How Does An Airless Paint Sprayer Work (Complete Process)

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Every once in a while, we all get the hankering for something different, and when it comes to altering the appearance of your home, an airless paint sprayer can be a good option to go with chosen.

Airless paint spray is utilized in virtually every industry, from painting factories to constructing roads and bridges, and in a variety of diverse methods.

But have you ever wondered how these little instruments perform so well that we don’t need brushes or rollers for the paint job anymore?

If that is the case, then you have arrived at the right location. In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about airless paint sprayers, including how they function and the components that make them up.

After reading this, you will have complete knowledge of the tool that you use to complete do-it-yourself jobs.

Brief About Airless Sprayer

Joseph Binks 1887 developed a hand-pumped cold-water paint sprayer for whitewashing. Francis David Millet 1893 used binks and his own spray painting equipment to whitewash a mixture of oil and white lead with the aim to speed up the process.


A few years later, Edward Seymour came up with an improved version of this apparatus, which he dubbed “aerosol spray.”

Air sprayers and airless sprayers are the two main types of sprayers that have been developed since then. The latter is all we’ll be discussing today.

Surfaces are coated evenly and smoothly with airless spray painting equipment. The size and pressure of the tip are also important considerations while using this device.

A high-pressure pump pushes fluid out of the nozzle of an airless sprayer. The spray pattern is also created by the tip. Compressed air is used to atomize the fluid in an air sprayer, on the other hand.

Paint sprayers operating in high-volume facilities are all used, and they can process any compound volume. DIY, commercial, and industrial tasks can all benefit from these power tools.

Because it does not use pneumatic pressure, an airless sprayer sets itself apart from other sprayers. Instead, the higher internal pressure of the sprayer results in a more precise spray pattern.

They have turned into the industry standard for commercial paint projects and paint spraying work because of their many advantages over regular spray guns and their ability to handle the massive paint jobs and the vast amount of paint required for these jobs.

The Functionality Of An Airless Paint Sprayer

An airless paint sprayer’s mechanism An electric motor raises and lowers a piston and cylinder in most airless paint sprayers.

Allows the internal pressure to rise to roughly 3000psi, which is delivered through the spray cannon to produce a thin mist.

An airless paint sprayer’s primary mechanisms of operation In an airless paint sprayer, the force of the piston moving gears are replaced by a series of one-way valves that force pressure and retain it in the machine; each cycle adds fluid and pressure to the closed system.

For safety reasons, an electric airless paint sprayer will cease making a sound when it achieves its desired pressure, as it’s constantly monitored by sensors. A small spray tip atomizes the paint when the trigger is pulled on the spray gun.

When the pressure begins to drop, sensors figure out the change and activate the electric motor that powers the piston and works relentlessly to maintain the needed amount of pressure so that you can continue spraying.

Components Of Airless Paint Sprayer

A paint sprayer that does not require the use of air is made up of various parts. Every single one of them contributes in its own unique way to the overall effectiveness of the tool’s operation.

The application of paint requires a coordinated effort from all of the component parts. In this section, we will go through the parts of an airless paint sprayer as well as their respective purposes.

It is vital to cultivate some level of trepidation over the operation of this tool’s components in order to comprehend how it works. Let’s start with the very first part of the equation.


Fluid in an air-driven airless, vs the typical airless, is delivered to the gun at a lower pressure, ranging from 500 to 1500 psi. A limited number of droplets are formed as the fluid flows through the tip.

When a modest amount of air is introduced to the spray fan’s edges, atomization occurs. Reduced overspray and good transfer efficiency are achieved as a result.

As a result, the flow can be adjusted to the user’s preference by means of a controlled atomization process. Aerosol sprayers use an air cap and a spray tip to regulate the amount of liquid sprayed while also providing additional air to the spray fan.

The cannon controls the liquid flow by acting as an on/off valve. For a softer application, the valve for air adjustment allows air to reach as close to the tip as feasible.

The fluid is transferred to the cannon via a hose, and the pump is powered by a motor system. Digital displays allow users to adjust fluid pressure in accordance with project requirements.

Additionally, the airless gun features a compressor that provides the gun with the air it needs.

Gun Tips

A spray tip is essential to the application of paint. The spray pattern can be adjusted to put fluid in the proper direction using this valve, which controls fluid flow.

