How To Paint the Exterior of a House Using an Airless Sprayer

Project Overview

Painting a house with an airless sprayer

Update the look of your house this year with the help of a Graco sprayer. You’ll finish in a fraction of the time it takes to paint with a traditional roller or brush, leaving more time to enjoy your summer.

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Safety Notice: Whenever operating spray equipment, take proper safety precautions, stay alert, and be mindful of potential hazards. Wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses/goggles, spray sock (hood), hat, proper footwear, dust masks and respirators. Make sure there is adequate ventilation. If you’re painting in the vicinity of appliances, turn them off. (See Safety Precautions in your Sprayer Operation Manual.) Always refer to the specific instructions and safety procedures for the spray equipment you are using.


How to Spray a House: Quick Summary 01:07


Suggested Tools & Equipment

  • Graco, Magnum, or TrueCoat Paint Sprayer (see comparison chart or sprayer selector)
  • Paint/Stain
  • Spray tips – a wider spray pattern for large surfaces and narrow size for smaller surfaces (see tip selector)
  • Empty buckets for priming sprayer and cleanup (two needed)
  • Stir sticks
  • Paint strainer bag – helps prevent tip plugs and provides a better finish
  • Tarps, drop cloths, or plastic sheeting
  • Masking tape
  • Paint brush for touch-ups
  • Magnum tip extension/TrueCoat tip extension (optional) – for hard-to-reach areas that would otherwise require a ladder
  • Pressure roller kit (optional)
  • Additional airless hose sections if needed
  • Spray shield
  • Pump Armor storage fluid or TSL fluid (see pump protectant product details)
  • Cleaning rags
  • Stiff nylon brushes for cleanup
  • Safety and protection equipment – safety glasses/goggles, dust mask/respirator, spray sock or hat to cover head

Getting Started/Prep

  1. Move all outdoor furniture or any other items such as a grill away from the area to be sprayed. Allow plenty of space for your tools and equipment. Tape off any trim, and cover any surfaces you don’t want sprayed such as windows or shrubs with plastic.

  2. Use a pressure washer and cleaning solution to wash the entire area that is to be painted. Allow surface significant time to dry.

  3. Remove any dirt, mildew, or mold, and scrape off any peeling paint.

  4. Repair any damaged siding, soffits or trim. Drive any loose nails flush. Sand any rough surfaces and caulk gaps as needed.


Spraying

  1. Select the spray tip that’s best suited for the paint you are using and the surface to be sprayed. Be sure the tip’s hole size does not exceed the maximum capacity of your sprayer (see spray tip info). If you’re using paint from multiple containers, mix it together in an empty 5-gallon container to ensure consistent color even if small color differences exist between individual paint cans.

  2. If you don’t have a lot of spraying experience, choose a flat surface such as the side of the house or other area that won’t readily be seen to begin on. Start at the top of the area and work your way down, first spraying any eaves or undersides of any overhangs. The direction you will spray depends on the construction – as a general rule, spray any exposed trusses, wood beams, or boards by aiming the spray fan pattern to follow lengthwise.

  3. Work in sections only as far as you can comfortably reach, keeping the spray tip approximately 12 inches from the surface. (A tip extension is a useful accessory, as it will allow you to safely spray hard-to-reach areas such as eaves or other overhangs from your ladder.) Spray the outer edges first, “banding” the area that you will spray. For inside corners, aim the spray tip directly into the corner so that the spray fan overlaps both sides. Overlap your spray passes pass by 50%.

  4. After you have completed the eaves, spray the exterior walls themselves. Cut in around windows and doors first, and then spray the remaining flat areas, overlapping each pass by 50%.

Visit How to Use a Paint Sprayer: Spray Techniques for more spraying pointers.


Clean-up

  1. Allow significant time for the paint to dry before removing tape from your trim. This will result in crisp, clean lines.

  2. Remove all coverings from shrubs, bushes and plants. Carefully remove all tape and plastic covering from window and door trim.

  3. Replace any hardware such as lighting fixtures, house numbers or shutters that you removed.

  4. Clean your airless paint sprayer after each use. Follow the directions in your user’s manual for Power Flush cleaning with water based materials or use the bucket method of cleaning if applicable. For more information, see Power Flush Video or refer to your Sprayer Operation Manual.

  5. Return any other items (furniture, grill, etc.) to their proper place.