Choosing The Correct Spray Painting System
The Millin Guide To Choosing An Airless Sprayer
We’ve got another airless sprayer post for you — this time designed to help you choose the correct type you need for the job you’re doing. (I’d rather sell you a machine that’s going to do the job right than one that’s just better for my margin, so this is a quick guide to steer you on the proper path.)
First, we’ll do a quick recap of exactly what an airless sprayer is and what it’s used for (head here if you want to learn about these tools more in-depth), and then we’ll outline what you need to consider when you’re selecting one yourself. Read on if you’d like to know more.
A brief rundown of airless sprayers and their uses
Airless spray guns are powered by a motor and use a diaphragm or piston pump to shoot paint through the hose and out the gun tip. Thanks to the introduction of new tip technology, the pressure in these guns can vary greatly from around 900psi to in excess of 7,500psi, but most traditionally sit around 2,000psi.
Airless sprayers accommodate different gun tips, allowing you to choose the appropriate size for the viscosity of the liquid you’re working with — and different models offer different litre-per-minute capacities, ranging from 1.8 in smaller units to more than 15 in larger units.
In general, airless sprayers provide convenient portability, quick application rates, and smooth finishes, and they’re excellent for a wide variety of jobs including painting roofs, ceilings, walls, and fences; finishing doors, cabinets, and woodworks; and applying specialist coatings such as fire retardants and anti-corrosive primers.
What to consider when you’re choosing an airless sprayer
Question one: is this for DIY, trade, or industrial use? Not all machines are created equal, and the answer to this question is critical in making sure you get the correct unit.
Next: what material are you spraying? Are you only spraying decorative coatings, or will you also be spraying solvent-based or intumescent coatings? The build and quality of a pump has a direct correlation to what you can and cannot do. For example: a Wagner Control Pro 350 Extra is ideal for decorative coatings but cannot be used for epoxies. For the latter, you’d need something like the Graco GMAX II 3900 Hi-Boy, which is capable of spraying a much wider range of coatings.
Then, think about where you’re spraying. This is a loaded question in that it refers to both the surface you’re spraying as well as the location of that surface. A small electric unit will work for residential painting — but will you always have power? Or will you need to run off a generator? If that’s the case, you may want to consider a diaphragm pump like the Wagner SF23 Pro or even a self-contained petrol unit like the Titan Elite 3500.
How often are you going to be using the machine? Occasionally? Weekly? Daily? There’s no point in purchasing a large unit designed for 34,000 litres per year (like the Wagner PS3.34) when you’ll only be using it once a month to spray a roof and a Graco Ultra 395 will do the job.
Next up: how many guns will you need to use at a time? You’ll be able to use only one or more than one depending on the unit; the Wagner ProSpray 3.39, for example, is capable of operating two at once. (Multiple guns are generally necessary for large jobs, such as roofing or industrial projects.)
The next thing to consider is how much volume you need to complete your task. This will dictate the size (and the price) of the sprayer that’s right for you, as smaller units carry smaller litre-per-minute capacities and larger units carry larger capacities. Take the Wagner PS20, which has a 1.8l/m capacity — as opposed to the Wagner ProSpray PS3.39, which offers 5l/m.
You also need to think about the hose length your job requires. Some airless sprayers can accommodate hoses of varying lengths — like the Wagner SF23 Pro we just mentioned (which can be used with hoses ranging from 7.5 metres all the way up to 60 metres), the Wagner Control Pro 350 Extra (maximum hose length of 30 metres), and the Titan Elite 3500 (up to 90 metres).
The final (and most prohibitive) consideration when you’re choosing an airless sprayer is budget. There are plenty of cheap options out there, but it’s critical to remember that skimping on your upfront sprayer costs will likely lead to increased labour and maintenance costs down the line.
The most important thing is to make sure you read up on the specific unit and its features to ensure it fits with your particular job. We’ve divided our sprayers into different airless sprayer categories, and we go into detail on each sprayer, outlining its specifications and which jobs it’s good for.
Ready To Choose
Check out our range of airless sprayers here. As mentioned, each description outlines the specifications and features of the individual unit — and I love matching the customer with the correct sprayer, so if you’d like help choosing the right unit for your job, simply get in touch. Contact details