How Long Can You Leave Paint in A Wagner Sprayer

As DIY-ers who use a paint sprayer on furniture, there’s always the question of “How long can you leave paint in a Wagner sprayer?” Paint can be expensive and we want to make the most out of every drop.

So it’s only natural to wonder if you can leave paint in your Wagner sprayer for future use without causing any damage or clogging. Let’s find out if this is even a possibility and how you can make the most of your paint and sprayer.

photo of pouring paint into sprayer container through filter with text overlay

It’s a valid concern to consider leaving paint in your Wagner sprayer. After all, cleaning and refilling the sprayer every time you take a break from painting furniture can be quite a hassle.

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Cleaning a paint sprayer can be time consuming and tedious. And it’s not always possible to use up all the paint in one go. So again, it’s normal to want to simply leave the paint in the sprayer until you’re ready to continue painting or start another project.

But is it safe to leave paint in your Wagner sprayer for an extended period of time? Do you risk damaging the sprayer or ruining your paint if you leave it sitting there for days or even weeks?

Let’s dive into these questions!

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Can You Leave Paint in A Wagner Sprayer?

So let’s start with the possibility of leaving paint in a Wagner sprayer. The answer is technically YES, you can leave paint in the sprayer. But you have to know that the longer the paint sits in the sprayer, the higher the chance you have of the paint clogging the sprayer or drying in the sprayer.

photo of Wagner paint sprayer not spraying because of dried-up paint

Clogging is a common issue with paint sprayers, and it’s caused by leftover paint drying and hardening inside the sprayer. This can happen even if you clean your sprayer thoroughly after every use. So imagine what could happen if you leave paint in there for such a long time.

Here’s how to unclog a paint sprayer to learn the proper way of unclogging your paint sprayer!

Shelf Life of Paint in a Paint Sprayer

That’s why it’s important to learn how long you can have your paint in a Wagner sprayer without worrying if it’s going to damage the equipment or ruin the paint.

First off, the shelf life of paint in a sprayer depends on the type of paint of furniture you’re using. Some paints have a longer drying time and are less likely to clog the sprayer, while others dry faster and can cause issues if left in the sprayer for too long.

Chalk Paint, Mineral Paint, and Acrylic Paint

If I am spraying chalk paint, mineral paint, or acrylic paint, I can get away with leaving the paint in the paint sprayer for a couple of days. But there is always a risk when leaving paint in the sprayer overnight or for more than a day though.

photo of different brands of chalk paint for furniture

I always try to clean the sprayer at the end of each day, but I’ve had times that I left chalk paint in my HVLP paint sprayers for furniture for a few days. My sprayer still did work perfectly fine when I used it again.

Enamel Paint, Alkyd Paint and All In One Paint

But for enamel, alkyd, and all in one paints, you need to be more cautious. These paints dry harder and are more difficult to clean once they start drying in the sprayer.

photo collage of paints that you can't let sit in your sprayer for more than a day

So when I use these paints, I make it a point to clean the sprayer within the same day I put the paint in. If I paint that day, I clean my sprayer before going to bed – yes, I don’t let it sit overnight.

You should take note of these paints that you can’t let sit in your sprayer for more than a day:

You shouldn’t laze off when it comes to these paints! You don’t want to risk damaging your sprayer or wasting paint. So make sure to clean these paints out of your Wagner sprayer as soon as you’re done with them for the day.

Tips for Leaving Paint in Wagner Sprayer

While it’s generally not a good idea to leave paint sitting in your Wagner sprayer for too long, there are times when it’s okay to do so.

When painting your furniture, you will need to spray multiple coats and let each coat dry before applying the next one. In this case, you can leave paint in your Wagner sprayer between those coats without any issues. But still remember that the longer you let the paint sit in the sprayer, the harder it will be to clean. So try to clean your sprayer within the day or at least within a few hours of using it.

If you need to store paint you already thinned out for use the next day or in the future, just transfer it to a plastic container. I personally just put my paint back into its original container. That same paint still worked perfectly for my next project.

photo of saving thinned paint for next project

Properly label the container with the type and color of paint, as well as the date it was thinned out. This will help you keep track and avoid any confusion when using it in the future.

The most important tip is to clean your Wagner sprayer thoroughly afterwards. This is especially important if dried paint has already formed in your sprayer. Check out our guides on how to clean a Wagner paint sprayer and how to clean a Wagner FLEXiO sprayer for more detailed steps you can easily follow.

photo of wagner sprayer parts after cleaning

So while it’s possible to leave paint in your Wagner sprayer, it’s not always a good idea. Be mindful of the type of paint you’re using and try to clean your sprayer as soon as possible to avoid any issues.

More paint Sprayer Tips

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