Best Paint Sprayer Reviews 2018
The best paint sprayer reviews for home paint sprayers, professional paint sprayers and everything in between.
The best paint sprayer reviews for home paint sprayers, professional paint sprayers and everything in between.
It’s imperative you choose the right paint sprayer for the job at hand. There is a huge difference between all the various types of sprayers and if you buy the wrong type, you will be left with either a shoddy or unfinished job. Smaller jobs such as furniture spraying require highly controllable machines that give you a good finish and an element of finesse when spraying, whereas if you are planning to paint the walls in you home, an airless paint sprayer provides high speed painting to get the job done fast.
There is some cross over if you have a lot of experience with paint spraying, but it still doesn’t mean that the sprayer is suited for that purpose. Below is a quick summary of the most popular applications people buy paint sprayers for and the type of machines you should be looking at for each purpose.
Furniture and cabinet paint sprayers often require great control and a slow speed to ensure there are no drips or paint build ups.
The best technology for these types of smaller projects is a HVLP paint sprayer, they use low pressure and have high quality spray guns available which provide a near flawless finish when used correctly. HVLP paint sprayers are available in both the DIY and professional budget ranges, depending on what your requirements are and how much you are willing to spend on your new sprayer.
Got a budget in mind? With such a large selection of paint sprayers available it can be difficult to find the best one, so we’ve made it easy and listed the best paint sprayers in each budget range.
There are 4 main types of paint sprayers available, this includes conventional compressor systems for car paint spraying, airless paint sprayers for home paint spraying, HVLP paint sprayers for more detailed work such as spraying cabinets and lastly portable handheld paint sprayers. Click here to learn more about how paint sprayers work.
Whilst many of the paint sprayers can be dual purpose, it’s important you have the best paint sprayer for the job. The technology used by each type of electric paint sprayer differs greatly and therefore the finish and technique involved is vastly different.
Below is a summary break down of the four main types of paint sprayer and what type of work they are best suited for. Considering the type of work you will be doing now, and in the future is an essential step in ensuring you get the best paint sprayer for your needs.
Airless paint sprayers are one of the most common types of paint sprayers in the home improvement industry, for both DIY users and professionals. They are normally designed to suck straight out of a paint pot with a hose and use an extremely fast piston with specialised chambers to build up pressure inside the machine.
There are a wide range of different price points that you should understand before splurging on the new best airless paint sprayer. Prices range anywhere from $250, up to several thousand dollars.
So what’s the difference? Mainly the motor size with electric paint sprayers, but of course the overall build quality is much better with a professional paint sprayer. Many of the large, expensive commercial paint sprayers you see on the market are built for heavy daily use and are able to spray thicker, more specialised paints.
Common household paints are relatively easy to spray, but when it comes to fireproof paints, roofing paints or marine grade paint, the thickness can be up to 3x that of the type of paint you would find in the average household. The thicker the paint, the greater demand will be on the motor to be able to pick the paint up, push it through 20 metres of hose and atomise it at high pressure.
Professional decorators often need some of the best airless paint sprayers on the market, that are built to withstand the tens of thousands of piston revolutions per day, along with the daily wear and tear of being full of paint, thinners and withstanding high pressures. Airless sprayers come in all shapes and sizes, so we’ve rounded up our best airless paint sprayer reviews.
Conventional type compressor paint sprayers are normally associated primarily with automotive and car paint sprayers. They require large and noisy compressors to operate, along with some technical knowledge on how to hook everything up, run a compressor, connect the airlines and manage pressure.
Compressor based paint sprayer systems are able to provide a very high end, factory finish when used correctly with professional grade spray guns, however due to the large size and complexity of these setups they are rarely used by the average home owner for decorating purposes. When it comes to compressor setups, the quality of the end result primarily lies in the quality of the gun and needle used.
These guns alone can run into the $300+ range and are built to be fully disassembled to allow the user to customise, clean and repair to their hearts content. For the average home car painting enthusiast, a full compressor setup with a mid range gun will most likely set you back around $300-$500, this should provide you with a reliable compressor, a gun that gives a quality finish and all the air lines and fittings to go with it.
