Tips For Painting With An Air Compressor

If you are trying to spray paint using an air compressor and a paint gun, you have the ability to complete the task with a professional look. Spraying paint looks easy enough, but it can take years of practice to end up with the luster and shine you are after. The tips here will help get the job done right, even if it's your first time doing it.

Spread the Sanding

A well prepped area lays the foundation for a professional spray job. When you sand the area, be sure to leave plenty of room on the surrounding edges of the area to be sanded. As you work your way up to a finer grit each time you sand the area, be sure to "feather" it outside the edges a bit more each time. The feathering process is just a light sanding that blurs the edges a bit so it isn't obvious where the work was done. The act of sanding it in the first place will help the paint adhere better, since it lands in the grooves of the sanding marks.

Use Smart Positioning

Never hold your spray gun over the top of the work you are painting. Spray guns sometimes build up paint on the nozzles and can drip on the work you're doing. The air hose might also have some condensation in it that could drip on the piece. This would turn your smooth spray into a runny mess. Rather than holding the gun directly over the top of a piece, spray from the outside edge and just use more passes to develop your layers.

Increase Your Passes

When you are using a spray gun and air compressor to paint your work, it can take multiple passes to make it look just the way you want it to. The lighter you go, the finer you can make the mist. This means more passes, but it also means a smoother job with less chance of any paint runs.

Run a Test Pass

In order to adjust your nozzle accordingly, always do a test pass with the paint gun, even if you just used it. This pass will help you see if you need to reduce the air pressure or adjust the flow of the nozzles for the kind of mist you need. Keep a piece of cardboard or something similar around for you to do the test passes on rather than doing them on the part you are working on.

Always take good care of your compressor and your paint gun. Cleanliness is key here, even with the compressor. Be sure to drain the condensation from the compressor as needed in order to avoid having issues with water in your paint or drips from the gun. For more information about air compressors, visit