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Distance You Should Hold A Spray Gun from a Product, A Complete Guide (Infographic)

Why the Distance from the Product you hold a spray gun matters

When you are spraying a coating one of the key factors you can control to help achieve the ideal finish is the distance you hold the spray gun from the products surface. Other important variables include the positioning of your spray gun over the wood, the speed at which you move the spray gun, and the settings of the spray gun. Holding the spray gun to close to the surface can result in runs in your paint finish while holding the spray gun too far away can result in uneven coats of paint being applied to your products surface.

How Far Away Should You Hold A Spray Gun from a Product Surface?

The distance you hold the spray gun from the product will depend somewhat on the equipment you are using.

For an airless paint sprayer, you will use the gun at a greater distance from the product’s surface as it sprays a lot more paint at a time at higher fluid pressures than an air spray gun. The extra pressure and paint that is released results in faster coverage which means you should hold the gun farther from the products surface to reduce the chance of runs. A good rule of thumb for an airless spray gun is to hold the gun about 12- 14 inches from the products surface.

Air Assist Airless Sprayers use high fluid pressure but not as high as Airless paint sprayers.  A good rule of thumb for air assist airless sprayers is to hold the spray gun about 10 – 12 inches from the products surface

Air Spray Guns come in a few styles but the most common are HVLP and Conventional Spray Guns which you can learn more about each here. Each type of spray gun has a different distance that is best to hold it from the products surface. For an HVLP Spray Gun, you should typically hold the spray gun 6 – 8 inches from the products surface. For a conventional spray gun, a bit of a greater distance like 8 – 10 inches is typically better.

How You can know if You are Holding the Spray Gun Too Close or Too Far from the Product Surface

  • Typically holding a spray gun to close to the product while painting will result in too much paint being applied which will cause the paint to run.
  • If you are holding the spray gun to far away from the products surface, you can get a spray that is dusty or sandpaper like

Another important consideration about the distance you hold a spray gun

When you are painting the spray gun should be moving back and forth and not moving side to side (see picture below for better understanding)

how far you should hold a spray gun from a product



Holding your spray gun the correct distance from a products surface will help you achieve a proper finish. Other important factors to control include the way you move the spray gun, the spray gun settings, and keeping a uniform technique throughout your painting.

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