PAINT SPRAYERS: Spray Paint for Rent

March 1, 2002
Why have airless paint sprayers as a rental item? To stay competitive. More and more professional painters are relying on a one-stop customer service

Why have airless paint sprayers as a rental item? To stay competitive. More and more professional painters are relying on a one-stop customer service rental outlet. Reliable airless sprayers are on their list. Also, many homeowners and do-it-yourselfers are realizing they can do a professional looking paint job in a fraction of the time it takes to do the job manually. Last and certainly not least is the fact that airless paint sprayers have been and continue to be one of the top ten rental items for maximum ROI.

Good maintenance habits are essential for a long-lasting, good performing airless sprayer. Just as important is setting up and maintaining a systematic rental procedure and selecting equipment that suits your customer needs and will withstand the hard and heavy use and abuse of renting.

Start with the right machine for your rental program

Evaluate the clientele for your market and choose the proper unit or mix of units. Select piston pumps for contractors; compact and portable units for DIYers and home-owners; and gas driven units for rural areas and booming construction areas.

The airless sprayer you select should be specifically designed for rental. Here are several important factors to consider:

  • Is the unit simple and straightforward to operate?
  • What safety features does it have? It should not have an open motor with brushes that spark, creating an explosion or fire.
  • Is the equipment rugged and built to last? As a rule of thumb, high-speed motors and high-speed piston pumps wear more quickly. Tungsten carbide valves and seats will give longer life. Some equipment will last in heavy rental use for many years — some will not last a season. Be selective.
  • Ease of maintenance.
  • Recommended 0.5 gpm or larger.
  • Ability to use long extension cords.

Set up an airless rental procedure system and educate your employees

After selecting the proper equipment, the second step is to set up your airless rental procedures and to make your employees knowledgeable about these procedures.

  • Know the equipment, its capabilities, applications, limitations and safety guidelines.
  • Understand and perform proper check-out procedures that include demonstration of machine operation, safety features, clean-up procedures, signing of the spray equipment safety form and a checklist of everything the customer should have when he or she leaves.
  • Have established check-in procedures to ensure the machine will be properly serviced and made ready for the next renter. Have a designated area and a designated test kit.
  • Proper clean-up and the use of the proper anti-rust storage solution is a key to proper and profitable rentals. The use of these storage additives should be a part of every rental program simply because it simplifies the clean-up process and reduces the need for frequent maintenance and repairs.

By having a consistent procedure that all your staff follows, you can be confident your equipment will be used and maintained correctly. Many equipment companies have the above forms and guides for a systematic rental process, which include a spray equipment safety form, check in and out procedures, check in tags and user guides.

Educate your customer

Renters should always be given a demonstration on how to operate the machine prior to leaving the store. Make a special point to show all the unit's safety features and then let your customer handle it in front of you, so you can be sure he understands how it works, and how to use and clean it properly.

Easy to follow cleaning and operating instructions should also be given to your customer in the form of a handout. Instructions on airless spraying techniques are also very important. Follow these guidelines:

  • Hold gun perpendicular to the wall. Begin a slow horizontal stroke with the tip approximately 12 inches from the wall. Pull the trigger after the gun is in motion.
  • Keep the gun perpendicular to the wall.
  • Use a slow steady stroke.
  • To finish the stroke, release the trigger but continue the motion.
  • The second stroke should overlap the first stroke by about half the width.
  • Always start at the lowest adjustment, slowly increasing the pressure until both the spottiness and lines disappear.

