There is a simple art to using an airless paint sprayer to paint the exterior of a house. And in some cases the interior. But let’s talk mainly about the exterior of a house in this blog.
Here are the tips we’ll talk about …
How to hold the spray gun:
Contrary to what everyone has heard, It’s better to hold the gun closer to the substrate. About 5-6″ will be just fine. It’s not important if you spray a bit to heavy, because you’re going to back-roll and back-brush what you’ve just sprayed, working the paint into the substrate while you smooth out the paint. This way the coat is consistent. If one just sprays without back-rolling and back-bring, the result is an uneven distribution, and the paint is not massaged into the substrate like it should be, which will give the best protection and he longest life to the paint job.
How to apply the paint on the siding:
The key is to hold the spray gun the same distance from the substrate. When you’re moving your hand don’t fan it from left to right because that’s how you get over-spray. And don’t hold the spray gun 12-16″ away from the substrate, because the wind will blow half the paint away from the substrate causing you to use more material than necessary. Remember, the key is, if you back-roll and back-brush, it doesn’t matter how you apply the paint on the substrate, because you’ll even it out when you back-roll and back-brush. So you can spray “side to side”, ‘up and down”, or in “circles” if you want to get silly. It doesn’t matter, because the process of back-rolling and back-brushing will level the paint and work it into the substrate. Insist that your contractor back-rolls and back-brushes when spraying!
How much paint should be sprayed on the siding?
Spray a generous amount of paint on the substrate. Then use a 4″ mini roller to spread out the paint. Don’t leave it to thick, or two thin. The best rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the roller sleeve. If it starts to get flat you’re rolling to thin. The roller should stay fluffy and sound wet when you’re rolling just the right amount.
What direction should I spray?
It really doesn’t matter until you come up to a corner trim piece, a window, door, soffit, or the foundation. Here’s a trick. Especially coming close to the foundation or a window.
Windows – tilt the gun away from the window on an angle. Better yet, start from the window and spray away from it at an inward angle. This way you won’t get over-spray on the window
The Foundation – When spraying close to the foundation, don’t spray the last coarse of siding. Instead spray the one above it, and spray the paint on heavy. Then use the roller to pickup the paint from the upper coarse, and just roller the last coarse. This way you won’t risk getting spray on the foundation.
Do I need to tape and cover windows, doors, trim, and the foundation because of over-spray?
If you do, than you don’t know how to spray. A good sprayer can actually cut with a sprayer by tilting the sprayer away from the areas that you don’t want to spray. In addition by holding the sprayer closer to the substrate, you not only save paint, but you don’t deal with over-spray. AND you can paint when it’s a bit windier than normal.
Should I back-roll and back-brush or just spray?
ALWAYS !! Insist that you’re contractor back-roll and back-brush. It will add an average of 3-years to the life of your paint job. In addition the paint job will look richer and deeper in color.
Stratos Painting Company Blog Post
Painting Tips, Painting Instruction, Painting Help