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Forget paintbrushes and rollers: the guide to spraying


Sooner or later, you’ll need a paintbrush or roller in most DIY projects, be it for applying paint, lacquer or glaze. But did you know there is an alternative? A paint spray system with ALLPaint Technology allows you to easily apply any type of wall paint, lacquer or glaze with just a single tool.

Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about paint spray systems, the best projects in which to use them and how to operate them.


1. What actually is a paint spray system?

A man is holding the PFS 5000 E spray gun with both hands. The base unit is on the floor in the background in front of a white wall.
A paint spray system basically consists of the spray gun, a connecting hose and a base unit.

1.1 1.1. What actually is a paint spray system?

As the name suggests, a paint spray system allows you to apply paint, lacquer or glaze evenly. The system consists of a paint container, a spray gun, a hose and a base unit containing the motor, which provides the pressure you’ll need.  

Spray systems differ in terms of motor output (410 W to 1200 W), pumping capacity (100 mil/min to 500 ml/min) and the volume of the tank (800 ml or 1000 ml). Which system you use and when depends entirely on your project.

1.2 The advantages of spraying

There are several advantages to spraying instead of applying paint with a roller or a brush:

 

  • A paint spray system saves you a lot of time when painting large walls or other surfaces.
  • The fine spray enables you to paint any edge and reach any corner, which is a massive advantage when it comes to lacquering wooden furniture or uneven surfaces.
  • Spraying means paint is applied evenly on any surface, allowing you to easily achieve the perfect results.
  • A spray system is suitable for paints, lacquers and glazes. All you need is one tool. Only the contents of the tank and the nozzle need to be changed when you go from one job to another.

2. 2. When do you need a paint spray system?

If you already have a few DIY projects under your belt, then you’ve probably had a lot of practice using brushes and rollers. But that also means there were definitely times when the work was incredibly time consuming or tedious. This is where a paint spray system comes to the rescue.

2.1 What can you do with a paint spray system?

In theory, you can work on anything from log cabins to living room walls and decorative projects with a paint spray system. Other common uses include lacquering and glazing furniture or garden fences.

  • A man wearing a t-shirt is using a PFS paint spray system to apply light blue paint to a white wall.
    Large walls can be painted quickly and easily with a paint spray system.
  • A woman wearing a t-shirt is kneeling in front of a raffia chair in a garden. She is applying a glaze to it using a PFS paint spray system.
    Garden furniture can be perfectly glazed or lacquered with a paint spray system.
  • A man is using a PFS paint spray system to apply white paint to a wooden garden fence.
    The most common uses include painting wooden fences or garden sheds.
  • A glazing is applied to several short, hollowed-out logs with a paint spray system.
    A spray system is also suitable for painting or lacquering in small decorative projects.

However, be careful as the fine mist can land anywhere. That means a spray system is best suited to outdoor projects. If you are going to use a paint spray system indoors then you need to cover up everything that you are not looking to paint.

Our tip:

Use a protective mat to cover the floor instead of plastic sheet. This will prevent anything from slipping, sliding or floating up in an uncontrolled way.

A paint spray system isn’t really suitable for very small surfaces, spot repairs or for large house facades.

2.2 Which materials are suitable for spraying?

A paint spray system allows you to work on almost any material or surface, including wood, walls with different wallpapers, metal, concrete and brick or stone walls. Of course, you’ll have to pick a suitable paint or lacquer, depending on the base surface.

2.3 Paint spray systems are also suitable for beginners

It is really very easy to operate a paint spray system, even if it looks like a professional tool with all its many parts and accessories. Spraying saves you a lot of time, especially if you haven’t had a lot of practice with brushes or paint rollers, and you can achieve precise results with little experience.

 

3. How do you use a paint spray system correctly?

In principle, it is very easy to use a paint spray system. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you should consider both when preparing to use and actually operating the device

3.1 Before spraying

There are certain steps you need to take before you start spraying.

Firstly, use the air hose to connect the spray gun to the base unit (motor). Then, fill the container with the desired paint, lacquer or glaze.

You should also consider whether your spray material needs to be diluted, which is heavily dependent on the system and the paint (or lacquer or glaze) you’re using. See the chart lower down in the article for information on if and by how much you’ll need to dilute the spray material.

The tank of a paint spray system from Bosch has a ConstantFeed function that ensures the spray gun receives a constant and steady supply of paint in every position.

You’ll need to select and attach the correct nozzle based on the contents of the container.

The white nozzle is used for spraying wall paint. The grey nozzle cap is used when applying lacquers or glazes. Select the black nozzle for lacquers if you’re using a PFS 5000 E system.

