The advantage of painting a house using a sprayer is that it will be faster and more efficient than using either a brush or roller. Aside from being faster, spraying also provides more paint coverage without brush strokes.
1. Follow Important Safety Precautions
Always take precautionary measures every time you operate any equipment. When spray painting, be attentive and wear appropriate clothing and eyewear to have maximum protection.
Turn off the machine and prepare all of your protective gear. Wearing too much protection gear can make you look weird, but there’s not too much protection when you’re spray painting. Although it would be uncomfortable and awkward, wearing proper clothing can protect your skin, hair, eyes, and clothes.
- Full Body-Suit Garment: Choose full coveralls with attached booties. If you can’t find those, you can separately purchase shoe covers or look for old shoes that you won’t be wearing anywhere.
- Goggles: Using goggles can add a layer of protection to your eyes. You’ll never know what will happen while you’re painting, so use googles that properly seal the area around your eyes.
- Respirator: Opt for a HEPA respirator than paper masks. HEPA respirators can block both toxic and non-toxic particles when spray painting.
- Spray Head Sock: A spray head sock is protective clothing designed to fit over the head. It can be worn when you’re either using goggles or full mask respirators. You can buy a spray sock if your coveralls don’t have a hood attached. It is simple protective clothing, which resembles a ski mask.
- Gloves: You can use latex or old gloves that you wouldn’t mind ruining. However, take note that latex gloves usually get slippery over time.
2. Tools and Materials
- Airless Paint Sprayer: You will need an airless paint sprayer that directly draws from the can such as the HomeRight Power-Flo Pro. Avoid using those sprayers that require filling up attached cups like Graco TrueCoat Pro Cordless.
- Paint: You can choose paint according to your preference. However, make sure that it is exterior paint. *Tip: Buying 5-gallon buckets of paint can save you money and will make your job faster.
- A Bucket of Clean Water: Prepare a clean bucket of water and make sure that it will not contain anything but water. It is a must that this bucket will remain clean all throughout your painting.
- A Bucket for Waste: A used or old bucket can be used for this one since you won’t be able to clean it afterward. This bucket will be the one to receive drained paint as well as other residues of the painting process.
3. Proper Surface Prep
One of the essential parts of a painting project is the surface that you will be spraying.
- Prepare the surface by washing any interior walls using trisodium phosphate (TSP). Allow the area to dry.
- When preparing exteriors, you can use a cleaning solution and a pressure washer to clean the surfaces properly. Allow the area to dry before fixing any rough areas, chips, cracks, or holes.
Protect surfaces from overspray by preparing your surroundings. Try covering all furniture, windows, shutters, or baseboards. When you’re painting outdoors, be mindful of wind directions. If you have plants, cover them with plastic.
4. Setting Up the Sprayer in Paint Can and Buckets
Paint sprayers are not all the same. However, you can use the following essential guide when placing different kinds of tubes into their respective buckets:
- Siphon Tube in Paint Can: The siphon tube is the large tube that has a wire screen at the tip. Directly place the siphon tube into the paint can. Make sure that the screened-end is at the bottom of the can.
- Drain Tube in Waste Bucket: The drain tube must be placed into the bucket for waste.
- Plug-in Power: Plug the sprayer directly into the electric outlet.
You can also place the paint can and waste bucket side by side. After setting up the sprayer, it is good to time to wear your coveralls.
5. Prime the Sprayer to Get the Paint Moving Through System
- Shift the Control to Prime: Locate the switch or control, which indicate “paint” and “prime” functions. Turn the switch to “prime” mode.
- Turn It On: Turn the sprayer on.
- Press the Spray Gun: Hold onto the spray gun trigger.
6. Quickly Move the Drain Tube into the Paint Can
It will take approximately 30 secs. For the pump to run. You will notice that the paint will start pumping outside the paint can, into and out of the sprayer, and out of the tube draining into the bucket of waste. Remember, the paint only has a single path.
Move the draining tube quickly toward the paint can. The siphon and drain tubes may contain clips to keep them attached in place. This time, the paint is on a steady and consistent cycle.
You can keep the buckets alongside each other for faster switching. The buckets shown in the pictures are far from each other to show their connection quickly.
