Why Is My Paint Sprayer Spitting

Why Is My Paint Sprayer Spitting? – 5 Common Causes and Quick Fixes

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Your paint sprayer may be spitting due to clogs in the nozzle or an incorrect paint viscosity, causing irregular paint flow. Paint sprayers may spit when there is inadequate pressure, improper spray patterns, or air bubbles in the paint.

This can lead to uneven coverage, drips, and splatters on your surface. To ensure smooth and consistent spraying, it’s important to clean and unclog the nozzle, thin the paint if needed, and adjust the pressure settings according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Regular maintenance and proper technique will help prevent spitting and achieve professional results with your paint sprayer.

Table of Contents

5 Common Causes Of Paint Sprayer Spitting

common causes of paint sprayer spitting

When using a paint sprayer, it can be frustrating to experience spitting or uneven spray patterns. Spitting occurs when the paint sprayer ejects small droplets of paint instead of a smooth and even coating.

This can result in an unsightly finish and wasted paint. Understanding the common causes of paint sprayer spitting can help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue effectively. Let’s explore the possible reasons behind this problem:

1. Worn Or Damaged Nozzle Causing Uneven Spray

A worn or damaged nozzle can lead to uneven spray patterns and cause the paint sprayer to spit. Over time, the nozzle can become worn or clogged with debris, affecting the flow of paint.

To fix this issue, inspect the nozzle for any signs of damage or wear. If necessary, replace the nozzle with a new one to ensure smooth and consistent spray.

2. Clogged Or Dirty Nozzle Leading To Inconsistent Paint Flow

A clogged or dirty nozzle is another common culprit behind paint sprayer spitting. When the nozzle becomes clogged with dried paint or debris, it disrupts the proper flow of paint, resulting in inconsistent spray patterns and spitting.

Regularly clean the nozzle by following the manufacturer’s instructions or use a suitable cleaning solution to remove any buildup. This will help maintain a consistent paint flow and prevent spitting.

3. Incorrect Paint Consistency Resulting In Spitting

The consistency of the paint can greatly affect the performance of a paint sprayer. If the paint is too thick or too thin, it can lead to spitting. When the paint is too thick, it may not flow smoothly through the nozzle, causing the sprayer to spit. On the other hand, if the paint is too thin, it may not adhere properly and can result in uneven spray patterns.

Check the paint consistency and adjust it as needed by adding the appropriate thinner or thickener to achieve the desired viscosity.

4. Insufficient Air Pressure Causing Paint Splattering

Insufficient air pressure can also contribute to paint splattering and spitting. When the air pressure is too low, the paint may not atomize properly, causing droplets to spit out instead of a fine mist. Check the air pressure settings on your paint sprayer and make sure it is within the recommended range for the type of paint you are using.

Adjust the air pressure as necessary to achieve optimal spray results.

5. Improper Usage Or Technique Contributing To Spitting

Lastly, improper usage or technique can play a role in paint sprayer spitting. Holding the sprayer too close to the surface, moving it too slowly or quickly, or using excessive force can all lead to spitting. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the proper usage and technique recommended by the manufacturer.

This includes maintaining the right distance from the surface, moving the sprayer in a consistent and controlled manner, and applying even pressure on the trigger. These adjustments can help minimize spitting and produce a smoother finish.

Quick Fixes For Paint Sprayer Spitting

Paint sprayer spitting can be frustrating, disrupting the smooth finish you desire for your painting project. However, there are quick fixes you can try to resolve this issue. In this section, we will discuss some effective solutions to address paint sprayer spitting. From cleaning and unclogging the nozzle to adjusting paint consistency, checking air pressure settings, and ensuring proper technique, these quick fixes will help you achieve optimal spraying results.

Additionally, replacing worn or damaged parts is essential for a seamless painting experience. A common reason for paint sprayer spitting is a clogged nozzle. When paint particles and debris accumulate, they can hinder the smooth flow of paint, resulting in spitting.

