Using rollers for any paint job can be cumbersome and tiring as it is not possible to cover as much space as you may have planned to. In addition, the rollers also leave some marks on the painting surface.
This is where an air compressor comes in. An air compressor works together with a paint sprayer to help you paint more space within a short period of time as well as giving your surface an even finishing.
In the long run, it helps you to save time and money and at the same, it does not lead to pollution associated with aerosol sprayers.
That said! The following instructions will guide you on how to use a paint sprayer connected to an air compressor to enable you delivers a professional paint job.
- Air compressor
- Spray gun
- Air hose
- Masking paper
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth
- Eye protection
- Choose your paint, most preferably oil-based enamels as it is generally easy to use them with a compressor sprayer. Adding a thinner will be an added advantage as it will allow the viscous paint to move freely and faster through the tubes and the nozzle.
- Spread the drop cloth on the floor, ground, and furniture to make sure that they are protected from the after mess.
- Ensure that the area is well ventilated as paint emits fumes.
- Use the masking paper and the painters tape to protect adjacent surfaces from overspray.
- Put on your safety gears (respirator and eyeglasses) to protect yourself from the dangerous fumes and other harmful particulates.
- Prepare well the surface that you intend to paint. Scrub off the metal surfaces to remove all rust and corrosion, wipe any oil, dirt or dust and ensure that the surface is dry.
Note: Use mineral spirits to clean the surface if you will be using oil-based paints. For other paints (acrylic and latex paints) use water and soap and make sure you rinse it thoroughly.
Setting up the Compressor and the Sprayer
- Switch on the compressor and allow it to build up pressure to the required level. Make sure that the compressor has a regulator to enable you adjust the pressure to a level that can be accommodated by the sprayer. This is important as failure to regulate pressure will results into fluctuations while working as pressure will keep on rising and falling.
- Adjust the regulator until the desired pressure is attained. The exact amount will depend on the sprayer model as recommended on the user manual.
- Attach the sprayer to the compressor using the air hose coupling and make sure it is tightly sealed.
- Pour just a small amount of thinner into the paint cup so as to make sure that the siphon tube is fully immersed in it.
- The next step is to open the metering valve just slightly.
- The next thing is to prime the sprayer. This is done to ensure that they are no stoppages or loose connections in the system. To do this just pull the trigger and observe if the thinner will come out of the nozzle. If the paint thinner does not flow out, the whole system will have to be dismantled to correct the error.
- Remove the remaining thinner from the paint cap so that you can now start the actual painting.
- Get enough paint for your project and mix it completely to ensure that there a no lumps that might interfere with the flow of the paint.
- Thin the paint with the selected thinner. A good flow will require ratio of about 20% although it majorly depends on the paint you are using, the type of sprayer and the nozzle.
- Pour the paint to the spray cup up to the 2/3 mark to prevent overflowing while painting. Attach the cup securely on to the sprayer to avoid any drop off while working.
- While holding the sprayer at a distance of about 20 inches from the painting surface, move the spray gun up and down and side to side motion so that you can practice using the paint applicator as well develop some level of balance.
- Press the trigger gently to apply the paint. Make sure that the sprayer is always moving to avoid over application whenever you press the trigger. It is advisable to first of all paint on a scrap cardboard or any other place before painting on the main surface. This will help you to tune the nozzle appropriately.
- Keep on turning the pressure knob at the air inlet tube to either increase or decrease the air pressure until the recommended level is attained(as per manufacturer’s instructions).
- Increase your speed to prevent the paint from getting thicker as well as preventing drips and runs. In addition, make sure that you slightly overlap each pass so that the final job will not feature any thin spots.
- Keep on refilling the spray cup as needed until the job is done.
- Give the paint some time to dry after which you can recoat if you find it necessary. A recoat usually makes the finish more durable as opposed to just a single coat although it is not always the case as with some paints, a single coat is always sufficient.
- Clean up and prime the sprayer once more to keep it clean and function for future use. Disassemble the system and store your equipment in a clean and temperature controlled place.
Painting has never been this easy and following these simple steps will make your work hassle free even as your save on money and time. Invest in a good air compressor and use it with a paint spray to add that professional touch to your paint job.
William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.