How to use the spray gun for beginners

Hey! I bet you have something ugly to paint, and you are looking for how to use the spray gun for beginners. Well, you are in the right place. Let’s determine your options first.

Let’s face it nobody ever does paintbrushes anymore because they are slow and leave uneven patches that will peel off in a few months or weeks.

And then there are the roller painters, we both know you won’t get to nooks and cringes with that.

And finally the spray gun! With a spray gun, you will save a lot more time which makes a lot of sense since You don’t have to force yourself through challenging to maneuver cringes.

With less effort, you can also paint overhead surfaces without having to worry about paint dripping on your face(or your eyes!).

It also makes painting with the kids super fun.

You will, however, need to learn a few basic tricks with the spray gun to get the best results.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A filter mask to keep your lungs in check.
  2. Safety glasses to keep the paint from getting to your eyes.
  3. Hearing protection to keep your ears safe and play cool mp3 while you paint:-).
  4. Rubber gloves to keep the paint from getting to your hands.
  5. A spray gun to paint with.
  6. An air hose to pump air that sprays the paint.
  7. A pressure regulator to control the pump speed.
  8. And an angle grinder with a cup brush.

Finding the best beginners paint gun.

There is a famous quote about painting that says a good painter understands with a paint gun in his hand.( Well it’s supposed to be a paintbrush, but you get the picture).

With the right paint gun in your hand, you can paint through any cringe, corner or crack. The problem is, finding the right paint gun.

Every Auto body dealer will try confusing you with some fancy jargon to persuade you to buy what they have available. But it’s never as complicated as they would put it. Here are some fancy word’s you should know too:

Fluid viscosity.

Okay, this one is a little bit complex but don’t Panic. You will hardly notice the difference ( hopefully). That was a joke too, haha, don’t panic. It is referenced as low, medium or high. In rare cases, you will need to measure it with a device called a Zahn cup. The Zahn cup gives readings in seconds that you can convert with the help of a conversion chart. You can read more about it here.

Nozzle size.

The rule of thumb is, always keep in mind that the thicker your paint is, the wider the nozzle should be. Capisce?

There are of course more in-depth details to choosing an appropriate paint gun, but those two features should be base to build on.

Now let’s paint!

Here are some golden tips:

  • As with any other handy job. Painting too has its risk, so make sure to take precautions. First, you need to gear up correctly. You should also clear the working space to avoid tripping.
  • The surface you intend to work on should be clean and dry.
  • Start by moving the paint gun over the surface before you start spraying in long uninterrupted strokes.
  • Spray guns apply paint quickly so you must develop a technique you are comfortable with soon before you begin the actual painting.
  • Also while using the paint gun, you should maintain a constant speed to prevent ejecting to much paint on one area.
  • The gun nozzle should be held directly perpendicular to the painting surface. A slight shift in angles will significantly affect the amount of paint that gets to a region on your surface.
  • Half the distance from the surface is equivalent to four times as much paint.
  • Keeping the nozzle perpendicular to the surface as you swing back and forth it will develop an arc tendency that will achieve a desirable end effect.
  • To avoid forming stripes overlap each stroke half the width of the spray coverage.
  • Tilting the sprayer downward or upward will cause spitting of excess paint.
  • Test and adjust different spraying techniques until you achieve a pattern you want. An excellent way to do this is by watching videos and trying out the methods you see.
  • Practice on this beforehand on a something like cardboard before you start painting.
  • Start with corners, cringes and hard to reach surfaces like protrusions before going on to vast flat areas.
  • Corners are best sprayed with vertical strokes with quick succession to achieve a good final finish.


As a beginner, it’s normal to make mistakes. But you should strive to make mistakes that are forgivable. Like for instance it’s better to apply a little paint with a single stroke then go back to intensify than to spray a thick coat that you have to wipe and possibly mess with a pattern you desire.

Bottom line

Always spray-paint when the air temperature is between 45° degrees and 75° degrees.Too much heat dries the paint too fast, and it won’t bind well to the surface while a cold environment will cause the paint to dry slowly, attracting dust and bugs or even clog the gun.

You will finally need to clean your equipment. You have to remove traces of paint left behind after painting. A neat trick to a achieve this is keeping your spray gun in a solvent to dissolve all the marks of remaining paint. You should do this Immediately once you are done painting to prevent the traces from drying.