How To: Use a Paint Spray Gun

By Timothy Dahl | Updated Dec 10, 2020 9:23 AM

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How to Use a Paint Spray Gun


Are you tired of using a brush and messing with a tray whenever you paint? Consider investing in a paint spray gun. Some of the newer models are a great value and can save you time on your next paint job. But it does take a little practice to learn how to use these tools properly.

A spray gun works great for coating uneven surfaces like door frames and window shutters, but because properly cleaning one takes a considerable amount of time and effort, you might want to consider using a paint sprayer exclusively for bigger jobs.

Below are some tips to help you use a paint spray gun successfully:

Air or airless

We are talking about air sprayers here. Airless sprayers take even more training to use and typically aren’t appropriate for home projects.

What are you painting?

Keep in mind what type of surface you are painting and what type of paint you are using. Not all paint guns are the same, and they all have different settings. Check the thickness of the paint and the volume of the spray. You can also adjust the angle from a wider spray to a narrower pattern.

Technique is everything

First, test your technique and the sprayer itself by running water through it. You want an even application best achieved by keeping the sprayer level while moving your body, not just your arm, along the path of the spray. If you only move your arm, the distribution of paint will not be even.

Take it slow

You’ll be tempted to finish a job quickly but if you start to rush, it’ll show up in your work. And you’ll waste paint. Paint dispenses from a sprayer at a higher rate than you’d expect, so take it slow.