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Design

Best Paint Sprayer for Paint Jobs and DIY Projects

 August 26, 2021

By  Tim Parry

It's time to trade in your brushes and get rid of those rollers because ultimately, the best paint sprayer will do a much better job faster and more conveniently. This is by far the best way to do your home painting, sealing, and staining projects. A paint sprayer is designed to evenly apply different coatings both inside and outside the home, on furniture, on cars, on metal, and so more.

Paint sprayers tend to use more paint than the typical rollers and brushes, so if you have a large painting job, you should probably pick a model that connects straight to the 1 or 5 gallons of paint bucket. On the other hand, if you have jobs that require more mobility, use a paint sprayer since they don’t come with the extra hoses that will need to be organized or get wrangled up as you work.

Whick Kind Of Paint Sprayer Is The Best?

Spray Tips and Patterns

Most DIYers will typically use either airless or HVLP paint sprayers, and the type of tool you settle for will depend on your project and primary objectives. Airless sprayers offer the fastest way to cover large areas that need to be painted; furthermore, you can use them with different formula viscosities. However, in the long run, they produce more overspray resulting in wasted paint.

On the other hand, HVLP sprayers help conserve more paint thanks to their low-pressure distribution. However, that then means that it will take longer to cover an area. Additionally, they tend to clog a lot more easily and generally aren’t as compatible with many latex paints and thick formulas. 

Painting goes according to their tip size or the sizes they can support. Here are some things you should know:

  • Tip size -refers to the size of its opening. At times, it indicates two things at the same time; the fan size and the size of its tip opening
  • Staining jobs will require a smaller tip size and minimum pressure. However, paints and heavy coatings will need larger tip sizes and a lot more pressure
  • The spray pattern is the different shapes you can put out on the finish using tool outputs
  • The best paint sprayers will give you multiple spray patterns in round, horizontal, and vertical shapes

With all this information, here are the top paint sprayers for the job.

1. Graco Magnum 257025 Project Painter and Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum 257025 Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer
  • CONTROL PAINT FLOW: Fully adjustable pressure to give you ultimate...
  • SPRAY PAINT UNTHINNED: Stainless Steel Piston Pump allows you to spray...
  • SPRAY DIRECTLY FROM PAINT BUCKET: Flexible suction tube allows you to...
  • RECOMMENDED USE: Annual use recommendation is up to 50 gallons per...
  • EASY TO STORE: Extra storage compartments provide space to store the...

This airless paint sprayer, Graco Magnum project painter plus, is a popular and versatile paint sprayer designed for various applications. Some paint sprayers are only compatible with thinned or water-based paint formulas. However, this sprayer model can give a wide variety of coatings, including thick paint. In addition, it comes with a reversible tip on its spray gun, making it easy to deal with any clog. 

This airless paint sprayer is lightweight, user-friendly, and easily sprays latex and oil-based paints and stains. Usually, many experts would recommend using this spray painter when painting exteriors and even coverage on the interiors.

PROS
  • Compatible with different paints
  • Easy to use in painting projects
  • Great for exteriors
  • Fully adjustable pressure for the ultimate paint flow control
  • It comes with a RAC IV Switch tip that allows you to reverse the tip when it gets clogged to keep it spraying
  • A stainless steel piston pump that you can use to spray unthinned paint at high pressure
  • A flexible suction tube that you can spray directly from the gallon paint bucket
CONS
  • Comes with a short hose

2. Graco 17A466 TrueCoat 360 DS Paint Sprayer

Sale
Graco 17A466 TrueCoat 360 DS Paint Sprayer
  • ADJUSTABLE SPEEDS: Dual speed adjustment gives you 2 speeds to spray;...
  • SPRAY PAINT UNTHINNED: Stainless Steel Piston Pump allows you to spray...
  • SPRAY IN ANY DIRECTION: VacuValve technology creates an air tight...
  • RECOMMENDED USE: Annual use recommendation is up to 25 gallons per...
  • IDEAL FOR MULTI COLOR PROJECTS: FlexLiner Bag replaces traditional...

This paint sprayer Graco 17A466 TrueCoat model comes with the mobility of a handheld tool and the unlimited running time of a unit that's corded. All you need is a long extension cord. You can bring this sprayer whenever needed, especially if it’s up ladders and ceiling rafters or on the house exterior.

