump – Airless pumps take input air and multiply by a ratio depending on the pump.  A 33:1 pump would increase pressure 33 times the input pressure, a 53:1 pump 53 times the input pressure. Once you have enough air pressure to break apart your paint any additional pressure will only lead to overspray. If overspray is an issue see if you can reduce the air pressure on your airless sprayer at the sprayer itself or at the air feed source.
    • Tip type – tips come in both the size of the opening and the width of the fan.  The size of the opening determines how much fluid will be sprayed a minute and is listed in gallons per minute usually. The fan width determines how wide of a pattern the gun will provide at about a 12 inch distance from your target. If you have excessive overspray check the size of your fan width. If the fan width is large but your target is not you will spray a lot of paint into the air as a result. If you are getting coatings that are spraying on heavier than you need you may be using too big of a fluid tip, which can result in the need for heavier pressure to the unit and cause increased overspray. Bottom line if you have to much paint for your target or too wide of a fan considering reducing tip and fan size to better match your target it will help with overspray.
  2. My coating does not break up well – this is due to poor atomization, airless sprayers require inlet pressure to feed fluid to the tip and the atomization happens at the tip. If you have coating that is not breaking up well consider increasing air pressure to the unit or a smaller tip size. These two ideas should help resolve the problem. If you still cannot atomize the paint well it may be worthwhile to evaluate other forms of spraying like air assist airless or an air spray gun depending on your objectives.
  3. I have an uneven pattern from my gun – if the edges of your spray pattern have tails as it is referred to your fluid pressure is not high enough.  If you increase the pressure and continue having issues it may be the fluid tip has worn significantly and needs replaced.

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