Airless paint sprayers

Dino-Power Airless Paint Sprayers Blog

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How to Adjust an Airless Paint Sprayer

If you rent a paint sprayer to paint or stain your home, you will almost certainly be renting an airless sprayer. These handy tools make quick work of painting — you can paint the exterior of your home in a day or two, instead of spending countless hours (or weeks) doing it by hand. It’s frustrating when the sprayer doesn’t operate correctly, though. Most of the time the fix is an easy adjustment and you’re back to work within minutes.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:

  • Clean bucket
    • 1

      Turn the pressure control knob counterclockwise to the lowest setting before plugging in and flushing the airless sprayer. The pressure control knob is usually on top of the motor housing and can be turned by hand. All sprayers are stored with mineral spirits in the pump and need to be flushed before starting to paint.

    • 2

      Flush the mineral spirits with water or solvent (if using solvent-based material) and place the pickup tube and siphon in your paint bucket. Push the prime valve until it’s pointing straight down in the open position. The prime valve is a lever, usually on the side of the motor housing.

    • 3

      Trigger the spray gun into the bucket and allow the paint to flow until it is running smoothly without spitting or bubbles. Turn the pressure control valve up — for most paint it should be turned about 2/3 or a turn clockwise. Thinner materials, like stain and varnish, require slightly lower pressure. Install the spray tip, and you are ready to paint.

    • 4

      Increase the pressure a little if the motor runs but does not build pressure or if paint won’t come out at all, or comes out in a thin, weak spray. decrease pressure if the paint comes out with such force that you feel it “kicking” your hand back, or if it applies the paint too heavily in an uneven spray pattern.

    • 5

      Change to a new spray tip if no matter how you tweak the pressure, you cannot get the paint to flow in an even spray pattern without runs or spattering. Spray tips are replacement parts and can wear out quickly with some materials such as latex paint sprayed at high pressure.

    • 6

      Repeat steps 2 and 3 if the airless sprayer continues to be slow about building up enough pressure to spray.

Tips & Warnings

  • Strain paint into a clean bucket through a paint strainer or clean pantyhose before spraying. It cuts down work stoppages due to clogged tips and filters, and makes all the airless sprayer components last longer.

Paint sprayers are a wonderful aid to painting large areas quickly and efficiently. The problem with paint sprayers, however, is the nozzle through which the paint is actually sprayed. These nozzles have small openings through which the paint must travel, and these tiny openings can easily get clogged. They can become clogged if there are any impurities in the paint itself, or they can become clogged when paint left in the sprayer thickens or dries. Fortunately, there are relatively simple ways for homeowners to clean their airless paint sprayers after each use and keep their sprayers working just like new every time.
How to Clean Water-Based Paint
• 1
Clean your sprayer immediately after using. Replace the paint container with a container of warm water Spray this warm water through the gun, adding fresh water as necessary, until the spray coming out of your sprayer is clear. Do not run the same water through the sprayer twice.
• 2
Add 1 tbsp. of dish soap to the warm water and run a full cycle of warm, soapy water through the sprayer, making certain that the spray that comes out of the gun is clean.
• 3
Take the sprayer apart and soak all parts in warm, soapy water. Rub parts gently with your fingers if necessary to loosen and remove any visible paint.
• 4
Reassemble the sprayer and run plain warm water through the system if the gun will not be stored, but be used again regularly. If the sprayer is to be stored, especially over winter where it might freeze, run a small amount of paint thinner (never lacquer thinner) through the sprayer to remove any water which could freeze.
• 5
Soak any filters in warm soapy water as well, rubbing them gently with your fingers to get them as clean as possible. Rinse filters with running warm water to remove any soap once they are clean and allow them to air dry.
How to Clean Oil-Based Paint
• 1
Remove the paint canister and replace it with a can or jar of paint thinner (never lacquer thinner, which could damage internal parts of the sprayer). Run paint thinner through the sprayer until the thinner comes of the sprayer clean. Do not run the same thinner through the sprayer more than once.
• 2
Take the sprayer apart and soak all of the parts in paint thinner. Rub parts gently with your fingers to remove any paint if necessary.
• 3
Soak any filters in paint thinner and rub them gently with your fingers if necessary to remove any last vestiges of paint. Rinse the filter in paint thinner and allow the filter to air dry.
• 4
Reassemble the sprayer.
Tips & Warnings
• It is an excellent idea to have extra O-rings and spray tips on hand as these parts frequently need replacement, rather than a simple cleaning to keep your machine running like-new.
• Many sprayers have a “wet cup” that must be kept one-third full of Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) in order to work properly. Consult your owner’s manual.
• Some airless sprayers have a hose attachment which can be used to aid in cleaning water-based paints (but not oil-based paints or stains).

