Best Paint Sprayers of 2019
A paint sprayer is a resourceful painting tool that allows you to quickly and effectively paint your house with fresh color. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best paint sprayer for your home makeover needs.
Spruce Up Your Space with a Quick and Easy Paint Sprayer
Adding a fresh coat of paint to a room, deck, or fence is a budget-friendly way to spruce up your space. But painting with brushes and rollers is a tedious process, and lots of homeowners just don't have the time.
Enter the paint sprayer—a clever painting tool that allows you to quickly cover an entire area with fresh color.
If you're interested in finding a new way to spread a quick, even coat or two of color on your walls, you've come to the right place. At BestReviews, we're ready to help you select the best paint sprayer for your needs.
What type of paint sprayer should you get? How much power and volume do you need? Are there certain paint sprayer features that would make your redecorating project even easier? We can help you answer these questions and more. We conduct independent field and expert research to find out what works, and we never accept products from manufacturers, so our reviews are completely unbiased.
If you're ready to buy a paint sprayer, take a look at the matrix above for three of our top recommendations. For general information on choosing a paint sprayer, continue reading this shopping guide.
Reasons to Buy a Paint Sprayer
Perhaps you're grappling with the notion of buying a paint sprayer because the technology is new to you, and you're not sure if it's worth the investment. Here are some of our favorite reasons why you should buy a paint sprayer.
- Paint sprayers work fast. You can paint a surface much faster with a paint sprayer than with a traditional paint brush or roller. The paint comes out in such small particles that it disperses over a large area in short order.
- Paint sprayers cover thoroughly. Because the paint is emitted in a fine mist, it's easy to reach every nook and cranny. High and low areas are easier to access too, because you don't have to bend and stretch too much.
- Paint sprayers coat evenly. The fine paint particles emitted by a paint sprayer generate an extremely even coat. With a paint sprayer, streaks are rarely a concern.
There are some scenarios in which owning a paint sprayer is particularly helpful. Consider buying a paint sprayer if you find yourself in one of these situations.
- You're planning to cover a large outdoor area with paint. Paint sprayers work especially well on home and garage exteriors.
- You're planning to paint the walls, ceiling, and trim of an empty room. A paint sprayer is an effective tool if you're covering a large indoor surface area.
- You're planning to paint furniture. A paint sprayer easily accesses the nooks, crannies, and other carved details of furniture you aim to paint.
Paint Sprayer Types
Airless Paint Sprayers
An airless sprayer disperses paint at high pressure. As a result, the paint spreads over a wide area and evenly coats the surface. An airless paint sprayer can handle thicker paints than other types of sprayers can.
Compressed-Air Paint Sprayers
A compressed-air paint sprayer uses compressed air to help create a smooth finish. However, compressed-air paint sprayers tend to be messy, and you might inadvertently apply too much paint when using one.
High-Volume Low-Pressure (HVLP) Paint Sprayers
An HVLP sprayer uses a large volume of air to disperse steady droplets of paint. The spray moves slower than that of other sprayers, providing a smooth surface with very little paint waste.
Paint Sprayer Details: Ask Yourself These Questions First
We advise potential buyers to know a bit about the type of paint sprayer they need before shopping. Ask yourself the following questions to help determine what you should buy.
Where and what do you plan to paint?
The best type of paint sprayer for your home depends on where you plan to use it and what you plan to paint.
- An airless paint sprayer works well for exterior surfaces, including decks, fences, lattice, and shutters. It's also a good choice for painting interior walls and ceilings.
- A compressed-air paint sprayer is best used for cabinets and furniture.
- An HVLP paint sprayer is ideal for interior surfaces, such as cabinets, moulding, trim, and doors.
How much power do you need?
The stronger the paint sprayer engine, the more force it emits. If you intend to spread thicker layers of paint—or you're eager to get the job done as quickly as possible—look for a paint sprayer with a higher horsepower figure. During the course of our research, we found paint sprayer engines with as much as 5.5 hp and as little as 1.6 hp.
