Are you looking for information on how to paint a house with a sprayer? You’ve come to the right place! This guide will tell you what projects are appropriate, what kind of tools you need, and how to complete a house painting project from preparation to clean-up. Once you’ve read through you’ll be ready to paint.
Safety Warning for Painting Your House with a Sprayer
If you don’t know how to paint a house with a sprayer you’ll need to be extremely cautious with your first job and follow the below safety tips.
- Be sure to only spray with adequate ventilation.
- When operating spray equipment, everyone should be sure to take proper safety precautions, remain alert and watch out for potential safety hazards.
- Never aim the gun at yourself or another person.
- Remember to wear protective gear like gloves, safety goggles, proper footwear, and dust masks/respirators.
- Every paint sprayer will come with an instruction manual and it is advisable to read the specific precautions and procedures for your device.
What Is a Paint Sprayer?
An airless paint sprayer pumps paint at pressures up to 3,000 psi and can help to speed up large painting projects. Paint is kept in a bucket and is sucked into the sprayer through a tube, which means you don’t need to keep refilling. Paint sprayers apply paint smoothly with no brush strokes, for an even look.
Airless paint sprayers come in many sizes, and usually have replaceable tips in different sizes and shapes that work for different projects and paint consistencies. The cheapest models start at about $250 and are sold online and at hardware stores.
What Projects Is a Paint Sprayer Good For?
If you’re going to paint a house with a sprayer, you need to remember that spraying is not right for every project. Consider the project you are completing before you decide to spray rather than use a paint roller. The best projects for paint spraying are well-ventilated, full coverage projects.
As all areas that are not to be painted will need to be taped off/covered with a tarp, take into consideration the work saved by spraying may be lost to completely taping off areas for jobs that are not full coverage or include interior spaces.
Sprayers have an advantage over using a roller in specific situations as they are more full coverage, spray paint into small crevices, and can easily cover hard-to-reach places like ceilings.
Ideal house painting jobs for a sprayer are:
- Exterior House Painting
- Interior ceilings, or full rooms that include ceiling projects, ideally in an empty, unoccupied space
Tools & Equipment for Painting a House with a Sprayer
Now that you know your project is right for a sprayer, you need to make sure you have all the right equipment set up before you start painting your house with a sprayer.
You will need:
- Paint sprayer
- Paint – traditionally a gallon of paint will cover about 150 square feet of wall, but it’s better to be prepared for paint loss during spraying by having 3x the amount of paint you would expect to use with a roller
- Stir sticks
- Tarps, plastic sheeting, or drop cloths
- Painter’s Tape
- Cleaning rags
- Paintbrushes for touch-ups and clean-up
- Painting clothes
When to Paint a House with a Sprayer
Once you’ve got your gear together, the next step is to pick the right day to paint. Paint sprayers spray paint at a distance, so a clear calm day is necessary to achieve a clean paint job outside, or inside if you’ve got windows open for ventilation. Slow drying paints and stains are an especially big risk on a windy day, as the paint can travel great distances and cause damage to your garden, or your neighbor’s house.
Preparation for Painting Your House with a Sprayer
Clear the Area
Before you get started you will need to clear the area you intend in completely. Everything in range of the sprayer is likely to get paint on it, so any furniture should be removed from the area.
Prime and Repair
Spot prime any areas of bare wood and calk any gaps in the wood. All holes in wood siding or damaged brick mortar need to be repaired before painting as the spraying process can lead to further structural damage. The paint cannot patch or seal your house for you.
Clean the Surface
You will need to completely clean the surface you intend to paint. This is the only way to be sure the paint will stick completely to the surface. Remove any dirt, mold/mildew, or peeling old paint. Painting over peeling paint, or mildew can lead to future rot. Outside surfaces are best cleaned with a power washer using a cleaning solution.
Mask and Cover
After your clean surfaces have dried it’s time to tape any areas you do not want to be painted, like trim, windows, or other surfaces. Large areas like decks, shrubs, or pathways will need to be covered with secured tarps or drop cloths. Do not assume paint shields on their own will be adequate to stop over-spray.
Prepare to Paint
If you’re using paint from different containers, mix it all in a larger container to ensure even color throughout your project. For most projects, it’s advisable to use a 5-gallon bucket that is lidded with a small opening for the intake tube. This will keep the paint from drying out or debris from falling in.
To set up your airless sprayer we recommend reading the instruction manual for the specific sprayer you’ve invested in as every model is a little different.
Painting Your House with a Sprayer
Test Your Sprayer
Once you’ve prepared your tools and workspace, test the sprayer pressure. As different paint thicknesses will require different pressure settings it is important to make sure your sprayer will coat your surface evenly. Testing can be done by keeping the pressure on low and making a pass on a scrap piece of cardboard, if the spray pattern is uneven raise the pressure, if the pattern remains uneven at max pressure you will probably need to replace the tip of your sprayer with a larger size.
As you are still learning how to paint a house with a sprayer, it is advisable to do a few extra practice runs to make sure you feel confident in your spraying technique before starting on something permanent, if possible start painting on a hidden or less visible wall.
Once your sprayer is painting evenly you’re ready to paint your house.
How to Spray
The sprayer should be held at a perpendicular angle about a foot from the surface you are painting. If you stand too close to the wall you’ll get drips, too far and you’ll create a cloud of drifting paint that never makes it to the surface you want to paint on.
Start painting from the top of the house and work downwards. Point the sprayer towards the bottom of each row and start moving your hand in side-to-side or up-and-down motions before you pull the trigger to release the paint. This will help you avoid spotting. Remember to also let go of the trigger to stop the paint flow while still in motion.
While painting your house with a sprayer, you should spray in sections as wide as you can safely reach, but do not let sections dry before starting on the next section or your paint job will come out spotty. While painting it’s advised to overlap sections about 50% so that your paint layers remain even.
Spot Check and Repair as You Go
If you have any drips, use a brush to even them out before continuing. Remember mistakes need to be corrected before the paint dries. At the end of the job you will need to go through and brush any mistakes.
Cleanup After Painting Your House with a Sprayer
Clean Up the Area
Allow the paint to dry completely before removing tape from covered areas, tarps, and sheets from protected surfaces and returning everything to its original location. The only way to get clean lines from taped-off areas is to wait until the paint is 100% dry.
Clean Your Sprayer
Your paint sprayer will need to be cleaned after each use. Do not pump paint that remains in the sprayer into the air, pump it in the hose back into the paint bucket. This is good for both the environment, the cost of your project, and your sprayer.
Each sprayer will have its own instructions, but cleaning the sprayer is essential to keep paint from clogging the device. If you are working on a multi-day project it is best to clean out the sprayer at the end of each day’s work.
Now You Know How to Paint a House with a Sprayer
Now that you know how to paint a house with a sprayer you’re ready to tackle all kinds of projects. From renovations to hard-to-reach touch-ups, this handy device will save you time, and effort. Just be sure to follow the instructions, and watch out for mess.
For more information on the best types of paint sprayers on the market, check out our post on The Best Paint Sprayer for Every Home Painting Project.
Check out our Exterior Painting page for even more information on exterior painting, paints, and products.
I started painting in 2001 and have seen just about everything in my painting career. I started in production and commercial painting, then moved over to new construction and remodeling during the boom of the early 2000s. Post 2010, I niched down into residential painting where I have done everything from exteriors, decks, interiors, furniture and more. Over the last few years, I’ve had a focus on kitchen cabinets.
I started the DIY Painting Tips blog in 2015 to start sharing everything I’ve learned over the years and help all the people who’d rather tackle their painting projects themselves.
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