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Why Is My Airless Spray Paint Overspray Occurring?


Overspray refers to that fine mist or spray dust that doesn't actually end up on the intended surface, but rather floats around in the air or settles as waste on other areas.


Too much overspray is frustrating, it wastes paint, makes a mess, and can even be a respiratory hazard if spraying indoors without proper ventilation. The good news is that resolving the causes of overspray is usually a straight forward process.


Spray Tip Size


The size of that tiny spray tip aperture on the end of your spray gun has a massive impact on the amount of overspray generated. Larger tips simply can't concentrate and focus the spray pattern as tightly as smaller tips. Overspray increases exponentially as tip sizes get larger. If you find your current tip is generating too much mist or bounce-back, it's time to step down one or two sizes, the sacrifice in square feet covered per minute may be worth the drastically reduced overspray.


Most airless sprayers today are capable of spraying at pressure ranges of 1500-3000+ PSI. Dialing down towards the lower end of that range will go a long way towards reducing overspray clouds. Again, you'll sacrifice a bit of productivity versus cranking it up to max pressure, but sometimes that trade off is worth it in overspray-sensitive applications.


Material Viscosity


The viscosity, or thickness, of the paint or stain being sprayed also impacts overspray. Thinner, less viscous materials are more prone to atomization and overspray compared to their thicker, higher viscosity counterparts. Latex paints, waterborne stains, and lacquers are classic culprits.


While there may be some materials that are simply too thin to spray nicely without excessive misting, you can often thicken up the product to an ideal spraying consistency by either adding a paint conditioner or slowly mixing in a mildly thickening tint reserve.


Spray Distance


Believe it or not, something as simple as varying the distance you hold the spray gun from the painting surface can make a big difference in overspray. Get too close (under 6 inches or so) and the excessive pressure at that tight proximity causes the spray to bounce chaotically, aerosolizing paint into a fine, drifting mist.


On the flip side, get too far away (over 16 inches) and the spray pattern loses energy and focus before reaching the target. The ideal range is somewhere between 8-12 inches for most applications. You'll have to experiment a bit to find the sweet spot that minimizes bounce-back and drift.


Environmental Controls


Even with perfect pressure, tip, pattern, and technique adjustments, gusty winds or excessive indoor airflow from open windows or air handlers can utterly disrupt your spray pattern and blow atomized paint off-target in an instant.


Outdoors, try to spray early in the morning when breezes are calmer. Indoor painting areas should close up windows, turn off fans, and block off airflow paths as much as possible during spraying to create a dead air environment. Using a spray shelter or enclosure system takes this a step further by containing the overspray within tightly sealed barriers. 

If you find yourself struggling with excessive overspray no matter what adjustments you make, it may simply come down to the specific sprayer you're using. Some units, particularly lower-end hobby models, are just not designed for producing truly professional, controlled spray patterns.


Look for sprayers with precision components, advanced pressure controls, and proprietary spray tips engineered for optimum atomization like the AEROPRO AP8623 Airless Paint Sprayer.

Piston pump and single phase motor design. Includes all metal airless spray gun W/517 nozzle spray tip and guard. Supports up to a .017 spray tip and 3000PSI max pressure.


Light weight, high productive sprayer for DIY and Tradesman professional use. Handles a wide range of exterior or interior jobs such as housesrental properties and small commercial buildings.

Model No.: AP8623/AP8623N

Voltage/frequency: 120V/60hz(AP8623) 220V/50hz(AP8623N)

Motor power: 5/8/HP(500w)

Max pressure: 3000psi(20.7MPA)

Standard Nozzle size: 517

Spraying width: 250-310mm

Length of hose: 7.6m

Flow rate: 1.44LPM

Max pressure for the hose: 83MPA

AEROPRO has quickly risen to become an unrivaled global producer of air-powered devices including air tools, air spray gunair nailer, airless paint sprayer, and etc.

AEROPRO seeks independent sales agent to represent and market our industry-leading pneumatic tools. We support OEM, ODM, OBM customization, small order quantity is acceptable and samples are available.

Make any cooperation possible. Any services related to the product, inquire with us now! Sales@Aeroprotools.Com