A sprayer is helpful if you need to cover a large area with a fresh coat of paint. There are many different ways to use one, too, whether you have large or small painting projects. However, you must ensure you have all the components to make it run correctly.
You’ll need an air compressor for most paint sprayers. The compressor allows you to change the amount of air that travels through the sprayer, determining the flow of the paint. However, you won’t need a compressor for an airless paint sprayer, so make sure you know what kind you have.
In this article, I’ll go over whether or not you need an air compressor for your paint sprayer. I made sure to cover the different types of paint sprayers you might have too. Let’s get started!
Why Paint Sprayers Need Air Compressors?
Paint sprayers often need air compressors to work correctly – unless you use an airless sprayer model.
However, it’s much more likely that you have a compressed air paint sprayer or HVLP sprayer at home than one of those tools.
The sprayer needs the air compressor to atomize the paint and emit it from the nozzle.
This process makes it very easy to cover any surface with color quickly.
The paint wouldn’t atomize without the compressor, so it wouldn’t spray out the nozzle correctly.
“Atomizing the paint” refers to strong air pressure breaking the paint down into smaller parts, so the air can carry it to whatever you spray.
You can then adjust the pressure and airflow, which changes how much pigment comes out in a single spray.
Overall, most paint sprayers won’t work without an air compressor.
They require the compressor to supply a steady stream of air to break up the paint and carry it out of the machine.
What Does a Compressed Air Sprayer Do?
A compressed air sprayer on a paint sprayer sends a stream of air through the device, where it hits the paint. From there, the paint atomizes, allowing it to travel through the paint gun and out the nozzle.
You can change the pressure of the air stream by turning one of the knobs on the sprayer.
Doing so can increase or decrease the airflow, changing how much paint comes out of the device.
You’ll want to adjust it until you get an even coat of pigment without drips or gaps on your test surface.
With most painting projects, you want to have your air compressor set between 25 and 30 psi.
However, you can go up to 40 psi with specific tasks when you need to break the paint down into even smaller particles through atomization.
The higher the pressure, the more color you apply in one spray.
In short, compressed air is there to force the paint out of the sprayer.
It can take some fine-tuning with your tools, but you can achieve an excellent finish every time with the proper pressure settings.
Consider Your Paint Sprayer Type
There are a few kinds of paint sprayers you might encounter. Some of them need an air compressor, while others don’t.
So, you’ll want to know what model of paint sprayer you have first.
These are three of the most common paint sprayer types:
1. Compressed Air Paint Sprayer
These are some of the most common paint sprayers since beginners can easily use them.
They’re also much more cost-efficient than the other types.
However, you will need to use a compressed air canister with this type of sprayer, hence the name.
If you don’t use compressed air with this sprayer, it won’t work at all.
2. Airless Paint Sprayer
While most paint sprayer tools need an air compressor, you don’t need one to make an airless sprayer work.
These tools pull paint right from a container, spraying it without using compressed air.
They can be more convenient when you don’t want to deal with an air compressor.
The airless sprayer is also suitable for quick setup times.
Since you don’t have to deal with a compressor, you can usually start painting immediately.
You won’t be able to hook an air compressor up to an airless one, so there’s no point in buying one for it.
3. HVLP Paint Sprayer
Next, you might have an HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) paint sprayer.
Most of these sprayers need an air compressor to run, although a few models perform like the airless sprayers.
They’re easy to use and don’t waste much paint when used correctly.
However, they can be very costly, and you’re unlikely to have one if you’re not a professional painter.
You can change the pressure of the compressor to set the paint flow.
This feature is excellent for projects where you must alternate between covering huge surfaces efficiently and working on intricate details.
In conclusion, you’ll probably need to use an air compressor with your paint sprayer.
The compressor allows you to set the airflow, which changes how much paint comes out of the nozzle.
Adjusting the speed makes working on different projects easier.
Overall, having an air compressor is convenient for changing the paint flow, something you’ll need to do often with a paint sprayer.