To fix this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the nozzle from the sprayer.
  2. Soak the nozzle in a cleaning solution or warm water to loosen any dried paint or debris.
  3. Use a small brush or toothpick to gently remove the clogs, being careful not to damage the nozzle.
  4. Rinse the nozzle thoroughly and reattach it to the paint sprayer.

Inconsistent paint consistency can also lead to spitting issues. If the paint is too thick, it may not flow smoothly through the sprayer, causing spitting. On the other hand, if the paint is too thin, it may result in a runny spray pattern. Here are some tips to adjust paint consistency:

  • Stir the paint thoroughly to ensure a consistent texture.
  • If the paint is too thick, add a small amount of water or paint thinner and mix well. Be cautious not to over-thin the paint.
  • If the paint is too thin, add a small amount of paint of the same color to thicken it.
  • Regularly test the paint’s consistency by spraying a small amount on a test surface.

Incorrect air pressure settings can contribute to paint sprayer spitting. Adjusting the air pressure can help achieve a smooth spray pattern. Follow these steps:

  1. Refer to the sprayer’s user manual to determine the recommended air pressure range.
  2. Connect an air pressure gauge to the sprayer’s air supply.
  3. Start with the lowest recommended pressure setting and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired spray pattern without spitting.
  4. Regularly monitor and adjust the air pressure as needed during your painting session.

Using the correct technique and maintaining an appropriate spray distance is crucial for preventing paint sprayer spitting. Consider the following tips:

  • Maintain a consistent spray distance of around 6 to 8 inches from the surface.
  • Maintain a steady hand while moving the sprayer in parallel strokes.
  • Avoid applying excessive pressure on the sprayer trigger.
  • Overlap each spray pass by about 50% to ensure even coverage.

If you have tried the above solutions and the paint sprayer is still spitting, it may be necessary to inspect and replace any worn or damaged parts. Common parts that can cause spitting include the nozzle, seals, or gaskets. Consult your sprayer’s manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance on replacing specific parts.

Cleaning And Unclogging The Nozzle

Steps To Remove And Clean The Nozzle

The nozzle is a critical component of your paint sprayer, responsible for delivering a smooth and even spray. However, over time, it can become clogged or dirty, leading to paint spitting and uneven application. Cleaning and unclogging the nozzle is a simple yet essential maintenance task that can help you achieve professional-grade results. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Disconnect the paint sprayer from the power source and relieve any pressure in the system.
  2. Remove the nozzle cap using the specified wrench or tool.
  3. Detach the nozzle from the sprayer by twisting it counterclockwise.
  4. Inspect the nozzle for any visible debris or paint buildup.
  5. If there are any obstructions, use a small brush or toothpick to gently dislodge them. Be careful not to damage the nozzle.
  6. Soak the nozzle in an appropriate cleaning solution for the recommended duration. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the best cleaning solution.
  7. Gently scrub the nozzle using a soft brush to remove any stubborn paint residue.
  8. Rinse the nozzle thoroughly with water to ensure the cleaning solution is completely removed.
  9. Dry the nozzle completely before reattaching it to the paint sprayer.

Using The Appropriate Cleaning Solution

The type of cleaning solution you use is crucial in effectively removing paint residue and ensuring the longevity of your paint sprayer. Different sprayers may require different cleaning solutions, so it’s important to consult your sprayer’s manual for specific instructions. Generally, a mild detergent or a solvent recommended by the manufacturer should suffice.

Here are some tips for using the appropriate cleaning solution:

  • Read the label of the cleaning solution thoroughly to ensure it is compatible with your paint sprayer.
  • Dilute the cleaning solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions, if required.
  • For stubborn paint buildup, consider using a specialized nozzle cleaning solution or a solvent recommended by the sprayer manufacturer.
  • Always wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling cleaning solutions.
  • Dispose of used cleaning solutions responsibly, following local regulations.
  • Remember to rinse the nozzle thoroughly with water after using the cleaning solution to remove any traces of the solution from the sprayer.

Clearing Any Obstructions Or Debris

Obstructions or debris in the nozzle can cause paint to spit and disrupt the spray pattern. It’s crucial to clear any blockages to ensure optimal performance.

