What if there was a way to get the same level of finish at less cost, and have a machine handy that you could use for all your painting jobs, and cut down on the time taken to get it done? The answer is to buy a paint sprayer, and in this article we are going to look at the many different types of paint sprayers available, the best paint sprayers and the jobs they are designed for.
Let’s start by talking about the four main types, and which you may want to choose for your painting requirements.
Main Types of Paint Sprayer
The HVLP – ‘high volume, low pressure’ – type of paint sprayer is among the most popular, and that is for a variety of reasons. This type of device uses a low-pressure source of air to create a very fine mist of paint. This enhances accuracy – you can get a very impressive professional-level result with a sprayer such as the Fuji 2203G – and they are also finely adjustable for different finishes. These machines are portable and affordable, and are suitable for occasional jobs around the home, as well as for detail work on car paintwork.
One downside of the HVLP design is that it does not cover large areas as quickly as some other types of sprayers out there, such as airless, so this is a major factor worth considering when choosing the type of sprayer you go for. It is worth noting however that this type of sprayer has minimal overspray, so it’s perfect for more delicate work such as glossing doors, cabinets and over more intricate projects that require a level of finesse.
Airless Paint Sprayers
The beauty of the airless design is that, as with the above, it does not need a compressor. Instead, it uses a built-in piston system to pressurise itself and push the paint out at high velocity. This type of sprayer is much quicker than HVLP and can be used to cover greater areas in a very short time, with therefore less cost. The smaller DIY machines tend to be quite portable and also easy to use, if sometimes a little more expensive to buy than some of the other types of sprayers out there.
These types of paint sprayer are favoured by domestic users, particularly those who are intending to do odd jobs here and there and need it to be packed away in a compact form in the shed when not in use.
You can find these models with a range of accessories including reversible tips, extensions bars, painting shields, swivel adapters and a whole lot more – these are great for achieving different finishes with great accuracy. We’ve compiled a separate article to cover the best airless paint sprayer reviews, so if this is a route you’re looking to go down it’s certainly worth checking out.
Traditional Compressor Based Paint Sprayers
This is the traditional type of paint sprayer and is a reliable and trusted method that has been used for many years. Generally, it uses a paint gun attacked to a compressor; the compressor creates a powerful air pressure source, which is used to drive the paint to the nozzle. The benefits of air sprayers include ease of use and speed, but you will need to thin the paint to get the best results. You will also find that accuracy is not the greatest ability with these machines, but they do get the job done and are generally affordable and easy to use.
The problem with using air sprayers is that as they cover a wide area, and are not necessarily as accurate as others, you need to perform extensive pre-painting preparation in order to ensure you get the job done without damaging or accidentally painting other items in the vicinity, and they are not the most ecologically friendly models. We carry reviews of air sprayers for you to get used to what they can do, as well as many other paint spraying options that you can check out.
Handheld Paint Sprayers
The final type we cover is the manual – or cup – paint sprayer, a design that will only be of interest to a few users as it is not particularly versatile, and neither can it cover anything other than the bare minimum of area. This type uses a gravity feed in a small hand-held device to create a stream of paint, but will need filling up very often. They are best used as craft painting sprayers, and are not for jobs that require anything more than a very small area of detail coverage. However, they are very cheap, so if you want detail work, they may be worth looking at.
That’s the four main types of paint sprayers covered, and as you will have seen, there is plenty of choice in terms of design and operation, so we hope that our reviews go some way to helping you understand that there are models that will be right, and wrong, for your requirements. Now, let’s talk more about how to find the one that is right for you, and see if we can start to point you in the right direction for the best paint sprayer for you.
Which Paint Sprayer is for You?
Now that you know you want a paint sprayer – or rather need one, if you are to get your painting jobs done with adequate efficiency – you need to decide which type, make and model is for you. This depends on a lot of different factors – which we shall come to in a little while – that you need to take into account if you are to make the right decision. The price of paint sprayers, for example, can vary considerably, so you will want to set your budget before you decide to look deeper into the actual model you decide to buy.
