In this post, we’re going to show you the different types of paints you can use in paint sprayers.


Having this knowledge will enable you to select the best paint for your needs.

That means that whether you want light paint – or prefer a thicker one – and whether you intend to complete the job in multiple strokes or want to get it done quickly, this knowledge will enable you to make the right choice.

Read this article thoroughly to know more about the types of paint used in paint sprayers.

Before You Decide on the Paint

There’s one thing you should do before buying paint: purchase a primer. Why? There’s a method behind this madness.

Primer offers loads of benefits. For starters, once you apply it to your wall, it will make sure that the paint goes smoothly and evenly. What’s more, paint tends to stick better on walls that have an inner coating of primer.

Like most things in life, the primer doesn’t come in the one-size-fits-all category. Instead, you have four types of primers to choose from.

Let’s look at all four types of primers.

  • Oil-based primer

Want your paint to last longer? Then go for an oil-based primer. They offer better retention capability and therefore last longer.

  • Water-based primer

Don’t like to wait for too long as your paint dries. Water-based primers make sure the paint dries quickly.

  • Metal enamel

Going to paint wood and metal? Intend to paint with enamel? If your answer to any of these questions is in the affirmative, go for metal enamel.

  • All-purpose primer

As long as there aren’t any chemicals or fumes in the area which you intend to paint, an all-purpose primer would work just fine.

Types of Spray Paint

Now that you’ve seen the importance of a primer, let’s turn our attention to the type of paints that are available on the market. Note, these paints are suitable for HVLP sprayers, airless paint sprayers, or compressed air sprayers.

Also, before you use the paints in the sprayer, you need thinning agent such as water to mix with it.


An amalgam of plastic and water, vinyl is a lightweight paint that is recommended for siding and floors. Provided you can afford to pay a bit over the odds, you might also get your hands on vinyl paint with waterproof and weatherproof capabilities.

Also, if you like options, vinyl paints offer three of those.

  • Vinyl Silk

Ask a veteran painter, and they might vouch for the durability of vinyl silk paint. These paints are also famous for their glossy finishes.

  • Vinyl soft sheen

Equally durable as the vinyl silk is the vinyl soft sheen. While it offers less gloss, this paint gives you the freedom of cleaning any stains with soap and water.

  • Vinyl Matte

Ideal for walls, ceilings, and other big surfaces, vinyl matter offers zero shine. That limits its suitability for interior painting.


Traditionally, alkyd paints were a combination of alcohol and organic acids. Their formation has changed over the years, though, and most alkyd paints that you might see on the market today would be made of polyester.

Just like its vinyl counterpart, alkyd paint is also available in three types.

  • Alkyd Gloss

As a mere glance at its name suggests, alkyd gloss is indeed glossy – an attribute that makes it a must-have for wooden or trim surfaces.

  • Alkyd Semi-gloss

Don’t like things that are too shiny? That means you need the alkyd semi-gloss. Made of enamel or glyptex, it gives the surface a satin-esque look.

  • Alkyd flat

Offering no gloss whatsoever, the alkyd flat paints provide a matte finish. It is for this reason that you might want to use them for painting walls and ceilings.


Ask your grandparents, and they might tell you that lacquer was in the vogue during the mid-1900s. From cars to furniture – and most things in between – lacquer was a go-to paint for most applications back then.

While it has fallen into disuse of late, lacquer is making a comeback. The reason for its resurgence lies in lacquer’s ability to prevent dirt, debris, and oil from damaging the painted surface. You can even get a lacquer paint with resin or matte finishes.


Compare enamel to lacquer, and most spray painting projects would involve the former. Why? Despite taking more work for its application – which means you might have to apply multiple coats to get the job done – enamel lasts longer.

That said, you cannot use enamel on its own. Instead, most painters use enamel to give a finishing touch to other paints. That’s because it adds luster and shine to the finished product. Also, the enamel is an oil-based paint available in both glosses as well as semi-gloss versions.


Hate watching paint dry? Turn to acrylic. That is, because, acrylic paints have an incredibly short drying time which won’t force you to wait.

More importantly, acrylic paints are available in the following finishes.

  • Acrylic Gloss

Since it provides its gloss with a glare, the acrylic gloss works best if you use it on ceilings, wooden surfaces, and trim.

  • Acrylic Semi-gloss

Giving off a strong sheen is the acrylic semi-gloss which isn’t recommended for ceilings but works best with all the other surfaces of the acrylic gloss.

  • Acrylic satin

Offering a hybrid between semi-gloss and satin, it gives a matte finish and can also be used to paint ceilings. You may even get a chalk-like finish on a lucky day.

Latex paint

Think acrylic has a short drying time? It means you haven’t come across latex yet. Thanks to its composition of synthetic polymers, latex – despite being heavy – won’t get sticky.

Also, regardless of the type of paint sprayer you might be working with, you won’t have any problem using latex paint. That means it works well with most, if not all, spray guns.

High-heat paints

As suggested by its name, “high-heat” paints are best when used to paint a fireplace grill, heater, or any other surface that tends to get very warm. You can count on this paint to handle temperatures as high as 1200 *F.


In case you are wondering, epoxy’s utility isn’t limited to rejoining broken plastics and polymers. Instead, since it contains a liberal amount of adhesives, epoxy sticks brilliantly to surfaces as well.

That said since epoxy mostly comes either as a resin or a coating, not all paint sprayers might be compatible with it. Therefore, before you purchase it, check the manual of your tool.

Rust-preventive paint

Want your surfaces to look their best years from now? Then you must check out the rust preventive paints.

They work best on surfaces that have the potential to catch rust with the passage of time. Such surfaces include cars, motorcycles, grills, bikes, and almost all metal equipment. Rust-preventive paints also prevent your metal surfaces from fading and cracking.

Plastic Paint

Made as specialty paints, plastic paints have very limited utility. You can use them on plastic materials including tables, chairs, and outdoor/indoor equipment.

Though heavier than the others, plastic paint is chip-proof and fade-proof. It doesn’t require you to use a primer before its application.


You have spent your time, money, and effort in buying the best paint sprayer for your needs. Now is the time for you to select the paint which is compatible with the sprayer.

Don’t take this step lightly, otherwise, one wrong step, and you might end up selecting a paint that could jam your sprayer. Therefore, before you select any paint from this list, it is imperative that you check your sprayer’s compatibility to make the best choice.