Can You Use a Paint Sprayer for Stain – Best Guide

  • By: Sara William
  • Date: March 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. You will never pay more by clicking our links.

Yes, you can use a paint sprayer for stain. However, most paint sprayers do not work well with stains that are glossy or semigloss. This is because oil-based paints will clog up the water-based sprayer and it’s difficult to clean out without the right tools.

Some high-quality airless paint sprayers, like Graco’s X5 Airless Paint Sprayer, are equipped to deliver an extremely smooth finish that is very similar to staining by hand.

Some airless paint sprayers like Wagner’s Power Painter Plus come with a roller system that allows you to get into corners and cover edges more easily than other tools can. And some paint sprayers, like the HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer, are specifically designed for use with stains.

These types of paint sprayers are more expensive than traditional spray paints but they’re helpful when staining large areas quickly.

Most paint sprayers are not efficient enough to stain a deck or fence by yourself. You might have better luck spray painting a small item with a paint sprayer, but if you’re interested in using a paint sprayer for staining your deck or fence, I would recommend hiring a professional.

Hiring a professional isn’t the only way to successfully stain a deck or fence by hand. You can also buy an electric sander and a high-quality stain applicator. This way, you can save money by not having to hire any help and you won’t even have to exert as much physical energy yourself.

Tools you need to required while using a paint sprayer for stain:

#1. Stain Applicator

The stain applicator is actually a paint roller with a special sleeve. This way, when you push the roller on your deck or fence it will roll smoothly but also distribute stain evenly and consistently. Getting a quality applicator like this one will ensure that you don’t miss any spots while staining and that your whole deck gets an even coat of stain.

#2. Protective Clothing

Protective clothing is extremely important to wear while using paint sprayers. Paint sprayers get incredibly hot and can cause severe burns if you get sprayed by one. Protective clothing will stop the hot paint from touching your skin and it will also protect you against sunburns if you’re using a stain sprayer outside.

#3. Safety Glasses

Safety glasses are extremely important to wear while using paint sprayers. If you’re not careful, the tip of a paint sprayer can accidentally get into your eye and cause severe damage.

#4. Respirator

A respirator is an absolute must if you are using oil-based stains or paints. While oil-based coats don’t clog up water-based sprayers, they do create a lot of nasty fumes that can make you sick if you breathe them in. Using a respirator will protect your lungs from harmful chemical vapors and ensure that you aren’t inhaling any toxins while staining your deck or fence.

#5. Rubber Gloves

Rubber Gloves are very important to wear while using paint sprayers. Without them, your hands will get stained by the stain you are applying and it will be difficult to get off without harsh, expensive chemicals. Rubber gloves were specifically designed to keep stains of skin so that they can simply be washed off after the project is complete.

#6. Sander

Sanders is great for making your deck even with the rest of your house. If you don’t have one, I would recommend buying an electric sander instead of using paint sprayers to stain your entire deck. Using a sander will give you much better results in half the time it would take if you were to stain by hand without any help.

#7. High-quality Paint Sprayer or Airless Paint Sprayer [optional]

This is purely up to you. If you want speed and excellent results, then I would recommend buying a high-quality paint sprayer or an airless paint sprayer for your deck. But if you don’t need the fastest result possible and you’re okay with spending more time on staining, go ahead and use regular hand brushes as well as a paint pan.

Tips tp Use a Paint Sprayer for Stain

These are 5 tips to use a paint sprayer for stain

#1. Shake Your Stain Well

It is extremely important to shake your stain thoroughly before using the paint sprayer for staining. This will ensure that you can get even, opaque coverage on your deck or fence.

#2. Start Off With Low Pressure

Most paint sprayers emit stain with high pressure and this can cause popped bubbles and divots. To avoid this, start off with low pressure and then increase it as you go if needed. This will give your stain a nice even coat without any issues.

#3. Don’t Skimp on Coverage

The most common mistake people make when using paint sprayers for stains is not wiping the excess after they have sprayed an area.

While this might save you some time, it will create a complete mess on your fence and make the stain uneven. I would recommend buying a roller with a sleeve to apply stain if you need to avoid this problem.

#4. Work in Sections

Another common mistake people make when using paint sprayers for stains is working in one small area at a time. This will cause the stain to dry up on you before you can get to it and it will create uneven, blotchy results.

Rather than doing all of your stainings in one day, split your project into multiple days so that you have better control over when each bit dries.

#5. Test Stain First

Before you actually begin staining your deck or fence, I would recommend testing a small area with the stain to make sure that it dries and covers properly and doesn’t create blotches.

If the results aren’t what you expected, it might be best to go ahead and use an alternative method such as using a paint sprayer for stain rather than stain brushes.


The best way to stain your deck or fence is by using a paint sprayer for stain. This will allow you to get even coverage without any hassles while still being relatively inexpensive. If this isn’t an option, then I would recommend buying a quality airless paint sprayer for the same results.

Does a Paint Sprayer Use More Paint

Previous Post

Does a Paint Sprayer Use More Paint? – Complete Guide

Next Post

How to Spray Paint Interior Walls and Ceilings – Best Guide

Spray Paint Interior Walls and Ceilings