There are an endless number of advantages to using airless sprayers over more traditional painting methods such as rollers or brushes. Not every situation calls for an airless sprayer, but if you find yourself needing to lay down gallons of paint over large surfaces, the airless sprayer is your best bet. They operate on a simple principle, using a hose and a pump to apply a lot of paint quickly. We are going to lay out some of the major reasons that you would choose to use an airless sprayer, as well as some tips on usage.
Time efficiency and large coverage area
Speed is one major advantage of an airless sprayer. These things can spray out a lot of paint in a short period of time, allowing you to cover large surfaces in a minimal amount of time. Painting big walls is one ideal application for an airless paint sprayer. Be aware that large volumes of paint will be pumped through the gun. This can have two side-effects; one being that approximately 15% of the paint volume will be lost in the atmosphere, another being overspray. More on these concerns below.
Even application of coating
Airless sprayers are also great for achieving a perfect, uniform coating. With brushes and rollers you can end up with lines and other marks in the finished paint job. Airless sprayers blast out the paint into tiny droplets that evenly cover the entire surface. This is particularly useful if the surface is uneven or textured, as each square inch will be covered evenly with proper application technique.
These machines are highly portable, powered by either gas or electric engines. This allows you to easily transport it and move it around a job without having to handle large engines and a lot of equipment. Various models are available, some come on small carts that are similar to dollies, making it even easier to move them around. The sprayer you need will largely depend on your intended use.
Tips and concerns
One thing to watch out for when using one of these tools is overspray. Airless sprayers are adjustable, so you can control the spray area much easier than other machines, but there can still be a bit of overspray. Since the sprayer covers a large area in each stroke, just about everything that isn’t covered is going to get painted. Make sure to properly mask all areas that you do not want painted, and cover up any furniture in the area.
Make sure to take extra time to mask off everything that you do not want painted. Be aware if you are painting outside that the wind can easily carry the tiny drops of paint great distances, so you could end up with paint in unexpected places.
There is a great deal of different sized tips available for these guns. These should be chosen based off the area that you are spraying and the type of paint in use. Tips with smaller sized openings should be used for thinner substances such as lacquer, while latex paints will require bigger openings. Here is a quick break-down of opening size vs. paint:
- Stains, water sealers, lacquers – 0.0009 – 0.013
- Enamel paint – 0.013 – 0.15
- Oil based or latex paints – 0.15 and up.
When painting, start your movement before you start spraying. If you are holding the sprayer still when you begin, you risk having the paint build-up more on the spot that you started on. Keep the strokes even and smooth, and keep a consistent distance from the object that you are spraying.
Make sure to thoroughly clean the unit as soon as you are finished spraying the area. As with any painting tool, dried paint is not your friend.
Want to find out more about airless paint sprayers? Give us a call, we’re incredibly versed in this area and can assist you with any questions you may have.