How to Unclog Paint Sprayer – Complete Guide

  • By: Sara William
  • Date: March 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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It’s frustrating when you’re painting and your paint starts to clog up in the sprayer. This post will show you how to unclog paint sprayer with 3 easy steps. 

1) Disconnect the trigger from the gun using pliers or unscrewing it until it is loose. 2) Mix 1 tbsp of dish soap with 1 quart of water in a bucket, dip your brush into the mixture, then shake off any excess liquid onto an old rag. 3) Dip your brush back into a dish soap solution, swish around on top of grime buildup at bottom of nozzle and let dry for about 15 minutes before attaching to the gun again. You Should see unclog paint sprayer results instantly.

Paint clogs up in the nozzle because of dried paint build-up on the filter, which is located inside the gun. The filter needs to be scraped out with a toothpick or extra-fine paintbrush every now and then (or once per year) so you won’t have to unclog the nozzle as often.

If unclogging doesn’t work, you can try unblocking with a needle and some WD-40. This method is best for unclogging stubborn paint clogs and should be used if unclogging the paint sprayer was unsuccessful.

1) Unscrew the tip of your gun until you can access the nozzle filter.

2) Remove the filter with your fingers or use a toothpick to unclog it if necessary

3) Spray 1-2 squirts of WD-40 into the nozzle while holding the trigger

4) Reconnect tip and you should be good to go! You unclogged the paint sprayer!

Unclogging Paint Sprayer Problems – 3 Tips

Cleaning the filter is also important because if paint accumulates on it, it will get pushed through regardless of the clogging issue. This leads to unclogging paint sprayer problems where the gun sprays more before plugging up again. If you want to avoid unclogging your paint sprayer, this 3 step guide should help keep them unclogged for unclogging paint sprayer.

1) Keep the filter clean

2) Keep the paint moving

3) As an extension of number 2, keep spraying.

Allowing paint to dry in your gun not only leads to clogging issues but will also lead to much larger unclogging paint sprayer problems. If you leave to unclog paint sprayer gun sitting for more than a couple of minutes, unclog paint sprayer problems will start to form.


How do you unclog a paint sprayer pump?

A lot of people are intimidated by paint sprayers. And, when you unclog a pump, it can seem like rocket science. Here are some simple steps to unclogging your paint sprayer’s pump without making too big of a mess or incurring the wrath of your neighbors for spraying paint at odd hours in the night.

Are unclogging paint sprayer pumps dangerous?

Unless you work for a hazmat crew, unclogging a paint sprayer pump isn’t any more dangerous than unclogging the sink. Some of the same tools needed for unclogging a kitchen sink can be used to unclog a paint sprayer pump.

What are the tools needed to unclog a paint sprayer pump?

To unclog a paint sprayer pump, you’ll need several common household items. A plunger works best for unclogging the majority of pumps. If you don’t have a plunger handy, try using another rubber or silicone object. You can also use an all-purpose cleaner to unclog the pump.

Is it difficult to unclog paint sprayer pumps?

Unclogging a paint sprayer’s pump doesn’t take rocket science. It only takes some common sense and a little bit of elbow grease to unclog your pump. Just be careful not to damage the actual pump, as this might result in unclogging the sprayer using harsher chemicals or other unapproved solutions.

Why is my paint sprayer clogging?

Clogging is when the paint sprayer nozzle or inlet gets plugged with dried paint.

This can be extremely frustrating to deal with if you are an amateur painter, but it shouldn’t cause too much trouble for a professional. Researching how to unclog your paint sprayer will save you plenty of headaches in the long run.

The unclogging process can vary depending on the type of paint sprayer you are using. There are airless paint sprayers, HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) paint sprayers, and more. Let’s cover unclogging two of the most common types: gravity feed and siphon-feed.

Gravity feed is a paint sprayer that unclogs similarly to a household sponge. Soaking your paint sprayer in warm water for 30 minutes is the safest way to unclog this type of paint sprayer. Make sure to wipe away excess water and let it dry overnight before use.

Siphon feed unclogging is different, but equally effective. Siphon uncloggers are sold at any hardware store where you purchase your paint sprayer. Try unclogging with a rubber plunger to unclog the siphon-feed type of paint sprayer. You can find these in any hardware store or even in the plumbing section of a supermarket.

Can you run paint thinner through a paint sprayer?

“Yes, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Because unclogging a paint sprayer is tough and unclogging a paint thinner sprayer can be even tougher.”

It depends on what kind of paint thinner you’re using. If it’s just denatured alcohol then yes, but if you have a flammable thinner that’s not recommended because unclogging a sprayer could cause an explosion or fire.

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