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Airless Paint Sprayers for Handyman - DIY

Please note that we no longer sell Airless paint spray products.
This page has been left here for information purposes only.

We do continue to sell Airbrush and associated equipment..

Use: Occasional - mostly around the home. Not for continuous heavy duty use but is sometimes used by professionals for jobs too small to justify setting up their bigger pumps.
Sprays: Everything - from light bodied stains and automotive lacquers to heavy anti fouling for boat hulls.
Consumables: Swirl valves, spray nozzles.
Price range: AU$99 to AU$367

The photos here illustrate some of the many uses of the Wagner Handyman Airless range of spray guns, also known as 'Airless cup guns'. A motor in the head of the gun drives a reciprocating piston which draws the paint up from the container and forces it out the spray nozzle under very high pressure. All the guns are sold with an intermediate size nozzle (usually a number .8). See the nozzle selection chart below to match the correct nozzle to a particular job. Extra nozzles need to purchased separately. The main wearing part is the atomizer valve, also known as the swirl valve. Depending on the type and quality of the paint being sprayed, these valves may need to be changed as often as every 20 litres. They are available carded in packs of 2 or 3. All Wagner Airless guns come with a two year warranty.

Further down this page is a nozzle selection guide and a guide (with hints and tips) to using Wagner Airless Cup Guns. All information and graphics on this page are courtesy of Wagner Spraytech Australia.

handyman airless paint sprayer The gun above is drawing paint directly from the can.
spray painting a chair
spray painting a door
spray painting outdoor furniture
spray painting a car
spray painting a ceiling
  W400SE spraing a chair W400SE spraying shelves
W400SE sprayer
  using the flexible nozzle extension spraying a wall paint sprayer
W140P in action
W140P spraying a fence

On the left are pictures of the newest Wagner Cup gun in action, the W140P. This versatile gun can spray a broad range of paints including unthinned water based paint.
The gun is for sale in our Online Shop for the special price of AU$99 (plus freight).

Wagner Airless Cup Gun Nozzle Selection Guide

Round, Cone Jet Nozzles
0.3mm Use with thin very fine finishes such as clears varnishes and stains
0.4mm Use with fine finishes such as automotive paints, lacquers and enamels.
0.5mm Use with thicker enamels, lacquers and high quality water based paints.
0.6mm Use with enamels, oil based sealers and undercoates. Satin finishes and high quality water based paints.
0.8mm General purpose nozzle for water based paints.
1.0mm For use with heavy bodied water based paints such as mission brown fence paint.
1.2mm For use with course and very heavy bodied materials.
Flat Jet Nozzles
S3 0.33mm nozzle with a 30degree spraying angle (approx. 6"). Suitable for fine finishes such as clears, varnishes, lacquers, enamels, and automotive paints. Not suitable for Wagner W220 Cup Gun.
S6 0.33mm nozzle with a 60degree spraying angle (approx. 12"). Suitable for fine finishes such as clears, varnishes, lacquers, enamels, and automotive paints. Not suitable for Wagner W220 Cup Gun.
L5 0.55mm nozzle with a 60degree spraying angle (approx. 12"). Suitable for thicker coatings and premium quality water based paints. Suites only Wagner W220 Cup Gun.
On the right is a photo of the electronic control found on the W400 cup gun. It enables the changing of the pulse rate of the gun and means the gun can deliver four different flow volumes with the same spray pattern. This feature comes in very handy when spraying cars for example. By cutting down the flow volume it allows precise placement of the paint without runs.  
W400Se electronic control
  W400SE stripped   One very important thing about using these guns is the cleaning and oiling of them after use. If they are not cleaned and oiled properly before the are put away, the gun will stick or jam the next time it is used. The photo on the left illustrates a gun being dismantled for cleaning.

Below is a graphic found in an old issue of a Wagner newsletter known as 'Spray Action' regarding cleaning the spray gun.
A Guide to Using Wagner Airless Cup Guns.

Modern technology has provided not only industry but also the do-it-yourselfer with valuable aids to the application of paint, varnish and other substances. Some would argue that they render the paintbrush obsolete.

The electric airless spray guns of today are high-quality, reliable precision tools that are, with proper care, trouble-free in operation and have a wide range of applications.

In this introduction to spraying we offer you a few guidelines on the technique of using electric airless spray guns for a variety of tasks.

You may be surprised what an effective assistant a spray gun can be in jobs around the home, on metalwork, for car maintenance and in the garden or smallholding. The examples mentioned represent only a small selection from the many possibilities of saving time and improving results, which are open to you with the aid of an electric spray gun.

The cleaner the surface the better the result.

Be fanatical about cleanliness, in preparing surfaces for spraying. Remember that every particle of dirt, every remnant of old paint, every fibre rubbed off a rag makes a blemish in the subsequent finish.

Before spraying previously untreated wood or metal, first clean off all traces of wax or grease, then roughen the surface all over with fine glass paper or emery paper. Remove the resultant dust - with a vacuum cleaner if possible.

A tip from the professionals:

To remove dust from wood, roll a fist size lump of putty all over it. Putty picks up every last speck of dust from awkward places.

If on the other hand the object to be sprayed has already been painted once or several times before and good adhesion of the sprayed surface cannot be guaranteed, there is no other choice than to strip oft the old paint with a chemical stripper or burn it off with a blowlamp. The more thorough a job you make of this, the better will be the final result.

