How Do I Clean A Spray Gun Properly?

5 Ways to Ruin a Paint Gun

Proper spray gun cleaning

1. Leave the Cap on the Paint Gun When You Clean It. This will make it impossible to clean out the paint inside the cap and on the fluid tip – – this stuff builds-up over time!
Do This Instead: Remove the cap and clean out the paint inside the cap and on the fluid tip with the flow brush – – -pay attention to the tiny holes in the “horns” of the air cap – -if they clog-up, your spray patterns are TOAST!

2. Don’t Worry About that Fluid that Gets Into the Air Passage When You Are Cleaning the Gun 

When that water based cleaning solution dries inside the air passageways over-and-over – – it causes corrosion and when it eventually “sheds” flakes, they go right to your paint job… GOT DIRT?



Do This Instead: Always attach the compressed air quick-disconnect to the base of the gun during the cleaning process. This “seals-out” the fluid and when you trigger the paint gun during cleaning, it helps power flush the inside of the gun where the fluid and air come together to atomize the paint.
3. Go ahead and pre-rinse with solvent before you clean the Paint Gun. Using any kind of solvent (thinner, ammonia, Rain,degreaser, etc.) will cause the waterborne paint to become more sticky and harder to get out of the nooks-n’-crannies of the fluid passageways when you clean the gun with waterborne cleaning solution.
Do this instead: Always dump the paint left in the gun into a waste barrel after you disconnect the cup. Then pre-rinse the paint gun with water and dump that into the waste barrel too! Be sure to “trigger” the gun to let some of the rinse come out of the fluid tip.

4. Don’t worry If some paint remains in the fluid passageways after cleaning – – the next paint going through will flush it out. This is the way it works with a lot of painters shooting solvent based paints. Waterborne paint is totally different! When it dries out, it gets hard and it builds up, and it is nearly impossible to break loose with waterborne cleaning solution.

Do This Instead: If you see paint in the cup connector area or on the fluid tip after cleaning – – clean it some more! If the paint still won’t come off, tear the gun down and use some Acetone to do a Detail Cleaning as the Paint Gun Manufacturers recommend.
5. Always “chase” the clean gun with a little solvent when you are finished cleaning it – – and leave a little thinner in the gun to keep the seals, o-rings and leftover paint soft. This is the habit many of us have developed with the  Solvent Logo SOLVENT PAINT GUNS – the exact opposite is best for a Waterborne Logo WATERBORNE PAINT GUNS. Clean and dry is always best.
Do This Instead: When you are sure the paint gun is clean and dry (inside and out) hang it up – – it is ready for the next use.

A Properly Cleaned Spray Gun Changes Everything

Do You Have These Issues? Heavy Paint Application, Tiger Stripping, Long Dry Times, and/or Modeling