Originally Posted by Woodsydad
I have a Wagner homeowner type sprayer. I'm using exterior paint and the guy at the paint store said I might want to thin it with a little water. I am using gallon cans and wont be using it all at once. Should I add some water straight to the can? I've never used this sprayer before so can't judge to only mix the exact amount needed.
Hi - I've been using those sprayers for some time now. First off, I usually start thinning with a paint conditioner, ie. Floetrol or similar if using latex. I haven't found conditioners necessary for oil base though. As Brushjockey pointed out, thinning is kind of seat of the pants thing. I'll start with maybe an ounce of conditioner in a spray cup. The gun should prime itself in 15 or 20 seconds, if not add a little more. Once you get it to spray, add conditioner (up to the max recommended, 10% with Floetrol) then use water until you get good atomization. If it's to thin, add some paint.
One thing I always do before I start with paint is load it with water and make sure it primes and sprays plain water. Those things are very picky about being cleaned and if a small particle of leftover paint messes it up, you wont have expensive and messy paint to deal with while trying to get it going.