Here’s how you can clear obstructions or debris:

  1. Inspect the nozzle carefully for any signs of clogs or debris.
  2. Use a small brush or toothpick to gently dislodge any visible blockages.
  3. If the obstruction persists, you can use compressed air or a designated nozzle cleaning tool to blow out the clog.
  4. Be cautious not to apply excessive force, as it may damage the nozzle or other components of the sprayer.
  5. Once the nozzle is clear of any obstructions, proceed with cleaning and reinstallation.

Proper Reinstallation And Testing

After cleaning and clearing the nozzle, it’s essential to reinstall it correctly before resuming your paint-spraying project. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the nozzle is completely dry before reattachment.
  2. Align the nozzle with the sprayer, ensuring it sits securely in place.
  3. Twist the nozzle clockwise until it is tightened properly.
  4. Reattach the nozzle cap using the specified wrench or tool.
  5. Connect the paint sprayer to the power source and perform a test spray on a scrap material to ensure proper functioning and a clean spray pattern.

Adjusting Paint Consistency For Optimal Spraying

One of the common issues that paint sprayer users often encounter is paint spitting. It can be frustrating to deal with when you’re in the middle of a paint project. However, the good news is that in most cases, the problem can be solved by adjusting the paint consistency.

By understanding the ideal paint consistency, learning mixing and thinning techniques, and implementing a few tips and tricks, you can achieve the perfect spray consistency for a flawless finish. In this article, we will explore these techniques in detail.

Understanding The Ideal Paint Consistency

Before you start adjusting your paint consistency, it’s important to understand what the ideal consistency for spraying is. Paint that is too thick can clog the nozzle, causing spitting, while paint that is too thin may result in a blotchy application. To achieve optimal consistency, you need to consider the type of paint you are using, the manufacturer’s instructions, and the desired spray pattern.

Mixing And Thinning Techniques

To adjust the consistency of your paint, you may need to mix or thin it accordingly. Different types of paints require different techniques, so it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Here are a few common techniques:

  • Mixing: If you have a gallon of paint, start by gently stirring it with a paint stick. Ensure that you scrape the bottom and sides of the container to mix all the pigments evenly. This will help in achieving a consistent paint texture.
  • Thinning: If your paint needs thinning, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the appropriate thinning agent. Common thinning agents include water, mineral spirits, or paint conditioner. Gradually add the thinner to the paint while stirring continuously until you achieve the desired consistency.

Tips For Achieving The Right Consistency

Here are some additional tips to consider when adjusting your paint consistency:

  • Start with small adjustments: It’s always best to start with small increments of thinning agents or paint to avoid over-thinning or over-mixing. You can gradually add more if needed.
  • Test on a scrap surface: Before spraying on your project, it’s a good idea to test the paint on a scrap surface to ensure the consistency and coverage are satisfactory. This will help you identify any issues before committing to the entire project.
  • Adjust as needed: If you notice spitting or uneven coverage during the spraying process, stop and make further adjustments to the paint consistency. Remember, achieving the perfect consistency might require several tests and adjustments.

By adhering to these techniques and tips for adjusting paint consistency, you’ll be able to achieve optimal spraying results. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a few attempts to find the right balance. With time and experience, you’ll become a master at adjusting paint consistency to ensure a flawless finish every time.

Checking And Adjusting Air Pressure Settings

Importance Of Proper Air Pressure

The air pressure settings on your paint sprayer play a crucial role in achieving a smooth and even paint finish. When the air pressure is not set correctly, it can cause the paint sprayer to spit and create an uneven application of paint on your desired surface. Therefore, it is essential to check and adjust the air pressure settings to ensure optimal performance.

Identifying Recommended Air Pressure Range

Before adjusting the air pressure, it is important to know the recommended air pressure range for your specific paint sprayer model. This information can usually be found in the user manual or on the manufacturer’s website. The recommended air pressure range typically varies depending on the type of paint being used and the surface being painted. Be sure to note this range for the best results.

