How Do Airless Paint Sprayers Work

How do airless paint sprayers work for the homeowner wishing to save time and effort? Quite well, as most do-it-yourselfers as well as the professionals who use them would agree, but only if you use them safely and correctly.

The Power of Pressure

Air-powered paint sprayers range from being a unit with a gun and nozzle attached to an air compressor or a system that features the compressor built into it. How do airless paint sprayers work? These sprayers do the job using a solenoid-piston apparatus in the spray head of the gun.

A hydraulically powered pump forces the paint into and through tiny openings at extremely high pressures, sometimes up to 1000 psi. The result? A much faster way of completing a project along with a smoother, more even finish.

Especially with big jobs like house exteriors, outbuildings, fence rows, and other projects that make painting by hand or with an air-powered paint sprayer endlessly long and time-consuming, not to mention backbreaking work.

Included in the answer to the question how do airless paint sprayers work is their portability; the fact that they can draw paint, primer, or stain directly from a one-to-five-gallon container; and that airless rigs can produce spray patterns as wide as 16" with little over-spray. Additionally, an airless paint sprayer usually has the ability to handle thicker paint than other types of sprayers.

Cost Effectiveness Depends on Use

Although not part of the question of how airless sprayers work, cost is a relevant factor in the decision to purchase one. The size and feature of different models dictates the price of an airless system that ranges anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

But what you have to keep in mind are the answers to these questions as you decide: How many hours of labor am I saving? Does the airless sprayer keep me from having to hire someone to do the job? And do my painting needs justify the cost of the sprayer? In other words, if you paint a lot, an airless paint sprayer can wind up paying for itself in a short period of time.

How do airless paint sprayers work with oil or latex-based finishes? Most do the job effortlessly, but as with any other tool, especially a power tool, it's always best to check the literature that comes with the equipment and/or discuss this with the salesperson before you buy. Although it's generally known that airless rigs can handle any type; water, oil, or latex-based, of paint, stain, lacquer, or varnish, some manufacturers may recommend thinning for some coatings before you use them with your airless sprayer.

Use With Caution!

The question of how do airless sprayers work must include a safety warning: Do not ever put your hand, arm, finger(s), or any other part of your body in front of the paint sprayer when in use. This could lead to permanent injury. The pressure emitted is strong enough to cut through rust and to take off old paint, so keep this in mind and think what it could do to soft human flesh.

Now that the question has been answered, the decision is up to you whether or not this type of power equipment is right for you. If you paint, refinish, or need to do other jobs for which this powerful and useful tool could be used fairly frequently, the answer seems clear: Yes! So get yourself that airless rig you've been considering. Just be careful when you use it.

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