How to choose and use sprayer


The humble paint sprayer is one of the fine mist spraye […]

The humble paint sprayer is one of the fine mist sprayer handiest gadgets in any house painter's tool chest. A sprayer can paint, stain and spread a clear finish on the most uneven surfaces faster than a roller or brush. In fact, on period houses, many painters choose to embellish the paint job with obvious brush strokes because a sprayer can make the paint job look too perfect. Sprayers atomize their contents into a mist that coats so evenly, it can often look lustrous. If that's not the effect that is sought on the painted or finished surface, it's advisable to use a brush or roller instead of a sprayer. 

There are two varieties of sprayers, air sprayers and airless ones. Airless sprayers use high internal pressure to atomize the sprayed contents. Air-powered sprayers use air to reach the same effect. One should always read all the material that comes with a sprayer. The high pressure type in particular can be dangerous if misused. The new painter should be sure to practice with water or another similar clear liquid in the sprayer. The painter may then spray some available surface. In fact, spraying water is an easy way to wash a large area while practicing spray techniques. The painter should spray until he feels a degree of confidence with the sprayer.

Only when he's confident with his abilities to spray safely and easily should he progress to paint, stain or finish. The painter should follow the sprayer's directions for setting the tool's pressure. Once paint is in the sprayer, the painter should practice spray patterns over cardboard or another expendable surface. The spray pattern should be clear and even. The painter should start with a lower setting and gradually increase it until a full and even paint pattern is achieved. An unacceptable coating may mean the pressure is set too low. Finding the correct sprayer setting is often a matter of trial and error, setting and resetting the pressure until the desired effect is achieved.

If the pressure is set at its highest and the sprayer pattern is still not sufficient, a worn-out or improper spray gun tip may be the problem. A difficult to control sprayer may suggest the pressure is set too high. Once the painter feels an even spray pattern has been achieved, he may begin to paint. The best spray stance is about a foot away from the surface being sprayed. At right angles to the plane of the horizon, the spray tip should be aimed at the wall. In order to keep up the correct sprayer orientation, the painter should always spray only as far as he can reach. In that way, one can better direct the sprayer. One should begin moving the sprayer prior to spraying and continue moving it after releasing the trigger. This will prevent heavy blotching in certain areas. When spraying again, one should aim the sprayer at the midpoint of the already sprayed pattern to create a continuous and consistent spray pattern. 

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