Adjusting Air Pressure On The Paint Sprayer

To adjust the air pressure on your paint sprayer, follow the steps below:

  1. Start by turning off the paint sprayer and disconnecting it from the power source.
  2. Locate the air pressure adjustment knob or dial on your paint sprayer. This is usually labeled or indicated by a symbol such as “PSI” (pounds per square inch).
  3. Using your fingers or a suitable tool, turn the adjustment knob clockwise to increase the air pressure or counterclockwise to decrease it.
  4. Make small adjustments at a time, allowing the paint sprayer to reach the new air pressure setting before making additional changes.
  5. Refer to the recommended air pressure range for guidance, and aim to set the pressure within that range.

Testing And Fine-tuning The Settings

Once you have adjusted the air pressure settings on your paint sprayer, it is important to test and fine-tune them before starting your paint project. Follow these steps:

  1. Fill the paint sprayer with the desired paint and ensure it is properly mixed.
  2. Hold the paint sprayer at a recommended distance from a test surface, such as a piece of scrap wood or cardboard.
  3. Slowly squeeze the trigger to release the paint while moving the sprayer in a smooth and controlled motion.
  4. Observe the paint spray pattern and check for any spitting or uneven application.
  5. If necessary, make further adjustments to the air pressure settings and repeat the test until you achieve a consistent and satisfactory spray pattern.

By following these steps, you can effectively check and adjust the air pressure settings on your paint sprayer, ensuring optimal performance and a flawless paint finish. Remember to always refer to the recommended air pressure range provided by the manufacturer and take the time to test and fine-tune the settings before starting your painting project.

Ensuring Proper Technique And Spray Distance

When it comes to using a paint sprayer, ensuring proper technique and spray distance is crucial for achieving a flawless finish. If you find that your paint sprayer is spitting, there are a few factors related to technique and spray distance that you should pay attention to.

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of holding the sprayer at the correct angle, maintaining an appropriate distance from the surface, applying consistent and smooth strokes, and avoiding excessive spraying or paint buildup.

Importance Of Holding The Sprayer At The Correct Angle

One of the first things to consider when using a paint sprayer is the angle at which you hold it. Holding the sprayer at the correct angle ensures that the paint is evenly distributed and reduces the chances of spitting. When spraying, make sure to hold the sprayer perpendicular to the surface you are painting.

This allows the paint to flow smoothly without any interruptions and helps to achieve a uniform coat. Holding the sprayer at an incorrect angle can cause spitting and uneven coverage, resulting in an unsatisfactory end result.

Maintaining An Appropriate Distance From The Surface

The distance between the sprayer and the surface is another crucial factor that affects the quality of the paint job. If you notice your paint sprayer spitting, it could be because you are either holding it too close or too far from the surface. To avoid spitting, it is important to maintain an appropriate distance. Generally, holding the sprayer 6 to 12 inches away from the surface is considered ideal.

This allows the paint to disperse evenly and minimizes the chances of paint buildup, which can lead to spitting. Maintaining a consistent distance throughout the painting process is essential for achieving a smooth and professional finish.

Applying Consistent And Smooth Strokes

Another important aspect of avoiding spitting is applying consistent and smooth strokes while using a paint sprayer. Moving the sprayer in a steady, controlled manner helps to distribute the paint evenly, reducing the occurrence of spitting. Make sure to avoid jerky movements or rapid changes in direction, as this can disrupt the flow of paint and result in spitting.

Keep your movements fluid and maintain a constant speed to achieve a seamless finish on your painted surface.

Avoiding Excessive Spraying Or Paint Buildup

Excessive spraying or paint buildup can also lead to spitting with a paint sprayer. It is important to apply multiple thin coats rather than trying to achieve full coverage with a single heavy coat. Overloading the sprayer with paint or applying too much pressure can cause the paint to splatter and spit.

Additionally, be mindful of any paint buildup on the nozzle or tip of the sprayer, as this can also result in unwanted spitting. Regularly clean and maintain your paint sprayer to ensure smooth and consistent paint flow.

