Can You Use Paint Sprayer for Stain?

Be it the wooden deck in your backyard or the furniture on the deck, wood will lose its color and shine when exposed to direct sunlight for a longer period. You can bring those woods back to life by staining them. How do you do that? Can you use paint sprayer for stain?

Yes, you can use a paint sprayer for staining wood. As there are different types of stains and sprayers, you just need to know how to prep everything before staining. Spraying stain will save a lot of your time and effort. Let’s see how you can do that.

Why Use Paint Sprayer for Stain?

You can simply use brushes or rollers to apply stains to wood surfaces. Why is a paint sprayer necessary then? Well, it has two main advantages.

First of all, you will need a lot less time for completing your project when using paint sprayers. Staining wood with brushes or rollers will take an eternity to complete. With paint sprayers, you can cover a large wooden deck in just a few hours.

The finish will be much smoother with paint sprayers. If you aren’t that expert in staining with brushes or rollers, chances are you will leave brush marks that will ruin the look of the wooden surface. Paint sprayers will leave a smooth and even finish.

Types Of Paint Sprayers

There are three main types of paint sprayers that are commonly used for painting jobs. These sprayers can handle different types of materials like a stain, varnish, or lacquer.

Let’s break each type down to see what will be the best option to choose.

Compressed Air Paint Sprayers

As the name suggests, compressed air paint sprayers use compressed air to project paints or stains through the nozzle. These sprayers are very common for painting on staining furniture, cabinets, etc.

Such sprayers have several different parts like a spray gun, pressure hose, and compressor, etc. You need to set the airflow to a certain level so that the paint is projected properly through the nozzle. Also, the thickness of the paint or stain should be right to get the job done.

The biggest advantage of compressed air sprayers is you can use them very easily, without much of a learning curve. So, these sprayers are beginner-friendly. Also, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on these sprayers. But compressed air sprayers will use more paint.

Airless or Electric Paint Sprayers

As the name suggests, these sprayers use an electric pump to project the paint or stain through the nozzle. The paint of stain is forced through the nozzle with a very high-pressure pump and then the fan at the tip creates paint droplets.

You might need a bit of a learning curve in the case of electric paint sprayers. The main benefit of electric sprayers is you can cover a large area in less time. And the finish of the stain is very professional with these sprayers.

But a lot of paint is wasted when you use these sprayers. As the pressure is high, a good fraction of the whole amount will just fly away. Also, electric paint sprayers are higher in price.

HVLP Paint Sprayers

These compact sprayers are the smaller version of compressed air paint sprayers. The main difference lies in the air pressure. HVLP or High Volume Low Pressure paint sprayers use very low pressure to project the paint or stain.

As a result, paint droplets can stick to the wooden surface very effectively. Though you might need a bit of time with these sprayers, the control is spot on for beginners. Also, you will leave less waste.

As the air pressure is low in these sprayers, these can’t handle thicker latex-based paints. But for regular paints or stains, HVLP sprayers will work just fine. Another benefit of having lower air pressure is you can use these sprayers indoor without having the risk of painting everything around.

What Is The Best Paint Sprayer for Stains?

As stains are of thin consistency, you can use any of the above-mentioned sprayers to stain wooden surfaces. But compressed air sprayers are most common and affordable. Also, you can use these sprayers very easily. You can check the best paint sprayer for house exterior here.

Just prep the stain at the right consistency, fill the paint tank of the sprayer, and start staining right away.

How To Stain With Paint Sprayers?

No matter whether you are going to stain a wooden table or the deck in your backyard, you need to take the same preparation. Let’s take you through some basic steps you need to follow to stain wood with paint sprayers.

Choose The Right Sprayer

Choosing the right sprayer for staining is crucial. If you don’t choose the right sprayer, you can end up creating a mess and wasting a lot of stains. Depending on your project type, choose a suitable sprayer.

Prepare All Necessary Items

Staining wood will require a lot of tools or accessories like spray nozzles, buckets, masking tape, respirator mask, drop cloth, cleaning cloth, etc. Make sure you gather everything before doing anything else.

Prepare The Surface

It is crucial to clean the surface properly before you stain it. Thoroughly clean the surface with a pressure washer. You can even sand the surface to remove any tough stain from the wood.

Select The Right Consistency and Pressure

Keeping the consistency of the stain right will help you get a better finish. Also, don’t forget to set the air pressure at recommended level to get the desired outcome. You can test the sprayer on cardboard to ensure everything is working fine.

Spray And Let It Dry

Start spraying before the spray nozzle reaches the end of the surface and continue to spray past the other end. Don’t stop spraying midway if you don’t want the finish to be ugly. After you apply the first coat of the stain, leave the wooden surface to dry completely.

Then sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper and apply another coat of stain. Once the stain is set, it will continue to protect the wooden surface for years to come.

Tips for Staining Wood

Here are some pro tips from expert professionals that will help you get a good finish with paint sprayers.

  • Choose the right size of spray nozzle for better control and finish.
  • Choose the right pressure for the stain you are using. Stains need lower pressure for a good finish. Still, check the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Maintain a distance of 8 to 12 inches between the surface and the spray nozzle to keep stain droplets from reflecting.
  • Always wear respirator masks while using paint sprayers so that you don’t inhale stain droplets.


What do you think now? Can you use paint sprayer for stain? From the above discussion, it should be clear that you can easily use paint sprayers for stains. As stains are usually thinner than many other paint types, almost all types of paint sprayers will work just fine with them.

Still, you need to choose the best paint sprayer for stain according to your needs, budget, and expertise. Choosing the right paint sprayer will leave you with a stunning finish every time.

About Emon Hawlader

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