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Put down your brushes and get rid of rollers—a paint sprayer is the faster, more efficient way to handle home painting, staining, and sealing projects. Designed to apply a variety of coatings inside and outside the home, on furniture, and on cars, metal, and more, a paint sprayer offers even application and makes quick work of your projects.
Paint sprayers typically are either airless, or HVLP—which stands for high-pressure, low-volume. The type of tool you choose depends on the project and your primary objectives. Airless sprayers are the fastest way to cover large areas and can be used with many different formula viscosities but produce more overspray and result in wasted product. HVLP sprayers, on the other hand, conserve product thanks to their low-pressure distribution. However, this also means that it takes longer to cover an area. In addition, they tend to clog more easily and generally aren’t compatible with latex paints and thick formulas.
Here, the best paint sprayers on the market now.
A versatile and popular paint sprayer, the Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus is designed to be used for a wide variety of applications, and the adjustable spray speed makes it easy to achieve the finish you’re looking for. While some paint sprayers are only compatible with water-based or thinned paint formulas, this model can spray a wide variety of coatings, including unthinned paint. In addition, a reversible tip on the included spray gun makes it easy to deal with any clogs quickly and without losing time on your project.
This paint sprayer has been used by professionals and DIYers alike. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and sprays latex and oil-based paints and stains with ease. It’s often recommended for painting the exterior of houses, providing quick and even paint coverage for interior walls, or staining fences.
"The biggest challenge of using the sprayer—after learning the basics—was controlling overspray, especially when doing the railings and posts of our deck."—Justin Park, Product Tester
An HVLP paint sprayer is a popular option, since its high-volume, low-pressure output results in less wasted material. In addition, the low-pressure output makes this type of paint sprayer better for detail-oriented projects where where brush strokes would be an eye-sore! Keep in mind that the trade-off for using an HVLP sprayer with less overspray and waste is that it’s more time-consuming than using an airless sprayer to get full coverage. However, if you have patience and want to minimize waste, the HomeRight FinishMax is a versatile HVLP spray gun that has been used for home and furniture projects with great success.
One thing that sets this version apart is its brass spray tip, which resists corrosion and wear. Easily adjust the nozzle to one of three spray patterns (horizontal, vertical, and round) to apply paint, stain, sealant, and other coatings. You can also increase or decrease the flow of material easily on the spray gun itself. The overall design and function of this model is easy to master for users that are new to painting with a spray gun, but it also offers quality results that meet the needs of more seasoned and serious DIYers.
A carted paint sprayer is a convenient option for larger home projects or professional painting applications. The Graco Magnum X7 gives you the flexibility to easily manuever in a project area while also supporting an extended amount of paint hose—up to 100 feet. Keep in mind that 25-feet of hose is included with the purchase of this model, but it’s easy to swap it out for a longer hose if you have a larger work area or plan to paint elevated areas, like a second or third story of a home.
This airless paint sprayer can siphon directly from a 1 or 5-gallon bucket, and the 0.625 horsepower pump is intended for spraying up to 125 gallons of paint per year. The Graco Magnum X7 is compatible with a 0.017 tip, so you can use a larger tip for heavier coatings to prevent clogging. Easy to use and easy to clean, thanks to the PowerFlush garden hose adaptor, you'll be very happy with the time savings and convenience of this carted paint sprayer.
"We were using oil-based semi-transparent stain for our deck (and for some garden planters), so we needed mineral spirits. Don’t underestimate how much mineral spirits you’ll need. To run the flushing for the recommended 30 to 60 seconds, you’re going to want a couple of gallons of mineral spirits, which cost us about $30 at the local home improvement store. That’s not an insignificant cost to consider if you’re planning to use the sprayer with oil-based paints or stains."—Justin Park, Product Tester
Using a paint sprayer for decks is a great way to shorten the process of periodically staining your outdoor space. In addition, you can avoid an aching back and sore knees from bending over your deck using a paintbrush to apply stain or sealer. If you have many square feet of deck planks, plus spindles, banisters, or lattice to factor in, a paint sprayer is a welcome shortcut to this recurring outdoor project.
