Frequently Asked Questions about Painting, Paint Sprayers and Accessories (Upd. 2020)

I think you will agree with me when I say: 

Choosing and buying a paint sprayer for home-based jobs can be a real headache.

There is a plethora of factors to take into consideration when you are buying a paint sprayer. To assist you in making your choice for paint sprayers and its operation, we have compiled together some of the most frequently asked questions by customers to help you out.

Frequently Asked Questions about Painting, Paint Sprayers and Accessories

What is a paint sprayer?

As the name suggests, paint sprayer is a device used to spray paints. A paint sprayer emits a mist of atomized material to give a fine coverage on the surface. This coverage ranges from 45% to 65% in HP or HVLP paint sprayers respectively. Therefore, usually multiple coats are needed for fine finish. 

How does a paint sprayer work?

To know the ideal paint sprayer for you, you need to first understand the working of a paint sprayer. 

There are different kinds of paint sprayers with different working mechanisms. To identify the one that will fulfill your needs, you must know the working of all of them. However, the core principle is the same for all of them: 

A paint sprayer turns the fluid into numerous atomized tiny particles, which are then sprayed on the surface. 

There are four different types of paint sprayers that achieve this: 

  1. A siphon paint sprayer uses a siphon created inside the spray gun to pull out the material from the reservoir
  2. In pressure gun, the fluid flows out when pressurized
  3. In a gravity-feed paint sprayer, paint flows down into the gun due to gravity
  4. An HVLP uses both siphon and gravity-feed technology 

There are mainly three paint sprayers available in the market which are being widely used:

Airless Paint Sprayer:

An airless paint sprayer uses higher pressure to atomize the paint into tiny particles and then motorized pump is used to spray the paint onto the surface you are working with. It does not use air compressor.

It produces slightly bigger particles than HVLP paint sprayer, thus it is usually used to paint larger surface such as walls, ceilings etc. in a small amount of time.

HVLP Paint Sprayers

HVLP stands for High Volume Low Pressure. This paint sprayer uses low pressure to obtain relatively higher volumes of material. This limits the bounceback and as wells as paint wastage.

It usually relies on hose, turbine and the spray gun. The power of an HVLP Paint sprayer is usually rated by number of fans in its turbine system.

The air travels through the inlet, into the fan and then down the baffle. It follows this route through the entire turbine system if there are more than one fans; and is then finally forced out. This air pressurizes the paint which is then siphoned out at a lower pressure resulting in higher quality finish with very little bounceback.

The tiny particles produced in HVLP paint sprayer are ideal for small craft jobs and painting home furniture, cabinets etc. These particles are small enough to provide a factory-finish on intricate up-close work. The fine mist can reach the spots where brushes and rollers can’t.

Compressed Air Sprayer

In this paint sprayer air jets direct paint into air nozzle, which atomizes the paint and propels it onto the surface you are painting.
We have seen that these are a little outdated, but some conventional users still prefer these to the other options. 
Other parts of this Air Sprayer are fluid nozzle that controls the delivery of paint; needle assembly causes the paint to flow; side port control controls the fans supplying air to nozzle and regulate the spray pattern. Fluid control assembly provides the pressure. 

What are the benefits of using a paint sprayer? 

We have experienced that a paint sprayer provides a better finish than a paint brush and produces very little overspray. Not only this, due to virtually no over spray and no stroke marks, no additional finishing is required afterwards

Using a paint sprayer saves you a ton of time and enables you to complete the whole job in the time for a single coat of paint with a paint brush.

What can I paint using a Paint Sprayer?

Frequently Asked Questions about Painting, Paint Sprayers and Accessories

Paint sprayers can do all kinds of paint jobs, but not every paint sprayer can do all jobs.
A paint sprayer can be used for painting small scale as well as large scale objects. There is a variety of applications ranging from painting home furniture, cabinets, to decks and walls, to even automobiles. 

What is a Gravity Feed paint sprayer?

A gravity-feed paint sprayer is rather a working-design element than a type of paint sprayer.

As the name suggests, in a gravity-feed paint sprayer, the gravity plays its role in feeding the material into the spray gun instead of a compressor or a siphon. The canister holding the material rests atop the spraying gun. 

Due to gravity, lesser pressure is required for the fluid to flow into the spray gun. This design of paint sprayer results in extremely precise paint job with virtually zero overspray and a quality finish. 

Is Gravity-Feed paint sprayer different from a Bottom-feed?

Yes, a bottom-feed paint sprayer is different from gravity-feed. As we can understand from its name, it feeds the paint into the spray gun from the bottom. 

The paint canister is placed on the lower side of the spray gun, and hence more pressure is required to feed the paint into the gun.

How to prepare for a paint job with a paint sprayer?

In our opinion, prep work is very important before performing a paint job. It can save you from a lot of time of cleaning up later by protecting other surfaces.

Prep work includes using masking tape to tape the edges for a neater look. We also advise you to use drop-cloths to cover any other surface on which you do not want any paint mist.

Are there any additional accessories needed to paint using a  paint sprayer? 

Paint sprayer usually come with all the accessories you need for them to work with. We found various tip sizes most important of all the accessories. They enhance the versatility of paint sprayers and make them even more usable.

Other items you might want to get are:

  1. Paint sprayer filter: To prevent any clogging
  2. Spray gun cleaning kit
  3. More than one paint cup for your sprayer

Which tip should I use with my paint sprayer? 

The choice of tip for your paint sprayer depends upon the nature of your work.
For instance, if you are painting a relatively larger surface, such as a wall which requires time, you would want to use a larger tip which propels more particles rather than a smaller tip. More particles mean greater coverage and thus less time for painting. 
Getting the job done quicker is what everyone looks for. You might be thinking that a bigger needle will always be the way to go.

But here’s the kicker:
We know that bigger needle emits a larger amount of paint. This greater amount of paint will become overspray in a snap when used on smaller intricate objects. 

Therefore, to do a precise job on a small object, a smaller needle will be required. It will produce enough particles to give complete coverage and not cause any overspray. 

Do I need to take any protective measures before using paint sprayer?  

Yes, taking safety and protective measures is essential. We strongly advise you to use the following tools to keep yourself safe.

  1. Goggles
  2. Masks or respirators
  3. Gloves
  4. Overalls or a rough set of full sleeves shirt and pants, as to avoid any rashes or skin irritation

To ensure safe and healthy environment, please take note of the following points as well:

  1. Your working space must be well-ventilated. Paint fumes have been known to cause nausea and difficulty in breathing.
  2. Heat should be avoided at all costs. Paints are flammable therefore avoid painting in an area which might be prone to sparks or heat exposure. Smokers are also advised to not  spark or light in working area.

These were some of the most frequently asked questions that we answered. Our team hopes that these have cleared your apprehensions regarding buying a paint sprayer and have directed you towards making an informed decision. 

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