When you’re using a paint sprayer to get a job done, then you can complete it in a fraction of the time it takes traditional methods. Here’s where you’ll find out everything you need to know about paint sprayers before purchasing one. The ultimate guide to paint sprayers will show you the different types that are available, certain tricks to make this tool more useful, and how to use them for painting everything from interior walls to your car.
Are you ready to get started? Then here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about paint sprayers and how they might be able to help you today.
When you start thinking about the purchase of a paint sprayer, then it becomes important to purchase one that is equipped to do the job that needs to be completed. The type of paint you’re planning to use is also an important consideration in the purchasing process.
There are three basic types of paint sprayers to consider.
It is important to remember that every type of paint sprayer should be handled with great care. This is especially true with airless sprayers that operate at very high pressure levels. The paint can be injected into the skin if it makes contact with the sprayer tip and this can introduce dangerous toxins into the body.
You should always seek immediate medical treatment if you accidentally inject paint, lacquer, or varnish into your skin.
As with any tool, you can expect to find certain features to be available in different combinations depending on the make and model of the paint sprayer you’re looking at. Comprehensive online reviews will help you take a look at the effectiveness of these 4 common features you’ll want to consider having with your sprayer so your project can be completed with quality in a reasonable amount of time.
A portable paint sprayer can complete large and small projects equally well. These are needed more for outdoor projects when compared to indoor projects. Working with furniture, cabinetry, or automotive painting often requires portability as well. Most paint sprayers either come in a “backpack” form or are outfitted with wheels to allow for a greater freedom of movement.
Some paint sprayers offer users the chance to adjust how the paint is delivered to the surface. You may be able to dispense the paint at various levels of thickness. Some sprayers offer multiple speed settings. Sometimes you’ll even have access to different spray patterns. If you want a sprayer that maximizes its versatility, then look for a sprayer that will give you paint, lacquer, and varnish settings based on the type of materials you’re using.
Paint sprayers can be powered in a number of different ways. The basic sprayer is controlled by hand, much like a spray bottle. You’ll also have cordless, electric, or fuel-powered options depending on what kind of delivery system you need. Certain models may need a power source for a compressor in addition to the power source for the paint sprayer, so keep this in mind during the shopping process.
The messiest part of owning any paint sprayer is the cleanup process. It takes a lot of time to take apart a sprayer so it can be flushed out. You’re going to have paint go everywhere while you’re getting this job done as well. Certain makes and models can attach to a garden hose, however, to make cleanup go a lot faster. Look for this feature if you don’t like the idea of getting messy.
There are other unique features that may be available only in specific brands or in certain types of paint sprayers as well. The best paint sprayer reviews can help you to sort out which features each model has so you can have confidence in your purchase. That way your next DIY project will get finished faster than you imagined possible.
A paint sprayer is designed to make your job be easier. The accessories that come with certain sprayers also help to make fast work of your next DIY project. Some are even designed to help extend the life of your preferred sprayer. Here are the best-selling options that come with some models and can often be found separately for purchase if they are not included.
Sometimes you’ll find that a paint sprayer comes with certain personal protective equipment. Make sure the equipment is of the proper size before finalizing your purchase. Otherwise you’ll have to purchase more protective gear that does fit your unique needs at an extra cost and you’ll be stuck with useless gear at home.
A paint sprayer can be an intimidating tool if you’re not used to using one. Although it seems like you should be able to hook your sprayer up to the paint and get to work, it doesn’t quite work this way. A good place to start is to practice using your new sprayer on some cardboard first so you can perfect your technique. When you’re able to create even coverage, only then should you proceed to painting other things.
Never use a paint sprayer if the temperature is below 45F or above 75F. This will affect the quality of the paint. You’ll also want to avoid painting in direct sunlight as well because this will cause the paint to dry too quickly and this changes how it bonds. Cold paint dries slowly and will attract debris, which also means the sprayer is likely to clog.
Clogging, in fact, is the #1 complaint that people have when using a paint sprayer. You’ll see this as a running theme in the public reviews of today’s best paint sprayers. To prevent clogs, it is important to stir your paint extremely well. You’ll then need to strain it before hooking it up to the sprayer for best results.
