Welcome to Paint Sprayer Guide, I’m Charles Ritchie and it’s my job to help give you the best paint sprayer reviews for DIY spray guns, professional commercial sprayers, and all the other spraying equipment you may need, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
Let me start off by saying there is a HUGE difference between all the various types of paint sprayers and if you buy the wrong type, I can assure you you will be left with either a shoddy or unfinished job because you couldn’t work out how to get the finish right.
It’s incredibly important you choose the best spray system for the job at hand, whether that be painting internal walls, spraying furniture, or spraying your car.
If you really have no idea where to start, I made a helpful 2 question ‘Start Here’ quiz to help get you to the right type of product in just a few seconds, so be sure to check it out if you’re feeling a bit lost and are in a rush.
To give you the summarized version of types of paint sprayers, smaller jobs such as furniture spraying or woodwork require highly controllable machines that give you good control, little overspray and a high-quality, smooth finish.
These are typically known as HVLP or turbine spray systems.
Whereas if you are planning to paint the walls in your home, the best electric paint sprayers for the job are airless paint sprayers. They’re extremely quick, designed to work in areas with large coverage, and can handle the thicker paints such as latex.
There is some cross over if you have a fair amount of experience with spraying, but it doesn’t mean the sprayer is best suited for that purpose.
Spraying an entire house with a small HVLP sprayer will be so slow that you’ll probably regret ever starting.
To put it in laymen’s terms: You need to focus on buying the best paint sprayers for each type of project. There is no one size fits all solution, unfortunately.
Best Paint Sprayers for Home Use in 2020
Below you’ll find our best paint sprayers and reviews for the most popular applications, and below that the type of machines you should be looking at for each purpose.
Best Upcoming Handheld: REXBETI Ultimate – 750 Handheld Sprayer
The REXBETI Ultimate – 750 is a great budget sprayer for when you have never used a sprayer before.
It is very lightweight, weighing less than 4 pounds, and user-friendly thanks to the clear instructions and easy handling.
This model has 3 spray patterns that you can switch between using the twisting knob: circular 45°, horizontal 90° and vertical 180°. Changing the flow rate is just as easy with the flow control knob near the handle.
One of the disadvantages of a paint spray gun is usually how long it takes to clean but that is not the case with the REXBETI Ultimate – 750 model. This model comes with a detachable container with a volume of 1 liter which gives you a quicker cleanup and is ideal for spraying cabinetry.
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The REXBETI Ultimate 750 is super easy-to-use and considered one of the best handheld paint sprayers for anyone with a small-medium sized job to do and little time to complete it.
It has a power of 500 watts with a maximum flow rate of 750 ml per minute.
Ideally Suited For
Best for Home DIY Projects: Graco Magnum 257025
The Graco Magnum 257025 is the type of home improvement equipment that you are grateful to have with each DIY project.
It’s a small spray gun with variable pressure setting options that has been specifically designed for the new user and is one of the best for painting interior walls and large areas of coverage. It is also a great option for exterior projects.
It is also one of those tools that you don’t have to worry about missing parts when left in storage. It comes fitted with several extra storage spaces attached for keeping things like the spray tips and cords together.
One of the best features is that it is suitable for both indoor projects like interior walls and outdoor projects like staining fences and decks. You will need an extension cord however.
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Cleanup is already made faster with this model since there is no separate container. Instead, you can feed directly from a 1 gallon or 5-gallon bucket thanks to the flexible suction tube.
Another great feature is the reverse-a-clean which clears the spray tip from blogs with a flick of the tip. Clogged spray tips are a common problem with sprayers, but not with this model.
You can also use most of Graco’s after market accessories with the spray gun, allowing you to alter the tip size, hose length and more.
Ideally Suited For
- DIY renovation projects (not ongoing)
- Large surface area exterior projects (once every few years)
- Very occasional contractors
Best Cheap Handheld Spray Gun: HomeRight Finish Max C800766
Our favorite budget buy is the HomeRight Finish Max because it is lightweight, easy to clean, made of good quality materials and precise. It’s the perfect cheap option for homeowners with minimal painting projects.
Plus, it is compatible with all kinds of materials, both oil and water-based but also varnish and clear sealer.
The HomeRight Finish Max is even more lightweight than the REXBETI Ultimate – 750 as it only weighs only 2.8 pounds. However, the container is also slightly smaller with a maximum volume of 27 ounces.
