If you want to provide your fences and decks with a new coat of paint, why not do it in a fast and efficient manner? What if we told you that the best airless paint sprayers could help you complete the project ten times faster than rollers and brushes?
Yes, these sprayers might seem a bit noisy and overwhelming, but the benefits they provide far outweigh the cons. So, let us take you deeper into the colorful world of airless paint sprayers. You will not be disappointed!
TOP 3 airless paint sprayers on the market
GRACO MAGNUM X5
Motor: 1/2 HP
Max pressure: 3000 psi
Hose length: 75 ft
Performance: 0.27 gal/min
GRACO MAGNUM PROJECT PAINTER PLUS
Motor: 3/8 HP
Max pressure: 2800 psi
Hose length: 50 ft
Performance: 0.24 gal/min
WAGNER CONTROL PRO 130
Motor: 3/8 HP
Max pressure: 2000 psi
Hose length: 50 ft
Performance: 0.24 gal/min
Airless paint sprayer reviews
Graco Magnum X5 – Best airless paint sprayer in 2021
To kick off our list, we decided to go with one of the best Graco paint sprayers on the market: the feature-rich Graco Magnum X5. Professional painters are in love with this model (read more about commercial paint sprayers), but DIY homeowners can also benefit from choosing the X5 as their weapon of choice. So, let’s take a closer look at this airless paint sprayer.
First of all, we should mention that Graco Magnum X5 comes with a flexible suction tube, which allows it to use the paint from 1- or 5-gallon containers.
The stainless steel pump can create up to 3000 psi of pressure, but you can adjust the paint flow by turning the control knob. Thus, you can reduce overspray.
Speaking of coverage, we should also say that Magnum X5 has a max flow rate of 0.27 gallons per minute. In other words, this is a fast and efficient painting machine. Believe it or not, the annual recommended volume for Magnum X5 is 125 gallons! So, this unit would be an excellent choice for high-volume users and anyone who paints for a living.
With that said, Magnum paint sprayers are also suitable for average weekend warriors. For instance, the X5 weighs only 13 pounds, and it comes with a RAC IV Switch Tip that prevents clogging.
Also, you can attach this unit to a garden hose and rinse the paint with no hassle. With regular maintenance, Graco products could last you a lifetime. After all, this brand is a worldwide leader in the industry. What’s more, Graco invented the first airless paint sprayer back in 1958. As they say, the rest is history.
Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus
The next model in our collection of airless paint sprayer reviews also comes from Graco. Much like the Magnum X5, the next candidate is a reliable and efficient paint spraying beast. However, Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus is an entry-level model that could be better suited for DIY homeowners.
For example, this unit can also provide plenty of pressure. The maximum output is 2800 psi, but users can adjust the paint flow for the best results. Also, Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus supports a broad range of tip sizes. To be precise, you can use tips that range from 0.09 to 0.015 inches.
When it comes to the flow rate, this professional paint sprayer can deliver up to 0.24 gallons per minute. Likewise, Project Painter Plus can provide a lower annual volume than Magnum X5. According to Graco, Project Painter Plus should help you with spraying around 50 gallons per year. Then again, this quantity is way more than an average weekend warrior will use on a shed or a wooden deck.
Even though this unit is not the best choice when it comes to constant workload, Graco Project Painter Plus can offer impressive features. For instance, the weight of this unit is ten pounds. Also, it comes equipped with storage compartments and a garden hose adapter for easy cleaning.
On top of that, you will receive an SG2 metal spray gun if you decide to buy the Graco Project Painter Plus airless sprayer.
Wagner Control Pro 130
So far, Graco paint sprayers have dominated the proceedings. Yet, this brand is not the only big-time name in the world of airless paint sprayers. What’s more, Wagner airless paint sprayers can provide excellent performances as well. Thus, let’s take a closer look at the qualities of Wagner Control Pro 130.
Of course, the first thing that you will notice is the improved control that comes with using this unit. To be precise, Control Pro 130 is a model that comes equipped with a patented HEA technology. What this means is that this Wagner airless sprayer will produce up to 55% less overspray than its competitors.
On top of that, this unit can provide continuous painting. The secret lies in the tank that sits on the top of the device. Well, the so-called hopper can hold up to 1.5 gallons of product. Therefore, there will be no need for frequent stops once you turn on this paint sprayer.
The gravity-fed system works in combination with a motor that has 3/8 HP. As a result, the maximum flow rate of the Wagner Control Pro airless paint sprayer is 0.24 gallons per minute.
We should also mention that this unit offers on-board storage for the hose and the spraying gun. Thus, Control Pro 130 will leave less mess around the area. For that reason, this model could be a good option for homeowners who want to repaint their fences, decks, garage doors, or sheds.
Comparison: Graco vs Wagner paint sprayer
As you can see, these two brands are the cream of the crop when it comes to the professional airless paint sprayers on the market. But which company produces better models?
Well, both Graco and Wagner have their headquarters on the banks of the Mississippi in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Likewise, both of these brands offer revolutionary solutions and pro-quality paint sprayers.
