When you’re trying to find sprayer nozzles for a paint sprayer, taking a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it.
In order to get the most out of your paint sprayer, you’ll need to make sure your nozzle size and shape is correct.
If you use the wrong size, your paint will likely clump up or go on unevenly, making your painting project a complete disaster that you’ll likely have to do over.
How can you prevent that?
By making sure you know everything about how to find the right nozzle for your sprayer and the type of paints you’re using.
In this post, we’re going to break down how to find the best nozzles on the market.
As industry experts, we’ll make sure you’ll have the right nozzle, no matter what the surface area, paint type, or sprayer size.
What Kinds Of Projects Require Sprayer Nozzles?
If you’re among the 72% of homeowners who will make this the year they complete a renovation project of some kind, listen up!
Using a nozzle will help you to quickly repaint or stain:
- Wooden Fences
- Wall Trimmings
- Garage Doors
- House Siding
As you can see from our list, nozzles can help you to complete a variety of easy, DIY-friendly home improvement projects.
However, you can’t use the same sized nozzles for all the projects listed above.
Next, let’s take a look at how to select the correct type and size of sprayers, based on the projects you want to complete.
Option 1: Airless Sprayer Nozzles
Airless sprayer nozzles are a great option for larger surfaces (think fence-painting, especially.) They work by pumping out paint through a tiny vent, creating minuscule droplets that give you a fresh, even coat.
It looks a little like a spray gun, and the vast majority of these options are handheld paint sprayers.
Because the droplets are smaller, your coat of paint won’t clump up and cause unsightly drops or uneven textures.
Airless sprayers are also popular because they are very quiet, controlled by the movements of your hand, and are the fastest method of painting.
A great thing about airless nozzles in particular?
They’re often reversible – meaning that if one side gets clogged with paint, you can easily remove it, clean it, and switch your nozzle to the other side and continue working. (We’ll get more specific about nozzle types later.)
It’s important to note that airless sprayers work only with oil-based paints and smooth latex paints. So, if your paint of choice has any sort of texture to help with traction, you won’t be able to use an airless sprayer.
To avoid inhaling fumes, it’s also recommended that you put on a mask while painting. Additionally, if you’re doing an outdoor job, go ahead and cover any nearby plants with a bedsheet to avoid paint splashing on them.
Option 2: HVLP Sprayer Nozzles
Another type of spray painter that requires different nozzles is the HVLP Sprayer.
This stands for high-volume, low-pressure sprayers. How do they work? By spraying the paint into a nozzle, where a small amount of air forms a mist-like spray.
HVLP sprayers are good for more exact projects, and they work best with thinner paints (if you’re using a thicker option, you’ll likely need to do a little paint thinning first.)
As with airless sprayers, putting on a mask is a good idea to avoid inhaling fumes.
The Top 3 Questions To Ask To Find The Right Sprayer Nozzles
Now that you know the difference between Airless and HVLP paint sprayer options, let’s move on to how you can find the nozzle that’s right for the job.
- How thick is the paint I want to use for my project? Essentially, how heavy of a coat do you need, and how thick is the paint? The thicker the coat (for example, primers are known for being thicker) the larger nozzle size you’ll need. As a quick reference point, most primers use between a 1.7-1.8 mm sprayer nozzle tip.
- How big is the area I need to paint? This will help you to decide how wide you need your fan to be, as that will help you decide the flow of the paint. If you’re painting a smaller surface, go with a smaller nozzle, as this will cut down on overspraying. For larger areas, of course, go for a larger nozzle. This will help to widen the area the nozzle can cover, meaning the job will be done quickly. It also will make sure you’re not painting over the same area too many times.
- What type of spray gun am I using? Obviously, you’ll need to make sure that the nozzles you want to use are compatible with your airless HVLP sprayer.
What Do The Numbers On My Sprayer Nozzles Mean?
We get it – decoding the numbers on your sprayer nozzles can feel overwhelming. Basically, the numbers on your nozzles are designed to tell you two things: fan size and orifice size.
For example, let’s look at the number LTX415. The first three letters tell you that this will work best for a latex-based paint. The 4 tells you the size of your fan.
The 15, the final two digits, tell you the orifice size in the thousandths. This means that your orifice size on this nozzle is .015. The size of your orifice tells you how may gallons of paint per minute your sprayer nozzle will filter through.
An orifice size of .015 uses about .24 gallons per minute of paint.
More Tips On Tip Sizes!
If math isn’t your strong suit (or if you just don’t have the time to do all the calculations) here’s a list of some of the most common sprayer nozzle tip sizes, alongside the projects they’re often used for.
- 0.8: The finest mist possible, good for painting films or screens
- 1.2: Fine finishes and clear coats
- 1.4: base coat or one coat paint options
- 1.6: generally good for most paints
- 1.8: primers you need to quickly apply
- 2.2-2.5: resins, gel coats, thick paints.
Keep in mind that the material the paint is made out of is the number 1 indicator of what size nozzle you’ll need. If you’re still not sure, reach out to an industry expert to make sure you’re buying the right option for your home improvement project.
What Happens When My Sprayer Nozzle Starts To Wear?
Unfortunately, nothing can last forever. The same often goes for your paint sprayer nozzles.
How quickly your sprayer nozzle will start to wear out depends very little on the quality of the nozzle itself, and more on the type or paints you’re using and the projects you’re working on.
It can also be affected by the quality of the paint itself, so going with a higher-quality paint option may save you money in the long run.
Wear will also happen faster if you’re using a stronger amount of pressure on your nozzle.
But the biggest factor of wear and tear when it comes to sprayer nozzles?
That’s how often you clean your nozzle, and what you’re cleaning it with. We recommend using a paint solvent or a brush made from nylon or wire to make yours last longer.
Keep in mind too, that the more you use your nozzle, the faster it will wear down. This means that as you continue to work on your project with an older nozzle, you’ll need to paint over the same area.
Generally, it’s time to replace your nozzle when about 1/4 of the width has been worn down.
Still, we understand that you want to get the most out of your investment. That’s why we’re answering the ever-popular question…
How Can I Make My Nozzle Last Longer?
To get the most out of your nozzle for as long as possible, follow these rapid-fire guidelines for care and use:
- Don’t clean with metal tools of any kind
- Clean both the nozzle and the sprayer gun after every use
- Use a soft-bristle brush to clean
- If you’re using especially gritty paint, strain it with a cheesecloth first to reduce the grit level
- Always spray with the lowest amount of pressure possible
- Make sure you’re not spraying too close or too far away from the object you’re woking on. A good rule of thumb? For most projects, you will need to stand between 8 and 12 inches away from what you’re working on.
You’re An Expert On All Things Sprayer Nozzles!
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful, and that you’re no longer intimidated to pick up a paint sprayer just because figuring out the nozzles seems challenging at first.
If you still have some questions, would like more specific advice, or just want to pick the brains of paint experts, we invite you to check out our website and blog.
Also, feel free to reach out to us directly to learn more about our services, and to read reviews of some of the most popular paint sprayers on the market!
We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and to learning more about the type of paints, nozzles. and sprayers you’re using in your home.