How To Use A Paint Sprayer With Air Compressor Like A PRO?

Let’s get real; painting with rollers can be untidy and overwhelming, especially if you’re a beginner. It’s normal to have an unprofessional finish on your project, no matter how attentive you are. Ugh!

Compared to such inefficiency, things had changed for the better when the market was introduced to air compressor sprays.

To our extraordinary luck, we know how to use a paint sprayer with air compressor. And, if you’re new to this challenge, follow suit to learn all the details. But I got you covered here.

Step By Step Guide To Use A Paint Sprayer

how to use a paint sprayer with air compressor

You need to get it right from the very first. Otherwise, you will make a mess. Using the same steps, you can give your kitchen a smooth finish. Follow those below-mentioned steps carefully:

  1. Choose The Correct Tools

Start with cleaning the area that you’re planning to revamp. Choosing the right materials can be tricky but, we’re here to fill you in on the secrets.

First off, you want to purchase oil-based enamels for your air compressor paint sprays, a siphon gun, a few plastic sheets, drop cloths, and some scrap material.

Selecting the correct device with adequate nozzles, valves, and tubes is essential as choosing the suitable thinner and paint. So pay keen attention to the materials that you’re putting to work. Now, that you know what you’ll need, let’s hop on to know the process.

  1. Prepare Your Project Area

It rarely matters if you’re using an air compressor for painting houses or walls; the key to being successful is to check-in with the preliminary steps like these.

  • You will need a few things in this stage: scrap materials, masking tape, plastic sheets, and drop cloths.
  • It would help if you ensured proper ventilation and protection over the project area for any fixed surface.
  • To protect the adjacent surfaces, you can cover them with painters or masking tape. You can also utilize newspapers so that the over sprays don’t reach far and wide. This step must be done carefully, especially if the work area is windy or outdoors.
  • Place your thinner and paint on a sturdy surface. Preferably somewhere where they won’t cause a big spill and ruin everything.
  1. Safety First!

Before you take on this journey of pneumatic paint sprayers, you must not neglect its safety precautions. Here are a few things that you must abide by.

  • If you don’t have them already, make sure to purchase gloves, safety glasses, and respirators.
  • Put on the gloves, safety glasses, and respirator to protect you from harmful chemicals, particulates, and fumes.
  • Don’t take them off until after you’re done for the day. These will keep you, and your field of work entirely stain and chemical-free. These safety gears are easy to clean, as well, so that’s a win-win.
  1. Prepare The Surface

So, you’re planning to use an air compressor for painting walls. But, do you know how to prepare the surface? Worry not, we’ve got you!

  • As your surface may have a layer of dirt, to eradicate it, you must brush, grind or sand off the corrosion, rust, dirt, grime, or oil that’s probably overlaying the surface.
  • Make sure you embark on this procedure while the surface is still dry.
  • If you’re using oil-based, acrylic, or latex paints, you will need to wash the surface with either soapy water or mineral spirits.
  • Use mineral spirits for oil-based paints and soapy water for acrylic or latex paint.
  • Wash thoroughly.
  1. Prime The Surface
  • You can either use a spray, a roller, or a brush to apply the primer, just like applying paint on the surface.
  • You can also sand it to smoothen it out after application.
  1. Prepare The Compressor

In order for testing and priming, your air compressor needs to build up pressure. You need to set the pressure with the help of the regulator in the compressor.  Not leveling the air pressure will lead to fluctuations while using the paint sprayer for air compressors.

  • Level the regulator between the ranges of 12-25 PSI.
  • Install the air hose to the paint sprayer. Secure it tightly. You can also secure it with Teflon tape for a better air-tight finish. However, this technique is unnecessary if your device has quick-connect coupling.
  • Use a small amount of thinner in the paint cup to immerse the siphon tube.
  • Crank the metering valve lightly.
  • To prime, the paint sprayer, start with aiming the nozzle at a wastebasket and pressing the trigger. It will take a couple of seconds for the device to prime, so only expect a gush of air at first. You should see a free flow of paint thinner afterward.
  • Check for loose fasteners or breakage if the thinner doesn’t come out.
  • Pour out the thinner from the cup. You can use a funnel for this purpose. You can store it back in the container rather than throwing it out entirely.
  1. Mix The Paint

Even though we prefer oil-based enamels, latex and acrylics aren’t a definite big-no, either. You will need to add a proper thinner to your paint, which will enable the paint to be more viscous to quickly and freely flow through the valve and nozzle of the spray.

  • Are you using an air paint sprayer for house painting? For cars? Whatever your project is, you must add in enough to paint the entire surface.
  • Mix the paint thoroughly after opening the paint can. Use a separate clean bowl or plate to do so.
  • Mix the paint and thinner in the ratio of 15-20%. The paint should turn viscous if the appropriate amount is added.
  • Load up the paint cup at 2/3 and lock the paint sprayer securely.
  1. Let’s Paint!
  • Hold your air compressor for painting walls at about 5-10″ away from the surface.
  • Practice swaying the sprayer up, down, and side to side in a parallel motion before beginning.
  • Adjust yourself to the weight and balance before beginning.
  • Squeeze the sprayer’s trigger and keep moving the compressor to avoid paint chunks and drips.
  • Overlap your work so that you don’t miss out on any vacant or feathered spots. Move fast while doing so to avoid thickening paint overlays.
  • Refill the paint cup and repeat as needed.
  1. And You’re Done!
  • Allow your masterpiece to dry down before recoating if that’s necessary.
  • If you’re not satisfied with the first coat, you can attempt a second time for a better finish.
  • When your work area has dried down, remove the Teflon or masking tape from the field. Don’t leave the tape on for too long, as the adhesive might settle in.

Clean The Air Compressor Paint Sprayer

paint sprayer for air compressor

  • You can return the unused paint to its original can if not used.
  • Remember: You can never return catalyst-utilized or epoxy paints to their original container. Thus, dispose them if they remain unused.
  • Wash off the paint cup and siphon tube and wipe out any extra paint.
  • Pour about 1/4 thinner into the cup and move it around before spraying it clean. This will spritz out any remaining paint.


It seems to us like you’re ready to set off on this adventure of painting anything and everything on your own! The good news is that now you know how to use a paint sprayer with air compressor.

So, prepare to turn your life around where you can redo everything according to your taste. Painting in the age-old norms is a hassle, but now the job has become fun thanks to air compressors!

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