Which paint sprayer is best?

Paint sprayers can make large painting jobs quick and easy, saving you significant time compared to using rollers. And while they used to require weighty air compressors, the technology has come a long way to offer sprayers with more portability at varying price points. No matter what project you’re working on, there’s a sprayer to suit your needs.

The Graco ProX19 Cart Paint Sprayer features a robust variable pressure control and a long hose that makes it perfect for large applications.

What to know before you buy a paint sprayer

Use

How you plan to use your paint sprayer determines which is best for you. If you’re painting a building’s exterior, for instance, you’ll need one that produces a high volume of paint over a large area. Painting interior detailing work such as window sills, baseboards and trim, however, requires something with more finesse.

Paint sprayer types

  • HVLP paint sprayers: High-volume low-pressure paint sprayers use air to produce a low-pressure stream of paint. They’re best used from about 6-8 inches away from the surface they’re painting, which makes them perfect for small, detailed work such as trim and baseboards. However, HVLP sprayers are not suitable for large-scale jobs such as building exteriors, and they struggle with thick paints and lacquer.
  • Compressed air paint sprayers: These were the first types of paint sprayers. They use an air compressor to produce paint from the tip. They’re inexpensive but don’t distribute as much paint as airless paint sprayers.
  • Airless paint sprayers: Airless paint sprayers are ideal for huge jobs, using pressure to produce the paint from the sprayer’s tip. Airless sprayers may be either electric or gas-powered, and they typically use variable pressure control to let the user customize the paint stream.

Noise

A common consideration is how much noise a sprayer produces. Noisy sprayers can be obnoxious, though high-powered ones do tend to produce louder volumes than small, portable HVLP paint sprayers.

What to look for in a quality paint sprayer

Horsepower

The amount of horsepower a paint sprayer offers determines how many gallons per minute it can produce. While sprayers with higher horsepower can produce paints more quickly, lower horsepower versions tend to be quieter.

Hose and tip

A paint sprayer is only as good as its hose and tip. Well-designed hoses and tips often include anti-clog features that keep the paint moving. You’ll also need to consider how long the hose needs to be if you plan to walk away from the paint bucket while working. In addition, many paint sprayers have multiple tip options for customizing their streams. Sprayer tips can vary from 6-14 inches wide, with larger tips covering more area.

Variable pressure

Another useful feature found on many high-end paint sprayers is variable pressure control. This lets users customize the stream and flow of paint, ideal for both small and large-scale jobs. It can extend your sprayer tip’s life while letting you customize the spray pattern even more than switching the tip.

How much you can expect to spend on a paint sprayer

You can buy cheap paint sprayers for under $50. For mid-tier and high-end paint sprayers, you can expect to spend $100-$250.

Paint sprayer FAQ

Do paint sprayers work better than rollers?

A. It depends on how you look at it. Paint sprayers use more paint than rollers, which can be a problem. Still, those using sprayers can paint much more quickly, so many choose to sacrifice a little paint efficiency to save time.

Are paint sprayers good for indoor use?

A. Most of the time. Some paint sprayers work well for indoor jobs, making it easy to paint baseboards, trim and other accenting features in one go. However, it’s also important to circulate the air and consider wearing a mask when working with paint sprayers inside.

What’s the best paint sprayer to buy?

Top paint sprayer

Graco 17G180 Magnum ProX19 Cart Paint Sprayer

Graco 17G180 Magnum ProX19 Cart Paint Sprayer

What you need to know: This is a versatile paint sprayer offering super high-pressured spraying for unthinned paints, and a long hose suitable for larger buildings and projects.

What you’ll love: It features a 150-foot hose and a flexible suction tube for direct supply from a 1- or 5-gallon paint bucket. It also comes with a PowerFlush adapter that easily connects to a garden house, making for a straightforward cleanup.

What you should consider: It’s pretty expensive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top paint sprayer for the money

Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max Stain And Paint Sprayer

Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max Stain And Paint Sprayer

What you need to know: This paint sprayer is super compact, with a 20-foot hose and a high-volume, low-pressure technology for painting small to medium spaces or buildings.

What you’ll love: It includes an ergonomic handle and comes with 1.5- and 1-quart cups. It has a 20-foot hose and lets users adjust the air stream to round, horizontal or vertical spray patterns.

What you should consider: You must use thinned liquids with this sprayer.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Graco Magnum X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer

What you need to know: This airless sprayer is a powerful option that sprays from a 1- or 5-gallon bucket using a hose of up to 75 feet.

What you’ll love: It lets users adjust the pressure and includes a handy Switch Tip feature that can help reduce clogging. It can also be purchased in bundles with an included hose and tip.

What you should consider: Some buyers said it clogs easily if not cleaned enough. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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