Airless paint spraying is arguably the most effective way to apply paint quickly and easily, especially to large areas. In this article, we will offer our 5 best spraying tips to help you refine your airless spraying technique and make your paint sprayer handiwork even better.

1. Practice makes perfect 

Paint sprayers, especially the DIY models such as the Graco X7 airless are so easy to use that a common mistake people make is to not practice enough first. Find yourself an area of wall you don’t mind using for such a purpose or a large piece of cardboard.

Once you have your practice surface set, take your time to get used to the feel of the paint sprayer in your hand and the spray pressure. Make sure that you are happy and can confidently apply a smooth, even coat. [Image Source:]

Spray Painting Technique


2. Preparation is Key

As with traditional painting methods, one of the keys to a successful job lies in the preparation beforehand. Make sure you have cleared the surface of any loose debris and sanded it off to make it smooth. Remember to stir the paint before use to avoid any clogging issues with the sprayer. We have a wide range of decorating supplies which can be found here.

Check that your work environment is clear so you will not snag the sprayer hose. It is also worth protecting any surfaces you are not planning to paint! [Image Source: IEG Solutions | Twitter]

IEG Solutions - Preparing to Paint Spray


3. Adjust the pressure setting correctly

A great tip for gaining amazing results is to adjust the pressure setting on your sprayer correctly. Doing this will enable you to achieve the best spray pattern when painting.

The best way to do this is to set the pressure control knob to a low setting and test the effect on a sheet of cardboard. If the spray pattern is not right then gradually increase the pressure control knob until the spray pattern is smooth.

Note: If you get lines (also known as tails) either side of your spray pattern, this indicates that the pressure is too low or the paint is too thick. By altering the pressure and thinning the paint further, you should be able to get resolve the issue.

Pressure Knob Setting on Q-Tech P031 Airless Paint Sprayer


4. Keep a constant distance/angle

The general rule when using an airless paint sprayer is to try and maintain a distance of 12 inches (1 foot) from the surface you’re spraying and keep the sprayer perpendicular to it.

It is very important not to spray at any sort of angle as this will result in an uneven finish which is not what we’re aiming for. [Image Source: Wikihow]

Paint Spray Techniques


5. Choosing the Right Spray Tip

To spray like a pro then you need to pay attention to the spray tip you use and choose the correct one. Different spray tips are good for different jobs and paints – what tip works well for spraying a latex paint onto a large surface, might not work so well for other jobs.

The easy way to work out what type of tip you are using is to look at the three digit number on it. The spray fan width can be calculated by doubling the first digit and the size of the hole in the tip can be worked out by looking at the last two digits. 

A TriTech Airless Spray Tip

If you don’t know which tip you need, refer to the paint manufacturers website and find the product you’ll be spraying. Most big manufacturers will include both a paint specification data sheet and a safety data sheet on the product page. You’ll normally find the ‘Recommended Orifice Size’ in the ‘Application Methods’ section of the specification data sheet.

Here’s an example of a Dulux Trade Masonry paint data sheet. If you look at the ‘Spray Recommendation’ area, you can see the recommend tip orifice size is 15 thou (highlighted in yellow). This means you need to select a tip with a 3 digit index that ends with ’15’ – Eg, 515, 615, 715 .etc.

paint sprayer tip recommendations example

We have over 100 spray tips available to buy, check out our airless spray tips page here if you need to buy one for your next project. However if you’d like more help selecting your airless paint sprayer tip size, I recommend reading our in-depth guide on Choosing Airless Paint Sprayer Tips



By following the above tips, it is possible to achieve a professional finish with your spray painting jobs. These adjustments will ensure every job has a smooth, even, clean finish that will impress. 

We offer a complete range of airless paint spraying equipment for both full time professionals and part decorators. With prices ranging from £600 to £3000, we truly have an airless paint sprayer to suit most applications.

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