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Everything you need to know about Airless paint

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Carrying out painting work is one of the most frequent projects within a dwelling (house or apartment), depending on the total surface to be painted, this work can be more or less complicated. Despite everything, painting remains one of the most affordable tasks for individuals in order to save money, it is however necessary to follow certain instructions and to equip yourself with the appropriate equipment to carry out this painting work. Painting with a brush, roller, pole or airless are all possibilities for you.


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What is airless?
Airless spraying means ” Without Air “, unlike spraying with air, airless works only by the pressure exerted on the material. A pump which can be electric, thermal or pneumatic puts the product under pressure and sprays a quantity of product using a pressure of up to 350 bars, through a nozzle. Subsequently, the product is distributed in a spray jet. Unlike traditional paint gun models, the Airless painting technique works through a high-pressure process. Initially used in the industrial environment, the airless spray gun is now widely used in the field of decorative painting (interior painting) or on specific elements (mouldings, shutters, chairs, etc.).

Airless painting has many advantages:

  • Offers the ability to quickly paint large areas
  • Allows to obtain a uniform result, cleaner than with a roller
  • Can be used on all surfaces
  • Ideal for sinuous or curved areas
  • Savings on big jobs because airless uses less paint

How to paint with airless?
Unlike the application of paint with a roller which is relatively intuitive, the application of airless paint requires a little getting used to and it is generally recommended to practice on small areas or on objects before to start attacking the ceilings and walls of the house. Optimizing the settings of an airless gun mainly involves adjusting the pressure of the device and choosing the right nozzle.

As with all painting work, before starting the application, be sure to prepare the room well by removing as much furniture as possible, protecting radiators and baseboards, disposing of masking tape, and positioning a plastic sheet.

Before starting the application, make sure your airless gun is correctly adjusted and calibrated by carrying out a test on a piece of cardboard so that you can adjust it. Also, be sure that the airless nozzle of your gun is suitable for the realization of your project, the nozzles are suitable for specific uses but also for specific models of airless guns.

The application of the airless paint must begin with the ceilings as well as the surfaces at height. Thereafter you will be able to start applying the paint on the walls, thinking of crossing the passages and not forgetting any nook.

The airless paint application, like other paint application methods, generally requires the application of two coats for optimal results. Allow the first coat to dry properly before beginning to apply the second coat of finished paint.

Once your work is finished, take the time to properly clean your airless spray gun

How to avoid airless spray mist?
The spray mist (mist or overspray in English) is one of the only negatives that appear when working with an airless spray gun, it is a principle that is normal but that it is possible to remove or at least to be able to reduce considerably.

It is impossible to completely remove the fog effect that comes from airless paint, in fact, this phenomenon is inherent in the use of paint via a high-pressure system. Nevertheless, there are some solutions that can partially reduce the spray mist effect.

Airless gun manufacturers have developed techniques to reduce spray mist.

There are also two techniques that can allow you to reduce the fog effect associated with airless paint spraying :

The choice of the nozzle of the airless gun
The nozzle is the element that will allow the spraying of the paint on the support, the choice of an unsuitable nozzle can have a negative impact on the spraying. First, it is important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the model of airless gun you are using, each airless gun has its own nozzles depending on your use.

It is generally indicated on the airless gun reference: the size of the nozzle as well as the recommended working pressure. The second point to take into account is the maintenance of your nozzle, you can have the right nozzle but if it is not cleaned and maintained correctly, the application results could be affected.

Adjustment of working pressure
The adjustment of the airless spray pressure will play an essential role in the quality of the rendering, too much pressure will cause a strong spray mist while too little pressure will create drops and other drips.

Most airless paint stations are used with too much pressure, which will lead to the creation of a strong spray mist as a first consequence.

To adjust and set the working pressure of your airless gun, it is necessary to make adjustments and tests to find the right balance, the spray jet of your airless gun must be uniform.

It is possible to calibrate the pressure setting of your airless gun using water. First draw in water with your airless spray gun then hold down the gun trigger, slowly and continuously adjust the pressure until you get a full, even spray.

What paint to use for airless?
In general, you will be able to use all the murals, these can indeed be applied with a roller or brush, or with an airless spray gun. The only thing you will need to take into account is the viscosity of the paint, each painting has its own viscosity.

In general, it is advisable to dilute a classic paint to 5/10% to facilitate application using an airless spray gun. The thicker the base paint, the more you will need to thin it. Paints containing solid particles are to be banned, these could clog the nozzle of the gun.

How to clean an airless device?
Cleaning an airless gun or an airless station is essential to maintain perfect performance and not damage it. In the same way, as for a roller or a brush, it is imperative to clean an airless station as soon as it is used.

Just like for classic tools, if you use acrylic paint, you will have to clean your airless support with water and if you use oil paint, you will have to clean your airless machine with white spirit.

To go into detail, each station or airless gun has its own cleaning specificities, it is therefore recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s manual in order to carry out the correct cleaning actions.

In general, it is important to clean each part of your airless equipment, namely the tank, the gun head and the nozzle.

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