7. Spray Techniques
Generally, airless paint sprayers are quite comfortable and straightforward to use. However, safety measures should be reviewed on the machine’s operating manual before starting spray painting. Always make sure that you have adequately prepared the surfaces that you’ll be working on to avoid overspraying.
Use the following guidelines to help you achieve success in spray painting in no time.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
A skill does not magically become the best overnight. The same with spray painting, it takes some time to develop and grow accustomed to the proper spray techniques to be able to produce quality results. So, if you’re still new to spray painting, practice first by spraying water instead of paint.
- Your practice area should be safe to spray using water. You can practice on a garage door or any other flat surface.
- Read the operating manual and follow all the procedures. Remember to practice on using water first before painting.
- After priming the gun and unit using water, carefully engage the gun trigger and install the spray tip and tip guard. Now, you can practice spraying on your selected practice area.
- If you’re still unsure of the setup and preparation, reread the user manual for more details.
2. Choose a Suitable Pressure Setting
To set the pressure setting, use the pressure control knob. This will enable excellent and quality spray patterns. (Refer to the above illustration) When the pressure setting is correctly set, your spray patterns will be smooth without runs and uneven coverage. Before doing the actual spray painting, spray first on a piece of cardboard to test the spray pattern.
- You can begin by using the low-pressure setting. You’ll know when you’re ready to spray when you quickly trigger the gun and see a full spray pattern. However, most of the time, first-time sprays are not usually full. There may be gaps at the end of the model that can lead to a poor spraying pattern (refer to the above illustration).
- If you cannot achieve a full pattern, slightly increase the pressure setting and try spraying again. Just continue with this process of controlling and testing the pressure setting until you have achieved your desired pattern.
*Note: It is important to correctly choose a spray tip when using paints and other types of coatings. You’ll know when you have a wrong spray tip size when there is a poor spray pattern even at maximum pressure setting. You may need to replace the spray tip if it’s already worn out.
3. Tips for Better Spray Painting
Below are the guidelines you can follow to learn how to spray paint with uniform and quality coverage properly.
- Consistent Distance for an Even Finish
Try to get comfortable with the spray gun by moving it and learning how to keep a proper distance from the surface you’re working on. When spraying, you can hold the spray gun at a right angle and 12 inches away from the surface. Do not fan the gun to avoid having an uneven coverage. Keep the spray gun pointed toward the surface you’re working on. Maintain the position of the spray gun by slightly flexing your wrist at the start and end of each stroke.
Practice correct spray gun movement by holding the gun with an installed tip guard for approximately 2 inches away from the surface you’re painting. Next, horizontally move the spray gun to and fro along the surface. Practice this technique while maintaining a distance of 2 inches. To keep a proper distance, concentrate on how to position the gun and wrist flexing. If you feel you’ve got it, you can increase the distance up to 10-12 inches and continue practicing.
- Work on an Area Within Your Reach
When spray painting, maintain proper gun positioning and try to work in an area that’s within your reach. Try not to angle the tip when spraying further.
- Trigger the Spray Gun Properly
The spray gun should always be moving before triggering it to avoid too much material at the start and end of every stroke. You can continue with your stroke after releasing the trigger.
- Overlap Spray Passes
Overlap every spray pass by 50 percent to make sure that the amount of paint on the surface is even. To execute a proper overlap, aim your spray gun so the tip would point toward the edge of the last spray pass. For ceilings, walls, and other broad open surfaces, the outside edges must be sprayed first before spraying the middle.
- Spray Inside Corners
When spraying inside corners, directly aim your spray gun into the hole. Spray every adjacent wall in one pass.
8. Move Siphon Tube to Clean Water and Flush Out Sprayer
When you’re finished, place water into the unsoiled bucket.
- Get the siphon tube out of the paint can and place it into the unsoiled bucket.
- Switch the machine to “Flush” or “Prime” and spray until you see clear and clean water coming out.
- You can refill the unsoiled bucket with clean water for about 3x to achieve a fresh flush.
Using paint sprayers is quite an efficient way of finishing any work or project. It is also economical, quicker, and fun. Once you master the techniques of spray painting, you’ll be able to turn anything into something beautiful without breaking the bank.