You have picked your colors, mapped out the designs, and laid down the painter’s tarp. However, that most essential of tools is missing, the paint sprayer. Should you rent or buy?
This is an important question when dealing with any kind of industrial tool. An aspiring contractor would obviously want to have a few in their arsenal, but when there is only your own projects to worry about, the answer is not obvious.
What follows is a consideration of both options to help you make the best decision for your wallet.
Why Not a Brush?
When most of us think of painting, brushes are likely the first tool that comes to mind. Brushes will work fine in the same way that heat will cook your food whether it’s over a campfire or on a kitchen stove.
However, like the stove, a paint sprayer is just going to make everything easier. Make no mistake, a sprayer in good hands will take a painting job that would take a lifetime with a brush and complete it in minutes. Even more, if this is your first real paint job, learning how to use a paint sprayer will spare you the mistakes that a lack of experience with a brush will cause.
Paint sprayers can be tricky but after some practice, the margin of error is much bigger and easier to correct.
Pros for Renting
There are a few reasons you may want to rent a paint sprayer rather than buy. When a project is a one-time deal and there is absolutely no painting to be done in the future, renting is more affordable. You might have one set of cabinets that need a color change and that’s it. There is nothing else to be done and a bought sprayer will just rust in the garage.
Furthermore, a small project like a repaint of the front door, can be done in less than an hour before you never have to worry about it again. This then might call for a rental. Rentals these situations are so cheap it’s not a question of what is most cost-effective.
Even better, renting a paint sprayer gives you the opportunity to use top tier equipment that you otherwise would never dare to dream about. The best sprayers can get into the thousands of dollars. Even an experienced contractor would not bother investing in something that advanced unless it was absolutely necessary.
Renting tools often gives you access to different levels of equipment at very affordable prices. Thus, you can assure yourself that your one-time project gets the very best treatment and work.
All that said, the moment a project expands or begins to go over the estimated time, the value of a rental rapidly declines.
Things go wrong and plans change. After those first couple of speed-bumps rentals start to hurt and then the initial investment into your own sprayer becomes that much more expensive.
Pros for Buying a Paint Sprayer
There is really only one drawback to buying the paint sprayer and that is the initial cost. That payment can take a nice chunk of the budget and a small project might not call for it.
However, after that purchase, owning your own sprayer is a game-changer. Any project that goes beyond just a couple of interior walls will benefit immensely from having a bought sprayer.
The moment it takes longer than a day or two to complete, renting loses a lot of value and you end up spending much more than you expected. Owning your own paint sprayer becomes immediately cheaper once that third day rolls around.
Buying also allows you to go at your own pace which a major project will inevitably need. As mentioned above, things rarely go as planned and buying a sprayer gives you far more flexibility in your budget to figure things out.
You won’t have to make decisions you might later regret or resent because you had to return a rental before it puts you in the red with fees or another day of renting.
Lastly, it is yours forever and that counts for a lot. Any homeowner, ought to be building up a small arsenal of tools so they can not only maintain the home but also allow for potential projects down the road.
A year after you finish painting the exterior a lovely blue, you may find yourself wanting to compliment it with a new color on the window frames or maybe the car needs a sprinkle or two.
When the sprayers are in perfect condition all you have to do is worry about the paint. Suddenly, the future has become a lot cheaper.
All in all, buying has the most benefits if you are willing to take that first leap.
Where to Rent or Buy
Any major hardware store worth its salt will have paint sprayers available to buy. A quick look at Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace results in a plethora of options from simple sprayers costing as low as $100 to a major piece of equipment for $3000.
For renting, Home Depot is usually the go-to place since their program is robust with options.
Lowe’s is a close second and it is always worth checking out independent stores in your area for better deals. One should expect to pay anywhere from $20+ for four hours to 150+ for a week. These are based on Home Depot estimates but it is more a less the range everywhere.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to project size and expectations. If all you expect to do is a couple of hours or days, then a rental is probably your best bet. However, if you plan to be painting regularly or plan on starting a painting business, buying is the smarter answer.
Not only does the initial price become cheap compared to a week or more of renting, having the tool for any unexpected changes or future projects gives you flexibility and saves you hundreds or even thousands in the future.
Any homeowner should be considering building up their toolbox for this reason.
Do what works best for you!