Handheld airless paint sprayers are a popular choice among DIY enthusiasts and professional paint sprayers because of how small, versatile and easy to use they can be.
If you’re thinking that all paint sprayers require the gun itself to be ‘handheld’ you are correct, but a handheld paint sprayer is considered an airless paint sprayer with no hoses, compressors or turbines. A self contained unit that holds paint in a cup attached to the gun and runs on either a lithium ion battery or with a power cord straight into the wall. The best handheld paint sprayers such as those from Graco, operate with a simplified ‘airless technology’, using a powerful electric motor to suck the paint out of the pot and build high pressure within the machine.
Handheld paint machines are considered among the best home paint sprayers, but reputable branded handheld paint sprayers still are not cheap however, with some of the best sellers like the Graco Truecoat II retailing for around $300-$500. What you get for that money however, is a very versatile, small & portable handheld paint sprayer that is fast enough to spray large surface areas such as interior walls but also controllable and agile enough for smaller projects such as furniture and trims.
HVLP paint sprayers are often confused with compressor paint sprayer systems, which causes a nightmare for both retailers and consumers. HVLP and compressor spray guns are very different.
HVLP setups don’t require compressors, they use a low pressure ‘turbine’ which can be thought of as a reverse vacuum cleaner, relying on an electric motor spinning a fan to create airflow. This air is pushed up an air hose and into the gun which commonly has a 1L paint pot either on top or below the trigger (gravity fed or suction fed guns).
HVLP paint sprayers are a modern technology that has exploded in recent years, it provides a small, cost effective solution that provides a high quality, near flawless finish and significant control for detailing work such as trim work and other DIY or professional projects. HVLP are considered the best paint sprayers for cabinets and the best paint sprayers for furniture. HVLP spray guns are also considered of of the best paint paint sprayers for home use as they can be used for large surface areas such as home interiors. That said they are much slower than an airless paint sprayer and can only hold around 1 litre of paint in the pot, meaning there are many refills needed to paint a whole room.
You would be mistaken if you believed all coveralls and disposable overalls are alike. The good ones stop paint getting in, but many actually leak, tear and are not worth the money. Good disposable overalls cost around $6 a pop, which is well worth the money to protect your hair and skin from getting covered in paint (especially important if you are using oil based paints such as gloss).
We recommend buying disposable coveralls online rather than locally as even big retailers sell what are quite expensive coveralls that are poor quality and leak. Look for a recommend brand with tons of good reviews and you should be good, such as these from DuPont
By far the most important piece of safety equipment, do not even consider spraying without using a quality face mask. You can wash paint off your skin, you can clean your clothes and you can rinse your eyes, but you will never get paint out of your lungs. Not wearing a mask whilst paint spraying is asking for serious health trouble, you can easily inhale enough paint to fully coat your mouth, throat and lungs just decorating one room with an airless paint sprayer.
There are a range of mask solutions out there, from disposable masks to re-usable masks with filters. Whilst disposable masks are certainly better than nothing, we recommend you invest in a quality re-usable mask from a reputable brand that is recommended for decorators and has been tested to protect against paint particles.
You have only got two eyes, so it’s important to look after them. Paint spraying can be extremely messy and with so much paint in the air it can get everywhere including your eyes.
Whilst your eyelashes protect your eye to a certain extent, it’s not difficult for paint mist to enter your eye and settle, so if you want to avoid a trip to the medical department and having sore, red eyes for the weekend, invest in some basic eye protection.
Certainly not as important as the coveralls, but unless you want to be traipsing paint through the house on the bottom of your sneaker, it’s worthwhile finding some decent quality covers that do the job you bought them for. Cheap shoe covers suffer from the same problem as cheap overalls, they tear easily and you can end up with a blob of semi-dried white emulsion on the bottom of your shoe which gets spread across your carpets when you leave the room.
Most disposable shoe covers come in packs of 100 and are not fully paint resistant, so it may be worth spending a little bit more on re-usable shoe covers that are designed specifically for contractors and built to withstand paint.
Getting paint off from under your nails can be a pain and quite time consuming. If you are working with oil based paints, you will need to bathe your hands in thinners and scrub them for the best part of 10 minutes to remove all the paint residue from your hands and forearms.
