Can You Spray Stain With An Airless Sprayer?

Spraying stain with an airless sprayer may be a myth because hand spraying is typically taken better for applying stain. However, airless spraying is more efficient and faster when it comes to applying sealer or polyurethane.

Although a paintbrush can be used to apply the stain, a sprayer does it quickly and eliminates brush strokes reducing both the time and cost of the project.

Spraying oil-based stains with an airless sprayer is very easy and effective because they don’t clog up like a regular paint sprayer.

When spraying a stain, it is usually best to use a paint sprayer for large areas and an airless sprayer, such as the Graco 3X50, for smaller areas.

What Is An Airless Sprayer?

An airless sprayer is an electronic sprayer, run by a hydraulic pump that moves paint from a container, into a hose by means of a tube. The paint reaches to spray gun, and, finally, the surface

In other words, a painting technique that simplifies the painting process and pumps the paint under high pressure, (approximately 3000 PSI), using a particular hose into a small hole in the nozzle of the sprayer.


An airless sprayer is a popular and effective tool for painting everything from furniture to the siding. But what about spraying stains with a pump sprayer?

This article will explore how and when you can use an airless sprayer for spraying stains and how to find the right size Graco spray tip for your stain sprayer.

What Size Of Tip Can Be Used To Spray Stain With Airless Sprayer?

It is important to make sure that the tip size of the airless sprayer is at least 1.2 millimeters or bigger in order to avoid clogging the pump during operation.


When you apply thinner materials like stains and enamels, the smaller tip size is always preferred for your airless sprayer. But if you apply thicker materials like the exterior, latex, and oil-based paints, you need to use a larger size tip.

The larger tip hole allows more material to leave and run the gun faster.

How To Spray Stain With An Airless Sprayer?

When you start spraying the stain with an airless sprayer, you have to follow the following steps.

Step #1: Set Up The Sprayer

Using an airless sprayer, focus on a few preliminary key setup points. Clean your gun as most guns have a removable filter near the pump. Then adjust your gun properly according to the type of paint and nature of your project.

  • Adjust hose pipe
  • Adjust the pressure
  • Adjust the nozzle
  • Fix & Adjust the right tip

Step #2: Mix The Paint Well

Mix up the latex paint and stain together. Add 1 teaspoon of water for every quart of latex paint and colorant, as needed.

Store the mixture in a 5-gallon bucket for protection from sunlight and rain.

Step #3: Stir The Mixed Paint Thoroughly

Before applying paint to your project surface stir it well so that you don’t end up clogging. Spraying oil-based stain with an airless sprayer, you need to apply a test coat first then a finish coat.

Step #4: Spraying Techniques

Keep your surface at the level of the gun, pull the trigger and first start from the edges. Move your gun from top to bottom; keep the proper speed to avoid over spraying.

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Step #5: Cleaning The Gun After Every Use

When you finish your spraying work, disassemble the outer parts of the gun, and wash them using thinner so that the paint may not clog into the nozzle and cause damage

How To Clean A Paint Sprayer After Using Stain?

Cleaning your spray gun is very necessary for the proper maintenance of the tool. You have to follow the instructions given below;

  • #1: Lock the trigger and switch off the button
  • #2: Hold strongly the metal part of the gun to the metal pail
  • #3: Disassemble the gun part smoothly
  • #4: Clean the pump carefully
  • #5: Clean the hose pipe & gun box from both sides
  • #6: Clean the filters, tip guard with flushing fluid, and soft bristle brush, and check them for any damage
  • #7: Wash your sprayer with a rag soaked in water

Precaution Of Using Airless Sprayer

When you Spray Stain with an Airless Sprayer, always take some necessary precautions;

  1. #1: Set up the tool properly
  2. #2: Prepare the liquid well for smooth spraying
  3. #3: Take all protective measures to avoid any physical or martial loss
  4. #4: Choose the right place, time, and weather for work
  5. #5: Perform your spraying task away from flammable material


What can be used to clean a paint gun?

For cleaning spray guns, you can use any automotive-grade lacquer thinner. These paint thinners are found easily at any hardware store.

Which is the best technique to apply stain to a deck?

The best technique to apply stain to the deck boards is to use a paint pad applicator fixed to a pole. Apply a coat of stain; if there are cracks on the surface, use a paintbrush to stain on the cracked area.

Can I use an airless sprayer to spray oil-based paint?

Yes, you can use an airless sprayer to spray oil-based paint because an airless sprayer can save your time when painting larger projects. The sprayer also allows you to get a smooth finish that’s impossible to get with a brush.


Airless paint sprayers are good for areas that are too large to suit a small pump sprayer, and they can also be used outdoors. They can use the same thick paints that are typically used in a brush or roller.

Spraying stain with a pump sprayer is good for oil-based stains. It is better to use a pump-sprayer as it handles oil-based products more efficiently.

But the pump-sprayer is not recommended for water-based stains, because the pumping action can cause the product to settle on the nozzle and clog up the tip.

The amount of liquid is determined by the sprayer’s capacity and how much stain you can apply in one pass. Pump sprayers are typically used for indoor tasks, such as spraying molding compounds or varnishes.


Hi, Cristopher here. I have been working in the home improvement industry for the past 15 years, and I have developed strong expertise in spray guns and paint sprayers. I have a deep understanding of how these tools work and how to get the best results from them. In addition to my practical knowledge, I am also running this website dedicated to sharing tips and tricks for using spray guns and paint sprayers.

John Smith

John Smith is a professional artist and painter with over 10 years of experience using spray guns in his artwork. He has been featured in various exhibitions and galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He is also a passionate educator, having taught painting techniques and spray gun usage to art students at the university level. In addition, he has authored several books on painting and is a regular contributor to art magazines.

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