Introduction to Spraying Terms


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Figure 1: This graphic shows a side view of particles being sprayed onto a substrate.

After learning about the general paint guns and set up for spraying (see spraying 101), it’s time to move onto spraying technique. First, it’s important to understand some common spraying terms (Figure 1):



  • Substrate is whatever you are applying product onto.
  • It could be the wall, or more specifically unprimed drywall, or it could be wooden kitchen cabinets.


  • Overspray means product that is sprayed beyond the intended substrate.
  • It can be product that simply sprays past the object - never quite making it to the intended surface – usually ending up floating around until it lands somewhere else.
  • Overspray can travel a surprising distance from where you are working, so cover anything nearby that could be ruined by overspray.

Off-Spray Rebound

  • Off-Spray Rebound is product that hits the surface but bounces back towards the sprayer.


  • Fallout is product that falls downward due to gravity.
  • It could be the sprayer was too far away from the surface, or it could be the spray droplets were too big and gravity forced them downward towards the floor.
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