Disposable gloves are best for this kind of work, so we recommend you purchase a box of disposable latex gloves which you can keep handy at all time. They don’t need to be a particular brand, but as always we recommend you avoid the bottom tier pricing as they often tear whilst trying to put them on or whilst in use, so in the end, you will still end up with paint on your hands. Something like this box of 100 from Ammex can cost as little as $6 and save you hours of time over a project
If you are thinking about decorating your home with an airless paint sprayer, you will most likely need a couple of large empty buckets to do the cleaning down process. It’s handy to have more than one available so you can keep one full of clean warm water and one for dumping the dirty water from the sprayer into.
These don’t need to be a particular size or brand, but a minimum size of 3 gallons is recommended as fully cleaning an airless paint sprayer until the water runs clear can take several bucket loads. For under $10 you should be able to buy a couple of large heavy duty 3 gallon buckets such as these
Solvent wipes are not essential, but they are certainly handy to have. They are great for cleaning paint off of your skin, off your tools and also for cleaning your equipment. If you are using an oil based paint such as gloss, they are almost essential for keeping things clean.
They are relatively inexpensive and are handy to keep in the garage for a range or purposes. For around $6 you can buy a tub of 40 wipes which should be enough for most projects. Not sure what to buy? We highly recommend these tradesmen Wonder Wipes.
We’ve rounded up the top 5 best spray painting tips and tricks from the pros. From area preparation to testing your sprayer, here are the top 5 beginner tips when you’re about to start paint spraying.
The art of using an expensive or cheap paint sprayer efficiently lies in the preparation. This means having all the tools to hand, having the room or area fully masked, covered and prepped before you even start priming your paint machine. You should make sure you have enough paint available to finish the job you are about to start and have water or thinners nearby for thinning your paint if required.
One vital part of the preparation process that many people ignore is having some cardboard or a plastic bag handy for unclogging the spray tip/nozzle. It’s not uncommon for a spray tip to become clogged during spraying so having an area you can de-clog quickly without powering down help can save a lot of time.
Masking is a pain that no one likes doing, but it has to be done and it has to be done right. If it’s not done well, the result will be a shoddy looking job no matter how expensive or cheap your paint sprayer was. The quality of the finished paint job mostly lies in the masking and preparation, so do this right and you are 70% of the way to a professional job.
Many people think that all masking tapes are alike, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Cheap masking tape will often allow paint to bleed into the edges of the tape, tear on removal, or be too sticky. Other room preparation equipment you should look into purchasing includes zip door protectors, specialist stair plastic covering and a bunch of disposable polythene dust sheets.
Fixing mistakes and drips from spray paint guns can be a time consuming process. Waiting for the paint to dry completely, then sanding it and then re-painting it can easily take hours and cause a lot of frustration.
Most beginner issues occur because the spray paint machine hasn’t been primed properly and air remains in the system causing splutters and ‘blobs’ on the object being painted or they underestimated their new powerful paint sprayer. This can often be avoided by testing the sprayer on either a large piece of cardboard or simply spraying into a bag until you are satisfied the machine is fully primed and no longer spitting.
We have no doubt that you will already be wearing old clothes under your protective overalls/coveralls, but cheap coveralls can still leak paint. They are disposable, mass produced and often poorly made.
Getting paint out of your hair and off your skin can be a pain and time consuming, especially if it’s an oil based paint such as gloss. Water will not remove oil based paints from your skin, so unless you like the sound of a bath tub full of thinners, we highly recommend you invest in some good coveralls that do the purpose they are intended for.
Most people fail to look ahead at what they’ll need to finish the day, which leaves them clambering around the house in paint caked shoes trying to get water, wipes and rags.
By having all of these to hand before you start, you will save yourself traipsing paint everywhere and some hassle by having paint dry in your equipment. We recommend you have a pack of Solvent Wipes, a bucket of water, an empty bucket and clean, paint-free rags readily available to cover all eventualities. Preparation is key.
Once you’ve painted a room, furniture or anything else for that matter, it’s important to let it air dry in a dust and debris free environment.