The precise spray pattern of the HomeRight Finish Max comes from the brass tips and needles which won’t wear from temperature changes like plastic tips and needles would. This is what makes this electric paint sprayer ideal for furniture painting and intricate patterns on outdoor wooden structures.
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Another feature that helps to give a precise spray is the seal and splash guard. Together they prevent leaking and materialx from entering back into the nozzle which can cause the tip to get clogged.
Finally, the manufacturers pay close attention to after-sale care because they offer a 2 year warranty and have a US based customer care department that you can call or e-mail with any questions about their product.
Ideally Suited For
- Light DIY work
- Rustic furniture spraying
- Light wood/decking staining
Best Semi-Pro Airless Paint Sprayer: Graco Magnum 262800 X5
This is the more advanced brother to the Graco Magnum 257025 model that we plugged as the best model for a home DIYer or as a latex paint sprayer.
We’ve written a Graco Magnum X5 review before (as well as a review of it’s bigger brother the Graco X7), and shown that it has more power and better specifications than any other on this list and can handle up to 125 gallons of material per year.
Like the smaller model, the Graco Magnum 262800 X5 can directly spray from a bucket thanks to its flexible suction tube. It also holds enough power for you to use a paint hose up to 75 feet long for jobs that are high up or difficult to reach. Alongside this, you can also buy tip extensions to extend the distance of the spray tip from the gun.
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What is even better about this model is that you don’t need to thin the paint first because it is able to give a precise spray straight from the pail (depending on your spray tip and nozzle size). This is possible thanks to the way airless paint sprayers work and the stainless steel piston pump that operates at high pressure.
Aside from the extra power, this model still has all the benefits of the smaller model including a reverse-a-clean for preventing clogging in spray tips, a power flush that connects to garden hoses for quicker clean up and a pressure control knob for adjusting the flow on smaller area coverages.
Being a semi professional airless spray gun, it also allows for changing the spray tip sizes for many in the Graco accessory range, allowing you to alter the paint flow out of the gun and fan size. You can also order replacement parts online and repair your sprayer at home.
The X5 is one of, if not the best paint sprayer for home use and sits highly in our best electric airless reviews, regardless of the project size or gallons per minute you require.
Ideally Suited For
- Occasional contractors
- Heavy DIY (large house refurbishment)
- Large exterior painting projects (decking, barns, outhouses .etc)
Best Mid-Range Turbine Spray Gun: Wagner Flexio 890
This turbine spray paint gun by Wagner is a two-in-one deal since it can be used for larger jobs with the iSpray nozzle and for detailing work and finishing with the Detail Finish Nozzle.
The iSpray nozzle has a detachable 1-quart container and the Detail Finish Nozzle a detachable 20 ounce container.
The turbine box and the air filters on the Flexio 890 are designed to be placed on the floor so that your hands are more flexible and your arms are not bogged down by a weight, and instead of a paint hose, it uses a simple air hose.
The turbine that delivers the air pressure box also has a double function as it is the perfect size for storing all the separate parts after cleaning.
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The Wagner Spraytech Flexio 890 HVLP spray system is suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects. It has all the power for performing large jobs: it sprays up to 8.4 gallons of material per hour and coverage can be upwards of a 8 x 10-inch surface in just 5 minutes.
If you are looking for a versatile turbine system without an air compressor then the Wagner Flexio 890 is a good bet. We recommend this model for semi-professionals that want to perform their jobs quicker and still have the control for precision jobs using the same setup.
Ideally Suited For
- Furniture spraying and finishing (such as lacquers)
- Minor interior wall decorating projects
And there you have it, our top 5 overall best paint sprayer reviews. But before you leave, we’ve got a huge guide below for you to help make your buying decision even easier, and just to recap, out top 3 favorites:
Paint Spraying Tips & Tricks from the Professionals
We’ve rounded up the best spraying 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 use a spray gun.
1. By Failing To Prepare, You Are Preparing To Fail
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 the walls prepared for painting before you even start priming your machine.
You should make sure you have enough paint available to finish the job you are about to start and have water or thinners (paint stripper) nearby for thinning your material 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.
2. Area Preparation
Masking and prep work 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 equipment was.
The quality of the finished 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 painters 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, especially when applying multiple coats.
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. You can find our full list of protective materials here (opens in new tab).
