Using an Airless Paint Sprayer Safely

Using airless paint sprayers provides you with benefits such as spraying heavy-bodied coatings and experiencing a much faster production. Your capacity to apply the coating properly depends on your spray application. If you are to use an airless paint sprayer, it’s important to ensure that you stay safe. Improper usage of airless paint sprayers may result in numerous risks such as respiratory risks, explosion risks, and fluid injections. Following the proper safety precautions can reduce the potential risk of using airless paint sprayers to a considerable amount.

Preventing Respiratory Risks

An appropriate respirator should be used for the coating you spray to reduce respiratory risks. If you’re indoors, the area you’re spraying on should meet the OSHA requirements concerning air changes.

Preventing Fire Risk

The risk of explosion is another common safety hazard, which is possible due to the flammability of particular types of coating. The NFPA 33 Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials is among the best resources that provide proper requirements to reduce fires due to spray applications.


Have a properly designed area for spraying

white wall, rough surface

As per NFPA 33, you need to spray in a properly designed area that meets spray application conditions indoors. Proper ventilation is required as it will decrease the level of flammable substance to one that holds the risk of fire down.

Additional design factors such as light construction and the build of the walls are essential. It’s recommended to utilize a renowned manufacturer’s paint booth as it typically meets all the national code requirements, reducing the risk of explosion and fire.

Make sure the airless paint sprayer is properly grounded.

To prevent a static charge build-up, the airless paint sprayer must be grounded. Your airless paint sprayer has to be attached to true earth ground in compliance with your local electrical code.

To ensure that your airless paint sprayer is grounded correctly, you should use a grounded airless hose as well as ground paint pails. Make sure to use a grounded wall outlet and have with you a 3-prong electrical cord with a working ground.

Keep the spray area in proper condition.

Any spray areas must not have any electrical sources in the vicinity, or if there are some nearby, they should meet the conditions stated in the NFPA 33. The coating has to be stored in proper fire-resistant storage. Excessive coating outside the storage cabinet is not allowed. Furthermore, debris such as used paper masking and rags must be kept out of the spray area.

Pneumatic and Gas Airless Sprayers

If you’re using a pneumatic or gas airless paint sprayer, you must store it outside of the spray area to decrease any danger of ignition.

Except for these, it’s always beneficial to further check with your local authority for added requirements.

Preventing Fluid Injection

Fluid injection happens when a high-pressure fluid pierces your skin. This injury can be hazardous, so it’s recommended to get medical treatment immediately.

Airless paint sprayers by certain brands come with a tip guard. This tool can reduce your chance of getting your hand too close to the stream of fluid and reduces your risk of getting a fluid injection.

Airless paint sprayers also have trigger safety besides a tip guard. It’s best always to ensure that the trigger of your sprayer is working properly. Also, make sure to use it properly.

Airless paint sprayers must be treated similarly to a dangerous tool and should not be pointed at anyone at any moment.

After you’re done spraying, cleaning the machine, performing maintenance, or changing a tip, you have to relieve the pressure off the airless paint sprayer. To do so, you should first turn the machine off or turn the air being supplied to the machine off. Next, you must open the dump valve and then trigger the sprayer, making sure to point it away from anyone.

You can also follow manufacturer recommendations when flushing the airless paint sprayer.

If any noticeable leaks are coming from your unit, airless hose, or connections, you must depressurize it and fix the issue by following the recommendations above.

Important Note: 

Never perform any maintenance when the unit is still under pressure and don’t hold a bag to cover the leaks in the hose; replace it instead.

It’s essential to depressurize the airless paint sprayer when flushing it with the tip removed. Also, you should put the nozzle under the cleaning solution to maximize your safety.

To prevent accidentally making contact with any fluid, remember always to wear safety goggles when spraying. The metal guard protecting the trigger from being accidentally pulled must also be in place. Also, don’t forget to have your operator’s manual with you as it will provide you with thorough safety and operating instructions.

Airless paint sprayers help apply coatings quickly and efficiently. To ensure your safety, you have to consider these proper safety precautions while using them.