Partial respraying is an art in itself.

In connection with car spraying, if only parts of the surface are to be touched up, the areas to be sprayed must be bounded by grooves, edges, joints etc. Never finish spraying in the middle of a panel. No matter how well the new colour is matched to the old, the join will always be visible; and if the colour match is less than perfect the result will be reminiscent of wartime camouflage.

One more hot tip from the professionals to protect parts that are not to be sprayed.

If it is difficult to mask off the part with tape etc, simply cover it with grease. When the job is finished simply clean off the grease together with the paint on top of it.

How to prepare a WAGNER spray gun for use - and how you become the star of the show.

By now you have weighed up the pros and cons and decided to buy a WAGNER spray gun. Now comes the great moment. All that is necessary in the way of preparation has been done. You simply plug into a handy power socket - and your spray gun is ready for use.

With a bit of practice spray painting is child's play

When using the gun for the first time you have to think about doing things in the correct sequence. Soon this will become second nature to you.

First Step:
Thoroughly clean the gun by loading it with solvent (preferably the same thinner as you are adding to the paint) and spraying this through. This ensures that the gun is clear and will not give you any trouble during the job itself.

Second Step:
Test viscosity of paint

Third Step:
Fill gun container with paint.

Fourth Step:
Screw container on to gun.

Fifth Step:
Press the button. Test fineness of atomisation. To reduce volume of spray turn volume control screw to the right: to increase volume, turn it to the left.

How to spray like a professional.

By following these tips you can achieve results of professional standard

Try to make the following rules second nature:

Rule 1:
Hold the WAGNER spray gun as near horizontal as possible or pointing obliquely upwards or slightly downwards.

NB: If the gun is angled too steeply up or down it may prevent paint from entering the suction tube and air may be sucked into the gun instead. Result: - unsightly bubbles or splashes on the painted surface. This risk is greatest when the quantity of paint in the container is low.

Rule 2:
Make sure there is enough paint in the container!

Rule 3:
Move the gun steadily and evenly, parallel with the surface being sprayed.

NB: Any deceleration or acceleration of the gun's speed of travel, or any interruption of spraying, will be reflected in irregularity of the finish.

Rule 4:
Always begin outside the area to be painted!

NB: Regularity of finish cannot be guaranteed unless you start to spray outside the area you wish to cover.

Rule 5:
Vertical surfaces should be pre-misted!

NB: On vertical surfaces the paint has a tendency to run down. This effect is minimized by first applying a thin spray from some distance away, waiting until this pre-mist coat has time to bind somewhat and then proceeding with the finishing spray.

Rule 6:
Keep the gun at a constant distance from the work!

NB: For best results the nozzle should be kept at a constant distance from the object being sprayed. Move the gun with your whole arm rather than with your wrist to achieve this effect.

Rule 7:
For large surfaces always spray with crossing strokes!

NB: Spray first with horizontal strokes left to right and right to left, then continue with vertical strokes downwards and upwards.

Rule 8:
Always spray away from you on horizontal surfaces!

NB: The best results are obtained by allowing the spray to meet the surface at an angle of 45 degrees.

Rule 9:
Never apply too much paint at once!

NB: It is always best to spray sparingly to avoid the formation of rivulets. A better result is often obtained with two thin coats.

Rule 10:
It is essential to keep the gun clean!

NB: This is the most important rule of the ten. Your WAGNER spray gun will continue to be a pleasure to use as long as you clean it completely free of all paint residues after each job. It is in the nature of paint to adhere, so cleaning must be done immediately after finishing the job.

Like a car engine, an electric spray gun must be kept perfectly clean if it is to operate properly. This small task takes only a few minutes.

NB: No other job pays off better!

Six Hot Tips From Those Who know.

Take this advice to heart and you are well on the way to becoming a spray artist!

Tip 1.
On horizontal surfaces always start with the part nearest to you.

Advantage: the small unavoidable amount of spray, which ricochets off the work, cannot land on the part, which has already been sprayed and is beginning to dry.

the right and wrong way to spray
correct spray path
For larger surfaces always spray with crossing strokes!
correct paint atomisation
Correct result achieved with even atomisation.
paint too thick
Dribble effect - paint needs thinning or slight adjustment needed to pressure screw; otherwise use smaller nozzle.
paint nozzle needs to be larger
Bubbles forming. Adjust pressure control screw and examine result. If still spotty use a larger nozzle.

Tip 2.
On vertical surfaces always start at the top. Vertical surfaces dry more quickly than horizontal ones: so spray quickly and decisively.

Tip 3.
On vertical surfaces it is best to apply a pre-mist coat, that is a coat which does not fully cover. Wait till this coat has adhered well but is not yet dry. Then spray a finishing coat.

Tip 4.
The best results are obtained if the spray meets the surface at right angles. To avoid tilting the gun too much when spraying horizontal or vertical surfaces, experts use the flexible extension nozzle. A further advantage is that holding the gun vertical enables the drop to be used from container.

Tip 5.
When changing the direction of gun travel it is best to move out beyond the area being sprayed. This ensures a regular finish. If you make the turn within the work area, parts of the surface will be double sprayed and the risk of rivulets is increased.

Tip 6.
When spraying wood surfaces with clear lacquers, varnishes etc, always work along the grain. Spraying across the grain may cause ridges.

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