How to Spray Oil Based Paint? (Step by Step Guide)

Being a professional painter, James never limits himself to his job only. He wants to utilize his decade of painting experience by helping people who...Read more

Oil based paint is a type of paint in which the pigment is held together with oil, instead of latex paints, which use water. In addition, this paint offers excellent resistance against moisture and humidity, making it great for wood and composite surfaces. So, our focus on this page is on how to spray oil based paint for beginners and experts?

Oil-based paint does need more preparation than latex paint. It will be important to properly prepare the surface and apply the spray oil-based paint to get a smooth finish. Also, oil-based paint is easier to spray when it is diluted, and it may also be sprayed without dilution if the paint is stirred well before use.

In general, oil-based paints are easy to spray if they are not too dense. As a result, they are common for many DIY projects, though they can be intimidating to work with if you are new to painting. If you need to apply an oil-based paint and are not sure where to start, read this article to the end. Also, do not forget to wear your safety equipment before starting.

What Is Oil Based Paint, and When Should It Be Used?

Oil based paint is more durable, stronger, and thicker than latex paint. However, oil based paints are made with either alkyd (synthetic oils) or linseed (natural oils) oil.

What Is Oil Based Paint, and When Should It Be Used

Also, oil-based paints have various uses aside from their practical qualities. They also give your home that classic painted look you may prefer over the newer flat, matte finishes.

In addition, oil-based paint has been around for years, and it is known for its high durability and resistance to peeling. It is also porous, which means that the paint can soak into the surface over time, creating an even stronger bond.

Uses of Oil-Based Paint

The oil-based paint is great for use in all rooms and on various surfaces. It adheres to wood and metal, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor use in your home. Also, oil-based paints come in a larger variety of colors than latex paints, have greater color retention, better coverage, and dry to a harder finish.

Uses of Oil-Based Paint

In addition, oil-based paint is often used to cover surfaces exposed to a lot of wear and tear. While oil-based paint is more difficult to use and clean up, it dries to a hard, durable finish that can withstand routine traffic.

The Oil-based paint typically slows drying time but speeds up the hardening time. In addition, this type of paint has no trouble sticking to most surfaces, including metal, plastics, and varnish.

When Should You Use Oil-Based Paint?

Oil-based paint should be used instead of latex when painting rooms with a lot of smoke or moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Also, oil-based paint creates a harder finish than latex, so it is good for moldings and doors.

Also, if a surface contains high levels of moisture, has already been previously painted with oil-based paint, or if you need a durable finish that can withstand consistent contact, then choose an oil-based paint.

Can You Spray Oil Based Paint Through a Sprayer?

Yes, you can spray oil-based paint with a paint sprayer by using the right products and following the proper procedure. Your challenge might be how the paint will get out of the tube and spray nozzle because the oil-based paint is always thick.

how to Spray Oil Based Paint Through a Sprayer

It is not something you should lose your peace on. You need to thin the paint before using a spray gun with it. The best way to thin an oil-based paint is to mix the paint with turpentine or mineral spirits.

There are primarily two different types of paint sprayers. First, there is the airless sprayer and the HVLP paint sprayer. Both require a thinning of the oil-based paint to be sprayed.

You can spray oil-based paint with most HVLP paint sprayers. But you need to make sure that your sprayer is set up accordingly. It includes switching out the nozzle to one rated for oil-based paints.

Also, Oil-based paints can easily be sprayed with most airless sprayers. As long as there are no thick spots or clumps, the airless sprayer will be able to fully atomize and evenly coat surfaces.

How to Spray Oil Based Paint?

To spray oil based paint, you need the ideal paint sprayer for oil based paint. Before you ever decide to spray oil-based paint, you need to gather the tools you need and thin the paint.

How to Spray Oil Based Paint

Tools you need for painting:

  • Painting clothes
  • Shoes
  • Headcover
  • Nose mask
  • Gloves
  • Brush
  • Funnel
  • Paint
  • Bucket
  • Spray gun

The Best Way to Thin the Paint

If you fail to thin the paint, it will be quite hard to use oil-based paint in the sprayer. However, thinning the paint is not difficult, and you can do it all by yourself.

The Best Way to Thin the Paint - how to thin oil based paint

  • Get the bucket – It is where you get to mix the paint with the turpentine or mineral spirits. But, first, you have to ensure that you get the right ratio for the volume of paint you want to use.
  • Stick – You need the stick to stir the paint to ensure it is not too thick and is good for use. Also, you need to ensure that there are no lumps at all. You can also check to confirm if the paint is smooth enough for use in your paint sprayer.
  • Funnel – You need the funnel to confirm the thinness of the paint. Just place the funnel on any bowl and pour a little quantity of paint. If the paint moves smoothly out of the funnel, then you are good to use in your sprayer. If the movement is slow, it shows the paint is still thick and needs more mineral spirits application.