Tips for the rental center to ensure an airless sprayer's greatest performance and prolonged life

  1. Proper clean up for your unit is the most important step to ensure a long life and good performance.
  2. Always fill the airless system completely with either a commercially prepared additive (for one to two weeks) or mineral spirits (from two weeks to two months) or a 50/50 mix of mineral spirits and 30-weight motor oil (for more than two months of storage) after every use. Never leave water in the unit.
  3. Ask your customer what he or she intends to spray. You should have a separate hose for water-base paints and one for lacquers.
  4. Know how to properly service your pump and spray gun.
  5. The spray tip will last for about 100 gallons of paint, so replace after four to five rentals.
  6. In the clean-up procedure, make sure the filter in the gun handle has been cleaned. This is one area easily forgotten.
  7. Standard items to check after every rental are: tip guard, spray tip, gun filter, pressure check, pick-up (suction) filter, hose for damage and wear, the fitting for tightness and engine and pump oils.
  8. Wipe the machine with an oily rag or use a light coating of a commercially prepared non-stick spray to prevent paint from sticking. To clean, use Simple Green or similar product to wipe the unit clean. Never pressure wash or saturate machine with any liquid — electrical components could be damaged.
  9. Consider imposing a $100 cleaning fee to get the customer's attention.

Airless paint sprayers can be one of your most profitable rental items, if you have a systematic approach and purchase high quality equipment. There also is always a market for good used equipment. Develop a program to cycle your rental equipment. If you maintain your rental equipment and rotate it regularly, you will always have good-looking equipment and you will increase your ROI. Also consider selling commercial duty airless spray tips and other airless accessories such as extension poles.

Information provided by Airlessco by Durotech Co., Moorpark, Calif.


The EP2300SE provides professional power for day-in, day-out use. It produces a flow rate of .67 GPM with a .023 inch maximum tip size at 2000 PSI. It also features a longer piston stroke that results in longer packing life and fixed packings to eliminate cylinder wear and tear. Available in both upright and low-boy configurations, the EP2300SE provides a solution for high-volume, single painter jobs.
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The LP series of paint sprayers from Airlessco are designed to last for many years in the heavy duty rental industry. They have a larger slow stroking piston to give longer life of piston, packings, valve seats and valve balls. Industrial grade, slow speed DC motors, which are fan cooled, are totally enclosed for safety and to prolong life. The revolutionary patented stainless steel pump provides extra high suction and a triple life packing system for extra long life of the packings. All LP models are available on carry, high or low frames.
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The RentSpray airless paint sprayer features a computerized pressure control that allows the unit to accommodate a wide range of coatings, Titan says. The unit features a diagnostic calculator that stores operating information, pressure and dead band. It is equipped with an anti-theft device, and its skid frame and low-ride models feature an exclusive “Easy out” live siphon swivel for faster pail changes and easy cleaning.
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J.S. & Sons

The Marksman line from J.S. & Sons offers five models of airless sprayers — the 0-19, 0-20, 0-21 (pictured), 0-26 and 0-29. All units are designed to have minimal downtime, according to the manufacturer, and are available in three cart configurations: an upright version for contractors, skid-mounted for homeowners and a lowboy design with a collapsible handle.
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The new HERO H2K product line is the first of its kind to feature a patented “Quick-Change Fluid section,” which enables painters to make essential repairs right on the job site and in less than five minutes. The product is also lightweight, uses a D.C. motor and has a 2-year parts and labor warranty. The first two models in the product line, the HK3819 and the HK5523 both come in sled or cart models.
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ASM's Rental-Zip System for airless sprayers allows rental centers to sell the spray tip and wear part with each rental at a price renters will pay for consumable wear parts, according to the company. With the system, stores can replace spray guns, not rebuild them.
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The V-Comp, HVLP spray system is powerful enough to spray uncut Latex at high-production speeds. The V-Comp also offers higher productivity rates vs. a turbine system and higher control vs. an airless system with a fine finish tip, according to the company. It features a 1.5 horsepower V-twin, oil-less compressor and a 6-gallon compressor tank for increased spraying time.
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Wieburg Enterprises is a paint sprayer distributor that offers products from popular manufacturers, including Graco's 395ST Pro electronic airless sprayer. Designed for residential and maintenance painting with stains, lacquers and latex paints, the unit provides a maximum fluid pressure of 3,000 pounds per square inch with a delivery of 0.38 gallons per minute. It supports tips up to 0.19 and sprays materials through a 300-foot hose. The 395ST also features a .5 horsepower DuraPro DC motor, an Endurance E piston pump and the SmartControl process for spray pressure consistency.
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