Nonetheless, most experts agree that Graco’s models come with the superior build quality. On top of that, their airless paint sprayers come equipped with SmartTip technology. Thus, there should be less clogging, and the application of paint should be a breeze.
On the other hand, Wagner relies on the so-called HEA technology to gain an advantage over the competition. This system reduces overspray, which is a well-known weak spot when it comes to airless sprayers. Also, some Wagner models come with a hopper on top of the unit. This feature results in infrequent refilling.
So, what is the best airless paint sprayer for home use? Well, the answer depends on your specific needs and painting preferences. Both Wagner and Graco have models that will leave a smooth finish on the surface. With that said, let’s take a look at some other airless paint sprayers as well.
The previous units in our reviews have been somewhat bulky and cumbersome. For that reason, we decided to present you with a small airless paint sprayer as well. As it turns out, Graco Ultra is the undisputed king when it comes to handheld and cordless airless sprayers.
As the name says, Graco Ultra offers ultra-portability and convenience. To be precise, the total weight of this sprayer is 5.25 pounds. So, you can use it for small touch-ups around the house or medium-sized projects.
Graco decided to team up with another big-time name to provide power to this unit. In other words, the Ultra paint sprayer draws energy from 2x DeWalt lithium-ion batteries. The capacity of the cells is 20V, and they should provide you with 70 minutes of uninterrupted work.
Handheld paint sprayers are convenient and functional, and the same applies to Graco Ultra. On top of that, the third generation of the Ultra model can pack a punch when it comes to pressure. To be precise, modular painting tips can receive up to 2000 psi. Speaking of extensions, we should say that this handheld airless paint sprayer supports tips that range from 0.06 to 0.16 inches.
In essence, Graco Ultra is suitable for beginners because of its portability and ease of use. This unit is designed with speed in mind, but it can leave a flawless finish as well. The disposable Flexi Liner bags can hold 32 ounces of paint. Of course, these bags are easy to swap, which boosts the points for convenience and usability.
HomeRight Power-Flo Pro 2800
Last but not least, we present you with another 5-gallon paint sprayer that can help with larger household projects. After all, airless paint sprayers deliver the best result when we use them for high-volume works. So, let’s take a closer look at HomeRight Power-Flo Pro 2800.
Similar to other models on this list, the Power Flo Pro can create up to 2800 psi of pressure. Therefore, the paint flow rate of 0.24 gallons per minute is within the industry standards. Of course, users can adjust the pressure by turning the control knob.
On top of that, the HomeRight Power-Flo Pro electric stationary airless paint sprayer comes with a chrome-plated gun. The maximum supported tip size for this unit is 0.015, and the spray gun also comes with a preinstalled mesh filter. Plus, the tip is reversible, which should help with clogging.
As we said, HomeRight airless paint sprayer is a stationary unit because it stands on two heavy-duty legs. Also, the weight of 23 pounds exceeds the average measurements. For that reason, this airless paint sprayer is not the best choice for DIY homeowners who only paint small projects every couple of years. Instead, this unit can prove its worth if you use it on large projects and high-volume tasks.
HomeRight has more than 25 years of experience in the business, so they should know a thing or two about making a high-quality paint sprayer. At the same time, the Power-Flo Pro 2800 could be the best budget airless paint sprayer you will find. So, consider this model if you can’t afford to spend a fortune on a paint sprayer.
Advantages and disadvantages of airless paint sprayers
In recent years, the popularity of airless paint sprayers has skyrocketed. Of course, professional painters are the ones who are using them the most, but DIY users are growing in numbers as well.
Nevertheless, airless paint sprayers are not ideal for every project. That is why it is essential to know the pros and cons of using these units in the first place.
For example, airless paint sprayers will leave a smooth and uniform finish on the painted surface. Also, these sprayers will allow you to apply the product in a fast and efficient way. Painting with airless sprayers is by far the quickest method for covering a large surface.
Another advantage of the airless system is that even a cheap airless paint sprayer should be able to tackle any paint. In other words, the viscosity is not an issue when working with an airless sprayer. Thus, no thinning is required.
On top of that, airless paint sprayers do not come with a compressor. For that reason, these units are relatively portable and convenient.
Yet, airless paint sprayers are not perfect, which means that these units come with a couple of drawbacks. For instance, the problem of overspray is a common one. What this means is that some particles of paint will float around, and they will not stick to the desired surface.
In a way, overspray leads to wastage, which is another considerable shortcoming of airless sprayers. To be precise, the transfer rate with airless spraying is around 60-70%. So, if you plan on using a high-value product on a smaller surface, airless paint sprayers might not be the best solution.
Likewise, overspray requires detailed prep work. In most cases, this tedious and time-consuming task kills the mood for painting.
As if that’s not enough, you must wash and clean an airless sprayer after every use. What’s more, these systems require a special storage fluid if you are storing them for an extended period, such as wintertime.
What to consider when choosing an airless paint sprayer?
Now that you know more about the advantages and disadvantages of airless paint sprayers let’s take a look at the essential aspects of these units. In other words, here are the elements you need to consider when buying an airless sprayer:
As you could see from our airless paint sprayer reviews, it’s clear that power plays a crucial role in the performance of these devices. The math is simple: the stronger the motor, the more pressure the pump creates.
