How to Use a Wagner Paint Sprayer

Larry Simmons

Wagner paint sprayers are high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) sprayers that use a process of atomizing paint at the nozzle to mist an even coat of paint onto any surface. Wagner sprayers use less air when compared to other spray guns for paint applications.

The lower air usage decreases the amount of paint needed to cover the same surface area while maintaining the same apparent paint depth. While the method in which a Wagner paint sprayer applies paint is slightly different, the method for using the paint sprayer is much like that used with other HVLP sprayers. It’s a basic point and trigger mechanism which makes even those new to painting with sprayers successful at creating evenly painted surfaces.

  1. Place a drop cloth over areas adjacent to the spraying surface. Secure the drop cloth with masking tape. The drop cloth will prevent paint from overspraying the painting surface.

  2. Clean the spraying surface with a cleaner specifically formulated for the surface material. Follow the cleaner manufacturer instructions to prevent damaging the surface. Allow the surface to dry before painting.

  3. Connect the Wagner spray gun with the turbine by aligning the arrow on the gun with the unlock symbol on the turbine. Slip the gun onto the turbine and then twist it to align the arrow with the locked position. Make sure that you align the angled suction tube in the paint bottle pointed towards the front of the gun for spraying downward, and to the rear of the gun for spraying upward. Unscrew the paint container and twist the tube in place to change its alignment.

  4. Thin the paint being used with the appropriate paint thinner, following the paint manufacturer’s thinning instructions for use with a paint sprayer.

  5. Remove the paint container at the bottom of the gin by unscrewing it. Fill the container to the top of the neck with the thinned paint and then screw the container back on.

  6. Select the spray pattern desired by twisting the notched pattern selector knob on the front of the sprayer nozzle. Test each pattern setting until you get the spray pattern of your choice. Each pattern will apply the paint differently, allowing you to better control the paint application.

  7. Hold the sprayer perpendicular to the spraying surface between 1 and 12 inches away. The further the distance, the thinner the spray and the wider the application surface.

  8. Press the trigger on the sprayer to start the paint flowing. Move the sprayer along the surface to apply the paint. Use thin layers to build up to the desired coat of paint. Release the trigger once you have the look you want.


Always wear a face mask when painting to protect yourself from paint fumes.