Its design allows you to spray it upside-down whenever needed, thanks to its airtight sealed system. Additionally, it comes with an integrated storage area at the handle, which is a nice perk since it allows you to have two tips on hand as you work.

PROS
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • The dual-speed adjustment with adjustable pressure gives 2 spray speeds; low speed for detailed work and a high speed to bigger projects
  • A steel piston pump that you can use to spray paint unthinned paint
  • VacuValve technology creates an airtight sealed system that should allow you to spray in any direction
CONS
  • The attached paint cup doesn’t carry much

3. Wagner Spraytech 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer

Sale
Wagner Spraytech 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain...
  • HVLP PAINT SPRAYER: The Control Spray Max paint sprayer uses high...
  • USE WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF MATERIALS: Powerful two-stage turbine makes...
  • ADJUSTABLE SETTINGS: Customize your paint flow by using the pressure...
  • GREAT DESIGN: The stationary base is connected to the spray gun with a...

Unlike other HVLP sprayers, this HVLP paint sprayer Wagner Spraytech model comes with a 20-foot-tall flexible garden hose. At 11.2 pounds, this air-driven electric HVLP sprayer conveniently gives off either a high volume of air paint or a low-pressure stain.

The sprayer also comes with a 1.5-quart capacity hopper and a two-stage turbine that enables you to spray any kind of finish that you may need, whether the viscous latex paint or the thin wood stain. With a simple twist of its air revolving cap, you can conveniently spray whatever finish you want, whether vertical, horizontal, or a round pattern. In addition, it comes with a variable air pressure control that ranges from 1.50-2.63 PSI, thus reducing the risk of overspray.

PROS
  • A control max paint sprayer that uses high volume, low-pressure technology to atomize paint particles into fine particles for a smooth finish
  • A powerful 2-stage heavy-duty turbine that makes it easy to paint walls and surfaces with thinned latex paints and thinner finishes like stains
  • An air cap that customizes your paint flow
  • A stationary base that's connected to the spray gun plus a 20 ft. garden hose to reach the painting project and reduce hand exhaustion conveniently
CONS
  • Relatively pricey

4. Graco Magnum 257025 Project Painter and Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum 257025 Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer
  • CONTROL PAINT FLOW: Fully adjustable pressure to give you ultimate...
  • SPRAY PAINT UNTHINNED: Stainless Steel Piston Pump allows you to spray...
  • SPRAY DIRECTLY FROM PAINT BUCKET: Flexible suction tube allows you to...
  • RECOMMENDED USE: Annual use recommendation is up to 50 gallons per...
  • EASY TO STORE: Extra storage compartments provide space to store the...

The Graco Magnum Project painter is a versatile paint sprayer designed to be used in a huge variety of applications. It comes with an adjustable spray speed that makes it easy to achieve whatever finish you’re looking to get.

Unlike other paint sprayers that can only work with water-based or thinned paint, the Graco Magnum model can give you a wide variety of coatings that include regular unthinned paint. Additionally, its reversible tip makes it easy to unclog the sprayer during your painting project. 

This is an airless paint sprayer that's used by professionals and DIYers alike. Overall, it's a great pick since it's lightweight, easy to use, and can easily work with latex and oil-based paints and stains. Most people would recommend painting the house exteriors, quick and even interior wall painting, or staining the fences.

PROS
  • Works any type of paint
  • Easy to paint with
  • Most ideal for house exteriors and even coverage interior wall painting
CONS
  • Comes with a short garden hose that can be upgraded to a 50-foot hose

5. HomeRight C800766, C900076 HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer HVLP Electric Spray Gun

Sale
HomeRight C800766, C900076 HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer HVLP...
  • BETTER THAN A BRUSH OR SPRAY CAN: The Home Right Finish Max paint...
  • ADJUSTABLE SETTINGS, EASY TO USE: The paint spray gun features easy...
  • EASY TO SPRAY AND CLEAN: The Finish Max is simple to set up and uses...
  • BRASS SPRAY TIP TECHNOLOGY: The Home Right Finish Max paint sprayer...

This HomeRight HVLP paint sprayer is popular for its high-volume and low-pressure output that results in less wastage. Additionally, its low-pressure output makes it best to use in detailed projects where brush strokes aren't ideal. However, remember that less overspray and wastage also comes with a trade-off since this HVLP sprayer is more time-consuming than the airless sprayer.