Notably, a paint sprayer with a stronger engine may be more difficult to control, so if you're not used to working with a sprayer, it might be wise to buy a paint sprayer with a smaller horsepower engine.
Another important figure to pay attention to is a paint sprayer's gallons-per-minute (GPM) figure. A higher number means you can cover a larger area faster. So again, if you're in a hurry to get the job done, look for a paint sprayer with a high GPM spec. Paint sprayers are rated from 0.5 GPM to over 1 GPM. For typical house paint, you'll want a sprayer that's 1 GPM or more.
What paint sprayer tip size is right for you?
Paint sprayers use tips that are numbered to designate the size of their openings in inches. Some sprayers are only equipped with a single tip, while others can use several different tip sizes. Check the manufacturer's instructions to see what tips are appropriate for the sprayer and whether tip extensions can be used. Typical tip sizes are .009, .011, and .015.
The ideal tip size for a sprayer depends on the paint or other material being used. Thick paint such as latex requires a larger sprayer tip (around size .015), while thinner paints work best with smaller tips (around size .011).
In addition to the size of the opening, tip sizes usually alert you to the width of their spray pattern, as well. Wider spray patterns work best for larger areas.
What hose length is right for your paint sprayer project?
A paint sprayer hose carries the paint from the sprayer to the gun. A longer hose is usually the most functional because it means you don't have to move the sprayer as much while you're working. For the most mobility, opt for a hose that's at least 25 feet long.
Do you need a portable paint sprayer?
Most people will want a paint sprayer that's easy to move around, because the more portable your sprayer is, the easier it will be to use. The weight of the motor plays a significant role in how easy a paint sprayer is to maneuver.
For best results, we advise potential buyers to look for a lightweight paint sprayer—either a wheeled or backpack model—of 7 pounds or less.
How Much Should I Pay for a Paint Sprayer?
Paint sprayers vary in price based on type, capacity, and other features. That said, you can typically expect to spend between $40 and $400 on a good one.
- For a basic paint compressed-air sprayer gun, expect to pay between $40 and $100.
- For an HVLP paint sprayer, expect to pay between $100 and $200.
- For an airless paint sprayer, expect to pay between $200 and $400.
Tips for Success
- Paint sprayers emit a very fine mist that's easy to inhale. Always wear a dust mask, gloves, and protective eyewear when you use a paint sprayer.
- Pay attention to the temperature on the days you plan to use the paint sprayer outdoors. You shouldn't spray when it's below 45°F or above 75°F. If the temperature is too low, the paint dries slowly, and insects and other debris may get stuck in it. If the temperature is too hot, the paint may dry too quickly and not adhere to the surface properly.
- It's important to block off areas that you don't want to cover with paint. Don't use painter's tape alone, though; protect the areas you don't want to paint with cardboard too.
- For the best coverage, hold the paint sprayer gun perpendicular to the surface that you're painting. Keep it 10 to 12 inches away to avoid splotches.
- When you move the paint sprayer, use long, straight strokes. Overlap each pass slightly to ensure that you get an even coat.
- When you paint, it's best to start with a light coat from your paint sprayer. If there are areas that need more coverage, you can go over them again. If you apply too much paint to start with it, though, it may not adhere properly and start peeling.
Paint Sprayer FAQ
Q. What type of paint can be used in a paint sprayer?
A. The answer to this question depends on the type of paint sprayer you have. Always consult the owner's manual to determine paint compatibility. Most paint sprayers can use water-based and solvent-based paints, stains, and primers. In general, airless paint sprayers can support the thickest substances.
Q. What type of maintenance does a paint sprayer require?
A. It is essential to clean your paint sprayer components thoroughly after each use. It's also important to cover the sprayer for storage to avoid accidental damage.
Q. What should you use to clean a paint sprayer?
A. The proper cleaning method depends on your particular paint sprayer, so always consult the owner's manual. In general, though, water- and latex-based materials can be washed out of the sprayer with warm, soapy water. For oil-based paints, mineral spirits are usually the best option.