How Does A Paint Sprayer Work? (Ultimate Guide)

A paint sprayer is one of the best tools to use when you want to get all painting projects done efficiently and quickly.

There are two main types of paint sprayers to choose from, including the airless paint sprayer and an HVLP.

Both have benefits, but it can depend on how much you want to spend and what painting project needs to get done.

In our guide, we are going to discuss how a paint sprayer works so you can save a lot of time and make any painting job look amazing.

What Exactly Is A Paint Sprayer? 

A paint sprayer is a great device to use when you want to paint quickly.

A paint sprayer is a device that can be used to apply varnish, paint, enamel, or other liquid solutions onto a chosen surface.

Thanks to the mechanism that helps to finely disperse the liquid, the layer will end up thin and smooth, with a minimum of smudges that show up on the surface as well.  

This device is a lot of fun to use because it allows the user to quickly and easily get the painting done, even in the corners and other hard-to-reach areas.  

flexio 300 sprayer

While they could choose to paint with a brush and a roller, these take a long time to get the work done. The paint sprayer will help get the work done in a fraction of the time. 

Airless Paint Sprayer (Overview & How It Works) 

The airless paint sprayer is designed out of several components to make it easier to use. This helps to add in the pressure and keeps it working well too.

Some of the different components of the airless paint sprayer include:

  • The gun
    This will be the control mechanism while also delivering the paint. The user can rely on this to regulate the amount of paint being used. 
  • The tip
    The tip of the airless paint sprayer will control the amount and size of the paint that goes onto the surface you want to paint. You should pick the right one. There are different shapes and sizes, so research which one will work for your project. 
  • The hose
    The hose is going to be a passage for the paint to move along from the container to the nozzle. The high pressure of the paint sprayer will help get the paint out of the device. 
  • The pump
    There are two forms of pumps that are found with the airless paint sprayer. These include the piston pump, which is good for thicker paints, and the diaphragm pumps for high volume transfers of the paint.

To use an airless paint sprayer, you first need to turn on the device which will utilize the pump to trigger the paint to come out.

It does not rely on air compared to the other sprayers, so you will not need an air source either.

This can make it more portable, but the pressure will need to be higher to help get the paint out of the reservoir and out the nozzle of the paint sprayer.  

Wagner 0525032 Power Painter Max Airless Paint Sprayer

Why Choose An Airless Paint Sprayer? (Is It Worth It?) 

The airless paint sprayer is a good option to choose for making a paint job as easy as possible. Some of the benefits of choosing an airless paint sprayer versus an HVLP model include: 

Time Efficiency & Large Coverage Area 

When the customer needs to cover a larger area quickly, the airless paint sprayer is the best option.

The higher pressure allows the user to take it anywhere, and it can paint rapidly, making it more efficient.

It may not do as well on some of the finer details, like for cupboards and furniture, but the pressure is perfect for helping you paint a large area in no time.  

Even Application Coating 

The airless paint sprayer is a good choice for those who want to get an even coating when applying the paint to the wall or another surface.

Once you get the pressure down for this tool, you can even get an even coat of paint done very quickly. Make any room look amazing at a much faster rate than using the HVLP paint sprayer.  

Easily Adjustable & Convenient To Use

Since the airless paint sprayer has its own motor to push out the paint, you do not need to be hooked up to an air supply to use it.

This makes it more portable and adjustable compared to the HVLP sprayer. This one may have a higher pressure, which is hard for some beginners to control, but it is really convenient to use.  

HVLP Paint Sprayer (Overview & How It Works) 

The HVLP paint sprayer is a device that is going to spray paint out at a pressure that the user is able to direct and control. This helps provide a smooth and consistent finish to any surface in a fraction of the time it takes to use a roller or a paintbrush.  

Unlike some traditional spray guns, the HVLP paint sprayer will use a lot of air at a low pressure to help apply the paint to the area you want.

Using the lower pressure is useful because there will be less overspray or other issues that the higher pressure systems will have.  

Two methods can be used to help achieve the benefits of the HVLP spray gun. One is to go with a turbine system, a hose, and a spray gun.

The second is to get a conversion gun. The latter will need a powerful compressor, so it is not as effective to use.  

When you use a turbine system, you may need to thin the paint to counteract some of the warm air that is produced at the time.

In this system, the spray gun, hose, and turbine will all be able to play a role in how well the paint sprayer will work. These turbines can come in either single-stage or two-stage turbines.

The more stages, the higher the air pressure and the airflow. If you want to do a stain or varnish, you need the three-stage turbine.  

Overall, this is a great paint sprayer that will get the work done. It uses low pressure and air to help get the job done, leaving a good finish without the waste and the other problems that an airless paint sprayer will have.  

Using Paint Sprayer On A Chair

Why Choose An HVLP Paint Sprayer? 

There are a number of benefits to choosing the HVLP paint sprayer for your home. Some of the benefits of choosing this paint sprayer over some of the others include: 

Reduced Overspray 

The overspray is less on the HVLP paint sprayer. This helps reduce the amount of mess around the home as you paint a room. It can also reduce the waste that you see.

The lower pressure helps keep the overspray down to a minimum, giving a smooth and clean finish.  

Health & Safety 

Since the HVLP paint sprayer will rely on less pressure, it is often safer to use.

The user will not have to worry about high amounts of pressure when they turn on the sprayer, making it more effective, especially for beginners.

The reduced overspray will prevent issues with paint splattering and causing health conditions as well.  

Quicker Painting & Quality Finish 

The HVLP paint sprayer makes it easier to paint any room or item that you would like. Compared to using a brush or a roller, you can paint the room in just a few minutes.

Since the HVLP sprayer is going to rely on air to go with the pressure, the finish is high-quality and looks nice once the paint has time to dry.  

Lower Cost 

Customers who choose to use an HVLP paint sprayer will find that the price of this tool is less than some of the other paint sprayers.

This makes it a good investment if you plan to paint quite a bit and want to save money. The user will just need to clean out the HVLP sprayer thoroughly, or they will clog it up, and it will stop working for them.  

Paint Sprayer Operation FAQs

Can you use any paint in a paint sprayer? 

You can use almost any type of paint that you want in your paint sprayer, including oil based paint. Latex and acrylic are the two most common types.

With the HVLP paint sprayer, it is ideal to thin the paint out a bit since the pressure is less. This prevents the paint from getting stuck.  

Can a beginner use a paint sprayer? 

A beginner is able to use a paint sprayer.

It is a good idea to keep the pressure lower when you start and then build up to higher, rather than starting too harsh and making a mess.

Both types of air sprayers will work nicely for a beginner.  

How much mess do paint sprayers make? 

This will depend on which type of paint sprayer you get.

The airless paint sprayers have a higher psi, which makes them more prone to making a mess all over the place compared to the air paint sprayer.

With both of these, you should consider laying down tape and covering furniture to be safe before spraying. 

What is the difference between an airless and air paint sprayer? 

There are several differences between an airless and an air paint sprayer. One is the portability. The air sprayer has to be hooked up to an air supply, making it less portable.

However, it is better for some of the smaller details that you want to do with your painting, making it a good choice for cupboards and furniture.

The pressure in the airless paint sprayer is also higher than that in an air paint sprayer.  


A paint sprayer is a great option to use for any paint job. It can make it easier to paint the whole room and can provide an even coat that will look amazing for years to come.

Once you decide on which type of paint sprayer you would like to use, you can paint the whole home in a fraction of the time.