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8 Paint Spraying Mistakes that Most People Make

paint spraying mistakes
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Max Pixel

A good paint sprayer can make a world of difference to a do it yourselfer. However, it can also take some getting used. There is always going to be a learning curve when it comes to paint spraying. However, it shouldn’t have to have a big effect on the quality of your work.

Here are some common mistakes that you will want to avoid as you dive into the world of paint spraying.

1.) Spraying Too Much:

The spray gun makes it very easy to overspray on your work surface. Keep in mind that it is much easier to add more paint to a surface than it is to take paint off. Always start gradual with a thin layer of paint, and build up as needed.

A gradual approach will spare you the unfortunate task of trying to remove paint from your workpiece.

overspray on worksurface
Image credit: CC0 / Public Domain, Good Free Photos

2.) The Uneven Pattern:

Perfecting your spray pattern will probably take some time. However, even as a beginner, you can still follow simple practices to produce results that look nice and even.

Move your paint gun gradually left to right or up and down to enjoy the smoothest and most consistent results possible.

uneven spraying paint
Image credit: Airman 1st Class Andrew Moua, Barksdale Air Force Base

3.) Standing Too Close:

Give your workpiece a little bit of personal space. Standing too close is going got make your piece look runny, and globby in some portions. A couple of feet are all you need to produce nice consistent patterns.

man standing spray painting
Image credit: Wendelin Jacober, Pexels

4.) Getting Lazy With the Cleaning:

Cleaning your equipment before and after each job is critical to maintaining the health of your tool. Paint sprayers are known for frustrating clogs. Even the most diligent cleaner will experience this issue from time to time, but good housekeeping will certainly keep clogs to a minimum.

messy paint table
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Maxpixel

5.) Forgetting to Prime the Hose:

While you can sometimes get away with forgetting to prime the hose, you are only inviting the potential for frustration when you do. Priming your gun will eliminate harmful air bubbles that can cause a splattering effect to your spray pattern.

man using primer paint
Image credit: Margo Wright, U.S. Air Force

6.) Neglecting the Pre-Work:

Before you ever touch your sprayer, there is usually some work to be done. Taking the time to thin and strain your paints can make all the difference between an easy time, and a frustrating, clog filled experience.

straining paint
Image credit:, Pexels

7.) Choosing the Wrong Filter:

The filter is the final line of defense between your workpiece, and clogged up, hardened specks of paint. While taking the proper precautions (like thinning and straining your paint) should mitigate this risk, you will still benefit from the right filter.

Choosing a mesh size that is appropriate to your task will ensure that your workpiece is properly guarded by the best possible filter.

spray paint filter
Image credit: Senior Airman Andrea Posey, Air Force Medical Service

8.) Choosing the Wrong Nozzle:

Choosing the wrong nozzle is, at best going to slow you down considerably, and is, at worst, going to do some serious damage to your workpiece.

You don’t want either of these things. Smaller nozzles are usually for finer finishes, such as furniture, while larger nozzles are for broader paint jobs, like walls.

The good news is that if you are using the wrong nozzle, it will probably be apparent quickly.

spray paint nozzle
Image credit: Bersch und Fratscher GmbH, Wikimedia


There are a lot of mistakes that you can make with a paint sprayer. However, as you can hopefully see, these are not mistakes that you don’t need to make. With a little bit of study, you should have no problem using your paint spray system to great success.

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