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How to Paint with Air Compressor

Still working the brush? Or moved on to roller. Either way, a lot of muscle work goes in for sub-par results in painting. Try the air spray that uses a pneumatically powered spray gun to evenly apply paint on whatever surface you decide to renovate. Following is a handy guide on How to paint with air compressor like a pro.

Painting with a Compressed Air Sprayer


Step 1: Prep time
Choose the paint and thinner. Compressed air sprayer works best with oil-based enamels, but works fine with latex based paints and acrylics nevertheless. Just pick one that suits the surface and gives the finish you like.

Thinner helps paint move through valve fluid assembly and nozzle like shit through a goose. Now is the time to prepare the surface. Use drop cloth or sheet plastic to cover the floor or any other open object, and masking tape and painter’s paper or the cheap alternative, yesterday’s newspaper. Safety first – use a mask, safety glasses, and gloves to keep you clean and safe from airborne paint particles.

Sand, brush and wipe the surface for an even surface, to get the best possible finish. One can use a primer to prime the surfaces (can be easily done by the air compressor spray too).

Step 2: Ready the weapons
The first step of How to paint with an air compressor is followed by prepping up the tools for the job. To let the pressure build, turn on the compressor beforehand and use the regulator to keep the pressure steady. A steady pressure will give you even coats with a steady flow. The ideal pressure would be 12 to 25 PSI (pounds per square inch), check the sprayer manual documentation for ideal pressure.

Get the air hose coupled with a sprayer and airtight it with Teflon tape (recommended, not mandatory if quick connect couplings available). Fill the reservoir attached to your spray gun with thinner, just enough to submerge the siphon tube. Now, open the metering valve, prime the sprayer by spraying in an empty bucket for a few seconds until air is out of the nozzle and you get a steady stream of thinner. Now empty all the thinner and you are ready for your paint job.

Step 3: Get busy
Get the paint mixed and ready, strained and free of any lumps. You would know the exact ratio of paint: thinner since you were going to do a paint job. If not, check the paint bucket or leaflets. About 15 to 20% thinner is the right way to go for a good flow.

Now fill the sprayer reservoir with the mixed paint (about 2/3rd full will do) and lock it on to the sprayer. Hold the spray gun about 5-10 inches from the surface, and try to move parallel to the surface. Voila! You are a master and virtuoso, ready to teach How to paint with an air compressor. Re-coat if needed.

Step 4: Putting away your tools
The sprayer should not sit with paint in it, empty it when the job is done or you need a break, and spray some thinner with it to keep nozzles clean as a whistle. You can pour out the unused paint in its original container, but not epoxy or catalyst paints which need to be disposed of. Rinse the tube and reservoir with thinner, wipe out the excess paint.

Now remove the drop cloths, newspapers and masking tapes and admire your handiwork for a while.

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