Wagner has several different styles of airless paint sprayers available, although the company is best known for its Power Painter line of products. Airless sprayers make quick work of hard-to-paint projects like shutters, fences and wrought iron. With a little practice and the right equipment and spray tip for the job, airless sprayers are easy to use.
Choose the Right Sprayer
Most Wagner airless sprayers have electric hydraulic pump motors and need to be plugged in to an electrical socket with a cord no longer than 50 feet. A lithium battery-operated, hand-held sprayer allows for cordless operation. Most Wagner Power Painter models have a reservoir holding from 1 quart to 1 gallon of paint, making them perfect for smaller jobs. For commercial use and larger projects, Wagner Paint Crew airless sprayers hold up to 2 gallons of paint and can be operated on 100 feet of electrical cord.
Choosing the correct spray tip for the job is important. Different sized tips allow for varying fluid viscosity. You would use a different tip for stain and varnish than you would for paint. Additionally, spray tips come in different fan widths, allowing for a wider fan to paint walls and siding and a narrower fan for furniture or wrought iron fences.
Set-up and Use
Prepare the area by covering or masking all adjacent surfaces, because spray paint has a habit of getting everywhere. Make sure there's adequate ventilation, and wear a mask and protective glasses.
Stir the paint before using it, instead of shaking it. Shaking creates air bubbles that can cause the sprayer to "spit" paint through the tip. Some paints should be thinned with up to 1 pint of water or solvent per gallon of paint. Refer to the paint label for guidance. If the paint is old or contains debris, or if you have problems with the spray tip clogging with use, strain the paint into a clean container. Paint stores carry paint strainers, but clean nylons also work well for this.
Fill the reservoir with paint and make sure all fittings are securely tightened. The spray tip can be tightened onto the gun to give you either a horizontal or vertical fan. Practice with the sprayer until you get the hang of it. Keep the gun perpendicular to the surface, and start moving the spray gun before squeezing the trigger. Pointing the gun at the surface and squeezing the trigger without moving your hand guarantees a big, thick run of paint on the wall.
Pay attention to all warnings, and always lock the trigger when not in use. Accidentally spraying high-velocity paint on your skin at close range will inject paint and chemicals forcefully under your skin and require a emergency room visit.
One of the most frustrating problems with using smaller airless sprayers is small pieces of debris clogging the spray tip. When this happens, you need to take the sprayer apart and remove the minuscule piece of dirt or hardened paint. Consider purchasing an optional reversible tip, which allows you to blow the clog out of the back of the tip in seconds.
Remember that spray tips should be replaced periodically. When the orifice becomes worn, it will cause the paint to come out unevenly, causing drips, spattering and runs.