What is airless spray painting?
By using an airless spraying system, we’re able to produce a glass-smooth layer of coating over surfaces that you would think would be near impossible to cover. This technique is much more practical than using a brush or roller.
A brief history lesson…
It was in 1892 that Francis Davis Millet was said to have created a basic spray-painting device, while Edward Seymour advanced the technique into an aerosol form.
Modern day painters use a large variety of different systems when applying paint. However, we just divide them into two types, the air sprayers and the airless sprayers.
So, let’s start with air sprayers. This technique pushes compressed air into a liquid paint so that it gets broke up into tiny droplets. This method is called atomisation, which is basically pumping high pressure into fluid through a nozzle, which perfect for airless spraying!
With all the airless sprayers on the market, they all have similar features in common. How? Well, an airless sprayer has a pump that forces up through a hose and out through a spray gun. The paint flow is controlled by a pressure level and a tip at the end of the nozzle.
Why use an airless sprayer?
- It’s a versatile technique – You can use an airless sprayer in exteriors as well as interiors, while also using it for a variety of different projects (metal roofs, roller shutter doors, walls etc.)
- Ideal for onsite spraying – These systems can be transported pretty easily, as they’re not too heavy.
- Complete projects quickly – If you want a project completed as soon as possible, then using an airless spraying system is the way to go. Paint can be applied four times quicker than that of a brush and twice as fast as a roller!
- Perfect for difficult surfaces – A layer of paint produced by an airless sprayer is able to lay paint on any sort of surface, even if it’s rough or damaged.
- Limits the amount of coats – Because the coating is thick, not as many coats are needed, which saves time and we all know that time saves money, bonus!
- It’s compatible with any paint – Whether it’s a paint that contains metallic particles or a water based paint, any sort of paint can be added to an airless gun.
How do you work an airless spray painting system?
In order to achieve atomisation, the pressure that’s put into the paint has to be pretty strong. So, without the pressure, we don’t achieve atomisation, and without atomisation… Well, you’d get a large mass of paint getting sprayed onto the wall instead of tiny droplets.
When paint is pushed through the hose and out the minute hole in the tip of the spray gun, the air breaks the spray into small droplets that give the wall that glass-smooth finish!
You can control the amount of liquid that exits the gun by the sort of nozzle you’re using.
Airless Spraying Tips
With one airless spray system comes a great range of spray guns. Airless spray guns come with a large variety of interchangeable gun tips, which are graded by the size of the orifice. It’s important that for every job we have to decide which one will be best for the job. By doing this, we’re not applying too much paint or too little paint, it means we can get a happy medium!
How do we decide which gun tip will be most suitable? Well, if we were working with things like stains and enamel, we’d go for a light coatings of spray, so a smaller tip. However, for things like latex, we’d want a thicker coat, so a bigger tip.