Spraying dispersion paints: instructions & tips

Water-soluble wall and ceiling paints for interior use, so-called dispersion paints, can be easily sprayed on with Wagner paint spray systems. With the help of this step-by-step guide you will learn what to keep in mind when spraying dispersion paints, what the advantages of spraying are and how easy our spraying technology is to use.

What is dispersion paint?

Dispersion paint is often used for painting both interior and outdoor walls and ceilings. The paint consists of a dispersion (usually an emulsion) containing water, binding agents, solvents and colour pigments. However, the colour pigments cannot dissolve into the water. The binder is needed so that all the components mix together and form a viscous or lowviscosity coating that is easy to apply to walls. When the paint is applied to the wall the water evaporates, which ensures the colour layer adheres to the surface.

Now, if that sounds too complicated for you, just remember:

Most of the wall paints you'll find in DIY stores are dispersion paints, some of which differ in terms of the composition of their ingredients. However, the main components of interior dispersion paints are water as the solvent, synthetic resins or similar plastics as the binder, dyes or pigments such as titanium dioxide, and fillers such as calcium carbonate, quartz flour and silicates.

Advantages of water-soluble wall and ceiling paints

One of the key features of dispersion paints is that they are water-soluble. Water-soluble wall and ceiling paints have several advantages:

  • They can be directly painted over in case of renovation.
  • They adhere to almost all surfaces (except water-repellent ones of course).
  • The paint dries quickly due to the evaporation of the water they contain.

Brushing vs. spraying

Brushing dispersion paints

The original method of applying paint to a wall is of course with a brush and paint roller. Lately, however, far greater emphasis has been placed on paint spray systems, which are used to spray the paint onto the wall or ceiling. In contrast to painting, you can save a lot of time and effort when spraying, as difficult-to-reach areas such as the corners of rooms can be covered more easily. Another advantage over using a roller with wall paint is a visually superior finish. Spraying makes the surface texture much more uniform and consistent. Further advantages of spraying can be found here in our FAQs.

Spraying dispersion paints

Once you have mastered the spraying technique, you can quickly coat large areas with dispersion paint. In addition, working with a paint spray device is a pleasure for most users. However, whether spraying or painting with dispersion paint, ensure that the room is well covered and masked before you start. For more information on how to tape a room correctly, please refer to our FAQs.

Instructions: how to spray dispersion paints with our paint spray systems

With a paint spray device from Wagner you can spray a wide range of objects, walls, ceilings and even wood. It's important to take the appropriate precautions and prepare both yourself and the room before using the spray unit. You should also master the required technique. Our step-by-step guide shows you the best way to get started:

Step 1: Getting ready: prepare the wall & protect yourself

Spraying dispersion paint preparation

Before you can start painting, you may have to remove the old wallpaper or wallpaper residue from the wall. Carefully check the wall for holes and unevenness. In case of severe unevenness, you may need to apply some filling compound.

With a large universal brush you can easily remove dirt and dust to ensure a clean surface.

To protect the surrounding furniture, cover it with a generous amount of protective film. Skirting boards, windows, light switches and door handles should also be protected from paint splashes using masking film.

Spraying dispersion paint safety

Whenever you use a spray unit to apply paint, you should also wear a breathing mask and protective goggles.

Step 2: Dilute the paint

Spraying dispersion paint diluting

For use in a spray unit, the dispersion paint must have the right consistency and should not be too thick. Viscous wall paint may cause the device to become clogged – it's a good idea to use a suitable thinner (or simply water) to make the paint sufficiently liquid. Pay attention to the information on the packaging – some paints are specially designed for use with spray units.

Step 3: Fill paint into the paint spray system and adjust the device

Spraying dispersion paint filling paint

Depending on the specific paint spray system, you must adjust the unit accordingly and then fill it with the dispersion paint. When using HVLP paint spray devices, the air flow must also be correctly adjusted, as this determines how much paint will come out of the gun. Before spraying on the wall, be sure to perform a test spray on some paper or wallpaper. Depending on whether the pressure is too high or too low for your application, you may need to adjust the settings accordingly.

Spraying dispersion paint adjusting the device

In most cases you can also make adjustments to the jet width to find the best setting for your project.

Step 4: Spraying dispersion paints

Spraying dispersion paint test spray

In order for the paint to cover the wall thoroughly, the spray unit must be held at an angle of 90 degrees to the wall. It is important to avoid any swivelling movements with the gun – instead try to coat the wall vertically from a distance of about 30 centimetres with our airless units and 5–10 centimetres if using our HVLP paint spray systems.

Spraying dispersion paint application

Step 5: Cleaning the paint spray system

Spraying dispersion paint cleaning

Cleaning should take place immediately after you complete the work, as this is when the paint is easiest to remove. To remove water-soluble wall paint from your paint sprayer, it's best to use simple tap water and disassemble the device into its individual parts. Rinse the paint container or spray gun with water to remove all traces of the dispersion paint. Depending on the type of equipment used with the device, filters, sieves or other components may also need to be cleaned. You can simply rinse the other parts with lukewarm water. Further information on cleaning WAGNER paint spray systems can be found here for airless sprayer and here for HVLP sprayer.

Which equipment for dispersion paints

WAGNER is a specialist in airless atomisation and "High Volume Low Pressure" technology. Both technologies can be used to apply dispersion paints.

Spraying dispersion paints with our HVLP paint spray systems

Our HVLP paint spray systems are designed for low-pressure spraying, in which high air volumes are combined with low air pressure (up to 0.07 MPa). With the FineSpray method, dispersion paints are completely atomised with air at the outlet of the nozzle. The low material pressure combined with the high volume of air ensures slightly larger material droplets and therefore less spray mist. The following HVLP paint-spraying systems, which are ideal for DIY enthusiasts, allow easy spraying of dispersion paints.

WallSprayer W 450

WallSprayer W 450

The lightweight paint sprayer for interior walls and ceilings

Universal Sprayer W 575 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 575 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 590 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 590 FLEXiO

The compact hand-held paint sprayer for interior and exterior use

Universal Sprayer W 690 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 690 FLEXiO

The universal paint sprayer for interior and exterior use

Universal Sprayer W 950 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 950 FLEXiO

Effortless paint application on walls and ceilings

Airless technology is suitable whenever paint and dispersion work is carried out regularly and on a large scale. The HVLP units are particularly suitable for smaller jobs, such as furniture, doors, windows, fences, and also walls and ceilings.

Spraying dispersion paint with our airless equipment

In contrast to air atomisation, airless atomisation means the dispersion paint is atomised solely via the material pressure without the use of air. At the same time, the material is dissipated into a spray jet.

The following airless units are ideal for tradespeople who need to spray dispersion paints:

Airless Sprayer Control 150 M

Airless Sprayer Control 150 M

The perfect gateway to WAGNER's world of airless paint spraying

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 M

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 M

Perfect control when spraying with Airless technology

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 M

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 M

Professional airless paint spraying with up to 55% less overspray and maximum control

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 R

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 R

Airless paint sprayer from the latest generation — user-friendly and precise

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 R

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 R

With the latest Airless spray technology for uniform and effective paint application