There are basically about four different types of paint sprayers that you should be familiar with if you are about to embark on a painting project. They are cup sprayers, compressed air sprayers, airless sprayers and HVLP sprayers. In this article, we will discuss each in detail in order to help you decide which type of sprayer you will want to use for your specific task.
4 Main Types of Sprayers
1. Cup sprayers: cup sprayers are easy to use. Generally, all you have to do is plug them in, fill them up, and spray. Cup sprayers are great for the occasional do it yourself type jobs such as spraying furniture or book shelves. Cup sprayers usually require masking and may require you to thin some paints before using them. Many cup sprayers also include an attachment that can be used to draw paint directly from the bucket instead of using the cup.
2. Airless paint sprayers: airless sprayers are perfect for large painting jobs such as painting the outside of your house or inside walls. These are what contractors use to paint entire houses with. They work exceptionally well with latex based paints that are commonly used to paint homes. They work with high pressure which makes them perfect for painting large areas. They work well on a wide variety of surfaces, only require moderate masking and rarely have a need for thinning paint. The typical distance to hold the spray tip from the surface you are painting is about 12 inches. If you are painting with paint other than latex and smaller articles that have to pass a close up inspection, you may want to consider another type of sprayer as these are not meant for close up detailed type work with non latex based paints. In that case consider the use of a HVLP sprayer.
3. HVLP Sprayers: HVLP stands for High Volume Low Pressure. HVLP sprayers are perfect for the finer finishes in smaller areas. They are recommended for stains and satin finishes. They work by atomizing the paint which makes for a very fine paint surface that will pass most any close up inspection. These are great for many smaller scale jobs and are a lot easier to clean up after than other types of sprayers. They are great on many interior applications and detail work. HVLP sprayers require minimal masking and should be sprayed from a distance of 6 to 8 inches from the surface.
4. Compressed Air Sprayers: compressed air sprayers can be used for a variety of tasks and with a variety of paints. While they are versatile, they are also bad for the environment and can be harmful to the user as they inhale a larger amount of paint. These types of sprayers create a larger amount of overspray than any other sprayers and are difficult to clean up after. But after all is said and done, they will leave a good surface on your home if used to paint houses. They are rarely used by professionals because of the overspray and environmental hazards. Compressed air sprayers are good for high quality work. Extensive masking is necessary and the ultimate spray distance ranges from 6 to 12 inches depending on the work. If you are using a compressed air sprayer, you may want to take precautions to keep oil and water from the compressor out of your paint. You can use a filter in the airline to take them out and you can also drain the compressor regularly to keep water from building up in the tank. Most air tanks have a release valve on the bottom that will empty the air and any water build up. You should empty them regularly to keep water out of your paint.
We have covered the main types of paint sprayers and you should be able to determine, from the above information, what sprayer you will need for your next do it yourself project.