Spray painting is far more efficient than other methods in certain instances, such as covering large areas with the same color or painting intricate surfaces such as furniture or grillwork, where other tools won’t reach all surfaces. It requires some practice in order to handle the equipment and get an even paint covering.

Spray equipment has been available to homeowners for many years, but airless sprayers offer an easier way for do-it-yourselfers to spray paint. Airless sprayers eject paint at high pressure and must be handled carefully to avoid possible injury. An electric airless paint system consists of a paint container, high-pressure pump, motor, handle, and housing and pressure regulator. Extension nozzles, longer suction tubes, extra nozzles and viscosity measuring cup are optional accessories.

Important points to remember in using an airless sprayer, as with other types of sprayers, are proper paint consistency, pressure and tip selection.

Choice of spraying tip depends on paint consistency, but generally the thinner the paint, the smaller the tip needed.

Paint consistency also governs pump pressure. Thinner materials such as stains, lacquers, enamels and sealers require less pressure than heavier materials such as house and wall paint.

Paints formulated for brush or roller application may be too thick for spraying. They should be tested and thinned if necessary.

Other types of spraying equipment have several operational differences.

A suction gun has a vent hole in the cover of the paint cap. A stream of compressed air creates a vacuum, allowing atmospheric pressure to force material from the container to the spray-head. These guns usually are limited to quart-sized containers or smaller and are used where many color changes are necessary.

In a pressure-fed system, the material is force fed to the gun when large amounts of the same color are being used, when materials are too heavy to be siphoned from a cap or container by suction, or when fast application is required.

Non-bleeder sprayers cannot release air until the trigger is pulled. These are used when air is supplied from a tank or from a compressor having pressure control.

A bleeder gun releases air at all times, thus preventing the pressure from building up to a point of popping the safety valve.

Some paint sprayers can be adapted to other uses with proper accessories. For example, an air-gun attachment blows dust from objects to prepare the surface for painting; an adjustable pressure-relief valve regulates maximum air pressure on air guns; an inflater attachment converts the sprayer into a pump to inflate toys, tires, etc.

Another type of applicator in this category is a rotary-disc airless paint sprayer. An auger pump pulls paint from a container mounted under the electrically powered spraying head into a high-speed spinning disc. Centrifugal force from the spinning disc causes the paint to flow through a variable gate opening.

The gate control regulates size of paint swath and eliminates nozzles and high-pressure injection hazards.

High-volume, low-pressure paint sprayers reduce the amount of over-spray typically caused by airless sprayers and conventional, air-powered spray guns. More paint reaches the surface and painters save time and money on paint, drop cloths and masking.