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Can You Paint a Car With an Airless Sprayer?

can you paint car with airless sprayer

I was watching a Youtube video about airless sprayers the other day. It may sound crazy but it got me thinking. I have used an airless sprayer to paint cabinets and fences in the past but never tried using one to paint a car.

A few minutes of research led me to this video from Snopes, which confirmed what I’d suspected — yes, you can use an airless sprayer to paint a car.

If you are looking to add a little bit of detail to your car without having to spend a lot of money, an airless sprayer is a perfect tool for the job.

So, if you ask, Can you paint a car with an airless Sprayer?

I would say,

You can paint a car with an airless sprayer. It is possible if you use more reducers in the paint and spray additional coats.

Airless Sprayer for Car

Moreover, painting a car with an airless sprayer will take lots of elbow work. With an airless sprayer, it will be difficult to spray a finely automotive mist.

According to Bankrate, “The cost of a standard paint job usually includes sanding the body and removing rust before painting to get an attractive finish. Standard costs range from $1,000 to $4,500.

How To Paint Cars With Airless Sprayer

Painting a car with an airless sprayer will be a tough job. As I mentioned earlier it will take a lot of elbow work.

However, if you decide to paint your old car with an airless sprayer, in order to do that, you need to thin the paint with a reducer. To get the glass – a smooth finish looks you need to apply more coats of paint.

To achieve a smooth finish you need to prep the car properly and apply the right amount of base coats and primer.

With an airless sprayer, you can do various paint jobs. Such as –

  • wood stain
  • varnish
  • Lacquer
  • latex house paint.

According to Essential Home and Garden, the droplets sprayed through the nozzle do not always stick to the surface of the car. Some of the paints drift through the air which can cause 20% to 40% wastage.

So if you are comfortable using an airless spray gun and don’t mind using lots of paints then you can use an airless sprayer to paint your car. Some of the best Airless Sprayers are made by Wagner, Graco, etc.

Types of Sprayers that Can Be Used To Paint a Car

If an airless spray gun is not the best option to paint your car then what is? Well, it depends on whom you ask. But there are some other options.

So let’s check out the other sprayers that can be used to paint a car-

Airless Sprayer-2

HVLP Sprayer

In an HVLP sprayer, an air compressor pumps air or the turbine of the HVLP sprayer atomizes paint. On the other hand in an airless sprayer, a piston pressurizes the material. Airless sprayers spray out of an opening smaller than an HVLP nozzle. The high pressure and tight squeeze of the airless sprayer shears the paint into particles. Nowadays Fuji, HomeRight, Wagner, etc are the best HVLP sprayer.

HVLP systems are normally recommended for thinner paints. Airless spray guns need latex-style paints. However, with industrial HVLP sprayers, you can use more viscous liquids. But HVLP sprayers are more expensive to buy or rent.

Compressed Air Sprayer

With a compressed air sprayer, you can create a smooth and even finish look. A compressed air sprayer use compressed air to project the paint out of the tip.

The compressed air sprayer is user-friendly. Anybody can use it, you don’t need to be a pro. While using a compressed air sprayer, you need to use an eye protector and respirator mask.

A compressed air sprayer is made of a spray gun, a high-pressure hose, and a compressor canister.

LVLP Sprayer

LVLP spray guns are mainly made of conventional air spray and HVLP air spray. LPLV sprayer uses a low volume of air and lower pressure. LVLP spray guns are high-end professional spray guns.

The LVLP uses low pressure and a thin nozzle. It helps a low volume of paint to come out from the sprayer.

LVLP sprayers are excellent for very thin materials such as clear coats, thin stains, lacquers, and varnish. It’s not great for standard latex paints.

Cost-Effectiveness Of Paint a Car With Airless Sprayer

If you visit a professional to paint your car it may cost a huge sum of money.

According to The Drive, “A higher quality paint job that includes bodywork, such as dent/rust/damage repair, can cost as much as $3,500. Multi-coat, high-quality paint jobs can cost as much as $8,000 or more, depending on color and vehicle.” 

Airless Sprayer

So it’s better to do the job on your own. Painting your car with an airless sprayer may take some time but it will help you to save a huge amount of money.

If you are patient enough to work on your own I will suggest you paint your car with an airless spray gun. Use a lot of paint for a smooth finish look.

You can use your desired color to give a new look to your favorite car.

Let me give you some tips on painting your car with airless spray –

  • Thin the paint with the help of a reducer.
  • Before starting to paint, clean the car thoroughly.
  • Don’t put paint in a damaged area. Before painting, try to fix the damage.
  • Don’t put paint in stains. Try to remove stains as much as you can before painting.
  • Apply the right amount of base coats and primer.
  • Pause 10 minutes in between two light coats and one heavy coat.
  • Start painting from top to down.
  • Apply more coats to get a glossy finished look.
  • Before painting your car practice on cupboards.

Airless sprayers take a lot of physical work but it is worth the cost. Despite spending a huge sum of money you can give your car a new desired glossy finish look with the help of an airless sprayer at home.


Painting a car with an airless sprayer can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation, it can be a quick and easy job!

After all the discussion now you know all the pros and cons of an airless sprayer. If you love DIY projects then you should give it a try.

If you clean your car daily the paint of your car will remain as it is.

A car is an important investment and it deserves care. If you treat your car carefully it will remain like new for years.

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