Proper Spraying Techniques


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Figure 2: Always hold the spray-gun perpendicular to the vertical surface.
Figure 3: Maintain the same distance from the surface during spraying.
Figure 4: Do not bend your wrist when spraying or the result will be an uneven coating.
Figure 5: Spraying too close causes rebound and pushes the coating around and the thick "waves" then run or sag.
Figure 6: Spraying too far away creates uneven sheen and a dull, powdery finish.

It is critical to maintain proper technique during spraying; failure to do often results in less than perfect coatings. Take the time to practice until each technique becomes second nature and reproducible.

Cleanliness is Vital to Success

Large spray can spray a lot of product, but beware of unwanted solids that find their way into the mix. Many commercial products can have a percentage of “stuff” in them, that isn’t great for your gun to try and spray out. One dried paint chip can grind your production to a screeching halt. When using smaller nozzled guns to spray smooth coatings, it’s wise to strain the material through disposable paint filters sold at most paint stores.

With all of the spraying you are going to do, there is going to be a lot of dirt, dust and other debris being kicked up in the space. Prior to spraying, get the push broom out and remove as much as possible. Wipe down the surface you plan to spray.

Holding the Spray Gun

It is important to know what happens when you adjust the angle of the gun to the surface to be coated. The spray gun should be perpendicular to the wall (Figure 2). Angling the gun downward causes overspray towards the floor, and upward angles result in overspray towards the ceiling. In turn, that will mean heavier paint buildup at the shorter distance. Keep your gun even (Figure 3) whenever possible.

Maintain a parallel gun stance.

Never bend your wrist, but rather move your entire arm, even your entire body towards the direction you need to spray (Figure 4).

When you spray, focus on keeping this correct angle between the gun and the surface. It will make a big different in the evenness of the coating.

When the gun moves, the body follows. It’s a good practice to rock back and forth from one foot to the other and transitioning your weight towards where you spray.

Maintain the proper distance.

If you have paired up the right kind of spray equipment with the right product to spray, and the air pressure is properly set, most conventional and HVLP sprayguns will yield the most consistent coating between 6 to 8 inches. Airless and texture guns might require further distances of 12 inches or more. Consult the instructions for the spray equipment before starting.

The spraying distance is just as critical as the proper angle. If you spray too close, too much product is applied in one area, and runs and sags develop because the product is so thin (in most cases) and doesn’t have time to set up before gravity causes it to sag (Figure 5).

Likewise, if you spray too far away from the surface, product can often dry in the air, and by the time it hits the surface, it’s no longer a liquid (Figure 6). The result is a dull, powdery effect, and can turn a glossy product into an uneven semi-gloss layer.

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