What Causes Airless Sprayer to Spit

Airless paint sprayers are an advanced tool that allows painting jobs to be completed faster and more efficiently. However, there can be issues that arise from these sprayers, such as spitting. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to complete a professional-looking paint job. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of spitting in airless sprayers, how to prevent it from occurring, and how to fix the issue if it does arise

Clogged Nozzle

One of the main reasons why an airless sprayer might start to spit is a clogged nozzle. When spraying, paint and debris can build up within the nozzle, restricting the flow of paint. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you always clean the nozzle after each use. If the nozzle is already clogged, use a needle or paper clip to clean it out.

Wrong Pressure Setting

If the pressure setting on your airless sprayer is too high, it can cause the paint to be released too quickly, leading to spitting. Make sure to check the pressure setting before using the sprayer. Typically, thinner paint will require a lower pressure setting, while thicker paint will require a higher pressure setting.

Low Paint Levels

If the paint levels in your sprayer are too low, spitting can occur because air is sucked into the paint stream. To prevent this, always ensure that you have enough paint in the sprayer.

Inconsistent Stirring

When using an airless sprayer, it’s crucial to ensure that the paint is stirred well before use. If the paint is not mixed correctly, heavy pigment might settle at the bottom of the sprayer, causing spitting to occur. Make sure to mix the paint thoroughly before using the sprayer.

Damaged Tip Seal

Another reason why an airless sprayer might start to spit is if the tip seal is damaged. The seal helps to maintain proper hydraulic pressure, preventing paint from leaking or spitting. If the seal is damaged, paint can escape from the tip, leading to spitting. A damaged tip seal will need to be repaired or replaced to fix the spitting issue.

Worn or Damaged Tip

A worn or damaged spray tip can also cause spitting. If the tip is worn out, paint may not spray out evenly, resulting in a messy paint job and spitting. It’s crucial to replace spray tips regularly to ensure optimal performance.

Poor Paint Quality

Using poor quality, old, or contaminated paint can cause spitting in airless sprayers. If you’re experiencing spitting, check the quality of the paint being used. Ensure that it’s a fresh, high-quality paint designed for airless sprayers.

Inadequate Straining

It’s essential to strain paint before putting it into the sprayer, as it can help to identify any lumps or clumps in the paint, preventing them from clogging the sprayer. If paint is inadequately strained, spitting can occur. Make sure to strain the paint before using it in the airless sprayer.

Improper Technique

Airless sprayers require specific techniques to work effectively. Failure to follow the correct technique can cause spitting to occur. It’s crucial to maintain the correct distance from the surface being painted, ensuring that the sprayer is held straight, avoiding any sudden slowing down or stopping of the sprayer while in use.

Damaged Intake Valve

The intake valve in an airless sprayer helps to regulate the flow of paint into the system. A damaged or worn intake valve can cause air to enter the paint stream, leading to spitting. If you suspect an issue with the intake valve, repair or replace it to fix the spitting problem.


In summary, airless sprayers are one of the most effective tools for painting, but issues such as spitting can occur. The spitting can be caused by a variety of issues, including a clogged nozzle, wrong pressure setting, low paint levels, inconsistent stirring, damaged tip seals, worn or damaged tips, poor paint quality, inadequate straining, improper technique, or damaged intake valves. By understanding these causes, you can prevent spitting and fix any issues that might arise during a paint job. Remember to clean the sprayer after every use, maintain optimal pressure settings, strain paint correctly, use high-quality paint, and follow the recommended techniques to ensure a professional-looking paint job.

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