Airless Paint Sprayer Tips


• Airless paint sprayers can make painting a wall much easier and take less time. There are some tips that can help make using the sprayer and cleaning up afterward much more effective, especially to a new user of the machine. Keep in mind that it is a high-pressure tool that needs to be used with caution.
• When using airless sprayers, there is often overspray due to the high pressure. Cover everything that is not meant to be painted with plastic. All your floors, furniture, and light fixtures need to be protected so no paint will get on them. Also, use painter’s tape on areas like your baseboards, doors and windows.
Pressure and Movement
• Maintaining even pressure and arm movement will create an even coat on the wall. Getting different tips for your sprayer will make a difference in the pressure. If a smaller area is being painted, move your arm in a line back and forth. If it is a larger area, use a wide fan-like motion. Should the paint be uneven, go back over it with a paintbrush. When the trigger is release on the sprayer, the paint does not stop flowing immediately, so keep your arm moving past the wall or edge of the object your are painting.
• Practicing is very important with airless spray painters. Get used to the pressure before you begin working. Also, it is a smart idea to experiment with which tips you think will work best for your job. Some machines allow you to adjust the amount of pressure that is released, so play around with that until you are satisfied. Use pieces of scrap wood, cardboard or layers of newspaper when practicing.
• Cleaning the airless spray painter immediately after use ensures that you can use it again. An effective way to do this is to run a cleaner through it. For example, if you used water-based paint then run water through the sprayer. If you used an oil-based paint, you are going to need to run something with paint thinner or other cleaning materials through it. Make sure your sprayer and area will not be damaged by these chemicals.

An airless paint sprayer is the fastest and easiest way to paint just about anything. It has an electrically run hydraulically pump that moves the paint along through a tube from the paint can or bucket to a high pressure hose to a sprayer and out of the nozzle onto the painting surface. It’s an easy concept but it does take a little bit of a knack to do it well so plan on some practice time on some old boards or even newspapers before you use it anywhere that matters.


Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:

  • Paint
  • Water
  • Mineral oil
  • Stocking or pantyhose
  • Masking or painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths
  • 1

Start with the preparation. You need to mask off everything really well. A paint sprayer uses a fine mist that can speckle everything around it so keep the whole area around what you’re painting taped off and covered up with drop cloths, including floors (even if you’re working on the ceiling). Open the house up if you’ll be using this indoors and turn on exhaust fans if you have them. You’ll need plenty of ventilation, especially if you’re working with an oil-based paint which has much stronger fumes. Make sure you have on a hat, gloves, long sleeves and pants and glasses.

  • 2

Flush the airless paint sprayer with a cleansing solvent before each use. If you’re using enamel paint you can flush it with clean lukewarm water. For oil-based paints you need to flush it with mineral spirits. Each paint sprayer is a little different so read the instructions for specific details. What you’re doing is just running the water or mineral oil through the tubing and out of the sprayer.

  • 3

Thin the paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The type of paint and the type of sprayer determines exactly what the mix is so follow the directions exactly. If it’s too thin or too thick it will make a terrible mess and it could gunk up the sprayer so you’ll have to tear it down and clean it before you can use it again.

  • 4

Paint by holding the spray gun steadily at about eight to twelve inches from the surface so that the paint will go on uniformly. Make sure to keep the nozzle of the paint sprayer pointed straight ahead. If it’s tipped up or down it will have a heavier concentration of paint at the top of bottom that you’ll be able to see. Paint horizontally in a stripe about three feet wide going from the top of the surface to the bottom. Then overlap the next three foot section just a few inches and work the same way.

