How to Spray A House With A Paint Sprayer | Beginner Guide

If you’re looking to paint the exterior of your house, no matter the type of siding or its condition, the options may seem overwhelming. There are a variety of paints, brushes, rollers, and scrapers to choose from. In recent years, paint sprayers have become a viable option for the home improvement crowd.

Early on, sprayers were prohibitively expensive, used only by professionals; over time, the cost has come down significantly. Also, local hardware or paint stores may be able to rent you any necessary equipment. This article will examine how to spray a house with a paint sprayer, focusing on painting a home’s exterior.

Understand How a Sprayer Works

Advantages of Each Type of Paint Sprayer

A paint sprayer distributes paint through a spray gun through a nozzle. The spray gun, most often, is attached to a source of compressed air. When a trigger on the gun is depressed, compressed air mixes with the paint, creating a mist. This mist is directed through a nozzle towards the area in need of painting.

There are a number of different sized nozzles, which alter the density of the spray. This allows you to deliberately change the consistency of the spray to suit your application. Small spray nozzles are ideal for intricate spraying areas near doors or windows, for example.

Airless Paint Sprayers

Airless paint sprayers have an external reservoir. Users remove the reservoir, fill it with paint, then attach it to the airless spray gun. A flow knob allows you to adjust the density of paint drawn into and through the sprayer. Higher densities lead to a thicker coat of paint. Inside the sprayer, a motor drives a piston.

The piston pulls paint from the reservoir, then into a specialized valve, called an atomizer. Here, the paint is broken into small particles before being passed through the spray nozzle and applied to a surface. A major advantage is cleanup: Add water to the reservoir, then run the sprayer. You’re done!

Additional Tools

Additional Tools

You’re going to need a number of additional tools in order to finish your painting job. To begin, you’ll want a paint scraper and pressure washer to prepare siding and trip. At the tip of the spray gun, you’ll need a variety of spray tips to accommodate different sized surfaces.

For a compressed air paint sprayer, a length of hose attached to an air compressor are essential. Mixing paint will require a bucket or two, stir sticks, and paint or stain in the preferred color. An additional bucket can be used to hold used brushes before cleaning.

Surface preparation requires tape, some use regular masking tape, though there is special painters’ tape, to prevent small or narrow surfaces, like trim, from getting unwanted paint on them. Additionally, tarps or drop cloths come in handy for collecting paint before it hits the ground. A few rags for clean up are highly recommended. Also, it’s helpful to have a variety of brushes on hand for touch up.

A Word About Safety

A Word About Safety

As we emphasize in all our articles, safety is key. What good is home improvement if you’re not around to enjoy it? While painting is fairly safe, you should minimize exposure to your skin. Wear long sleeves that can get dirty, something to cover your head, and safety goggles. In addition, avoid breathing in paint or stain fumes by wearing a mask and, even while outside, ensuring plenty of ventilation.

Be certain that any ladders or scaffolding are in working order before beginning to paint, clearing items away from the house to ensure an uncluttered working area.

Prepare the Surface for Painting

Use the pressure washer to remove any dirt or grime from the existing siding. Start at the top of the house and work down, in sections. If necessary, you can use mild detergent to remove mildew or mold. Use a scraper in places where there is bubbled, cracked, or peeling paint. Caulk and sand any gaps in the siding, replacing pieces of siding as necessary.

Let dry for 24-48 hours. Prepare for painting by taping any edges, such as molding, that you want to remain unpainted. Cover fixed objects near the ground, windows, and flowers with a tarp or sheet of plastic.

Using the Paint Sprayer

Once the exterior is dry, you’re ready to spray! Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple. Mix paint in the larger buckets and fill the air gun reservoir. Attach the appropriate spray tip. Keep the spray tip about 10-14 inches away from the home’s siding, depressing the trigger to begin painting.

Spray lengthwise with the existing siding, going back and forth, being sure to work in sections from the top down. If you’re on a ladder, be certain not to overextend. Leave a few feet of overlap when you move to the next section, working from the wet edge outwards. Use a smaller brush, if desired, when working around tight corners or edges.


After reading this article, we sincerely hope you’re ready to get out there and give it a try. While we covered the basics of painting the exterior of a home with a paint sprayer, we suggest you speak to someone at either a hardware or paint store before undertaking such a large project.

For those of you that have painted homes before, how’d you like our article? What would you add or change? Let us know in the comments below! And, if there’s someone who you think would benefit from this quick painting tutorial, please send her or him our way! We’re here to help!

Garry Harris

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