Using an old tip is not recommended. The opening of an old tip of the spray gun is larger, and the fan breadth is less. These variables have a considerable impact on the spray pattern.

If the fan isn’t working as well as it used to, it’s time to replace the tip. A bad spray gun tip leads to increased overspray, material waste, and poor paint quality.

A 12-inch fan tip, for example, will drop to an 8-9-inch fan if it wears out, resulting in 40% greater paint application over 25% less surface. Material loss as a result of overspray will rise.

Attempting to maintain a uniform thickness by continually overlapping will only result in a sloppy appearance. The spray pattern changes due to a worn-out tip, as shown in the graph above.

According to the orifice size, there are a number of airless gun tips on the market. Check the project type you want to do when deciding on the ideal one.

Some projects necessitate very little effort, while others necessitate a great deal. Your project’s needs must be taken into consideration before you select a tidbit.

In addition, be sure that your selected tip of the spray gun is compatible with your airless unit. To be cautious, even if you have many airless spray guns, it’s always a good idea to check the unit first.

Coatings are another option for narrowing down the options when it comes to spray tip design. Enamel and stain require thinner applications, whereas latex paints require thicker ones, therefore small tips are best for light surfaces like these.

Pick a fine tip for the spray gun for the airless unit based on the sort of project and coating goals you have in mind.

The spray gun tip will never last longer than the life of the spray gun, therefore don’t try to get good results with a worn-out tip.

Pumps & Motors

It is common for airless sprayer types to incorporate a pump that controls the flow of fluid. It is the primary purpose of a shoe to distribute a steady stream of liquid under high pressure.

Compressed air and a gas engine supplement the electric motor. These pumps have connecting rods and crankshafts to keep the engine running at a constant speed.

Hydraulic-powered pumps are also available, and they work when the power is transferred by means of hydraulics.

As air flows upward and downward via a compressed air motor’s piston and rod, it is doing its task.

Airless Paint Sprayer Pros And Cons

A regular paint sprayer, or airless sprayer, streamlines the painting process in two ways: To begin, you may apply it two times as fast as a roller or brush to a project requiring several gallons of paint.

If you’re painting woodwork or doors and want a beautiful, glass-smooth finish, you’ll need an airless sprayer. When you use an airless sprayer, a high-pressure hose pumps paint out of a small hole in the spray gun’s tip at a pressure of up to 3,000 pounds per square inch.

The tip’s purpose is to disperse the paint in a fine mist in a fan-like pattern. In order to spray a wide range of different liquids, you can use a variety of different tips.

Using an airless sprayer, you may easily apply a smooth finish to woodwork such as doors and cabinets. An airless sprayer, on the other hand, allows you to apply a large amount of paint in a short period of time.

If you’re looking to paint a 300-foot-long privacy fence, an airless sprayer is ideal. Consider the downsides of spray painting before jumping on the benefits bandwagon.

To begin with, not all of the paint’s fine particles adhere to the surface. The majority of the paint is dispersed into the air, and it might float and land on whatever surface it encounters.

Depending on the size of the application, you might be wasting 20 to 40% of the finish. You’ll also need to spend extra time masking off and covering over anything you don’t want to get painted.

Painting in the open air is very dangerous. Overspray can land on your plants, roof, or even your neighbor’s car if the wind picks it up.

Because of this, flushing and sanitizing is an additional time-consuming process. With an electric paint sprayer or your own sprayer rather than a rental device, you’ll also need to perform the cleaning and install special storage fluids.

A gallon or two of spent solvents will be left over after the cleaning process if you’re spraying oil-based products.

It’s still true that an airless spray can save a lot of time and provide a finish that’s practically hard to achieve with brushes when painting large surfaces.

Final Verdict

We’ve been using paint sprayers for a long time, and they’ve shown to be a valuable tool for both professional and amateur painters alike. Many sprayers can be divided into two categories: those that use air and those that don’t.

The speed and precision with which airless sprayers are able to apply their fluids are pretty astounding. Pumps, motors, tips, and hoses all contribute to the overall performance of an airless paint sprayer.

Using the information provided above, you may not only determine which type of airless sprayer is best for your upcoming project, but you’ll also have a better understanding of how it works.

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