How to Use an Airless Paint Sprayer (Includes Video)
As we have discussed before Airless Paint Sprayers are one of the fastest ways of painting large projects. From spraying new construction to painting industrial equipment an airless paint sprayer can be the ideal solution. To get the most benefit out of an airless paint sprayer you want to make you understand how to operate your airless sprayer, how to use the airless spray gun, and properly clean your airless equipment. Will be covering each of these areas and provide a video as well so you can get the best results from your airless spraying.
Step 1 - Look over Your Airless Paint Sprayer for any Safety Concerns
Before getting your airless sprayer set up for painting you will want to verify that everything is in good working order. You also want to look over the equipment for any potential safety concerns. Common things to inspect on an airless sprayer to ensure safe operation include the airless hose for any bulges or breaks in the line. You will also want to make sure to have a proper respirator for your material selected. You will want to review all of your hose connections as well to make sure they are not damaged and are securely connected to your airless sprayer. Finally, you should wear eye protection when using an airless so that you do not get overspray in your eyes.
Step 2 - Setting up Your Airless Sprayer to Paint
Once you have made sure your airless is safe to operate the next step in using your airless sprayer is to prime the fluid section of your sprayer. Airless sprayers will have a prime and spray setting or a valve that can be opened to initiate prime and closed to initiate spraying. To get the airless sprayer ready for painting you will need to place the pickup tube for your sprayer in the material you plan on spraying with and the dump tube in an empty bucket or container. The dump tube should be in a separate container because any material that was in the pump from a previous job will be expelled when priming the pump. Make sure your sprayer is set to prime or your valve is opened to allow material to circulate through the fluid section. You let the pump run until your new material can be seen coming from the dump tube. After material can be seen coming from the dump tube you can set the sprayer to spray. This will begin building pressure out to your airless spray gun. Once the sprayer has stopped building pressure you can then begin to spray until the new material is coming out of your airless spray gun. Once you have material primed through the fluid section and to the spray gun next you will want to spray a test pass. The best option is to start with the pressure low and gradually increase the pressure until the break up of your paint is sufficient. You will be able to see your pressure is high enough when there are no lines at the edge of the pattern and your material is finely broken up (see video for more details). If the material will not break up with your tip you can either continue to increase pressure or try a smaller tip by selecting a tip with a smaller first and/or second number. (Heres more on selecting an airless tip size).
Step 3 - Using an Airless Spray Gun
With airless spraying you want to hold your spray gun about 8 -12 inches from your target and keep the airless spray gun facing perpendicular to the surface without arching. Each pass should overlap about 25 - 50% so that there is no gap between each pass. You continue doing this until your product is covered. If you notice runs in your paint you either need to move faster or select a smaller tip opening to prevent excessive paint being sprayed.
Step 4 - Proper Airless Clean Up
Proper Clean up of your airless paint sprayer will depend on whether your sprayed with oil or water based materials. If oil based you will flush with the proper solvent based on the paint you sprayed if water based you will use just water. You will put the pick up tube in the proper cleaner and the dump tube to be placed in a separate bucket. Next you will switch the pump to prime or open the valve if you do not have a switch until clear cleaner is flowing through the pump. Once the pump fluid section has been cleaned you can then switch the pump to spray. Ideally you should remove the airless tip and guard with the pump off prior to beginning the clean out of your sprayer. The tip and guard should be placed in cleaner. By leaving the tip and guard off there will be less pressure when spraying preventing any bounce back. Spray material through the airless hose until you get clean material flowing from the airless spray gun. Finally if you plan on storing your pump for a while make sure to use pump armor which will protect your pump from corrosion while being stored.
Ultimately an airless sprayer makes painting fast and easy. By properly making use of your airless paint sprayer you can achieve better results.