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How to Fix a Dripping or Leaking Spray Gun

A spray gun will often leak due to a few different events. First is that the spray gun has been used for a long time and has never had any need for repairs. A second common trigger for a leaking spray gun is that you have just finished rebuilding your spray gun and all of a sudden after replacing everything the gun is shooting fluid around the nozzle or not stopping the flow of fluid when you release the trigger.  In the end both events cause the spray gun to not be able to be used correctly which is the real reason why you will want to fix the leaking or dripping spray gun.  

Why Fluid Leaks or Drips from the Spray Gun

  • To best understand the solution to the problem it is always good to understand the cause. A spray gun relies on seats that are created by tight seals that form between various components in the spray gun.  When it comes to fluid flowing in your spray gun, the two most important seats are the seat that is formed between the fluid needle and fluid nozzle and the seat formed between the spray gun’s head and fluid nozzle.  If these seats stop working or are negatively impacted fluid will leak from your spray gun.  Whether it is a drip or a full leak is mostly related to the degree of failure and location of the seat that is failing.

How to Fix A Dripping or Leaking Spray Gun

If the spray gun is dripping just after you have finished painting this is most commonly caused due to wear or damage of your fluid nozzle and fluid needle.  

  •  You can start by inspecting the fluid needle to see if their is any obvious deformation to the needle.  
  • If there is you may only need to replace the fluid needle, though it is usually better to replace both parts at the same time.
  •  If the needle doesn’t appear damaged it is most likely that the nozzle and needle have worn and it is time to replace them both.
  • A final source of the problem might be that paint has built up on the fluid needle or nozzle which is preventing the seat from properly forming between the nozzle and needle.  If this is the case use an appropriate cleaner to fix the problem.

Spray Gun is Leaking a lot of fluid from the fluid nozzle 

  • If the spray gun is leaking a continuous stream from the fluid nozzle this is most commonly caused by a lose fluid nozzle. To fix the loose fluid nozzle it is recommended to place the spray gun with a clothe around the handle in a vice. With the spray gun in the vice you will then tighten the nozzle with an appropriate wrench.
  • If tightening the fluid nozzle doesn’t resolve the issue there could be a few additional issues causing the problem. You will want to verify the number on the fluid needle. Certain spray guns, for example, a Binks 2100 Spray Gun have different needles that are suited for different nozzles.  If you have the wrong needle for the fluid nozzle your using a large leak could occur.
  • Paint has stopped the needle from seating – If paint builds up on the needle of your spray gun it can interrupt the seat of the fluid nozzle and needle. By cleaning the needle and nozzle you can fix this issue.
  • Your packing nut could be to tight – If you over tighten the packing nut on your spray gun it will compress the packing preventing the needle from sliding which will prevent it from seating in the fluid nozzle to stop the flow of paint.
  • Your Fluid Needle Needs Lubrication – If your fluid needle is not properly lubricated it may not move freely through the packings which could prevent the needle from seating in the nozzle. The solution is to use an appropriate spray gun lube like Binks Gunners Mate Spray Gun Lube. This lube will not adversely effect your paint finish quality and will allow for the needle to move easily and seat appropriately in the packings.


Drips or leaks from your spray gun can be problematic. By understanding why leaks happen with spray guns and how to fix them you can ensure that you achieve a good finish repeatedly. If you need further help or want to talk about having your gun repaired we can help contact us today.

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