If you’re spraying a room, open doors and windows shortly after as it’ll allow air to circulate and paint in the air to fade. With furniture, many people like to do it outside. This could lead to leaves and unwanted bugs getting stuck in your paint. If you’re spraying outside, move the sprayed object into an airy room such as a garage for drying.
We’ve rounded up the top 5 beginner spray painting tips from the pros. From area preparation to testing your sprayer, here are the top 5 beginner tips when you’re about to start paint spraying.
The biggest advantage of paint sprayers over traditional methods is their speed. Whilst the speed of the sprayer varies massively depending on the technology the sprayer uses, paint spraying is still estimated to be 5-10x faster than using a brush or roller and will also provide a considerably better finish.
It’s important to understand that speed isn’t always your friend even for professional spray painters, especially with detailed work. Having the right type of sprayer for the job is vital in making spray painting a better, faster alternative to a good old brush and paint pot.
If you have ever tried a paint a fence or popcorn ceiling, you will know just how time consuming and frustrating it is. Coupled with the fact that your neck is bent back at a near 90 degree angle for hours when painting a ceiling, it’s a horrible task that we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy.
With a paint sprayer however, all of these frustrations go away as you breeze back and forth over the large area and all the nooks and crannies are painted with just a few passes of the spray gun. Saving you hours of precious time and stress.
One of the main reasons people prefer paint spraying over brushing is the outstanding quality of the professional paint job they get. This is of course especially important within the automotive/car and furniture paint spraying, with the paint being the first impression of the quality of the product.
If an exceptional finish is the main goal on your project, then choosing the best paint sprayer is essential in ensuring you are able to get a consistent high end finish that doesn’t contain flaws and defects. So what is the best paint sprayer? Read our paint sprayer reviews and you’ll find the best one for you 🙂
If you are about to decorate your house, many people immediately think of hiring a contractor to do the work. Hiring a contractor to paint a 3 bedroom home could easily end up costing $5000+ in labour alone.
Painting is not difficult but most avoid it due to the time it takes and toll it takes on your body when painting for long periods of time. If you are keen to save money and are happy to invest some time, then spending a few hundred bucks in a good airless paint sprayer could save you several thousand dollars.
Paint spraying can be daunting the first time you start looking into it, with so many types, brands, sizes and price points, it’s extremely difficult for beginners to know which way to look when they first start shopping online.
But… paint spraying is actually very easy once you have been given some guidance of the type of paint sprayer you need for the project. Having the right type of paint sprayer is half the work, once you have got this it just takes a small amount of practice to get the technique and you will be spraying like a pro in no time.
Paint sprayers are extremely handy to have in the garage and depending on the type you buy, can be used for a wide range of different jobs. From painting the inside of your home, to protecting the outside with a new coat of masonry paint, having a paint sprayer available can save you a lot of time and money over the years.
Not to mention once your friends and family see the quality of the finish they’ll no doubt be offering to pay you to come and paint their living room and throwing a few hundred dollars your way for your troubles.
Paint sprayers certainly have more pros than cons, but there a few small caveats that you should know before deciding to invest your hard earned cash on the best paint sprayer on the market. Here’s a few things to consider before you start the serious shopping.
Depending on the type of sprayer you buy, paint spraying can be messy and often requires a lot of masking and preparation.
This can put some people off of using paint sprayers, but the pros still outweigh the cons in most peoples’ eyes. Airless paint sprayers are the messiest, followed by conventional compressor spray systems, with HVLP & LVLP spray systems being the least messy types of paint sprayer.
The additional preparation time involved when using a paint sprayer can be a bit of a paint, but when paint sprayers provide between a 5-10x speed increase when compared to traditional brush and roller methods, it’s estimated that for every hour you spend masking up, you will be able to save around 4 hours of painting time.
Whilst it may feel counter productive, it’s hard to argue with the facts.
Good quality paint sprayers are not cheap and it can be an expensive pill to swallow for many people taking their first step into the world paint spraying.
With prices ranging anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars, there is a lot of choice and a lot of different price points which leave most people confused and overwhelmed when they first start looking to buy a paint sprayer.
We see the same questions being asked time and time again, so to save you the extra time in researching questions you mostly likely have, below is a summary of some of the most popular questions and answers about paint sprayers.
