How to Spray Latex Paint With Air

Most room interiors are colored with latex-base paint. You can brush or roll these paints on, but this can result in brushstrokes and other lines being left behind when the paint dries. You can achieve a much more flawless paint job using an industrial sprayer, available for rent or purchase at most major hardware stores. If you run latex paint though a sprayer, you must prepare it first to ensure that it is applied properly.

Wear proper safety gear when spraying latex paint.
  1. Pour your latex paint into a clean bucket.
  2. Thin the paint by mixing in distilled water a small amount at a time. All latex paints need different amounts of water, but you should not add more than 20 percent to 25 percent water to the paint. Properly thinned paint for use in a sprayer should quickly drizzle off a paint stick dipped into it.
  3. Mix in paint conditioner to slow the paint's drying time. This will help to keep paint from clogging the sprayer. Consult the instructions on the conditioner bottle to get the proper mixing ratio.
  4. Pour the thinned paint into the reservoir of an industrial paint sprayer.
  5. Put on goggles and a particle mask. You should also open windows to provide ventilation.
  6. Connect the paint sprayer to its compressor (if it is not already attached) and turn it on.
  7. Hold the sprayer 12 to 14 inches from the wall and spray the paint in broad, even strokes.
  8. Apply a thin coat to the entire work surface and allow it to dry.
  9. Apply a second thin coat of paint. Applying several thin coats (as opposed to one thick one) will help to prevent the risk of drips.
  10. Apply a third coat of paint if needed.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Distilled water
  • Paint conditioner
  • Stir stick
  • Paint sprayer with compressor
  • Goggles and mask


  • If the paint spray is weak, turn up the pressure on the compressor. If it is too strong, creating clouds of paint in the air, turn down the pressure.
  • Self-contained latex spray paint (in an aerosol can) is available for small projects.


  • Overthinned paint can drip down the wall and cause spattering in the paint sprayer.
  • Do not thin latex paint with tap water. It contains minerals that can cause the paint to curdle.

About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.

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