Sunday, October 1, 2023

What are airless or “mosquito” painting equipment like and what are their characteristics?

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In the industry they are known as “mosquitoes” both because of their size and their morphology: airless painting equipment they offer excellent stability, they have a “proboscis” to facilitate application and, as they do not have a compressed air tank, it is their own motor that drives the paint (hence the characteristic buzz).

Whether to speed up the work of painting or to obtain a homogeneous result over the entire surface, the airless equipment or mosquito they are ideal; let’s see why.

Characteristics of airless painting equipment

Airless painting equipment is mostly used for the completion of large-scale construction works, where the greatest neatness and at the same time the greatest economy in painting is required. Some manufacturers have equipment that yields 400m²/hour and others 550m²/hour. Beyond this technical data, as they are versatile equipment, it is also possible to use them for more modest tasks such as interior decoration, home and office renovations, and others.

Airless painting equipment – ​​Features


These teams are simple; They basically consist of a pressurizer, a hose, a nozzle and a support. Being airless they do not have a compressed air tank.

Airless painting equipment - Parts

Airless painting equipment – ​​Parts


As the name implies, airless means that the equipment works in a different way from airbrushes or air or electric paint guns; in them the paint is distributed by means of a physical phenomenon called «Venturi effect»; in the airless equipment pressurization is simply achieved through a pump specially designed for high viscosity fluids.

When turned on, the pump pressurizes the paint and forces it through the hose and nozzle, which has a small outlet hole. The result is the atomization of the liquid (paint) and the formation of a homogeneous mist.

Airless painting equipment - Pressurizer

Airless painting equipment – ​​Pressurizer

Mosquito - Airless painting equipment

Mosquito – Airless painting equipment

hose and gun

The hose is responsible for transporting the already pressurized paint to the nozzle. This hose is capable of withstanding high working pressures, for which its use must be taken care of at all times, avoiding its contact with sharp, hot surfaces, etc.

The gun is attached to the hose and is the mechanism that allows or prevents the passage of pressurized paint to the nozzle; for this it uses the trigger, which is actuated by the operator.

Airless painting equipment - Hose and Gun

Airless painting equipment – ​​Hose and Gun


The nozzle —or spray tip— is a mechanical device that converts the flow of pressurized paint into a mist of mini-particles suspended in the air; To do this, it has a small hole through which the paint passes at high speed, atomizing in the process and generating a mist of suspended paint particles.

The size is specified with a combination of three digits. For example, a 517 tip for latex paint:

  • 5 is the spray angle: 5 equals 50 degrees, 4 equals 40 degrees, and so on. The more open the angle, the more surface can be painted, causing a significant increase in productivity. We would be talking about an ideal nozzle for painting facades.
  • 17 is the size of the hole will determine the amount of paint and is determined by inches, that is, 0.17 inches (0.43mm). The nozzles with a larger orifice are used for the application of higher viscosity products, while those with a smaller orifice are used for less dense components.
Airless equipment nozzle

Airless equipment nozzle


It is what provides stability to the equipment (mainly the pressurizing pump) while the system is in operation. The support, in the form of legs, must provide a virtual support surface wide enough to maintain the stability of the equipment even on inclined or irregular terrain; at the same time, they must offer good enough damping to absorb engine vibrations.

Airless painting equipment - Support

Airless painting equipment – ​​Support

Advantages over other similar equipment

  • Not relying on compressed air for operation, there is no need to wait for the tank to fill; all you have to do is turn on the pressurizer to start working.
  • The working pressure is stable throughout the cycle, so the result is consistent at all times given the same paint mix.
  • Maintenance is easier; With fewer moving parts than other models, the chances of breakage or malfunction are reduced.
  • In the same pressure and flow range, a spray equipment it is lighter and more compact.
  • The initial and final preparation is simpler and more limited, so less paint is wasted.

Precautions and tips for use

  • The hose and the gun handle much higher pressures than the equipment based on the Venturi effect; it is very important to verify that both the hose and the gun are in good condition and away from sharp or hot elements.
  • It is important to check that the hose is firmly attached to the pressurizer; the same with the gun and the nozzle.
  • At the nozzle outlet the paint is highly pressurized; it is important to keep your hands and the rest of your body away from it. You should never use a airless painting equipment to try to paint people or animals. Nor surfaces that are not firmly attached or that are fragile.
  • To achieve good coverage on walls or ceilings, it is important to work with the nozzle perpendicular to the surface at all times, without fanning.
  • Ideally, it is necessary to cover exactly half of the previous pass, so that at the end of the work there are two layers (the initial and the subsequent coating) on ​​the entire surface except the final pass, which is usually left on the bottom of the walls for a final pass with a smaller nozzle.

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