How Does an Airless Paint Sprayer Work?

An airless paint sprayer uses a sequence of one-way valves which force pressure into the machine and hold it there. 

Each cycle adds more pressure and fluid into the closed system. This pressure is closely monitored by sensors to make sure it’s always kept within safe limits.

When it reaches its specific pressure, you pull the trigger on the applicator. It is forced through a little spray tip and atomizes the paint into tiny particles (the spray). 

Once the pressure starts to drop, the sensors detect the change and stir up the electric motor which drives the piston and works tirelessly to take care of the specified amount of pressure for you to continuously spray.

Components of Airless Paint Sprayer:

An airless sprayer can be described with seven basic systems and components;

1. Motor & Drive System – These work together to supply power to the pump, and are available in both electric and gas-powered units.

2. Piston Pump – This is often sometimes called the guts of an airless sprayer because it’s the most important part.

The piston pump does the work of spraying the coating from your source bucket then pressurizes the coating.

3. Pressure Control Dial – This feature regulates fluid pressure. When spraying, it’s recommended to use basic fluid pressure at which atomization occurs.

Spraying with low pressure creates less overspray and makes tips and equipment last longer – saving you money on equipment and materials!

4. Manifold Filter – This is often designed to catch debris that can enter your sprayer, catching and removing items that would impact your finishing quality, damage your sprayer, or clog your spray tips.

5. Fluid Hose – The fluid is delivered as a gentle stream of high-pressure fluid through a hose to the applicator.

6. Applicator– The applicator acts as the on/off valve for the fabric spray. This is the last stop for the fluid before being applied and a key item to provide a perfect finish.

7. Spray Tip – When the trigger is pulled, the fluid passes through the spray tip which uses different sizes and shapes to regulate the spray pattern and the amount of fluid the gun releases.

Also Read: Best Paint for Basement Walls

Step by Step Guide for Airless Paint Sprayer to Work:

working of airless paint sprayer infographic


To use the airless paint sprayer in the best manner, you need the step by step guide, which is mentioned below:

Step 1: Most sprayers require the operator to remove the canister and fill the tank to the top limit.

This results in paint dripping from the spray tube and making a mess. Do not fill the tank to the top limit.

Step 2: Set the flow knob to the specified intake—the higher the amount, the greater the quantity of paint sucked up and pushed out of the system—and turn on the machine; this kicks the solenoid motor into action.

Step 3: The motor drives a piston inside the sprayer at up to 7200 pulses per minute, creating a force that pulls paint up through the spray tube.

Step 4: The paint travels the piston to the atomizer valve, which moves during a swirl pattern to project the paint for spraying.

Step 5: In the end, paint moves through the spray tip—choose between vertical, horizontal, and round spray patterns—and spray the area.

Step 6: To wash the machine simply fill water into the reservoir, flip the switch from paint to spray, and wash. Keep in mind to wash the machine without removing its parts.


Using an Airless Sprayer Safely

Airless sprayers are fast and efficient because they provide pressures of up to 3,000 pounds per sq. 

This force moves the paint at 150 to 200 miles an hour through the spray tip.

All that power is often dangerous. Use the subsequent precautions to stop accident or injury:

  • Keep the spray gun’s safety lock on when you are not using it
  • Make sure the applicator has a trigger guard and a security shield around its tip.
  • If the spray tip becomes clogged, don’t attempt to clear it by pressing your finger. While using a sprayer keep your fingers away from the tip.
  • Never allow anyone to point the gun at you and never point it on anyone else.
  • Always turn the sprayer off and disconnect it from its electrical source before you clean out the sprayer’s filters and the gun.
  • Only used an airless sprayer in a well-ventilated area, wear a painters’ mask to avoid inhaling fumes, and do not smoke or work around open flames. If you’re working outside, don’t leave containers of solvents in direct sunlight. Put them in the shady spot or garage.
  • Never leave the sprayer accessible to pets and children.


Always wear safety equipment while using the airless paint sprayer. Do not point the paint sprayer towards animals or children and make sure you do not put it back without cleaning it. 

Following the precautions can make your airless paint sprayer last much longer.

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