Using Paint Sprayers for your Home Projects

Paint sprayers deliver top-quality paint jobs at a fast speed. Using them can save you time and money while producing excellent finished work, unachievable with traditional painting tools.

TWO MAIN TYPES OF PAINT SPRAYERS

There are usually two common types of paint sprayers DIYers choose from for their projects: an airless paint sprayer and an HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure) sprayer. Each type offers several different sprayers that are suited for specific jobs.

Airless Paint Sprayers

Airless paint sprayers work similarly to spray bottles.

Using a piston, the paint is first sucked into the sprayer, and then inside, the pressure is built up to usually about 2,000 psi. The paint then flows through the sprayer, down the hose, and to the spray gun, where it stays under pressure. Once the trigger of the sprayer is pressed, paint goes out through a spray tip with a tiny hole designed to break the paint into smaller droplets.

Airless Spray Tips

An airless paint sprayer’s tip determines the amount of paint that comes out and the wideness of the pattern. These tips utilize a 3 number system that defines how much paint is allowed to pass through and how wide is the spray fan they produce.

The first number displays the size of the fan width created. The next two numbers tell you the size of the hole allowing the paint out. 

PROS AND CONS OF AIRLESS PAINT SPRAYERS

paint sprayer, man, gas mask, blue cap, brick wall, white wall

Airless sprayers can be purchased for $100 and up to $5,000+ for more professional use.

Here are their pros:

Creates a smooth finish

Completes the job fast

And for the cons:

Tedious to clean

Projects that are best for airless paint sprayers

Painting the house exterior

Fence and deck staining

Painting ceilings and interior walls

Large jobs in general

HVLP Paint Sprayers

HVLP paint sprayers, unlike airless paint sprayers, use an air turbine or an air compressor to atomize the paint at the sprayer’s tip. 

These paint sprayers work by creating a small amount of pressure on the paint that’s just enough to have it moved to the spray tip. The air flows through the sprayer and meets the paint at the tip. It then atomizes it to create a very fine spray fan.

They got the term HVLP from their usage of a high volume of air at very low pressures, which are around 10 psi.

Like the airless paint sprayer, the HVLP also has its pros and cons, which are as listed.

Pros:

Easy to use

Quicker to clean

Produces a very fine finish

Cons:

Slow

More variables to run the sprayer

Projects that HVLP sprayers are best for: 

  • Painting furniture 
  • Painting kitchen cabinets
  • Spraying clear coats
  • Spraying stain

The Best Airless Paint Sprayers

Airless paint sprayers are popular, and there are reasons for it; they are versatile and are perfect to use for DIY projects. They are also easy to set up and don’t require that much practice to achieve a good finish.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer, Blue

Graco Magnum 257025 Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer

Wagner 0529021 FLEXiO 890 Stationary HVLP Paint Sprayer, Sprays Unthinned Latex, Includes two Nozzles, iSpray Nozzle and Detail Finish Nozzle, Complete Adjustability for All Needs

Fuji 2203G Semi-PRO 2 - Gravity HVLP Spray System, Blue

 

Best for DIY Use: 

Graco Magnum X5

With the perfect combination of high-quality machinery for an economical price, the Graco Magnum X5 is the machine perfect for small exterior and interior painting projects. With a .015 spray tip, it can spray up to .27 gallons per minute. You’ll be able to finish your project faster than it would when using brushes and rollers.

Best entry-level: 

Graco Project Painter Plus

For those who only do a couple of painting projects in a year, the Graco Project Painter Plus is perfect for you. This entry-level paint sprayer is ideal for small projects such as painting the ceilings in your home and refinishing your basement. This machine can also be used to paint fences, decks, and small sheds.

The Best HVLP Sprayers

There are a lot of benefits HVLP sprayers have to offer.

To start, HVLP sprayers produce an incredibly smooth, flawless finish. This is done by slowing down the whole spraying process. This makes it much easier to layer your paint, creating the perfect thickness that allows a blend of a glassy, smooth finish.

Also, the average DIY model of HVLP paint sprayers costs less than airless paint sprayers.

Best All-Around: 

Wagner Flexio 890

An all-in-one HVLP sprayer, the Wagner Flexio 890 comes with an air turbine and its own air source without requiring a separate air source like an air compressor. This HVLP sprayer is powerful enough to spray varnishes and unthinned paints yet still affordable enough to make the cost worth it even when it’s only used once yearly.

Best Prosumer: 

Fuji Semi-Pro 2

For those planning to do more painting projects using an HVLP sprayer or who just needs a bit more power, then the Fuji Semi-Pro 2 is perfect for you.

This machine offers more hose and power since it has a higher CFM, which means you can thoroughly atomize thicker materials and also has better built. It’s perfect for fine finishing projects and spraying cabinets and furniture.