Replacing Worn Or Damaged Parts For Smooth Spraying

Identifying Signs Of Worn Or Damaged Parts

If you’ve noticed that your paint sprayer is spitting or producing uneven spray patterns, it could be a sign of worn or damaged parts. Identifying these signs early on is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and achieving smooth spraying results. Here are some common signs to watch out for:
  • Irregular spray patterns
  • Clogs or blockages in the nozzle
  • Inconsistent paint flow
  • Leaking from the sprayer
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take a closer look at the components that may need replacement.

Steps To Replace The Nozzle, Needle, Or Other Components

To ensure smooth spraying, it’s essential to replace worn or damaged parts promptly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:
  1. Refer to the user manual or manufacturer’s instructions to identify the specific parts that need replacement.
  2. Gather the necessary tools, such as screwdrivers or wrenches, based on the instructions provided.
  3. Securely shut off the paint sprayer and disconnect it from the power source.
  4. Remove the nozzle or needle by carefully unscrewing it from the sprayer. Be cautious not to damage any surrounding components.
  5. Inspect the removed part for any signs of wear, blockages, or damage. If necessary, clean it thoroughly using a suitable cleaning solution.
  6. Insert the new nozzle or needle into its designated position and tighten it securely with the appropriate tool.
  7. Double-check that all other components are properly aligned and tightened.
  8. Reconnect the paint sprayer to the power source and test its functionality before use.

Ensuring Compatibility With The Paint Sprayer Model

When replacing worn or damaged parts, it’s crucial to ensure compatibility with your specific paint sprayer model. Different models may have unique specifications, and using incompatible parts can lead to further issues. To guarantee a proper fit, follow these steps:
  • Check the user manual or manufacturer’s website for the recommended replacement parts.
  • Identify the model number and other specifications of your paint sprayer.
  • Compare these specifications with the replacement parts available in the market.
  • Choose the parts that match your sprayer’s requirements precisely.
  • If unsure, consult with the manufacturer or seek guidance from professionals in the industry.

Testing And Troubleshooting After Replacement

After replacing the worn or damaged parts, it’s essential to test the paint sprayer and troubleshoot any potential issues. Here are some tips to ensure everything is working smoothly:
  • Fill the paint container with the appropriate paint, as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Turn on the sprayer and observe the spray pattern to see if it’s even and consistent.
  • If there are any issues, such as spitting or uneven spray, check for loose connections or improper assembly of the replaced parts.
  • Make sure the paint viscosity and spray settings are adjusted to the recommended levels.
  • Refer to the user manual or manufacturer’s instructions for additional troubleshooting tips.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Is My Paint Sprayer Spitting?

Why Is My Paint Sprayer Splattering?

Your paint sprayer may be splattering due to several reasons. Check if the paint is too thick or if there are clogs in the sprayer. Make sure you’re using the correct nozzle size for the paint type. Clean the sprayer thoroughly after each use and ensure proper pressure settings.

Why Is My Paint Sprayer Not Spraying Evenly?

Your paint sprayer may not be spraying evenly due to clogs in the nozzle, incorrect paint viscosity, or an uneven spraying technique. Clean the nozzle, thin the paint if needed, and practice even strokes for better results.

What Causes A Spray Gun To Flutter?

A fluttering spray gun is usually caused by insufficient air pressure or a clogged nozzle. It can also occur if the gun is not properly cleaned or maintained. Regular cleaning and checking air pressure can help prevent fluttering.

Why Is My Paint Sprayer Spitting?

Spitting can occur due to several reasons, including a clogged nozzle, thin paint consistency, low air pressure, or worn-out parts. It’s essential to clean the sprayer, use the correct paint viscosity, adjust the air pressure, and replace any damaged components to prevent spitting and achieve smooth paint application.


Understanding why your paint sprayer spits is crucial for achieving smooth and efficient painting results. By examining the potential causes such as clogged or worn-out nozzles, incorrect paint consistency, or improper technique, you can take the necessary steps to fix the issue.

Regular maintenance and following the manufacturer’s guidelines will help ensure your paint sprayer functions optimally. Keep these insights in mind and enjoy a hassle-free painting experience.

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