Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Paint Sprayer

A paint sprayer can help you make short work of big painting jobs.

Woman spray painting a chair
Paint sprayers make it easy to apply an even coat of paint or stain to wood, metal, or other materials.HomeRight

Painting can be an arduous, time-consuming task. Even a skilled painter can spend the majority of a day coating the walls in a large room. Luckily, technology once again comes to the rescue. Paint sprayers are faster than rollers or brushes, and deliver a finer finish. But the paint type you use, and the nature of the project, dictate which type you will be using. Here are some tips to choose the right sprayer for you.

Graco Magnum X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer


Make sure the sprayer you’re considering is designed to propel the type of liquid you need to spray.Graco

Paint sprayers come in three main categories: pneumatic, airless, and HVLP. As the name implies, pneumatic sprayers use compressed air to apply paint. They require you to have a compressor for use and are prone to overspray. Airless sprayers pump paint out at high pressures, evenly coating the surface you’re painting. These are fairly versatile and can be used on both exterior surface, like fences and interior walls and ceilings. High Velocity Low Pressure, or HVLP, sprayers distribute paint using a steady stream of low-pressure air, creating a smooth finish. HVLP sprayers are great for projects such as cabinets, but typically don’t handle lacquers or varnishes well.

HomeRight - A Super Finish Max Extra Power Painter


Sprayers that are compatible with more than one type of paint or stain will serve you better than models that just handle one or the other.HomeRight

Look for a sprayer that is compatible with more than one type of paint. You might just looking to paint your ceilings quickly and efficiently now, but if you purchase a sprayer that is compatible with other coatings you can easily knock out unpleasant chores faster when they arise. Look for a model that can handle both oil- and water-based materials so you can paint furniture, the walls, and stain the deck with the same handy tool.

Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer

Size of The Project

A sprayer that pulls paint directly from a bucket makes the task easier.Graco

If you’re looking to refinish a bunch of furniture, you don’t need an industrial-duty airless system. Conversely, if you want to paint your entire house, you want a higher capacity system that keeps the paint flowing with less down time for refills. If large jobs are the order of the day, pick an airless sprayer that draws directly from paint buckets so you can get your work done quickly. If you’re using small amounts of thickened paints, like chalk or milk paint, to cover cabinets or furniture a smaller HVLP gun may be just the ticket.