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How to Paint with an Airless Sprayer

Airless spraying – when applied correctly – is a fast, simple way to get a paint job done. An airless sprayer gives a flawlessly smooth finish and can take hours away from your paint job compared to using a brush or roller. However, there are potential drawbacks which need to be considered before beginning. For a professional finish, Scott Anson Painters & Decorators has 20 years’ experience in both the commercial and domestic sectors, offering high quality decorating services from a team of certified painters and decorators.

Sprayer Set-Up

Different models of sprayer will have variations on set-up techniques, so always read the instruction manual before beginning. As a foundation, the steps you will need to take will involve connecting the hose to the spray gun, followed by flushing and priming the airless sprayer, then installing the guard and tip.

Surface Preparation

One of the main disadvantages to airless spraying is that the area needs to be comprehensively prepared and covered, as paint can and will get everywhere. Cover everything in the vicinity that you do not want to get paint on, including windows and skirting boards. If you are painting outdoors, cover shrubs or plants with plastic sheeting and take note of which way the wind is blowing. For interior painting, wash surfaces that paint is to be applied to with Trisodium Phosphate. For external painting, use a cleaning solution and pressure washer. Always allow time for surfaces to dry completely before commencing painting.

Spray Technique

For the smoothest, most even covering, spray from approximately 12 inches away from the surface. Keep your motion continuous – start moving before you start spraying and continue after stopping to remove the risk of jerky movements. Your spray patterns should overlap, so aim towards the edge of the painted area when re-starting.

Choosing the Right Sprayer

Airless sprayers can be rented or bought, depending on how often you are likely to need to use one. Buying a sprayer means you can ensure the sprayer is properly cleaned and maintained at all times. If renting, be sure to check for cleanliness within the hose, pump and filters. Ask for advice on which tip you need as this will vary depending on what you are spraying. Some rental units will not allow spraying of certain oil-based products such as oil paint, oil stain or lacquer.