Once you’ve done all this, you’re ready to begin painting. You’ll want to start moving the sprayer before you start applying the paint. Keep it moving in strokes that are long and straight. The sprayer will apply paint quickly, so this technique will prevent having the paint run. You’re basically replicating how you would paint with a brush, but you’re holding a sprayer instead.
Don’t get too close. Sprayers will cause paint to run if they’re held closer than 10-12 inches from the surface. You must also maintain the same distance as much as possible because even small changes will alter the surface of the paint. Tilting the sprayer upward or downward will also cause the sprayer to spit out paint and that can create unwanted results.
Most people tend to use what is called the “bowtie” method of painting with a sprayer. This means the sprayer is swung in an arc motion. The end result is paint that is thicker in the middle, but thinner and wider in application at the edges. It’s always better to be too light than too heavy in your application. Start with the corners, then paint any protrusions, and finally save the larger flat areas to paint for last for best results.
Since clogging is the #1 complaint of paint sprayer owners, a little proactive maintenance will go a long way toward resolving this issue. Most sprayers today come with a tip guard installed to prevent accidental paint injection into the skin. You’ll need to clear this guard from time to time while working since the paint can bond there. Remove your finger from the sprayer trigger and clean it off every so often using a rag.
You must also clean out the paint sprayer after every use. This may even include when you change paint sources if there is a long enough break between the two painting sessions. If your sprayer is not designed to be hooked up to a standard garden hose, then you’ll need to take the sprayer apart to wash it out. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer in the manual for the tool.
If you do have a clogged tip, you’ll want to twist the tip a full 180 degrees. Then point your sprayer at a cardboard or wood scrap and then squeeze the trigger until the clog clears. You may also find clogs at the filter which will need to be manually cleared.
Focus on your ball-check valves, your hose connections, and the internal spraying mechanisms when performing maintenance on your sprayer and you’ll prevent most of the troubles that are complained about when users review sprayers in a negative way.
Some paint sprayers recommend that users perform a technique called “backbrushing” after applying the paint. Sometimes this might be referred to as “back rolling” instead. It basically means that after the paint has been applied to the surface, the user must then use a brush or roller to create a coat that is more even or can better penetrate the application surface. First you spray, then you brush, and then the paint dries.
Not every surface requires backbrushing, but if you’re painting unfinished wood or wood that has been previously painted or stained, it is a good idea to do so even if the tool doesn’t recommend that it needs to be done. This allows for the surface to look even instead of having the patchwork look that some paints may leave.
When applying a sealant or a primer, backbrushing is almost always recommended.
There are certain do’s and don’ts when using a paint sprayer to follow when there are DIY projects which need to be completed. Here is a look at what jobs a paint sprayer can do and when a paint sprayer might not be the best tool to get the job done.
Do use a paint sprayer when you’ve got a large painting space which needs to be completed. This can be anything from the siding on your home to the interior walls of your room. Just make sure you have plastic sheeting or other protections in place to prevent paint from going places where you don’t want it to go.
Don’t use a paint sprayer for small jobs you’ve got around the house. This is especially true if you don’t have enough room to be able to use the paint sprayer.
Do use paint sprayers when you’re painting furniture. A sprayer that produces a fine mist will allow the paint to get into the difficult corners, cracks, and nooks that are spots your average paint roller or brush is able to reach.
Don’t use a paint sprayer if you are concerned about how much paint you’ll be using. A paint sprayer will almost always use more paint than a brush or a roller. If your budget is tight and you want to minimize paint waste, other tools will more effectively get your job done.
Do try to use a paint sprayer when no one else is around. It works best to paint when a room is empty, a house is empty, or the weather is cooperating with you outside. Low wind conditions are the best conditions for outdoor use with this tool.
Don’t use paint sprayers if you aren’t willing to invest some time into your prep work. You’ll be taping and covering many things before you get to work. This has a time and cost investment associated with it, so it may not be right for everyone.
Do use a paint sprayer when you’ve got multiple surfaces which need to be painted with the same color of paint. Because this tool creates a rather large mess, you’ll have better results if you are planning to paint the trim, ceiling, and walls the same color. Precision work takes a lot of prep time, but it can be done if you make preparation efforts.
