Spraying Techniques and How To Clean Your Spray Gun
The spray techniques you employ will determine the quality of the finish.
Once you’re done working, it’s important to thoroughly clean your spray gun. Neglecting this step will significantly affect its performance, and can lead to contamination when switching between different types of finishes.
Practice the techniques below on cardboard a few times before working on your project.
- Always keep your spray gun level and spray equally from side to side or up and down. Do not twist your wrist as you spray to avoid runs on the surface (Photo 1).
- Hold the gun and container with both hands to let your arm control the left-to-right movement until you are familiar with spraying the surface evenly (Photo 2).
- Start spraying off the edge to avoid overspraying the edge (Photos 3 & 4).
- When spraying large surfaces, use a crisscross pattern, spraying from left to right, then up and down or vice versa to ensure full coverage. Remember to release the trigger at the end of each spray movement to avoid excessive spraying (Photo 5).
Photo 1 – Hold the gun about 10”- 12” from the work.
Photo 2 – Begin a pass off the work. Be sure to support the gun with both hands.
Photo 3 – Begin the first pass, moving the gun as smoothly and evenly as possible.
Photo 4 – Subsequent passes overlap the previous by about 1/3 the width of the spray pattern.
Photo 5 – Ensuring good coverage by moving the gun perpendicular to the first series of passes.
How do I clean my spray gun?
If the stain or paint dries inside the gun, cleaning will be much more difficult and may render the gun inoperable. You can clean the spray station as follows.
- Pour any residual material into its original container.
- Use a cloth soaked in the finish’s solvent to wipe out excess material from the container, the underside of the lid and the gasket (Photo 6).
Photo 6 – Use a cloth dampened with the finish’s solvent to clean the inside of the gun.
- Pour a small quantity of clean solvent into the container, re-fit the container to the spray gun and shake the gun.
- Spray all the solvent through the gun.
- Repeat this, each time using clean solvent, until there is no trace of material in the solvent being sprayed (Photo 7).
- Change the spray pattern with the air cap, and spray again to ensure there is no visible trace of material in the solvent.
Photo 7 – Spray solvent through the gun to thoroughly clean the inside. You may need to do this a few times.
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