Paint Sprayer Buying Guide
What is a Paint Sprayer?
Using paintbrushes and rollers to paint can be a very time consuming process. A Paint sprayer will drastically cut down on the length of time it takes to get your painting projects done. A paint sprayer can be used for large surface painting jobs like the exterior of a home and it can be used for smaller, more precise jobs like shutters, furniture and more.
A Few Questions
One of the reasons that paint sprayers are so popular is because of the uniform finish it provides on whatever you are spraying. There are a few questions you can ask yourself before you choose a paint sprayer. The answers to these questions will help steer you towards the right paint sprayer for all your painting needs.
- What type of projects will you be doing with your sprayer? – The types of jobs that you want to do with your sprayer can determine the kind of sprayer that you get. If all you will be doing is painting home exteriors or interior walls, you will not necessarily have to worry about precision as much as you would if you were painting furniture.
- What materials will you use your sprayer on? – Most sprayers have the capability to paint a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, metal, sheetrock, and many others.
- How large are the areas you will be painting? – As we mentioned above, if you are going to be painting large surface areas, precision is not really that important. It is best to look for a paint sprayer that can be versatile and handle both large surface painting and more precise painting.
- How thick is the paint or stain or primer that you are using? – Many paint sprayers have the ability to handle all different kinds of paint, stains, lacquers and more. Male sure that the one you are looking at has this versatile capability.
- How often will you be using your paint sprayer? – If you won’t be using your paint sprayer very often it is not as important to get a high end model. However, if you will be using it on a regular basis such as in a painting business or if you paint furniture that you build regularly, you will want to get a higher end model to accommodate and handle the workload you will put on it.
When Should You Use a Paint Sprayer?
If you are not familiar with paint sprayers you may not be sure what jobs and projects are appropriate for paint sprayers and which ones would need to be done using brushes and/or rollers. We have provided some instances where paint sprayers are commonly used and produce very nice results as well as situations where they are better not used.
Use A Paint Sprayer:
- Covering large spaces such as interior walls or exterior parts of a home.
- Painting furniture due to the fact that the fine spray of paint easily gets into the hard to reach spots that brushes and rollers can’t get into.
- Painting empty rooms or homes
Don’t Use a Paint Sprayer:
- Small paint jobs can be difficult if you don’t have a proper paint area for your project.
- You are low on paint. Paint sprayers use more paint that brushes or rollers, so if you are worried about running out, it is better to use a roller or brush.
- Using a paint sprayer involves taping and covering things that you don’t want covered in a fine mist of paint. The rewards when using a paint sprayer are worth it, even though there is set up work associated with it.
- Clean up is a little more detailed and time consuming than it is with brushes and rollers.
Types of Paint Sprayers
There are three different types of paint sprayers available. There are benefits and drawbacks to each one and each style is better suited to certain types of projects than the others might be. The three types of sprayers are:
- High volume/low pressure
- Conventional Pain Sprayers – This type of paint sprayer uses an air compressor and creates thin finishes of paint on the surface of the item being painted. In most models the air compressor is built into the paint sprayer so it is not a separate piece. You can also get a paint sprayer that uses an external air compressor. Some people find the conventional paint sprayers difficult to use. Since on most models have adjustable settings for fan spray, paint flow and air flow there can be a steep learning curve which many people simply don’t want to bother with. One of the drawbacks to conventional paint sprayers is that they can be very wasteful when it comes to paint. On average only about 30% of the paint actually makes it to the object your painting.
- High Volume/Low Pressure Sprayers – This type of paint sprayer was created due to the flaws in the conventional paint sprayer. The top rated paint sprayers we reviewed here are all high volume/low pressure sprayers. By designing a sprayer that combined a higher volume of air with a low pressure users will now have an 80% transfer rate of paint compared to the 30% that the conventional sprayer provides. Because this type of paint sprayer is known for its precision, it is the perfect choice for projects that need a lot of detail and precise painting.
- Airless Sprayers – If you are not concerned about overspray, an airless sprayer may be a good choice. These types of paint sprayers use electric motors, gas motors or hydraulic motors to power the sprayer. The power of an airless sprayer is unsurpassed. They produce a thick, even coating which means that less coats of paint will be required than normal. These types of sprayers are also good for penetrating hard to reach cracks and uneven surfaces. Spray fan and paint flow on airless sprayers are not adjustable so figure on purchasing extra tips that will expand or change the fan and paint flow that the sprayer puts out.
Paint Sprayer Features
There are several different features that a paint sprayer may offer. These will vary from model to model. You should have an idea of the features you desire your paint sprayer to have before you purchase so you get the model that has the capabilities you want.
- Adjustable Paint Sprayers – With adjustable paint sprayers the paints and primers can be applied at various thicknesses, in different kinds of spray patterns and also at different speeds. This makes the paint sprayer fully customizable to the project you are working on.
- Faster Cleanup – Cleaning a paint sprayer is probably one of the least liked things about them because they can be much more time consuming to clean than regular brushes and rollers. Some models will attach to a garden hose which makes clean up faster and others, like the HomeBright Sprayer, use a bag system that is very easy to clean.
- Easily Moved Around – The more portable the paint sprayer is, the easier time you will have using it for a multitude of projects. Some models have backpack carrying mechanisms and others use wheels. Personal preference plays some part in which is better.
- Power source choices – Paint sprayers are typically powered by electricity, gas or a battery in the case of cordless sprayers.
Common Paint Sprayer Accessories
There are several accessories that you can purchase that will go with your paint sprayer and make it even more efficient. These accessories can also help extend the life of the paint sprayer.
- Extension Rods – If you need to paint areas that are not easily accessible, an extension rod is a handy thing to have on hand. It’s a great way to paint decks and ceilings without hurting your back at all.
- Paint Sprayer Filters – Using filters with your paint sprayer removes debris from the paint, giving it a smooth finish and preventing clogs from occurring.
- Protective Gear – The right safety or protective gear is important when operating a paint sprayer. Protective clothing, goggles and an appropriately graded respirator are sufficient.
- Spray Tips – Tips can be purchased that will provide spray patterns that are different than what the paint sprayer normally has. They can also be good for handling thinner consistency paints or thicker as well. Tips can be used for both indoor and outdoor projects.
If you are looking for a way to dramatically increase your painting speed, a paint sprayer is a terrific investment for you to make. With so many different types of paint sprayers on the market today, you will need the information you have learned from this guide to narrow down these choices and see which types match the projects you have the best.
By arming you with the tools to understand the specifics of a paint sprayer, we are enabling you to have the knowledge and confidence to choose the right one and not worry that it will not be able to handle your projects.
Some people think that paint sprayers are really difficult to learn how to use properly. The older models were a little more complicated to learn, but new technology has made the paint sprayer much less difficult. Check out the top rated paint sprayers reviewed here and see which one meets your needs and project list.