How Does An Airless Paint Sprayer Work?

Man has been very fond of painting and decorating the things around him. Many techniques and tools were being used in the past. The brush and roller were very famous in the painting Industry. But with the passage of time, the rapid arrival of technology changed the scenario.

In 1892, the first painting device was invented by Francis David which was modified by Edward Seymour later. After that different types of sprayers were invented.

You can mainly classify them into two groups according to the structure and functions of these sprayers; air sprayers and airless sprayers.

What Is Airless Paint Sprayer?

It is a painting device that works by pumping without any air compressor.

When using a pump great pressure is built to atomize the paint, the paint comes out of the gun through a nozzle and lands on the surface with great force.

Then it sticks there in an even and smooth way that looks like a fine decoration.

The airless paint sprayer has a small hole in the tip of the gun that allows the tiny droplets of paint to pass through.

Airless Paint Sprayer,

So there are two main factors the tip size and the pressure which determine its function. The paint pumps out through the nozzle with high pressure and creates fine spray patterns.

These airless sprayers are used as an Industry standard for doing a professional job of painting.

They can handle the large painting areas and a huge amount of paint necessary to accomplish your painting jobs.

They have the capacity to deal with different paint viscosities providing perfect paint coating results.

What Are The Main Types Of Airless Sprayers?

Decorators and professional painters always suggest airless sprayers because they are the fastest guns for larger projects with a smooth finishing touch.

They recommend different airless guns found in the market with various uses.  Here are some types of airless sprayers.

  • Handheld Airless Sprayers
  • Cart Airless Sprayers
  • Stand Airless Sprayers

#1. Handheld Airless Sprayers

A handheld airless sprayer is a small edition of a bigger power tool perfect for dyers. They keep a little amount of paint and use a battery to power their motor.

Handheld Airless Sprayers

  • Brand: Graco
  • Style: HP20 Cordless
  • Material: ‎‎‎Disinfectant Sprayer
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 8 x 13 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 11.6 Pounds

They are portable but don’t have the capacity to handle larger projects.

#2. Cart Airless Sprayers

Cart Airless Sprayers are run by a motor. The tank of the spray gun is kept on the wheels and it can be moved where you want to work.

Graco Magnum 262805 X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer

  • Brand: Graco
  • Tank Volume: 5 Gallons
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Color: Grey
  • Item Weight: 26 Pounds

#3. Stand Airless Sprayers

Stand Airless Sprayers are guns that are kept on a stand. They are powerful and largest guns with long hoses.

These hoses can be stretched to the workplace without moving the gun.

Graco 17D163 Pro210ES Stand Airless Paint Sprayer

  • Brand: Graco
  • Style: HP20 Cordless
  • Material: ‎‎‎Disinfectant Sprayer
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 8 x 13 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 11.6 Pounds

How Does An Airless Paint Sprayer Work?

When you think over the working principles of a spray gun, you will find that almost all paint sprayers work on the same principle.

So the airless paint sprayer turns the fluid mixture of paint into a large number of tiny droplets (atomized) and then sprayed on the desired surface with pressure.

This function is performed with different techniques according to the specification of the gun.

If you are a professional painter, you should necessarily know the airless paint sprayer working principles.

The airless paint sprayer has a motor used to power its diaphragm pump or other similar to it which builds up great pressure within the fluid of paint.

When the paint is squeezed together, it completely becomes an aerosol and is then forced to come out through the tip of the gun in the shape of tiny droplets and lands on the surface. So this is the airless paint sprayer working principle.

The Main Parts Of The Airless Spray Gun

Here are the main parts of the airless spray gun;

  1. A hose
  2. A tip
  3. A nozzle
  4. A gun
  5. A pump (Piston Pump, Diaphragm Pump) valves
  6. The drip cap etc.

All these parts perform different tasks according to the spraying needs.

Process Of Working Of Paint Spray Gun

Now let’s have a detailed view of the process of how does a paint sprayer work?

  • #1: First of all clean the complete inside of the pump before priming, and then place the suction tube right into the material bucket. Now turning the prime valve and switching on the pump, you can wait until the paint starts coming.
  • #2: Now hold the gun above the bucket and pull the trigger. Setting the valve let the airless gun go to start flowing paint.
  • #3: Adjust the pressure setting of the airless sprayer; increase the pressure gradually until you get the desired spray pattern you want.
  • #4: Now start spraying as a test on some waste surfaces unless you get the actual position. It means that you may learn the right way of moving the gun from left to right and top to toe.
  • #5: When you have finished spraying, clean the pump with oil, water, or cloth so that paint may not dry and block the gun. Keep the spray gun in a good position to avoid any inconvenience in the future.
  • #6: The size of the tip of the spray gun determines the quantity of the fluid to release. So for painting different surfaces, you need the tip of the gun with different holes.

Advantages Of Airless Paint Sprayer

If you are a professional painter, you may know everything about these guns. But if you are a beginner, you should know how an airless paint sprayer works. There are the following advantages of airless spray guns.

  • #1: These spray guns are useful for both large and small painting jobs.
  • #2: They are portable and can be easily carried where you want to work.
  • #3: The paint sprayers are versatile in nature and can be used to complete all indoor and outdoor projects.
  • #4: The paint sprayers can paint metal roofs, wooden doors, and many recoating projects.
  • #5: These guns can save almost 75% of time and labor working at a faster speed.
  • #6: The paint airless sprayers can cover large surfaces rapidly and efficiently.
  • #7: The paint airless sprayers don’t leave any spots and cover the entire surface evenly.
  • #8: They make thick layers saving time, material, and pain.
  • #9: The paint airless sprayers can spray all types of oil paint, water paint, primer, etc.


After learning how airless paint sprayers work, you must follow some necessary precautionary measures.

  • #1: The workplace should be neat and clean
  • #2: There should be fine and supporting weather
  • #3: The nozzle, tank, and tip of the gun should be adjusted properly
  • #4: The paint should be mixed properly
  • #5: Wear a mask on the face and glasses on the eyes
  • #6: Cover your head with a cloth or a cap
  • #7: Wear gloves on your hands and shoes on your foot
  • #8: Unplug the sprayer while making adjustments
  • #9: Test the sprayer on a rough sheet or board
  • #10: Always wash the gun with oil or water after use

This video tutorial will give you a more complete understanding of how the Airless Paint Sprayer works.

YouTube video

Frequently Asked Questions

Do airless paint sprayers consume more paint?

Yes, these guns use approximately 40% more paint than a brush or roller.

Is it suitable to leave paint in the airless sprayer after finishing work?

No, it is not suitable to leave paint in an airless sprayer after work. You should finish the paint and wash the gun otherwise the paint will dry and block the gun.

Can the airless sprayer be used for indoor projects?

Yes, they can be used but actually, they are appropriately used and best for outdoor projects like decks, fences, siding, and other large projects


Airless paint sprayers are very commonly used guns for all types of projects and spraying all types of paints. The pump, tips motors, and hoses are the main components of these guns.

The use of these airless paint sprayers has made the painting Industry a well-modernized and technological-based Industry. So airless paint sprayers are excellent devices.


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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