Step 4 : Practice spraying
On a large piece of cardboard like an appliance box or a sheet of plywood, start moving the gun before you start spraying and keep the gun moving in long, straight strokes, parallel to the surface you are painting. Sprayers apply paint quickly, so to get an even coat that doesn't run, you must use this technique.
Hold the paint gun nozzle perpendicular to and 10 to 12 inches away from the surface. Even a slight change in this distance significantly affects the amount of paint being applied: If you move the tip of the gun twice as close to the surface (holding the gun 5 to 6 inches), you apply four times the paint. Avoid tilting the sprayer downward or upward. Tilting downward causes spitting and results in an uneven application.
Keep the gun nozzle perpendicular and parallel to the surface as you move it back and forth. The natural tendency is to swing the gun in an arc, which results in an uneven "bow-tie" application.
Overlap each pass one-half the width of the spray coverage area to avoid leaving light areas or creating stripes.
Test and adjust the spray equipment until you produce the pattern that you want. If the pattern is too narrow, you may apply too much paint to the area, resulting in runs. With a pattern that's too wide, you have to make more than two passes to get good coverage. A pattern that's 8 to 12 inches wide is adequate for painting most large surfaces.
It's better to put the paint on a little light and have to go back and apply a little more than to load the surface with a coat of paint that's too heavy and may sag and dry unevenly. In time, a heavy coat may peel.
Step 5 : Start painting
Do the corners and any protrusions first and finish up with the large flat areas. Spray corners with a vertical stroke aimed directly at the corner. Move a little quicker than usual, especially on outside corners, to avoid overloading the edges.
After you complete each area (or about every five minutes), stand back and look for light spots or missed areas. Touch up, making sure that the gun is moving before spraying. Keep a brush or roller handy for touch-ups.
Most sprayers have a tip guard to protect you from accidentally injecting yourself with paint. Remove your finger from the trigger and wipe the guards off occasionally - with a rag, not your finger. A paint buildup at the tip may affect the spray pattern.