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An airless paint sprayer is a device that is used for wall painting. The paint is sprayed at high pressure on the wall that has to be painted.
High pressure is used for thicker paints, and a relatively lower pressure is used for thin paints. The paint is released through a gun which is controlled by a manual trigger.
Additionally, the device has an electric motor or a pump which sucks the paint from a bucket and passes it to the gun through a hose. The pressure can be controlled manually with a knob or a button.
The reason why it is called airless is that there is no air compression, it simply compresses the paint and shoots it through the tip of the gun.
When you are done using the device, it is essential to clean up and oil it. Cleaning is vital to maintain the sprayer and remove the paint residue that often gets stuck in the sprayer. In fact, a sprayer should not be left beyond thirty minutes without cleaning.
The basic principle behind cleaning the sprayer is to first run the water or cleaning solution through the hoses and then dismantle the parts and clean them separately. However, cleaning water or latex-based paint sprayer would be different from cleaning an oil-based paint sprayer.
That said, here’s the best airless paint sprayer cleaning solution:
Steps To Clean The Oil Based Paint Sprayer
For cleaning a sprayer with oil-based paint, one would need to use thinner or mineral spirits along with two buckets.
- Place the two buckets side by side. One bucket would be for clean thinner, and the other one would be for the dirty thinner.
- Switch on the sprayer and set the pressure low.
- Pour about half a gallon of fresh spirit into a bucket.
- Transfer the intake tube or the suction hose into the clean spirit bucket so that it can suck the spirit and pass it through the entire hose releasing it through the gun on to the other bucket.
- Make sure to run the spirit through the prime tube also.
- Repeat the entire process once again.
- Discharge all the pressure by squeezing the trigger on the gun. Also, release the pressure from the prime tube.
Steps To Clean The Water Based Paint Sprayer
For cleaning a sprayer with water-based paint, one would need to use clean water along with several buckets.
- Place the intake tube into the clean water bucket.
- Switch on the device and set the pressure low.
- Release the initial stream of residual paint from the gun into the paint bucket and as soon as the water starts coming out of it, transfer it into a dirty bucket.
- Clear the paint from the end of the intake pipe.
- Once the intake pipe end is cleaned, transfer it into another bucket of clean water.
- Run water through the gun and the primer tube.
- Once you start seeing clean water coming out of the gun and the intake pipe, stop the process.
- Discharge pressure from the gun and the primer tube.
- Some materials might be difficult to remove from the sprayer so one can also opt for soap with water or warm water as per need.
There are different types of paints available with varying degree of thickness. Therefore, sometimes one may find people following both the processes in combination which mean that first they flush water out of the sprayer and then they flush the spirit. However, paint thinners should not be used with latex paints and lacquers.
After the above mentioned standard procedures are followed then remove the filters and clean them with a brush in a bucket of clean water.
Dismantle the spray gun by removing the trigger, needle and fluid tip and then clean all the parts with a brush and a cleaning solution. It is advised not to dip the entire gun in the cleaning solution.
Once the process of cleaning is done, it is important to dry and lubricate the parts to avoid corrosion due to water.
Airless Paint Sprayer Cleaning Solution
There are various cleaning solutions for airless paint sprayers available in the market. These cleaning solutions come in a plastic bottle or a can. They are used to clean the interior and the exterior of the sprayer.
One should always go for cleaning solutions which are odorless and dry quickly. Here is a list of a few well-known brands selling paint thinners and mineral spirits.
1. Klean-Strip: It is a popular and reliable brand offering sprayer cleaner. It is a non-biodegradable and non-combustible liquid. It has positive feedback on the internet and is considered very easy to use.
2. Sunnyside Corporation: It offers low odor mineral spirits in one-gallon cans.
3. Bioshield: Bioshield sells environment-friendly thinners which are a bit costly.
4. Zip-Strip: It is another brand which offers paint thinners at economical prices.
Now that we have gone through the list mentioned above, it is essential to understand here that thinner and mineral spirits are not the same. A paint thinner is a lesser refined version of a mineral spirit. Also, the spirits are costlier and less sticky than thinners.
Final Word Of Caution
Thinners and mineral spirits are flammable materials. Hence one should keep safety in mind and keep all the wet towels and rags in a fireproof container.
The fumes of these materials are also harmful so the user should wear a respirator, especially when using them indoors. Besides that, a user should always wear hand gloves to avoid contact.