How to Use a Paint Spray Machine
A spray paint machine can make painting or staining easier and faster,
especially if you have large areas or uneven surfaces to cover. However,
it can present a number of problems, including the possibility that you
may get paint on items you didn't intend to paint. The key to success
with a paint spray machine is in proper preparation, which includes
choosing the correct machine, preparing the paint, isolating the area to
be painted and protecting the painter's airway.
1Choose the right spray paint machine for the project.<Airless spray
paint machines are versatile enough for most paint jobs and are the
choice of professional painters.
Air assist spray paint machines are used by woodworkers and automobile
painters because they leave the best finish. They are the most expensive
type of spray paint machine, however.
Hand-held electric cup machines are often purchased by homeowners for
small jobs, but can be difficult to use. They require that the paint be
thinned significantly, and can clog or spit paint.
2Get advice from your paint supplier about the kind of paint you need and
whether you will need to thin it with water or paint thinner. The
supplier should be able to provide you with a viscosity tester to help
you determine whether your paint is thin enough to use in your spray
3Select your nozzle, or tip, and pump pressure. In general, small nozzles
and lower pressures are best for thin paints such stains or enamels.
Large nozzles and high pressures are needed for thicker paints, such as
4Practice on scrap pieces of wood or drywall.Hold the sprayer so the
paint will exit horizontally and maintain a consistent distance of 6 to
12 inches (15 to 30 cm) from the surface. Keep your wrist stiff and move
the sprayer in sweeping motions with your arm. To paint horizontal
surfaces, such as ceilings, use a tip extension to redirect the paint.
Spray from left to right (or right to left if you're left-handed),
pressing the trigger on the sprayer just before you arrive at the point
where you want to lay down paint. Lay down about 3 feet (1 meter) of
paint at a time.
Overlap the next application over your first by 50 percent so the surface
will get 2 thin coats and won't dry into stripes of paint.
5Put down drop cloths and use tape and plastic sheeting to isolate the
area you want to paint. Cover anything you don't want painted. Using a
spray paint machine puts a lot of paint droplets in the air, which will
drift away and settle on objects nearby, including plants, decks and cars
if you are painting outdoors and on furniture, walls and floors in other
rooms if painting indoors.
6Wear coveralls, gloves, a hat, eye protection and a respirator to keep
paint from settling on your clothes, hair and skin and to keep from
getting paint in your eyes or in your lungs.
7Adjust the viscosity of the paint, the pump pressure or the nozzle if
the paint isn't going on evenly.<
Spray paint machines are especially useful for painting small items with
intricate designs such as carved furniture or grillwork. However,
considerable practice is required to learn to paint these surfaces.
Before using your spray paint machine, run some solvent through it to
make sure it's not clogged with dry paint. Do the same when you stop
painting. Straining your paint well will help prevent clogs.
The paint exiting the nozzle of a spray paint machine is under a lot of
pressure, and can cause serious damage or injury. Don't allow your hands
or any part of your body to get too close to the spray tip, and never try
to clear a clogged tip while the sprayer is on.
Things You'll Need
Spray paint machine
Paint thinner (if necessary)
Drop cloths, plastic sheeting
Coveralls, gloves, hat
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Sources and Citations