A man is holding a grey nozzle cap while attaching it to a PFS spray gun.
The appropriate nozzle is attached directly to the front of the spray gun.

In addition to selecting the nozzle, you also have to choose the desired spray volume. This can be done directly on the spray gun using the control knob on the side.

Side view of a spray gun of a PFS paint spray system. The control knob for the paint volume is located on the centre of the device.
The paint volume can be set using the knob on the spray gun.

The final step is correctly setting up the motor unit. Select the corresponding symbol depending on if you’re working with wood or wall paint using the slider or knob.

A thumb is pushing the slider on the motor unit of a PFS paint spray system to select the correct system setting.
The slider or knob for selecting the correct setting for the paint spray system is located on the base unit.

There are brief instructions on the tools if you’re ever unsure about selecting the right nozzle or other settings.

Before you start spraying make sure that you have covered up all the adjacent surfaces that are not intended to come into contact with the paint.

3.2 During spraying

First of all, you should ensure that the selected nozzle is in the correct position. You can choose between three different spray patterns to make sure your work is as precise as possible:

A drawing shows the three different nozzle settings of a PFS paint spray system and the corresponding spray patterns.
There is a different spray pattern based on whether the nozzle is set to horizontal, vertical or diagonal.
A graphical instruction shows the horizontal and vertical spraying movements to fill a square area.
Use the horizontal and vertical adjustment of the nozzle to create uniform ink coverage.

We recommend standing 20 cm away from the wall or object you’re painting and spraying in a square pattern to ensure you cover the entire surface without missing any spots. First, spray from left to right and back again using the vertical setting. Then, repeat the movement with the horizontal setting from top to bottom.

Always spray parallel to the wall and start at the source of light.

Test out the optimal spray volume on a small patch of the surface to be painted before starting to paint the wall or other object with the spray gun for the first time. Once everything has been set up correctly, the spray pattern should be even, cover the entire surface and be run-free.

3.3 After spraying

You should clean the tool as soon as you have finished your project to avoid dried-out paint building up inside the tool.

To do this, first separate the spray gun from the hose as this is the only component that needs to be cleaned.

Keeping the operating switch pressed down causes the remaining paint to flow out of the spray gun and back into the tank. You can simply empty the tank back into the original paint bucket so that nothing goes to waste.

Now, fill the container with warm water, reconnect to the spray gun and shake the whole thing well several times. Then, take apart all the individual paint-carrying parts and clean them carefully with a brush in a bucket of warm water. Once everything has dried, your paint spray system is ready for your next project.

4. Paint spray systems in comparison

A paint spray system is extremely versatile and can be used in almost any painting project. However, as applications and projects can vary widely, Bosch offers four different systems ranging from the small and simple PFS 1000 to the large PFS 5000 E.

Table containing the Bosch PFS 5000 E, PFS 3000-2, PFS 2000 and PFS 1000 paint spray systems and list of features.
Overview of the paint spray systems from Bosch.

But which system is best suited to your project? The overview below will help you decide:

Illustrated table listing various projects and the appropriate paint spray systems for them.
Find out which system is suited to your project.

As you can see, every paint spray system is very flexible in how it can be used, though the PFS 1000 is more limited in the features it provides. The bigger the project, the bigger the system should be.

5. What can be sprayed?

As you have already seen, you can use the larger paint spray systems with paints, lacquers and glazes – each with the correct nozzle and appropriate settings on the tool.

You can normally find information from the paint manufacturer on the packaging or tins as to whether the paint, lacquer or glaze is suitable for paint spray systems.

If you should ever come across a warning stating, for example, that a glaze is not suitable for use in a paint spray system, this is often for warranty reasons. Although the system can work with the glaze, the manufacturer’s guarantee regarding resistance to fading or weathering will no longer apply. In this case, it’s better to use a brush.

6. Use in projects

The time has now come for you to get involved. If you’re lacking inspiration for a project in which you can use a paint spray system, then we have an idea for you.

A grey wooden TV board is being held up against a white wall by two hands.
A DIY TV board is the perfect extra for your television.

We’ll show you how to build a stylish TV board in our short step-by-step instruction guide (https://www.bosch-diy.com/de/de/all-about-diy/step-by-step-projects/tv-board-selbst-bauen) (in German). You can use a paint spray system to paint the wooden board in the colour you selected at the end of the project.

TV board is being held up against a white wall by two hands.
A DIY TV board is the perfect extra for your television.

Do you prefer to spend your free time in the garden rather than in front of the TV? Then maybe a garden bar made from pallets is just the project to use your paint spray system in.

Whatever project you embark on, we wish you good luck and happy spraying