They say that painting is a relaxing activity that stimulates creativity and thoughtfulness. That is unless you’re painting a large wall, fence, furniture, or anything outside of your home. In these cases, painting can be backbreaking work that you would more likely pay someone else to suffer through.
However, you can make the task of painting large surfaces go by much quicker with the help of a paint sprayer. Paint sprayers can cover a wider area much more quickly and easily than a standard paintbrush or roller. With the right attachments, they can get cover hard-to-reach spaces without you having to risk your life by climbing a ladder. Basically, with a paint sprayer, you won’t need to shell out your precious dollars to pay someone else to do what you can do in no time at all.
Types of Paint Sprayers
One of the most confusing things that you’ll come across when looking at paint sprayers is their types. You actually don’t need to worry since there are only three types – airless, compressed air, and high-volume low-pressure – and it’s fairly easy to understand the differences between each of them.
Airless Paint Sprayer
Airless paint sprayers pump paint using extremely high pressure – up to around 3,000 PSI – through an inlet hose and out of the tiny hole on the end of your spray gun. The tip then breaks up the paint in evenly sized particles and spreads them out in a wide fan. An airless paint sprayer is best used for painting outdoor surfaces such as your decks and shutters, but they also work well in applying a smooth finish on woodwork. With the right attachments, you can use this type of paint sprayer to shoot out low-viscosity liquids like lacquer and varnish.
Compressed Air Paint Sprayer
A compressed air paint sprayer uses an external air compressor to provide enough pressurized air to shoot out a thin, constant flow of paint particles at any surface. Compared to airless sprayers, a compressed air paint sprayer produces smoother finishes on exterior surfaces and woodwork. However, the main drawback is the amount of paint this tool wastes. Most of the paint shot out of the paint gun will miss the target completely and splash onto any other surface that isn’t covered in painter’s tape.
High-Volume Low-Pressure Paint Sprayer
The third type is the high-volume low-pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer. This machine uses copious amounts of air to carry droplets of paints before they splash on their mark. The paint travels much slower compared to the other types of paint sprayers, but it produces the cleanest, smoothest finish imaginable. These paint sprayers are considerably more expensive than the other two, but you can actually save money with this tool since it uses paint much more efficiently.
Commercial Paint Sprayer Buying Guide
If you’re looking for a commercial-grade paint sprayer, you’ll need to know which specs and features to pay attention to, especially since you’ll most likely end up spending several hundred or even thousands of dollars. Take a look at our buying guide to get an understanding of what makes a good commercial paint sprayer.
If you’re looking for supreme efficiency, then you need to choose a paint sprayer that comes with a beefy motor. More horsepower or watts translate into quicker dispensing of paint every minute. However, it’s important to make sure that the motor isn’t so powerful that you can lose control when aiming and spraying. Depending on the fuel source (more about fuel source later), you’ll want something in the range of 5/8 to 1 HP or around 500 watts. You could go bigger if you’d like.
The size of the motor should also depend on how big of a project you plan on doing. Smaller motors would work best for spraying smaller spaces or furniture, whereas larger motors would be more efficient in coating decks and patios.
Types of Coating
You also need to consider what type of liquids you plan on shooting out of the spray gun’s nozzle. Viscous liquids like paint will require larger tips, whereas thinner fluids like varnish can find their way out of smaller nozzles. If you mount the wrong type of tip onto your spray gun, you could end up clogging the nozzle, potentially leading to costly damages or an uneven coating of paint (expensive to fix).
The size of the paint storage container matters more than you might think. If you’re working commercially, you’ll want a larger tank/container since you’ll be shooting greater volumes of paint per second and don’t want to be troubled with refilling the tank every five minutes. For smaller projects, a smaller tank would be preferable since, after your job is done, cleaning out a smaller tank will mean wasting less paint.
Number of Gun Connections
If you’re a sole worker, then you can get by with a single paint gun. However, if you have a crew working simultaneously on a painting project, then you’ll need a model with multiple connections so several users can use the paint sprayer. You also need to purchase additional guns and hoses that are compatible with the paint sprayer of your choice.
There are three main sources of power: gas, electricity, and compressed air. Take a moment to consider what power source is available at your job site before picking up a paint sprayer.
In general, gas-powered and pneumatic spray painters are more powerful and have a wider PSI range compared to electric models.
Finally, you might want to consider getting a filter for your paint sprayer. Having a filter will reduce the risk of uneven coats and splashes dramatically. They also help in keeping the gun’s nozzle from being clogged.
Paint sprayers are time-saving tools, especially if you’re hired to do large painting projects. There are three types of paint sprayers available, namely airless paint sprayers, compressed air sprayers, and HVLP paint sprayers; each with their own pros and cons. Take a moment to study each of their pros and cons before taking one to the checkout aisle.
You also need to be aware of several factors in order to pick up the appropriate paint sprayer for your line of work. These include how powerful the motor is, what type of coatings you plan on applying, the storage capacity of the paint tank, the availability of multiple connections for multiple spray guns, the power source (gas, electricity, or pneumatic), and the availability of filters for perfectly smooth finishes.