How To Clean An Airless Paint Sprayer

Your latest DIY home improvement project requires a good deal of painting. The last thing you want to be doing is staying inside for days on end cutting in, recoating, and touching up a single room of paint.

Airless paint sprayers can turn a time-consuming paint project into a breeze, allowing you more time to work on other jobs or spend time doing what you love.

Although a paint sprayer can be much easier to use than your typical paint brushes and rollers, they do require more maintenance and care.

How to Clean an Airless Paint Sprayer

If you don’t clean your airless sprayer properly, it will not stand the test of time. You should aim to clean your paint sprayer as soon as you have finished painting. If you leave your sprayer, the paint will set internally and cause blockages that are difficult to clear.

If this happens, you will have to replace parts of your sprayer which may be hard to find, or replace your sprayer entirely at a greater cost to yourself. Pay attention to what components make up your sprayer and how it all fits together.

This will make it easier for you later when you have to reassemble the paint sprayer. The cap, nozzle, and bottle all have to be cleaned thoroughly.

As airless paint sprayers are pricier than rollers and brushes, you want to make sure that they last you for as long as possible. It can be tricky getting to grips with how to clean your sprayer and all of its components but a little patience and practice makes perfect.

If you take care of your sprayer, it will take care of you. Let’s take a look at the steps to take to clean your airless paint sprayer and keep it in the best condition possible.

Step 1: Preparation

Protective eyewear, masks, and overalls reduce the amount of paint that will get on you. Gloves limit the amount of paint on your skin for easier clean-up. You will also need the correct supplies to hand before cleaning your paint sprayer.

For water-based paint, you can clean your sprayer with water. If you have used solvent-based/oil-based paint, you should clean your sprayer with turpentine or other mineral spirits, in a well-ventilated area.

Disposable cloths, a trash bag, and a brush are also handy to have at hand. It is worth noting that most airless paint sprayers do come with their cleaning guidelines and instructions and they should always be followed.

Step 2: Taking Apart Your Airless Paint Sprayer

The first step of cleaning your sprayer is to dismantle the removable paint bottle and components from the sprayer itself. Always make sure it is disconnected from its power source first.

Step 3: Cleaning The Paint Sprayer & Removing Excess Paint

Scoop out any excess paint from the bottle and then rinse the parts under water until clean. You can use a soft brush to get into difficult nooks for a better clean. Most airless paint sprayers come with small brushes that are ideal for this purpose.

If you have used solvent-based paint, carefully fill a small tub with some mineral spirit and soak your components in there for a minute at most. Prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals may cause damage and should be avoided.

It is important to wear gloves to protect your hands throughout the cleaning process. You can also soak the brush tips in mineral spirit briefly to help shift the paint from your sprayer components in difficult-to-reach areas.

Avoid the use of acetone and other harsh chemicals as they can cause damage to seals and softer materials on the sprayer.

Step 4: Rinse The Components & Leave to Dry

No matter which type of paint and cleaning method you have used, give your components a thorough rinse with water after cleaning (the water should run clear). Leave them to dry in a suitable location and reassemble your sprayer once they are fully dry.

While you are waiting for them to dry, give the main body of your paint sprayer a wipe down. Make sure there are not any areas of the sprayer that have a build-up of paint in them as this may cause issues if leftover time.

Step 5: Reassemble Your Airless Paint Sprayer

Be sure to reassemble your airless paint sprayer correctly. If the parts are reinstalled incorrectly, they may get jammed and cause damage to other components.

Remember to always ensure that all of the components are completely dry first, and then store your sprayer safely until you need it next time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are airless paint sprayers worth it?

You can pick up airless paint sprayers for decent prices and they will serve you well as long as you take care of them.

They provide an even coat and reduce your painting time dramatically. They can usually be used on a variety of projects from painting internal and external walls to spraying furniture.

Do you have to clean airless paint sprayers every time?

Yes, for best results and to prolong the lifespan of your sprayer, you need to clean it after every use before the paint has a chance to dry.

This is the easiest time for you to clean your sprayer and requires the least amount of elbow grease, whilst ensuring your sprayer stays in optimum condition.

Are airless paint sprayers messy?

Finding the right paint sprayer for your job reduces the mess they make. Try a lower-pressure model for indoor jobs. Make sure you use masking tape, furniture and floor coverings, and masks where appropriate.

You want to make sure you are in a well-ventilated space, especially if you are using a solvent-based space. Just make sure that there isn’t a strong breeze as this can change the course of the spray and make the paint go on unwanted surfaces.

Can you rent airless paint sprayers?

It is possible to rent airless paint sprayers and may turn out to be more cost-effective if you only have a small project that it is needed for.

This method works best for outdoor projects where you need a more powerful, industrial-grade paint sprayer. You may also prefer to rent a paint sprayer if you are limited in storage space.

Are airless paint sprayers easy to use?

While paint sprayers are easy to use, it is always worth reading the instructions and watching some instructional videos online before starting your project.

Also, take the time to make sure you have the right sprayer for your needs. High-volume, low-pressure paint sprayers are a better option for indoor projects as they create less mess.

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