3. Test It In a Bag or on Cardboard Before Spraying a Wall
Fixing mistakes and drips from spray paint guns can be a time-consuming process. Waiting for the surface to dry completely, then sanding it and then re-doing it can easily take hours and cause a lot of frustration.
Most beginner issues occur because the hoses haven’t been primed properly and air remains in the system causing splutters and ‘blobs’ on the object or they underestimated their new toy.
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.
This is especially important when changing paint type or altering the air pressure.
4. Get Good Protective Clothing & Respirator
We have no doubt that you will already be wearing old clothes under your protective overalls/coveralls, but cheap coveralls can still leak. 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 oil-based such as gloss.
Water will not remove oil-based paints from your skin, so unless you like the sound of a bathtub full of thinners,
We highly recommend you invest in some good decorating protection that does the purpose it is intended for.
5. Have Cleaning Equipment Prepared
Most people fail to look ahead at what they’ll need to finish the day, which leaves them clambering around the house in caked shoes trying to get water, wipes and rags.
By having all of these to hand before you start, you will save yourself traipsing it everywhere and some hassle by having material dry in your equipment.
We recommend you have a pack of Solvent Wipes, a bucket of water, an empty bucket and clean rags readily available to cover all eventualities. Preparation is key.
6. Let It Air Out
Once you’ve finished a room, furniture or anything else for that matter, it’s important to let it air dry in a dust and debris free environment, even between coats.
This is especially critical if you’re painting inside with exterior paint, exterior paint and lacquers made from a cocktail of harmful chemicals which prevent it from the elements, so be sure to keep all doors and windows open throughout.
If you’re spraying a room, open doors and windows shortly after as it’ll allow air to circulate properly and particles in the air to fade. With furniture, many people like to do it.
This could lead to leaves and unwanted bugs getting stuck in your completed work. If you’re spraying outside, move the sprayed object into an airy room such as a garage for drying.
What Are The Main Benefits of a Paint Sprayer?
Speed – They’re Extremely Quick!
The biggest advantage of airless sprayers over traditional methods is their speed, this makes them extremely attractive to people starting a painting business where time is money.
Whilst the speed of the sprayer varies massively depending on the technology (a HVLP sprayer is slower) the sprayer uses and the nozzle options, spraying is still estimated to be 5-10x faster than using a brush or roller and will also provide a considerably better finish (with the right spray pattern).
This can be even faster when spraying awkward surfaces, such as fences which take considerable time with a brush.
Check out this Youtube video to see just how fast an electric paint sprayer can work.
It’s important to understand that speed isn’t always your friend even for professional contractors, especially with detailed work. Gallons per minute doesn’t matter if the job doesn’t look good at the end, but you can normally control this with the tip size or pressure control.
Having the right type of paint sprayer for the job is vital in making the finished result better and it being faster alternative to a good old brush and roller.
Coverage – It’s Even!
If you have ever tried to paint 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, it’s a painful task that we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy.
With a small paint sprayer for home use, however, all of these frustrations go away as you breeze back and forth over the large area and all the nooks and crannies are coated with just a few passes of the spray gun. Saving you hours of precious time and stress as you splatter a high volume of paint on the walls of ceiling in seconds.
This is especially the case when using fine finish tips or HVLP spray guns.
Finish – It’s Perfect
One of the main reasons people prefer using a paint sprayer machine instead of brushing is the outstanding quality of the professional smooth finish they get.
This is of course especially important within the paint sprayers for cars and furniture restoration, with the finish being the first impression of the quality of the product.
If an exceptional finish is the main goal of your project, then choosing the best electric paint sprayer with the right spray patterns is essential in ensuring you are able to get a consistent high-end finish that doesn’t contain flaws and defects.
But, it’s important to remember that your finish will only ever be as good as the surface you’re painting. If you’re paint spraying furniture for example, it’s important to use either paint stripper or a heat gun to remove the paint first and to use HVLP sprayers.
Price – It’s Cheaper Than Hiring Pro’s
If you are about to decorate your house or start any painting project, many people immediately think of hiring a contractor to do the work.
Hiring a contractor to decorator JUST THE EXTERIOR of a 3 bedroom home could easily end up costing $3000+ in labor alone.
It is typically not difficult but most avoid it due to the time it takes and toll it takes on your body when doing it 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 and allow you to buy better, longer lasting latex paint.