The HomeRight FinishMax is a versatile HVLP spray gun set apart with its brass spray tip that easily resists corrosion and wear. Additionally, you can easily adjust its nozzle to either of three spray patterns; vertical, horizontal, or round. Either will smoothly apply paint, sealant, stain, and other coatings.

You also easily can increase or decrease the flow of paint on the spray gun itself. Overall, it has a simple design and function that's easy to master, especially if you are new to painting using a spray gun.

PROS
  • Great for detailed painting projects
  • Less overspray and wastage
  • Brass spray tip that resists corrosion wear and tear
  • Simple to use
CONS
  • Consumes a lot of timeIdeally used only in very small projects

Factors to Consider to Buy the Best Paint Sprayer

A) Types of Paint Sprayers

There are three paint sprayers: airless, High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP), and a compressed or pneumatic paint sprayer. Each of them has its pros and cons.

i) Airless paint sprayers 

Powered by electricity, either using a battery and an electrical outlet. Large airless paint sprayers come with a small tube that can draw paint directly from your paint can, but the smaller models, often known as cup sprayers, come with an attached cup to hold the paint. For best results, spray paint roughly from a distance of 12 inches.

PROS
  • Airless paint sprayers spray at very high pressure and usually get the job done much faster than the other two alternatives
  • Airless paint sprayers are particularly the best to use in large projects or professional-grade painting.
  • They work well with just about any stain or paint or stain, whether thick or thin
CONS
  • They can be a little tough to control the spray pattern, meaning you might get an overspray
  • They tend to be a little noisy

ii) HVLP spray gun

These paint sprayers will need a separate air compressor for power. Typically, they'd have an in-built cup to hold the paint. They work especially well on surfaces that will need a smooth coat of paint for the best look. For the best results, always spray from a 6 to 8 inches distance. 

PROS
  • They give a smoother textured paint coat
  • They paint without much overspray or waste
  • They can easily handle stains and paint
CONS
  • They are relatively slower than the airless paint sprayers
  • They don’t do so well with thick varnishes or lacquers
  • HVLP paint sprayers are great for smaller painting projects, whether outdoors or indoors
  • They work especially well on furniture, moldings, cabinets, trim, and doors

iii) Compressed paint sprayers 

They require a separate air compressor used for power and a cup attached to hold the paint. They work best when sprayed from a 12 inches distance.

PROS
  • They are a lot easier to use than the other two
  • They cost much less than the other two
  • They produce a smooth textured and even coat of paint that also makes them a great choice when painting furniture, trim, or cabinets
CONS
  • They use a lot more paint and are a lot more prone to overspray
  • They are a little messy
  • You’ll need to thin the paint before
  • They aren’t the ideal choice for thick coatings such as lacquer or varnish

B) Area to Be Painted

The area you'll need to cover dictates which product will work best. For instance, paint sprayers with long extension cords, large paint cups, and long hoses are ideal for large projects, while lightweight handheld sprayer units are best used for small painting jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Paint Sprayer

1. Airless paint sprayer vs. the HVLP paint sprayer; which one is better?

If you have a vertical painting project, then the HVLP paint spray is better when vertically spraying small projects than an airless paint gun, especially for a newbie. The HVLP spray sprays at a much lower pressure, and therefore you're less likely to get any paint runs. However, an airless paint sprayer cranked up to 2,000 PSI quickly sprays a lot of paint onto the surface and won't work best.

2. Does a spray gun use special paint?

Regular paint will always work whether you're brushing it, rolling it, or spray it. However, special paint might be needed depending on the spray gun that you're going to use. The particular paint sprayer you're going to use will determine the consistency that you'll need.

3. Does an airless paint sprayer use more paint?

Airless sprayers are popularly used in DIY projects, but they also tend to use up a higher amount of paint on average compared to the other types of painting spray guns. For example, an airless paint sprayer will use up 40% above the average amount of paint that you'd use with others.

4. Do you need to thin the paint when using an airless sprayer?

According to Coating Consultants, quality paint might be a little too dense for your handheld paint spray gun, so you'll need to thin them down a notch to use a handheld HVLP or small airless paint gun. This applies every time you use anything but a big airless unit. When painting, you can use 20-30% of water.

Tim Parry


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