The Wagner Spraytech is an HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) paint sprayer that performs best with relatively thin formulas, such as wood sealants, stains, and varnishes. It may be possible to use it to spray latex paint, but you will need to thin the formula considerably.
The biggest advantage to a paint sprayer for decks is the even application of the stain. Unlike brushes or rollers which may leave marks or lay down uneven layers of product, the Wagner Spraytech makes it easy (and fast) to apply deck stain or sealant evenly.
A pneumatic spray gun is a typical option for applying paint and clear coat to cars. While models are plentiful and preferences vary greatly, the TCP Global Professional HVLP Spray Gun checks all the boxes for a paint sprayer for cars.
This model has a 1.3 mm tip and includes options to finetune application of light to medium viscosity car coatings. You can adjust the spray pattern to suit your purpose, and a fully adjustable air regulator allows you to find the right setting within a range of 29 to 50 PSI. Keep in mind that to complete the set-up, this paint sprayer for cars will need to be paired with a high-pressure hose and air compressor.
Airless paint sprayers are typically used for projects that involve large, flat surfaces. They offer fast application of both thin and thick coatings, such as stain or latex paint. The Graco Magnum X5 is a capable model that has become a go-to sprayer for medium-to-large projects by professionals and DIYers alike.
What people like most about this airless paint sprayer is its ability to smoothly apply even unthinned paint. While it does produce some overspray (as airless sprayers are known to do), it is one of the fastest ways to paint large surfaces, like walls, siding, fences. For best results and the longevity of the sprayer, you must follow the manufacturer’s set-up and clean-up processes; however, users find this to be a small trade-off for the quick application offered by this paint sprayer.
If you’re looking for a paint sprayer that will lay down a smooth coat on metal surfaces, consider this go-to option from Campbell Hausfeld. While the DH580000AV is an affordable paint spray gun, you can adjust the pattern, material, and air spray settings to achieve the right mode of application for your project.
The HVLP spray gun can be used on projects that include metal, like spraying paint or clear coat on car fenders, motorcycles, and more. While the tip isn’t removable and this tacks on some time for cleaning, with proper maintenance this spray gun will offer consistent performance and even application of primers, enamels, lacquers, and more.
A cup-style paint sprayer is often the most economical option, and this version from SPRAYIT costs a fraction of the other options, but is perfect for quick coverage and through application of paints and stains. It’s most often purchased instead of disposable rollers and brushes and is good for a variety of home DIY projects. However, cleaning this paint sprayer is absolutely essential for the continued performance of this product. In addition, the gravity-fed paint cup is limited in size at only 13.5 ounces, which requires more frequent project pauses to refill.
Keep in mind that this type of paint sprayer does best when held level—it’s not likely to work well when angled up or down. It’s best for projects like cupboard doors or walls.
For a paint sprayer that’s consistent and affordable, go with the Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer. It has a highly adjustable stream of air and it covers large areas with ease. If you prefer a model that has a built-in cart, though, we recommend the Graco Magnum X7 Electric TrueAirless Sprayer.
Style There are three main styles of paint sprayers. Airless sprayers, which pump out paint at high pressure, fan out droplets to provide an even coat. Compressed air sprayers—which are typically the least expensive but require an air compressor—can be messy and use a lot of paint. Finally, HVLP (high volume, low pressure) sprayers also require an air compressor; they use less paint and are less messy but are also more expensive.
Paint type Different paint sprayers are better suited for certain types of paint. For example, airless sprayers can handle paints of all thicknesses, including lacquers and varnishes, while these thick paints may clog up an HVLP sprayer.
Coverage area Are you painting the whole exterior of your home, or just a piece of furniture? The area you have to cover will dictate which product is best—for instance, paint sprayers with longer extension cords, larger paint cups, and other features are ideal for larger projects, while lightweight handheld units are useful for small paint jobs.