Simple – They’re Easy To Use
Spraying can be daunting the first time you start looking into it, with so many types, brands, sizes, spray patters and price points, it’s extremely difficult for beginners to know which way to look when they first start shopping online.
But… it is actually very easy once you have been given some guidance of the type you need for the project.
Having the right type 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.
Versatile – Useful For a Wide Range of Projects
Spray guns 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 paint sprayers for interior walls, to protecting the outside with a new coat of masonry, having a spray system 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 decorate their living room and throwing a few hundred dollars your way for your troubles.
The Downside Of It All
Spray paint guns 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 gun on the market.
Here are a few things to consider before you start the serious shopping.
They Can Be Quite Messy
Depending on the type you buy, it can be messy and often requires a lot of masking and preparation.
This can put some people off of using them for smaller projects, but the pros still outweigh the cons in most peoples’ eyes.
Airless is the messiest, creating clouds of paint particles, followed by conventional compressor spray systems, with HVLP & LVLP spray systems being the least messy types.
Again, this all depends on the paint sprayer tips in use and the fan width you’re working with and if you have the option of adjustable pressure.
The additional preparation time involved can be a bit of a pain, but when they can provide between a 5-10x speed increase when compared to traditional brush and roller method
It’s estimated that for every hour you spend masking up, you will be able to save around 4 hours of work time.
Whilst it may feel counterproductive, it’s hard to argue with the facts.
Good quality spray guns are not cheap and it can be an expensive pill to swallow for many people making their first purchase.
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 all the equipment.
Paint Sprayer FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
We see the same questions being asked time and time again, so to save you the extra time in researching questions you most likely have, below is a summary of some of the most popular questions and answers.
Is paint spraying difficult for beginners?
No not really. Most domestic sprayers are designed to be easy to use for the average homeowner 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.
I’d advise using a slower spray mode (if you have adjustable pressure) practicing on something that doesn’t require a perfect finish, such as painting fences.
How long does cleaning the machine take?
This varies between the type of sprayer and the material you have been using (water-based paints are much easier to clean out than oil-based).
HVLP and conventional compressor spray systems are generally much easier to clean (around 10-15 minutes) as the material only touches the gun and doesn’t go through any hoses.
Airless paint sprayers often require more time to clean as you have to flush out the hose, piston, filters and gun. Cleaning an electric 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.
Does it matter which type I buy?
Yes, definitely. Different types of sprayers are best suited to certain applications and vice versa. For example; airless spray guns are almost impossible to use for smaller projects, such as furniture or painting doors.
They are so powerful that they can cause build-ups and drips in a matter of seconds if they are not continuously moving. Likewise, HVLP systems are great at detailed work, yet are very slow so are not recommended for large surface areas such as walls.
Is it worth all the extra time prepping?
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. Read our full paint sprayers vs roller post for more.
Does it matter which brand I buy?
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 cheap budget device, you will most likely be put off spraying for life by the poor performance of the machine and shoddy finish you get.
What kind of paint do you recommend?
Every project is different so we can’t recommend a particular type or brand. Though what we do recommend is that you avoid the cheaper paints (such as unbranded ones 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.
Do I need to dilute the paint by how much?
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, the thickness of the material and even the temperature that day.
Most paint manufacturers actually provide recommendations within their datasheets (here’s an Dulux example datasheet with recommendations on spraying setup requirements) on how much you should thin/dilute it 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 too much damage to the machine by trying to spray material that is too thick, so a little bit of trial and error is often the best way.
What does HVLP stand for?
HVLP stands for High Volume, Low Pressure. HVLP paint sprayers use high volumes of air at low pressures, which atomizes 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.
What are spray tips & nozzles and do I need them?
Spray tips or nozzles are generally associated with airless spray systems and spray nozzle needles are normally used with HVLP spray guns or conventional compressor spray guns.
Viscosity varies so much between different types of paint, you will normally need different spray tips to allow for thicker or thinner materials to flow correctly. This is most prevalent as there is no adjustment of the spray size or hole diameter, meaning every type needs the right size tip to work effectively.
How messy are paint sprayers?
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 spray 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 and only have around a 50% application rate, meaning half the coasting will end up in the air so EVERYTHING in the vicinity must be covered if you don’t want white specs everywhere.
The ideal environment is a newly plastered room with no carpets or furniture, which model becomes the best paint sprayer for you really does depend on what and how much you intend on spraying.