  • 5

Know the tricks of paint sprayers. The whole key to using this sprayer is to get the right amount of paint on the surface. Too little paint shows the surface underneath it and too much paint will make a mess by dripping. Move the gun a tiny bit before you start to spray to prevent paint blobs when you start. Also, let go of the handle just a split second before you get to the end of the area you’re spraying so it won’t blob up there. Never hold the sprayer still. As long as it’s spraying you have to keep it moving. Move it regularly at the same steady speed holding the nozzle straight for the best results. Although there are filters in the sprayer, many pros paint through a piece of old stocking to filter it even better.

  • 6

Know the safety tips. Never point the gun at anyone. The paint is released at up to 200 mph with up to 3,000 pounds of pressure per square inch which is enough to cause real damage. Don’t use this in an area with any ventilation as the fumes can cause you to become dizzy or worse. Keep your fingers away from the nozzle when it’s spraying. Don’t touch the tip at all when it’s on. Always unplug the unit before you clean it. After it’s unplugged, squeeze the trigger to release any paint left in the line. If you’re outside, keep all your supplies in the shade. Even the paint shouldn’t sit in the sun, now should any solvents you may be using.

Paint can be applied in a variety of ways.

There are a variety of different paint sprayers on the market. One of the most common is the airless paint sprayer, which is useful for large paint projects, such as a spacious living room.

  1. Function
  • Airless models use a high powered point on the end of the sprayer to push paint out onto the targeted surface. The amount of paint a unit can hold varies, from 1 quart in a smaller sprayer to multiple quarts or gallons if attached to a stationary paint holder.


  • Airless paint sprayers come in three pump varieties, including the diaphragm pump, piston pump, and double stroke pump. The lower end diaphragm pumped sprayer is for the weekend paint warriors, whereas the higher end double stroke pump is mainly used by professional painters.


  • The use of airless paint sprayers allows the user to apply paint, from thin viscosity to thick viscosity, in a clean, even way. Also, it enhances safety by alleviating the need to bend and apply paint to a brush or roller multiple times during a job, which can stress the body or cause injury.
  • Please visit our web-site for more information:

• 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.

Exterior Painting Process

1. Powerwashing: Most of our residential and commercial repaints
are powerwashed to remove anything that would prohibit proper
paint adhesion. Where powerwashing is impossible or impractical,
we hand-wash all areas to be painted. We will then wait 2-5 days
depending on weather to allow the surface to fully dry.

2. Substrate Repair:Any peeling, checking, alligatoring, or other
failing painted areas are scraped fully, sanded to blend the edge,
and primed to seal the surface prior to painting. Severely
damaged areas can also be stripped with an environmentally
friendly stripper, rewashed, and primed. Any cracks in windows,
doors, and siding are caulked to better seal against moisture.
Remember, preparation is the most important part of a paint job!

3. Paint spraying Process: We dropcloth all areas where we are painting,
taking care to preserve landscaping, and mask any areas subject
to overspray. Our standard paint application process is hand
brushing and rolling, as we have found this leads to a longer-
lasting, more uniform final product. Alternately, we have airless
spray capabilities that can be used for stucco and certain staining
processes. As always, the customer’s preference can certainly
be accommodated. Just let our estimator know during the
estimate, and we’ll include your request in the written agreement.

4. Cleanup: We remove all masking material, drop cloths, and other
equipment from the painted area, replace any shutters, hardware,
or other previous removed pieces, and do a final inspection.

Interior Painting Process

1. Preparation: We set up a staging area for our paint sprayer equipment, move
all furniture to the center of the room, and cover them with plastic
sheeting. We use canvas dropcloths to protect the flooring. We
remove all wallplates, A/C vents, and other items mounted to the
surfaces to be painted. Any areas not being painted will be masked
off, and dirty/aged walls will be washed down prior to painting. If
there is any damage to the wall, we will fill the damage, sand the
repair smooth, and prime prior to the painting process. Priming
will also take place over oil-based paints, high gloss paints, and
any significant color changes.