Let’s have a look at some of the considerations you will need to make when choosing the ideal paint sprayer:
What Will You Use It For – obviously, the answer is painting, but what we mean here is the frequency of use, and the type of jobs you want to use it on. For example, you might be a car enthusiast who wants a paint sprayer for touching up or respraying bodywork; this may require a completely different model or type to someone who wants to paint rooms or redecorate an entire house.
Or, you may be looking to cover large areas on a frequent basis, perhaps even outdoors; this will mean you need a machine that is capable of covering area quickly and accurately – as well as efficiently – rather than one that needs to be filled up on a regular basis.
We have covered a range of models that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as those that are designed specifically for smaller jobs, within our reviews, so you will be able to make a choice based on those with little problem.
How Often Will You Use It – If you are in need of a machine that you will use regularly, perhaps for numerous small jobs if you are redecorating a home, or for outdoor use protecting fences, there are some models of paint sprayer that are far more suitable for you than others. You will need a machine that is portable enough to move around from place to place, that is easy to clean and requires little maintenance, and that is reliable and versatile.
We recommend airless machines for this type of work as they are generally the most agile of the many designs, and are surprisingly affordable, with low maintenance and some clever design tweaks that mean that can be changed and altered at will. There are many reviews of airless and other paint sprayers on our site, so take the time to read through the information provided and make sure you take on board the pros and cons of each one.
Indoor or Outdoor Use – or both? The exterior paintwork of your home needs regular attention, as it is exposed to the elements for its lifetime. To protect the wood beneath, you need to keep it painted and up to scratch all the time, and this means regular repainting and protection. The same applies to outdoor buildings, which need protection, and this is best done using an airless paint sprayer.
Many of the models we reviewed can be used on both indoor and outdoor projects, and some cover very large areas so will be perfect for – for example – that long and tired fence that is showing some wear and tear. For this sort of work, you need a paint sprayer with decent capacity, and one that can easily be switched between the types of coverage and paint or protective that you need, so use our reviews for more information on the very best models for both indoor and outdoor use.
Surfaces to Cover – both the type and size of surface that you need to cover may also have some bearing on the machine that you decide to buy, and there is plenty to consider here. For example, you want a decent finish whether you are painting plasterboard walls or fences – or indeed any woodwork – so look for a model with changeable tips and nozzles that you can alter your spray direction and chosen finish with.
Likewise, if you are using the sprayer for hobby work, or for car bodywork, make sure you choose one that comes recommended for this purpose, or you may find that you make an expensive mistake and buy a sprayer that is not quite what you want.
In addition to the price, those are the factors you have to look at when choosing a paint sprayer, and with a market that has become saturated with various makes and types in recent years, it may help you to recognise some of the best brands to look for when choosing your preferred paint sprayer. Here’s a quick look at some of the best, and most reliable, brands available.
Makes and Models
Recognised brand names tend to stick in the mind, and while some of those who make paint sprayers are not instantly recognisable, we thought it best to give you a few tips on those we have included in our reviews.
Fuji, for example, is a massive company with fingers in every pie, and a reputation for quality and reliability; this extends to its excellent range of pant sprayers, which we highly recommend. Graco is a big name in the paint- prayer market and has an extensive range of options covering a variety of budgets and applications, we’ve covered many of them in our product reviews such as the Graco X5 & the Graco Truecoat Pro II, so please take the time to have a closer look. Earlex is another brand you may not know but which is highly-regarded when it comes to paint sprayers, while the range from Wagner is also very impressive.
When it comes to buying a paint sprayer, as with many such items, we strongly recommend you look closely at the specifications in advance, and that you buy the very best you can afford of the type you need. Check out our reviews for all the information you could possibly need on the best paint sprayers in the business, and make painting your home and garden so much easier at a reasonable cost.