How to Properly Prepare For and Use an Electric Paint Sprayer

electric paint sprayer

Learning how to use an electric paint sprayer can look just as convoluted as a science experiment, but trust us when we tell you that paint sprayers really help accelerate the time it takes to paint a room. Using a paint sprayer ensures a nice, smooth coat of paint on your walls due to the capabilities of the sprayer in question.

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your current one, you would love to get the painting done as quickly as possible, but using an electric paint sprayer will definitely take some getting used to.

Thankfully, we have a step by step tutorial for how to get started with your electric paint sprayer from preparation to execution. Be sure to follow along as you proceed to set up your sprayer so that you can get to spraying much faster.

Here is a list of required items that you will need while setting up your electric paint sprayer:

  • Paint - We prefer five gallon cans of paint because they will save you the most time and money in this process.
  • Water or thinner - For water-based paint, choose water. For oil-based paint, choose paint thinner. Water-based paint will usually have a richer consistency than oil-based paint.
  • Painter’s coveralls - Wear coveralls that you do not mind getting stained with paint.
  • Safety glasses - Wear safety glasses every time you use a paint sprayer.
  • Gloves - Wear gloves to keep your hands protected from paint every time you spray.
  • Paper mask - A paper mask goes around your nose and mouth while painting.
  • Cloth - You will need cloth for cleaning the sprayer.
  • Newspaper - Newspaper is so that no paint spills onto your floors. Have it completely cover where you stand as you paint your walls. You will also need newspaper to help mask windows and apply test sprays.
  • Masking Tape - This tape ensures that paint does not drop into corners and will stay on the wall.
  • Stick - This is used for mixing paint.
  • Bucket - Buy a cheap, disposable bucket because you may not be able to re-use it after this project. This will be for mixing your paint with your solvent.
  • Old draperies - These should be used to cover furniture that cannot be removed from the room.

Now that you have everything you need, you are ready to begin.

Step by Step Instruction for Using a Paint Sprayer

Steps 1 - Protect the areas you do not want to paint

This is a very messy job, so it is important that you do not overlook every single area that could get even one drop of paint on it. Place newspaper down on floors and carpet right underneath each place that you will spray your paint. Plastic film also works too, but newspaper is more durable.

Move any furniture out of the room. If some furniture cannot be moved, cover it with old draperies. Even if the furniture is several feet away from your painting, the paint can still manage to land on the furniture in speckled particles.

Apply masking tape to lips, bevels, frames, corners and other fine areas where you may not want any paint to be. If you have wall decor of another material you do not want to paint, or you would like some areas of the wall to be painted in other colors, masking tape will work out well in these situations.

If you have windows in your room, you can tape newspaper to them to protect them from getting paint on them. Unless you are painting the door, you might want to consider removing the door so that you are able to paint effectively around it.

Step 2 - Prepare your paint

Depending on whether or not your paint is oil or water based, mix your paint with the right solvent (either water or paint thinner) in a clean waste bucket. There may be instructions that you can follow by the paint manufacturer as well, for how to mix your paint.

Be sure that you stir the paint and solvent thoroughly with your stick for mixing paint. Also be sure that the right amount of paint and solvent is in the concoction. A mixture with too much water will drip and splatter easily. A mixture with too much paint will be too hard to spray.

If you are painting with more than one color, you will need to prepare the other colors separately. Use different supplies for extra colors; never use the same bucket or stick.

Step 3 - Get dressed to spray

Paint is not only messy, but toxic as well. You can buy a painting uniform to go over your entire body and clothes, so that you are protected from head to toe. Especially if you are using oil based paint, the paint will hard to get off your clothes and out of your hair.

Painter’s coveralls are available at your local home improvement store. They have sleeves, pant legs and hoods so that most of your body is protected, except for your face. Most coveralls are available in white.

Wear a pair of safety glasses so that no paint gets in your eyes. Strap your paper mask around your nose and mouth so that you do not infale any toxic fumes from the paint. The paper mask can also keep paint from getting into any facial hair that you may have.

Put on old gloves that you do not mind getting paint on them. They should have a strong grip to them, so that the paint sprayer does not have the chance to fall out of your hands.

Step 4 - Load your electric paint sprayer

Prime the sprayer with the right amount of solvent for the paint that you are using. Spray the solvent with the paint sprayer at the lowest setting to test it.

Next, detach the hopper of the paint sprayer and fill it with the concoction that you have mixed previously. If you have a large capacity paint sprayer, you can fill its hopper using a tube that it comes with.

When the hopper is filled, secure it back onto the paint sprayer and insert the tip of the spray in and well. Make sure that everything is secure.

Step 5 - Spray with the paint sprayer

Now you are ready to paint. Always test your spray paint on newspaper first, in order to know what to expect before you apply the paint to the wall.

Be sure that when you spray, hold the paint sprayer in between one to two feet from the wall it is facing. Holding the sprayer very close up will result in a bigger spray pattern, but you will get plenty of drippage. Holding the sprayer too far away will result in a fuzzier texture than normal, as well as uneven coating.

Try to keep the gun pointed directly at the wall as much as you can, and keep it parallel. Try not to point it upwards or downwards, as well as tilting or angling it. To ensure the best spray, it must be perfectly parallel to the wall that you are spraying.

Paint each wall in sections, from left to right (or right to left if you prefer). For each section, start from the top and work your way down, as if you were using a paint roller instead. Once you are done with one section, move onto the section right next to it. There are no visual aides that can help you in this step, so create a mental image to define one section from another.

This will make sure that you have the thickest and most even coatings possible.

This will only be the first coat, however. After the first coat, wait for about two hours for your walls to dry. Then give it another coat.

Step 6 - Post project cleanup.

After painting is completed, pour the contents of your leftover paint back into its can.

Clean out the hopper of the paint sprayer with either water or paint thinner, whichever type of paint you used. Take the paint sprayer apart as much as you can before cleaning each part with water and cloth.

Wait for several hours, or even overnight, until you remove newspaper, masking tape, and any drapery. Be sure to remove the tape carefully when dried, so that you do not mar the walls or leave behind any irregular marks. If you notice any marks that leave behind the wall’s original color, you can try to paint them in manually with a small brush.


That is how to undergo a spray painting project, for those that want to use an electric paint sprayer for the first time. By learning how to spray paint in a proper way, you now know what you need to do to paint a whole room in a short amount of time with no complications.

Did you enjoy this review? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below. We’re happy to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Garry Harris

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