You’ve been thinking about that painting project all spring, and it is finally time to jump in. The question is: what tool is best for this job? Paint sprayers promise fast results and great coverage. And we have to add – they are fun to use. But they are powerful, can be little bit intimidating, and they are not the way to go for every paint job.

If you are not sure what the best method would be, give us a call at Select Painting. We are experts at knowing the right tool for the job, however big or small it may be. And we can give you a free estimate if you are considering handing the job over to the pros.    

What are You Painting?

A paint sprayer can make the job go much faster in many cases, especially if you plan to work on one of the following:

  • Furniture that has hard to reach nooks and crannies
  • Large rooms or empty rooms
  • Rooms with walls, ceiling, and trim all the same color
  • The exterior of your home
  • A fence or outside shed

House Painter Wearing Facial Protection Spray Painting A Deck

How Big is Your Project?

Using a paint sprayer is fast and efficient once you start spraying, but it takes more area preparation than using a roller and a brush. You will also need to thoroughly clean the sprayer between coats, which could waste paint and takes some time to do it right.

Where are You Painting?

Paint sprayers should be used outside, or inside in the right circumstances:

  • Use a sprayer inside only if you have adequate ventilation.
  • If you are setting up a project in your garage or shed, you will want to thoroughly protect your floor and anything within a six-foot area of your project. A light layer of paint dust can travel even further than that, so take a look at what you have stored in your shed or garage.    

What Kind of Paint Sprayer Should I Use?

If you decide a paint sprayer is the answer, the next step is deciding what kind of sprayer is the right one for this job.

High Volume Low-Pressure Sprayers

HVLP Sprayers are right for your painting project if you are okay with a little more control and a little less power. They come with a paint compartment attached to the nozzle, so if you have a big job, you may need to refill as you go.

Choose an HVLP sprayer if you are interested in:

  • Less power
  • More control
  • Slower painting motion
  • Less overspray
  • Painting projects indoors
  • Smaller projects that use less paint  

Airless Paint Sprayer

Airless paint sprayers are efficient, accurate, and fun to use once you get the hang of it.  But they do garner an impressive amount of pressure and can be intimidating at first. With proper preparation the days leading up to paint day, you can coat your whole house in a day with an airless sprayer.  However you can’t take a break without cleaning the entire machine, so make sure you are all prepped before you start!

An airless sprayer will offer:  

  • More pressure
  • Faster coverage
  • Impressive control, but more overspray

Spraying white paint onto a surface by an airbrush gun.

Tips for Using a Paint Sprayer

Prep Your Surface

Prep is half the job for any painting you plan to undertake.  If you are painting the outside of your house, you will want to budget plenty of time for scraping and washing the exterior and priming any exposed wood.  Keep in mind that this is when you might realize a section of your siding should be replaced before you paint, or you need to fix that one window first. You may want to bring in a professional opinion before you move on to painting.  

The integrity of the surface is especially important when you use a sprayer.  If you did not scrape well enough, the high pressure from the sprayer will flake the old paint off where you did not, causing a mess on your paint job.     

Prep Your Area

Keep in mind that paint spray can spread several feet from the edge of the surface you are painting.  

  • If you are painting outside, cover windows completely with tape and masking material, and protect all surrounding ground and shrubbery with ample drop cloths.
  • Inside, make sure you remove as much furniture as you can from the room.  Pull what’s left together in the middle and cover it all with drop cloths.    

Dress for the Job

  • Cover your whole body with a work suit or old clothes.
  • Wear gloves you can throw away.
  • Wear goggles and a face mask to block the paint particles from entering your eyes and mouth.

Man in a clothes protector suit pointing finger

Application Tips

  • Temperature is important.  The ideal temperature for paint to bond is between 45-75 degrees. Work around the exterior of your house through the day to follow the shade.
  • Make sure your paint is free of debris so it will not clog the sprayer.  Strain it if necessary.
  • Give yourself time to read the sprayer directions and get the paint moving through the sprayer. Test the nozzle by spraying some cardboard.  Make sure it is yielding an even spray.
  • Once you start on your surface, move across it with steady even strokes.  Don’t just move your arm, move your whole body to keep the angle the same as you move.
  • Overlap each row of paint slightly to make sure you are getting full coverage. If you see flaws in application, you may need to back-roll or brush for better paint coverage.

Leave Time for Cleanup

The sprayer needs to be thoroughly flushed out and the tips all clean after each use, before the paint is allowed to dry at all.  This can be a messy job, and you may be disappointed to see how much paint was still in the sprayer that will never make it on your wall!  If your job is big enough, it is worth it. Just plan accordingly.

Speedy Results

If you decide to go with a paint sprayer for your painting project, you will love how fast you have that coat of paint done, even on a very large area. But if the prep work and cleanup are causing you to reconsider tracking down that paint sprayer, give us a call at Select Painting and we will give you a free estimate to handle it all for you. We can be the ones who thoroughly clean the sprayer, then you can sit back with your favorite cool drink and admire a job well done.