7 Common Paint Sprayer Problems & Their Solutions

Paint sprayers are the most common tool for DIY and professional painting jobs. They are much more efficient and are easier to use than traditional brushes and rollers. The caveat of using a paint sprayer over rollers and brushes is the possibility of hardware malfunctions.

Some of the most common paint sprayer problems are overspray, fluttering, pressure and trigger issues, and the paint sprayer not starting. These problems are common with any paint sprayer and will need to be addressed before you will have proper use of your device.

This guide will provide you with valuable information regarding common paint sprayer problems and offer some solutions to help you resolve and avoid these types of problems in the future.

Common Paint Sprayer Problem

Common paint sprayer problems include overspray, coating issues, and trigger and pressure problems. All of these common issues and a few more will be discussed in detail in the list below. You should use this information to help you identify and resolve any issues that you are currently experiencing with your paint sprayer.

1. Overspray

Paint sprayers commonly experience problems with overspray, which will cause a mess and waste valuable paint. Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of overspray. Due to the pressure used when breaking up the paint in your sprayer, some degree of overspray is to be expected.

That being said, there are some things you can do to lower the level of overspray exhibited by your paint sprayer. You should first ensure that you are applying the right amount of pressure that is appropriate for what you are painting.

If you are using more pressure than is necessary, this will add to the overspray that you experience. Because of this, it is important to use the proper pressure rating when using your paint sprayer. This will keep the overspray to a minimum and save paint in the process.

2. Coating Not Breaking Up Properly

Paint sprayers commonly have trouble with the coating not breaking up properly, leading to large globs of paint instead of an even layer. The most common cause of coating not breaking up properly is poor atomization.

Atomization is the process that takes place when the inlet pressure feeds fluid to the tip of your paint sprayer. Atomization depends on the right sprayer tip size as well as the right amount of pressure to occur properly.

Atomization paint

You should consider changing the tip or adjusting the pressure to encourage the atomization process to occur correctly and break the paint up properly.

3. Fluttering

Paint sprayers also commonly have issues with fluttering, which causes the paint flow to be uneven and inconsistent when dispersed from the tip of the sprayer. Fluttering is typically caused by a loose paint sprayer tip.

You should use a wrench with the proper attachments to tighten the tip of your paint sprayer if you are having fluttering issues. If this does not fix your problem, then you are likely experiencing fluttering issues due to a clogged or damaged air distribution ring.

You can remove and replace the ring yourself with the proper tools. Keep in mind, that you will not be able to replace the old air distribution ring after removing it as it will likely be damaged during the removal process.

4. Trigger Issues

Trigger issues are another common problem that paint sprayer users will experience. Typically, trigger issues with paint sprayers are caused by the user being unaware that the safety is still on. While the safety is on, the paint sprayer trigger will not move and you will not be able to use your sprayer.

That being said, there are some circumstances where the trigger on your paint sprayer could become inoperable due to some type of damage or old age. When this happens, it is best to consider replacing it with a new one.

5. Pressure Issues

Pressure issues are another common problem that paint sprayers face. You can identify pressure issues if your pump is running but will not build up enough pressure to spray properly. This is primarily due to priming issues.

You should consider repriming your paint sprayer and also checking the inlet screen for any clogs that could be causing pressure issues. You should also check the suction tube for your paint sprayer. If your suction tube does not have a tight connection to your paint sprayer, it could cause pressure issues and cause your paint to not be dispersed properly.

As a last resort, you can consider resetting the pressure on your paint sprayer altogether. This will involve consulting the manual for your particular unit and following the pressure result instructions found there.

6. Clogged Tip

A clogged tip is an extremely common issue to experience when using a paint sprayer. If your paint sprayer suddenly stops spraying, it is likely due to a clogged tip. It is simple to clear a clog from a paint sprayer tip.

All you need to do to clear your clog is turn the arrow-shaped handle till it is facing backward. Once you have done this, aim your paint sprayer into a trash can and pull the trigger. This will eventually unclog the tip after the proper amount of pressure is allowed to build up.

You should ensure that you turn the arrow-shaped handle back to its starting position before attempting to use your paint sprayer for job purposes.

7. Paint Sprayer Not Starting

It is not uncommon for paint sprayers to have issues starting up. If you cannot get your paint sprayer to start, you should ensure that it is plugged in before moving on to any further troubleshooting methods. Many times, the paint sprayer is simply not plugged in and is not receiving the proper power to start up.

If you have confirmed that your paint sprayer is plugged in and it still won’t come on, your device is likely experiencing electrical issues that you will need to address. Electrical issues could be caused by improper voltage or blown fuses.

You should check to ensure that your paint sprayer is receiving enough power to run properly and also check your fuses and replace any that have blown. In some extreme cases, the electrical internals of your paint sprayer could have become damaged. If this is the case, you will need to consider replacing your paint sprayer with a new one.

Best Paint Sprayers

Purchasing a high-quality paint gun will minimize the chances of you encountering many of the issues detailed in this guide. The table below contains information regarding the top five best paint sprayers you can currently available.

You can use this information to ensure that you purchase the best quality paint sprayer which will lower your chances of encountering issues in the future.

ModelVendorPriceBest Suited For
Graco Magnum X7Amazon$436Professional Jobs, General DIY
Graco Magnum Project Painter PlusAmazon$318Professional Jobs
HomeRight Finish Max HVLPAmazon$105Low Budget DIY
Campbell Hausfeld Gravity FeedAmazon$41Metal, Low Budget DIY
Wagner SpraytechAmazon$68Wood, Decks

Final Thoughts

This guide has provided you with all of the information you need to accurately determine the root of your paint sprayer issue and resolve them quickly and easily. You can use this information to ensure that your paint sprayer is always working properly.

Any issues with your spray gun should be addressed as soon as possible. Failing to do so could result in internal damage to your paint sprayer that could render it inoperable.

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