2. Painting Process: Almost all of our interior jobs are painted using
a brush-and-roller technique, taking care to apply two full coats
of paint to all surfaces. Alternately, we have airless spray
capabilities that can be used for stucco and certain staining
processes. As always, the customer’s preference can certainly
be accommodated. Just let our estimator know during the
estimate, and we’ll include your request in the written agreement.

3. Cleanup: We remove all masking material, drop cloths, and other
equipment from the painted area, replace wallplates, hardware,
or other previous removed pieces, and do a final inspection.

Turbine HVLP paint sprayer Vs Compressor HVLP paint sprayers

Benefit for Turbine HVLP sprayer:

1) Complete Portability typically 20 lbs.

2) Built in filter system

3) All Self contained

4) Fast operation with heated material

4) Excellent finish quality

5) Very Low Overspray – Great for indoor applications

SGW: We prefer the 4 Stage turbine. If you are going to spend this much money on a turbine system, the added power of an under powered turbine (as compared to our compressor guns) will greatly benefit from the extra stage. We do carry 3 stage turbines for serious DIYs.

We also prefer the quiet turbine units. One of the greatest complaints we have of tubines was their annoying vaccume cleaner whine. The Fuji quiet compressors while, more expensive, have 50% less noise. Now, that’s a winner!

Benefit for Compressed air HVLP paint sprayers:

1) Highest Finish Quality

2) Compressor can be used with other tools

3) More versatile setups

We prefer the 4 Stage turbine. If you are going to spend this much money in a turbine system, the added power of an already under powered turbine (as compared to our compressor guns) will greatly benefit from the extra stage. We do carry 3 stage turbines Here

We also prefer the quiet turbine units. One of the greatest complaints we have of tubines was their annoying vaccume cleaner whine. The Fuji quiet compressors while, more expensive, have 50% less noise. Now, that’s a winner!

Top of the Line System 4 State Quiet 4 w/ New! XT2 Pressure Assisted

2-stage vs. 3-stage vs. 4-Stage Turbines sprayers

When portability, lightweight design and a fully self contained system with filtration both fluid and air is required, look at a Turbine HVLP.
About the size of a bread box, Turbines are terrific for painters who are on the go! just don’t have the room for a larger compressor or just want the option of a professional finish where ever they might want it without the hassle of a larger compressor.

By choosing a powerful 4 stage turbine you can get a professional top quality finish comparable to compressor driven HVLP.

2 Stage Turbines are very small and cute but deliver very little power and are not recommended for professional painters.

3 Stage turbines are the lowest you should go for a professional finish. The Fuji Mini Mite 3x is the strongest 3 stage on the market and is a terrific value.

4 Stage turbines are the standard for professional finishers. You can never have too much power when working with today’s modern paints. The stronger motor provides better atomization for your material, allows you to use a longer hose, and allows you to spray thicker materials like latex with ease.

Remember compressor HVLP are not interchangeable with Turbine HVLP. You CAN convert it about $100, but the cost makes it not worth it.

We also carry the quietest Turbine on the Market. The Q4 by Fuji is a terrific powerful turbine unit with very little noise. 50% quieter than regular turbine units.

What is a turbine stage?

Turbine HVLP uses a bypass vacuum motor in the box. This unit has fans (called ‘stages’) driving and moving the air at one end and its own small cooling fan at the other. In between the stages and the cooling fan are the copper windings necessary to power the motor. It is these copper windings that provide heat and evaporation to provide warm clean air.

The cooling fan is secured to the same shaft (rotor) as the main stages (fans). What this means is that all fans, including this small cooling fan, rotate at 19,000-21,000rpm (depending on the motor and certain conditions). This warms the air and the material to provide a finer flow. As you can see the more fans the more power, the more better.

Turbine Nozzle Size Conversion

The fluid jet and needle MUST always match exactly. However, the spraycap/air nozzle may be one size up or down from the norm. The sizes No.3 and 4 setups are both ideal for all fine finishing. 3 different setups are available as accessories. Generally speaking, the quality of atomization and finish suffers as you go to the largest size setups (No.5 and 6). Please note that the chart offers you a starting point only as to the setup size to be used. The best way to decide is by experimentation. If you are using the No. 3 setup and wish to spray faster, wetter then switch to No. 4.


