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How to Spray Interior Walls – A Complete Guide

You may have a large paint job that you are dealing with or maybe you just hate using a brush and roller to paint interior walls. Either way, depending on the size of the area spraying interior walls can be a faster way to get the work done than brush and roll. The practical steps include setting up your spray painting area, properly selecting spray equipment, using the spray equipment properly, and clean up.  We will cover each in this article.

Setting up the Spray Area

This is arguably the most important step to consider if you will be spraying interior walls and ceilings. Paint that is sprayed will travel a significant distance and a lot of times will travel much further than you ever would imagine. To prevent his from happening it is critical to properly mask ALL SURFACES THAT YOU DO NOT WANT ANY OVERSPRAY TO LAND ON. If you are painting an entire room following a proper flow will help eliminate some masking

Prepping walls properly

Drywall needs to be properly prepared. It needs to be smooth (which may require sanding of any patching material you use), free from defects, holes patched, and clean of general dust.

Masking & Covering  Tips for spraying interior walls and ceilings

  • Mask off the doors, trim, and windows as well as any other areas you do not want paint to get on. You should cover these surfaces with a plastic drop cloth and a proper tape. The key with the tape is to make sure it will hold the cloth tightly against the masking surfaces to prevent overspray from getting on the surface. If you are working in an open space you will want to find a way to isolate the area so that overspray is not able to migrate into an adjacent room.
  • Floors should be covered by a heavy canvas as this will help prevent any paint from leaking onto the floor from you accidentally spilling paint while filling up the sprayer or similar issues.
  • Wall and trim coverings should overlap the floor coverings this will prevent overspray from getting under the wall coverings and creating overspray on your floors

Spraying Interior Walls Process

In addition to masking everything well you can also help reduce overspray and make the project easier by following a good pattern with your project. Usually starting with the ceiling is easiest because it will allow you overspray to fall onto the wall which can help reduce the need to have to mask the walls, especially with lighter colored paints that may not be likely to create issues if your using a color on the walls that will hide any overspray well if you have concerns that the wall color will not hide overspray you can always be safe and mask the wall to. You will always want to mask any cabinets, windows ect. After painting the ceilings and allowing for proper dry time you can then mask off the painted ceiling with a non stick tape and begin spraying the walls making sure the floor and any other areas are properly covered. This will reduce the amount of masking that you do when spraying interior walls.

If your doing newer construction you can also save time by spraying the cabinetry and wood work without masking the walls, after completing the cabinetry and letting it dry you would want to mask the cabinetry.

Spray Equipment Selection and Tips

Common options for spraying interior walls are airless sprayers like those offered by Titan or Graco. For home use you can also get a budget option but results may not be as good. To use an airless sprayer you want to turn the pressure up on the sprayer until the paint seems to be broken apart well. It is always ideal to use a piece of cardboard to do a test to ensure that the finish looks smooth if its to chunky you do not have enough pressure. You can learn more about spray gun technique with airless sprayers here which is critical in getting the result you want to achieve.

In addition to your technique you want to use an airless sprayer tip that is properly sized for your paints most house paints will be latex paints the tip will have 3 numbers like a 517. The first number doubled is the fan pattern size and the second number is the opening size. The bigger the opening the more paint will be provided the bigger the first number the bigger the fan. Common airless tips for interior latexes range from 313 to 513. The smaller tips will give you a bit more control and help keep the interior spray nice. Another key factor to consider is when spraying a ceiling you may want to backroll after you spray. Backrolling after spraying helps the paint to adhere to the ceiling better but you can also learn more about spraying and backrolling here. In general back rolling can be especially beneficial for the primer.

Additional Considerations for Spraying Interior Walls

You will want to be aware of keeping paint off of you. Compared to brushing or rolling spraying can be messier, it can often make sense to wear a complete head to toe suit. Additionally, you will want to wear a proper paint respirator.

After Spraying

After you have complete spraying you will want to go back and brush the trim, doors, and windows. These areas cannot be effectively sprayed.

Ultimately spraying can be a faster way to get your household interior wall painting complete. However, you have to prepare properly, think about how you will spray, and properly use equipment. If you follow the advice in this guide you will be able to get great results spraying interior walls.


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