No not really. Most domestic sprayers are designed to be easy to use for the average home owner and come complete with an easy to understand manual and often an instructional DVD that will walk you through the setup, using of, maintenance & cleaning of your machine. There is also a huge selection of videos on Youtube that cover in-depth, the main brands and sprayers, how to use them and troubleshooting.
This varies between the type of sprayer and the paint you have been using (water based paints are much easier to clean out than oil based paints). HVLP and conventional compressor spray systems are generally much easier to clean (around 10-15 minutes) as paint only touches the gun and doesn’t go through any hoses such as those found in airless paint sprayer systems.
Airless paint sprayers often require more time to clean as you have to flush out the hose, piston, filters and gun. Cleaning an airless sprayer is not difficult, but can take up to 20 minutes due to the amount of water required and the extra parts that need to be cleaned.
Yes, definitely. Different types of sprayers are best suited to certain applications and vice versa. For example; airless paint sprayers are almost impossible to use for smaller projects, such as furniture or painting doors.
Airless paint sprayers are so powerful that they can cause paint build ups and drips in a matter of seconds if they are not continuously moving. Like wise, HVLP systems are great at detailed work, yet are very slow so are not recommended for large surface areas such as walls.
For every hour you spend masking, you will save around 4 hours of time you would have been using a brush or roller. Spraying is estimated to be between 5-10x faster than traditional roller methods (even with the extra prep time), that’s a huge difference.
Not only that, but the finish is significantly better, you will use less paint covering the same surface area and you won’t break your neck, back & knees painting for 10 straight days.
Yes and no. Many of the big names (such as Graco, Wagner, Titan, Fuji .etc) are mostly very similar, but what you should avoid is the cheap unbranded sprayers. These are more often than not, completely useless and should be avoided at all costs.
If you spend less than $50 on a paint sprayer, you will most likely be put off spraying for life by the poor performance of the machine and shoddy finish you get.
Every project is different so we can’t recommend a particular type of paint or brand. Though what we do recommend is that you avoid the cheaper paints (such as unbranded paints found on eBay) when using a sprayer as they often are not filtered very well in the factory and contain a lot of small particles which can block your spray tips and nozzles. This can affect both the finish you get and can cause a lot of frustrations as you have to continually stop to unclog the gun.
The most common amount is 10-20%, but this may differ for your specific situation as there are too many variables such as the power of the paint sprayer, the thickness of the paint and even the temperature that day.
Most paint manufacturers actually provide recommendations within their datasheets on how much you should thin/dilute your paint for various spray systems. If you are struggling to find any guidance, we recommend starting at 10% and slowly adding more water until you get the results you are after (test it outside or into a bag, not on the object you are about to spray).
You can’t do any damage to the machine by trying to spray a paint that is too thick, so a little bit of trial and error is often the best way.
HVLP stands for High Volume, Low Pressure. HVLP paint sprayers use high volumes of air at low pressures, which atomises the paint at the gun nozzle which allows it to be sprayed with great control.
HVLP is the preferred spray technology for detailed work such as furniture, cabinets, home projects, skirting boards & door frames.
Spray tips or nozzles are generally associated with airless paint sprayers and spray nozzle needles are normally used with HVLP spray guns or conventional compressor spray guns.
Paint thickness varies so much between different types of paint, you will normally need different spray tips to allow for thicker or thinner paint to flow correctly. This is most prevalent in airless paint sprayers as there is no adjustment of the spray size or hole diameter, meaning every type of paint needs the right size tip to work effectively.
If you would like to learn more about spray tips, take a look at our Guide to Airless Spray Tips.
If we’re honest, normally very. It does largely depend on the technology you are using though.
HVLP systems use very low pressure (10psi) to operate and have a high 80% application rate, meaning only 20% of the paint either bounces off the object you are spraying or is lost as overspray mist.
Airless technology is the messiest of them all due to the high pressures involved, airless paint sprayers have around a 50% application rate, meaning half the paint will end up in the air so EVERYTHING in the vicinity must be covered if you don’t want paint specs everywhere.
The ideal environment for an airless paint sprayer is a newly plastered room with no carpets or furniture.