Size # 3 – 1.0 mm (.039″) FINE TO MEDIUM OUTPUT

Most ‘fine-finishing’. WATER-BASED LACQUERS, NITROCELLULOSE LACQUERS, SEALERS, CELLULOSE, ACRYLICS, SYNTHETICS, POLYURETHANE, STAINS, VARNISH, GLITTER PAINTS, PRIMERS. Please note thicker material must be thinned as much as 30%. Thinning beyond manufacturers specs should not affect finish quality if done properly. No latex and house enamels with this tip.

Size # 4 – 1.4mm (.055″) MEDIUM OUTPUT

Similar to No. 3 but more coverage. Especially suitable for AUTOMOTIVE ENAMELS, NITROCELLULOSE LACQUER, CATALYZED LACQUERS and LATEX where finer finish is required such as louver doors, trim, cabinets (see section above about Latex). Also good for VARNISHES and OIL-BASED PAINTS. Latex paint must be thinned 20%-30%. We recommend floetro, extender or Penetrol.

Size # 5 – 1.8mm (.070″) HIGH OUTPUT


Size # 6 – 2.2mm (.086″) EXTRA HIGH OUTPUT

Very heavy flows, fast coverage. STONE FINISH PAINTS, TEXTURE COATING, INDUSTRIAL PRIMERS, LATEX (on walls, ceilings) ETC.

Without an airless paint sprayer, it takes days instead of hours to paint a house. Hard-to-paint surfaces such as acoustic popcorn ceilings or fences are difficult and messy to paint by hand but are a snap with an airless sprayer. The sprayer can be frustrating to use if not cleaned or maintained properly. Work stoppages due to a balky sprayer can make you tear your hair out; a single piece of grit in the paint can make the machine quit working. Troubleshooting an airless sprayer is a bit easier when you know how it works and can make quick on-the-job adjustments.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You’ll Need:
• Crescent wrenches
• Paint strainers
• Paint buckets
• Hammer
No Pressure
1. 1
Check the level of paint in the bucket or hopper first if the sprayer doesn’t build up enough pressure to spray. If it’s below the level of the intake filter, it’s sucking up some air along with the paint. Refill the paint bucket, remove the spray tip and run the sprayer for several minutes to purge air from the system.
2. 2
Thin your paint according to both sprayer manufacturer and paint label directions. More powerful contractor-grade airless sprayers can pull up and spray thick paints without a problem, but smaller sprayers often cannot. Make sure you’re using the correct size spray tip for the material.
3. 3
Tap the metal inlet hose housing (where the pickup tube attaches to the motor) sharply several times with a hammer. A ball valve inside can become stuck, but it’s easily jarred loose.
4. 4
Check the filters. If they’re clogged with dried paint or grit, the machine can’t build up pressure. Check the pickup tube filter first. If that is fine, turn off and unplug the sprayer, and check the bowl or inline filter. You will probably need a crescent wrench for these. Rinse them clean, or replace them if the paint has dried. As a last resort, take the spray gun apart, and check the gun filter.
Improper Spray Pattern
5. 1
Match the spray tip to the material and the job. You can’t use the same tip interchangeably for semi-transparent stain and latex paint. Spray tips are relatively inexpensive, and every sprayer dealer or paint store carries them. Worn spray tips will also cause uneven spray patterns.
6. 2
Check the pressure setting. If the spray pattern is weak and “grainy” looking, increase the pressure. If the paint runs and drips, turn the pressure down a notch.
7. 3
Strain the paint if the tip keeps clogging; there is probably debris or grit in there. It’s a good idea to strain all your paint through a strainer into a clean bucket in the first place, even if you are opening brand new cans. Keep the sprayer covered with plastic sheeting if you’re working in the sun or in a dusty environment to prevent the paint from skinning over or debris from falling into it.
Tips & Warnings
• Cleaning your airless sprayer and all the filters meticulously after every use and always storing it filled with mineral spirits instead of water will prevent a lot of problems.
• Use the throat seal liquid or lubricants suggested by the manufacturer on the recommended schedule.
• Always bleed pressure from the sprayer before dismantling any part of it. The pressure release valve is usually on the side of the motor housing. Once you’ve done that, unplug it from the power source.