The distance between the gun and the wall has a considerable impact on the quality of the work when spraying Airless. Too close to the substrate, but also too far away, can lead to irregularities in the spray pattern and on the surface.
In addition to uneven paint distribution, the wrong distance can result in wasted material and a lot of paint mist. In this article, we explain how to achieve the correct spray distance, a uniform pattern and surface and how to avoid overspray.
Why is distance important in airless spraying?
The correct distance between the gun/nozzle and the surface when airless spraying is important to achieve an even distribution of paint and a quality surface. Uneven dripping and colour gradations as well as paint wastage can be avoided by observing the optimum distance when applying airless.
The formation of paint mist or overspray is also strongly influenced by the guidance of the gun and the distance between the nozzle and the wall. Anyone who has problems with overspray should therefore check that the spray gun is operated at the correct distance.
What happens if you get too close?
If the spray gun passes too close to the surface, the width of the paint jet on the wall is reduced. This means that more paint is applied to the wall.
The risk is that too much paint is applied to the same area. This wastes material and can cause drips and uneven paint distribution.
What happens if the distance is too big?
If the distance between the gun and the surface is too big when applying airless paint, the spray will expand. Less material is applied per square metre. The paint application may be uneven and not fully covered.
The longer path of the paint from the gun to the surface slows the speed of the paint particles. The paint particles swirl and a paint mist is formed.
How far should the airless gun be from the wall?
Ideally, the distance between the airless gun and the surface should be 25-30 cm. This distance ensures a uniform spray with the least possible paint mist. The distance is measured from the product outlet at the gun (i.e. the nozzle) to the surface.
An exception is airless spraying of spackle and putty. Due to the high density of the plaster, there are hardly any problems with the formation of overspray, which is why it is possible to increase the distance between the wall and the surfaces, usually 60-80 cm from the substrate.
How to maintain the right distance when spraying airless?
It is not easy, especially for beginners, to keep the right distance when spraying airless. The view in the photo below is misleading, if you look just above the gun on the wall, it is often difficult to determine the exact distance. Is it 20 cm or 45 cm?
This effect becomes more pronounced in front of white walls and makes it difficult for many painters to get the correct distance. If you do not look directly at the wall from behind the gun, but hold the gun slightly to the side, the angle of view changes and the whole thing becomes more spatial. With this slight sideways glance, one can better assess and respect the distance. As an exercise, you can watch a colleague from the side and have him correct the distance if necessary. A video of your spraying work filmed from the side also helps to practice and to control the spraying at the correct distance of 25-30 cm.
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