Don’t use a paint sprayer if cleaning up after a project is your least favorite thing to do. You’ll need to take apart your paint sprayer to clean it out after every use and this consumes a lot of time – especially when compared to cleaning out a brush or roller and a paint tray.
Do make sure you take time to practice your technique. Each spray pattern is a little different. Make sure you have some cardboard or scrap wood around so you can practice before starting to paint for real.
It’s important that you use protective personal equipment when using any type of paint sprayer. This means you should wear something to protect your airways, such as a mask. Safety glasses are a must-have to prevent paint, lacquer, or varnish getting into the eyes. You’ll want to wear clothes that you don’t mind being ruined.
Always use a paint sprayer in an environment that is well ventilated for best results.
There are certain best practices that have been developed over the years from professionals and DIY experts that make using a paint sprayer relatively simple, even if you don’t have previous experience with this tool. Here are some helpful tips that can help you maximize the use of your sprayer before you get to work on your next project.
For best results, you’ll always want to move back and forth like you would a paint brush or roller when using a paint sprayer. Horizontal application strokes tend to work better than vertical ones because it reduces the chances of a bothersome run or the sprayer spitting. Take your time, go slow, and don’t worry about how much paint you’re using. If you can do that and follow these tips, then you’ll be proud of the results you were able to create.
When your car’s paint starts to fade thanks to its exposure to the elements, then a new paint job can help you maintain the value of this investment. Maybe you’ve seen what is commonly referred to as the “poor man’s paint job” when owners use a foam roller brush to give their vehicle some new paint. Don’t do that.
You’ve already practiced your painting techniques for other projects. You can use that skill to help your vehicle look great as well. Then you’ll want to make sure you take off the current coat of paint – a step most DIY car painters forget to do.
You’ll need to sand away the existing paint. Use circular motions with the sandpaper you use or use a sandblaster for faster results. Corners and crevices, however, almost always need to be done by hand. Going to bare metal will get you the best results, but as long as you have a smooth and even surface for your paint, your results will still look professional.
Expect the sanding process to take 90-120 minutes per panel. Then wipe down the vehicle with a clean rag and dust thinners. Allow to dry before continuing the project.
The next step is to apply the primer. You’ll need to tape off any areas that you don’t want paint to get onto. This means your windshield, other glass components, handles, and key areas to name just a few. Mix your primer with thinners based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Each type of primer is a little bit different.
Apply the primer using the paint sprayer by starting at the roof and then work your way down. It works best to apply the primer in coats that are thin. Expect 2-3 coats to be required for the surface to be adequately covered. Each primer coat takes about 10 minutes to dry, but some brands require up to 1 hour for best results. The primer leaves a powdery finish, so each coat will need to be sanded down with 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth it down.
The same rules apply for the paint, but instead of sanding down a coat of paint, you’ll want to buff it using circular motions after it has dried. If you’re using an automatic buffing machine, make sure you don’t hold the buffer in one place for too long because this will burn the paint.
If you give yourself time to practice your techniques and take a methodical approach to this project, you can pull of results that look quite professional. You’ll save money at the same time and feel proud of the work you did every time you go for a drive.
A paint sprayer can save you a lot of time. It will also save you a lot of money once you’re able to perfect your techniques. Give yourself some time to practice instead of jumping into a project right away and your experiences with this kind of tool will be much more positive.
Don’t expect perfection right away. Although some people get the techniques down with just a pass or two in practice, it can take a couple of days or a couple of weeks to get it right. Everyone is different. It is more important to learn the skill than it is to complete a task quickly.
Because of this need for skill development, some people may find that brushes or rollers are more appropriate for them. Some jobs, especially smaller ones in enclosed spaces, may not even be suitable for a sprayer in the first place. Evaluate your needs first; review the types and features of each paint sprayer before purchasing one, and then practice, practice, practice with your newly purchased tool for best results.
Remember that the tip you use can make or break your user experience. Always use the tips that are recommended by the manufacturer for best results.
The ultimate guide to paint sprayers is intended to help you see if this tool could be right for you. If you believe it could be, then the next step is to find the best paint sprayer for your upcoming project. Get started with your research today right here and you’ll be able to find the right product at the right price for your budget.
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