So, compare the voltage or the horsepower of different units before making the decision. Likewise, consider the pressure that the pump can create. On average, the sprayer should be able to provide between 2000 and 3000 psi of pressure.
If the model has enough power, the paint flow should be sufficient as well. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t hurt to check the maximum flow rate of the device you are planning to buy.
Also, the annual recommended volume can be an element worth considering. Moreover, if you are planning to use the new airless sprayer on high-volume jobs throughout the year, this number can make or break the deal.
In most cases, electric airless paint sprayers are not as portable as you might think. Pro painters will often place them in one room and drag the hose with the spraying gun to the required surface.
Thus, it is essential to choose a model with a long-reaching hose. On average, today’s airless paint sprayers come with a 25-foot hose. High-end models include a 50-foot hose, so keep that in mind as well.
Tips and filters
The spraying pattern can also play a vital role in the painting process. So, make sure to use a device with an adequate tip. The sizes of these extensions are expressed in inches. As a rule of thumb, a high-pressure airless sprayer will require a tip that measures around 0.015 inches.
Also, spraying guns sometimes come with preinstalled mesh filters. In some cases, manufacturers will also add a strainer to prevent debris from landing on the painted surface.
Another essential aspect you should consider before splashing the cash is the convenience of the unit. After all, airless paint sprayers do not come with an easy cleaning process. On the contrary, these units require rigorous maintenance after every use.
Thus, go through reviews and learn as much as you can about the cleaning of the unit in question.
In the end, we should also mention the element of price. If you are not a millionaire, the chances are that you are not working with an unlimited budget. For that reason, it is advisable to keep an eye on the price tag.
Of course, premium models will demand a higher investment. For instance, some of the best Graco paint sprayers could cost a couple of hundreds of dollars. Even so, the investment should quickly prove its worth as soon as you decide to raise your painting game to a professional level.
How to use an airless paint sprayer?
In essence, airless paint sprayers are convenient and easy to use. These units work on a straightforward concept: an electric motor pushes a piston and creates pressure inside the pump. As a result of this tremendous pressure, the pump ejects the paint through a tiny opening called the tip.
Sounds simple? That’s because it is, but there could be more than meets the eye with airless paint sprayers.
For instance, the best airless paint sprayers for DIY can handle unthinned paint. So, you only need to pour the product in the container. Or, some models will require that you submerge the suction tube in a 1- or 5-gallon bucket of paint. Also, it would be best if you place the so-called return tube in a waste container.
After that, turn the knob to adjust the pressure and test the pattern on a piece of cardboard. Remember that the paint will shoot out at high-pressure. Therefore, keep your fingers away from the tip if you don’t want severe injuries to occur. Likewise, airless paint sprayers create overspray. For that reason, never paint without a face mask.
Once you do the prep work on the surrounding objects, you should be ready to start the painting process. So, plug in the device and prime it first. Then, press the trigger on the spraying gun to deliver a coat of paint. With that said, it is advisable to lock the wrist and keep the nozzle 10-12 inches away from the surface at all times.
After every painting session, you should thoroughly clean the unit. Fortunately, most models will allow you to connect a garden hose and rinse out the residue. Regular maintenance will prolong the lifetime of your airless paint sprayer. Also, cleaning can serve as protection against clogging and similar issues that could occur.
What is an airless paint sprayer?
As the name implies, an airless paint sprayer is a device that does not use air to atomize the particles. Instead, the unit uses high pressure created by an electric motor to eject the paint out of the spraying gun.
What is the difference between HVLP and airless sprayers?
An HVLP (high volume – low pressure) sprayer atomizes the particles with the help of an air compressor. For that reason, these sprayers offer more control and a sleek finish. On the other hand, airless sprayers do not require a compressor, which makes them portable and easy to use.
Can you paint a car with airless sprayers?
Due to their versatility and convenience, airless paint sprayers can tackle all sorts of projects. Car painting is one such task. Yet, you must make sure to adjust the pressure and to use the adequate coating.
Does an airless paint sprayer use more paint?
In general, an airless paint sprayer will consume more paint than an HVLP sprayer due to overspray. Even the best professional airless paint sprayers on the market will produce 30-40% more waste than HVLP sprayers.
Do I need to thin my paint for an airless sprayer?
Because of the tremendous pressure generated by the pump, airless paint sprayers can handle all sorts of paints. What’s more, these units work best with thick, industrial products. So, there is no need to thin the color when using an airless sprayer.
Do airless sprayers create overspray?
Yes, airless paint sprayers are notorious for creating overspray. Unfortunately, this aspect lowers the efficiency of the unit and increases wastage in the long run. Even so, airless sprayers can offer plenty of benefits to compensate for this shortcoming.
Can I use an airless sprayer indoors?
As a rule of thumb, airless paint sprayers are loud and messy. They also require a lot of prep work because of overspray. So, it’s best to avoid using them indoors. Nonetheless, a small airless paint sprayer could get the job done without damaging furniture or other elements in the household.