Spraying Oil-Based Paint Using Hvlp Paint Sprayer

When spraying oil-based paint using an HVLP paint sprayer, remember that it may take some practice to get a nice smooth finish. One of the important things is knowing how much air pressure to use. So, here is the step-by-step method on how to spray oil based paint using a high volume low, pressure paint sprayer.

  1. Get the spray gunYou need to get the spray gun and set it for the task you have at hand. Plus, you will need a pressure gauge to monitor the pressure you need to operate the device for this method.
  2. Fill in the spray gun container with the paint you want to use and install it back on the spray gun.
  3. Insert the pressure gauge on the paint sprayer.
  4. Next, insert the trigger from the air compressor on the pressure gauge and then set the pressure to your desired range.
  5. Adjust the spray nozzle if you can to your desired method of painting.
  6. Squeeze the pump while you focus the nozzle on the areas you want to paint.
  7. You should by now see the paint coming out on the nozzle to the surface you want to paint.

Note: You need to familiarize yourself with the parts of the spray gun and ensure you do all necessary. Ensure you read the manual on using it before using the device.

Spraying Oil-Based Paint Using an Airless Paint Sprayer

If you want to use an airless paint sprayer, you should follow the steps below.

how to Spray Oil-Based Paint Using an Airless Paint Sprayer

Prime the Pump:

Prime the pump by forcing paint through the machine. The Paint is pushed from the bucket through the pump and out of the sprayer while it is turned off. This primes the pump, removing any air and allowing the system to be fully primed with paint, ready for use.

For this task, you need two buckets. First, you have to place the suction tube in a bucket with the paint you want to use. Then place the primer tube in another bucket to collect the paint during the priming period.

Go on to switch the machine turn up the pressure valve until you notice that the paint starts coming out from the prime tube. Once it comes out, then the priming is successful.

Fill up The Gun and Hose:

Fill up the hose and gun with paint. You don’t need to thin it out if you are using latex, but you have to thin it out using oil-based paint. Be sure to use “paint thinner” to thin oil-based paints only.

To fill up, you need the suction tube and the priming tube in one bucket where you have the paint. Then go on to adjust the pressure on the machine while applying pressure on the gun to spray the paint. The tip of the sprayer you choose determines how it will come out when spraying.

Spray the Paint:

There are different methods of spraying the paint, and you need to choose the one that fits the task you have at hand. Also, the sprayer’s tip determines how the paint will get out of the sprayer.

Safety Tips to Using Oil-Based Paint

Most people choose to use oil-based paint because it is more durable and requires only a couple of coats to completely cover the material. Oil-based paints also adhere better to the material than water-based paint.Oil-Based Painting Safety Tips

Also, working with oil-based paint still requires safety precautions that you need to know about. Therefore, you will want to consider some safety precautions while working with oil-based paints.

Use Your Safety Gear:

With oil-based paint, you must wear the proper safety gear.  While latex paint is water-based and easy to clean up, oil-based paints require strong solvents to remove.  As a result, you must have the right safety gear to avoid skin irritation and protect your lungs.

Also, the last thing you want is to get paint in your eye, so be sure to wear safety gear when working with oil-based paints. The safety gear includes a nose mask, gloves, and protective clothing. You can also wear safety glasses if necessary.

Paint with Proper Vent:

Part of what you should keep in mind while working with oil based paint is proper ventilation. You should do the painting in a well-ventilated area for adequate fresh air. Proper ventilation is essential throughout your painting project.

Cover the Painting Area:

Also, while working with oil-based paint, you should keep a few safety tips in mind. First, cover the area you will be painting to protect yourself and the environment. For example, you can cover the painting area with a drop cloth or old newspapers so you can easily clean up and not worry about ruining your furniture or the floor.

Use Separates Clothe for Painting:

Keep safety in mind while painting. Wear clothing that offers protection from flying particles and chemical splashes and breathes well to keep you cool. The correct type of shoes will also protect your feet from slipping and falling.

Avoid Eating when Painting:

No matter the setting, it’s always important to make sure not to eat when painting. Be sure to remove kids and pets from the area and let everyone know that you are about to begin painting before starting. Do not let anyone come in contact with any surfaces that are being painted or sprayed.


If you desire to learn how to spray oil based paint, we have that covered on this page. However, painting with oil based paint is quite tricky and difficult compared to painting with latex paint. So, we have the information you need to know about oil-based paint on this page.

Also, you get to learn how you can paint using different methods, such as using a hvlp sprayer and an airless sprayer for oil-based paint. Not that alone; you also get to learn ways you can thin the paint before using it on any sprayer.

Being a professional painter, James never limits himself to his job only. He wants to utilize his decade of painting experience by helping people who don’t have much knowledge about painting. That is why he created this site Paintersprayer, where he will share all of his experiences about painting with a broader audience. In Paintersprayer, James will share his knowledge and skill and help people select the best paint spraying and other painting tools.

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