All you need to know to become a professional paint sprayer

By Clive Wilden

All you need to know to become a professional paint sprayer

For speed and ease, using a sprayer is a great way to improve the results of a professional paint job. If you’re currently a professional painter and decorator or you’re in education and looking for a career in painting, you can learn all you need to know about the role of a professional sprayer in this handy article.

Firstly, what is a professional paint sprayer?

As the name suggests, a professional paint sprayer applies paint, coatings and protective finishes to a number of surfaces. Painter and decorators may utilise a spray paint gun to speed up and improve the finish on spraying walls, doors or cabinets in homes and corporate spaces while other tradespeople may apply coatings to machine parts, vehicles and plant equipment.

Do you need formal qualifications to be a professional sprayer?

No, there are no formal qualifications required to become a professional paint sprayer. But, taking relevant vocational courses (such as a Diploma in Accident Repair Paint) or doing an apprenticeship is a great way to join the industry. To take part in this form of training, you’ll usually need GCSEs to sign up.

If you’re already a professional painter and decorator then it may be possible to get some of the information you need from online videos and YouTube tutorials, although it’s worth noting that some form of formal qualification or training is important to potential customers to let them know that you’re an expert in the field.

At Elmbridge, we offer a number of courses geared to preparing painters for using low pressure, airless or air-assisted training. We’ll cover some of the following topics:

  • PPE Equipment
  • Paint Preparation
  • Surface Preparation
  • Spray Equipment Selection
  • Equipment Settings
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
  • Trouble Shooting

We can tailor the course to cover issues or gaps in knowledge that you currently have and every attendee will receive a certificate which can be shown to customers or employers.

Are there safety risks involved with a career in paint spraying?

In short, yes, there are risks with paint spraying. Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat can occur and with prolonged use and no Protective Personal Equipment, there can be long-lasting effects on the body. Similarly, airless spray equipment generates very high pressure which can be dangerous if not used correctly.  BUT, with adequate precautions and relevant training, which are legal requirements if you work for someone, these risks can be mitigated.

What PPE should I use with a spray gun?

Typical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes a face respirator to protect against airborne paint droplets. The respirator should fit snuggly and the goggles should be non fogging. Safety glasses with side shields are permitted for low exposure situations.

4 safety tips for using a spray gun
  1. Do your research before you start

It’s important that you fully understand the machine you’re using, how it works and how to depressurise the equipment before you begin. Consider taking a course so you’re fully clued up but at the very least read the manufacturer’s handbook and watch some training videos before you start.

Check out our courses here:

  1. Wear PPE

Always wear the right PPE (see above for more on this)

  1. Get into good habits!

When you’re not spraying, taking your finger off the trigger and consider using the trigger lock (much like a safety catch on a gun). This ensures that you can’t accidentally pull the trigger and cause harm to yourself or others. Making both practices habit mean you’ll be safe even when the sprayer is pressurised.

  1. Depressurise when not in use

There will come times when you need to change the filter, clean the tip or add an extension bar. It’s important that when you do so, you release pressure from the system. Simply turn the dial to zero and then turn the switch to “prime”. Safety guaranteed!

Still have questions? Get in touch with a member of our team to learn more.

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