Airless paint sprayers force paint through a small opening or tip with high pressure via a pump mechanism. Electric, gas and cordless models make short work out of a deck, house exterior or fence painting job. The lack of an air compressor makes most airless paint sprayers highly attractive to the average home improvement enthusiast. Before your next painting project, consider the different kinds of airless paint sprayers on the market today.
Diaphragm Pump
• A majority of the home-use airless paint sprayers utilize a diaphragm pump. The diaphragm pump pulls the paint from a container and forces it through the hose and gun. The mechanics involve a piston and hydraulic fluid, which cause a rapid up-and-down movement of the diaphragm to atomize the paint. Most diaphragm airless paint sprayers can only handle low-viscosity paints. In many cases, latex paints will require thinning before use.
Piston Pump
• For jobs requiring thicker paints and varnishes, check out piston pump airless paint sprayers. The main components of a piston pump include a main piston, packings and check valves. The piston moves up and down, pulling the paint up and then out through the hose. The packings provide an airtight seal on the reservoir to eliminate pressure loss while painting. Check valves provide another level of performance enhancement, preventing the paint from flowing back into the vacuum tube.
Twin Stroke Piston
• If you plan on tackling large painting projects on a regular basis, investigate twin- or double-stroke piston airless sprayers. Think of the twin-stroke, piston sprayer as the “Cadillac” of the airless paint sprayer category. Twin-stroke models command a high price, but their improved performance and extended life make them a solid investment for the regular painter. The double-stroke piston mechanism allows for consistent paint spray and little wear and tear on the parts and motor. Some models of the powerful twin-stroke sprayer accommodate two painters by simply attaching a second hose to the unit.
Compressor Assisted
• This kind of airless paint sprayer combines quick results with high finish quality for use in professional applications. The compressor-assisted sprayer provides high volume/low pressure output and the speed of airless painting in one piece of equipment. Paints move at lower pressure than conventional airless sprayers and partially atomize through a finer tip. To achieve full atomization, the sprayer introduces a small amount of compressed air to the edges of the spray fan. The added air results in a fine, professional finish. The benefits of this hybrid airless system include a soft spray pattern, increased control of flow and minimal over spray.