Using a paint sprayer is highly recommended for those tackling larger spaces. It works much more efficiently than a regular brush and roller meaning you’ll finish painting the room in less time and with a smoother result.
However, there is a little more technique to it since you are essentially working with a machine. How to paint a wall when using a paint sprayer is quite different from the movements and preparations when using manual tools.
Guide To Using A Paint Sprayer
Once you get over the initial learning curve you find that it really does make the job much easier and faster. Get started with this guide on how to use a paint sprayer gun.
Safety always comes first and with spraying paint, extra pieces of gear are required. Besides the standard covered clothing and gloves, also wear a paint mask.
There are many types of paint masks or paint respirators but when using a spray gun we recommend one with a chemical filter and goggles. This protects your lungs from vapors and protects your eyes from paint droplets.
Preparation for Indoor Painting
Paint sprayers are not suitable tools for small enclosed spaces. This is because there are more paint fumes released into the air so space needs airing for health reasons.
On the other hand, larger rooms with adequate ventilation are the ideal space for learning how to use a paint sprayer. This type of space limits the influence of wind while still showing why a spray gun lets you complete a big wall quickly.
To prepare the room for painting, first, remove as much furniture as you can. Furniture that is too heavy or can’t be moved for other reasons should be covered and placed away from the walls, preferably grouped together in the middle of the room.
Place drop cloths covering the entire floor and protect plugs, doorknobs and light switches with masking tape. Also, don’t forget to line the surfaces to be painted with masking tape i.e. any floorboards, ceiling strips, etc.
Walls that are already painted should be sanded down into a smooth surface and walls with wallpapers should be stripped clean. Then, dust down the walls.
After dusting, some walls may need washing with a very light mixture of warm water and dish soap. Prevent making the wall too wet by only using a rung out a moist cloth.
Preparation for Outdoor Painting
How to use a paint sprayer outdoors is slightly different but the preparations are generally simpler. Like with indoor spaces, remove all furniture from the area and place drop cloths on the ground nearest to the paint surface.
Cover the windows, doors and any other surface that needs protection with plastic sheets, making sure it stays in place. Use masking tape for details and smaller surfaces.
Again, sand down surfaces that already have a layer of paint before proceeding to clean. For outdoor surfaces, you will also have to dust it down and wash it but the surface getting wet is much less of an issue.
Choosing & Preparing the Right Paint Sprayer
There are many kinds of paint sprayers and each one has a range of compatible tips so each type of paint job has its own ideal tool. Once you have found the right type, it is time to test its settings.
First, prepare the paint which will be different depending on the gun type. So, check whether the paint needs to be mixed or thinned before either placing the suction hose directly in the paint can or filling up the paint canister on the tool itself.
The general rule with tips is that the more viscous the paint material, the larger the tip should be. Remember that the larger the tip, the more paint comes out which is why people use bigger tips for larger surfaces.
The amount of pressure also affects the flow rate of the paint sprayer so check that it is compatible with the tip, the amount of precision required and your own skill. Don’t use a high-pressure paint sprayer when you are new to it.
Finally, choose the best pattern type and width. Most tools have the option between round, the most common setting, and vertical or horizontal patterns for more precise matching to your hand movements.
Choose a wider pattern for large surfaces and a more narrow pattern for the edges and corners. Make sure the width also matches the paint material; narrow patterns are not suitable for thicker materials while using wide patterns for thin paint reduces the pressure and precision.
Once you have all the settings in order, test it out on a piece of cardboard. Move the tool in consistent steady strokes, do not move haphazardly since this creates ugly stripes and an uneven coat.
Painting with a Spray Gun
Plant your feet firmly and stand parallel facing the wall. Keep your working arm at the same distance from the wall during the entire job – this is to ensure an even coat.
Visualize the wall into several sections of approximately 1 foot wide and start painting the wall one section at a time. Make sure you slightly overlap each stroke for a smoother surface without runs and lines.
When it is time to do the corners change the paint pattern to vertical. You might also want to adjust the pressure so that you can work more carefully without putting on too thick a coat.
Let the base coat dry completely before applying the following coats. In the meantime, thoroughly clean the paint sprayer following the given instructions in the manual.
Don’t rush the cleaning process because this can cause clogging in the tip which affects the paint pattern. Also, any leftover paint in the tool can mix with the new paint material which creates an uneven coat.
How to use a paint sprayer properly requires some practice but it is well worth the results.