Using an airless paint sprayer is actually quite simple, but before you get started spraying, read the operating manual and review all safety precautions for your sprayer. Be sure to properly prepare the surfaces you’ll be spraying, and protect anything you don’t want to spray. Follow these pointers below, and you’ll be well on your way to spraying success.
It typically takes some practice time to become comfortable with the spray techniques that produce the best quality finish, so if you are new to using a paint sprayer, practice first by spraying water.
Use the pressure control knob to set the spraying pressure to achieve a good quality spray pattern. (See the illustration to the right). When the pressure is set correctly, there should be no runs in the pattern and the pattern itself will be smooth. Before painting on the actual surface, test the spray pattern on some scraps of cardboard or other area.
(Note: when using paints or other coatings, proper spray tip selection is important. If the maximum pressure setting is reached and the spray pattern still is not suitable, you may have the incorrect tip size or the tip may be worn and has to be replaced – see spray tips for more information.)
Start by getting comfortable moving the spray gun and learning to maintain the recommended distance from the surface. When you spray, hold the gun 12 inches from, and perpendicular to, the surface you’re spraying. Move your arm while keeping the gun pointed straight at the surface being painted—don’t fan the gun, as spraying at an angle can cause an uneven finish. Instead, flex your wrist slightly at the beginning and end of each stroke to maintain proper gun position.
A good exercise to get the feel for the proper gun movement is to hold the spray gun with the tip guard installed about 2 inches away from the wall and move the gun back and forth (horizontally) along the wall, all the while maintaining that 2-inch distance. Don’t actually spray; only focus on gun positioning and flexing your wrist to maintain correct distance. Once you are comfortable, increase the distance to 12 inches and practice a few more times. Pay particular attention to the gun position at the beginning and end of your reach—if you don't maintain uniform distance and flare out at the beginning or end, the spray pattern will start wide, then narrow and finally end wide.
The Tip Can is a unique invention that helps any contractor or DIY person who has an airless spray machine keep the metal tips of the spray paint machine clean. While this may sound like a simple idea that really is not that important, be careful that you do not let this idea go by you without a full investigation of the benefits. After a long day of spraying paint, the natural tendency of anyone is to get the job done and then put the spray paint equipment aside so that you can go home and rest. Hey, it's been a long day and you are tired. Everyone experiences this. Besides, the equipment will be there. The challenge with that mindset? You know the truth and that is that you will have to deal with the issue of tips that are clogged and are not going to perform in a way that will allow you to spray paint efficiently the next day or the next project.