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Paint sprayers are a great choice for making large painting projects quick and easy. They can be used to paint anything from interior walls to furniture or fences. If used correctly, a paint sprayer can be an affordable option as you waste less paint than with the traditional brush and roller methods. They're also easier on the arm muscles!
Paint sprayers work by applying a fine mist, directed at the surface for even coverage. They are ideal for covering hard to paint surfaces and they don't leave brush marks which results in fewer coats and therefore less paint. A win-win!
If you don't have time to read our full guide, below are our favourite three paint sprayers from the top five:
Paint sprayers have several advantages over using a roller or brush to apply paint. These include:
By comparison, brushes and rollers leave visible marks on the paint surface and do not apply paint as evenly as sprayers. Also, you use more paint by using the brush or roller method and there is more to clean up at the end.
Are you now sold on using a paint sprayer and ready to click 'Buy Now'? Not so fast. Paint sprayers are not for every project.
There are two main types of paint sprayers, High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) and Airless.
In an HVLP paint sprayer, air pumped from a turbine atomizes paint and pushes it through a narrow nozzle outlet. The result is a fine airborne mist directly hitting the surface which in turn creates an even finish. Due to the fact that more paint adheres on the first coat, less paint is wasted overall.
We recommend HVLP paint sprayers for interior decorating as they are excellent at covering trim and moulding.
HVLPs can be used with a variety of paints, including oil-based, water-based, wood preservatives and stains. You can use them to apply primer as well as top coats. However, you shouldn't use HVLP sprayers with lacquers and varnishes.
The higher the wattage, the more powerful the turbine. As a general rule, a more powerful turbine results in better paint coverage. So with this in mind, go for HVLP paint sprayers with the highest wattage in your price range.
The nozzle at the front of the sprayer determines how wide the spray pattern is. You can buy different nozzles for spraying decking, for example, or a smaller nozzle for detail work on a cabinet.
All HVLPs need to be taken apart for cleaning. This isn’t difficult, provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
In an airless paint sprayer, a piston pressurizes the paint and pushes it through a very narrow outlet. In doing so, the combination of high pressure and a tight squeeze shear the paint into tiny particles.
Airless models can spray paint directly from their can, or a separate container, via a hose attached to the sprayer. Using this method, you can spray large areas very quickly, as up to 5 gallons of paint can be sprayed without reloading the sprayer's canister (as you must with HVLP models).
To use different thickness of paints with an airless sprayer, you simply change the nozzle. Paints that can be used range from very thin wood stains and varnishes to thick latex paint.
The downside to airless sprayers is that they waste more paint than HVLPs. As they spray so much paint at once, between 20-40% of it does not adhere to the intended surface.
When painting outdoors, paint from an airless sprayer can become airborne and end up all over the place, including plants, cars or even adjacent properties. Warn your neighbours before using an airless paint sprayer, and cover everything that you don't want painted.
Only choose an airless paint sprayer if you are using thick paint or spraying a large area where there will be minimal prep or clean up required. For all other projects, especially ones that require fine detail, we recommend a HVLP paint sprayer as it is more economical with paint and can be better controlled within small areas.
Pro Tip: For one or two projects, look to spend £30-£100. For more projects or semi-professional use, it’s worth spending £400-800.
Air Pressure (psi)
Canister Capacity (ml)
Hose Length (m)
Wagner W 100 Electric Paint Sprayer
BLACK + DECKER HVLP200 Fine Spray System - Hand Held
Tacklife SGP15AC Hand Held HVLP Paint Sprayer
Wagner Airless Control Pro 250 R Paint Sprayer
Wagner Airless Control Pro 350 M Paint Sprayer
Note: scroll left/right to view the entire table above
We’ll now look at what each of these top 5 paint sprayers is best used for, their special features and prop tips on how to use them.
Pro Tip: Adjust the spray pattern according to the type of painting you are doing.
Pro Tip: The Tacklife easily comes apart for an effortless cleanup
The 250 R is small and lightweight, making it a great choice for serious DIYers who plan on doing a lot of paint spraying. Many professionals also swear by the performance of the 250 R and 350 M (see below).
As with all airless paint sprayers, the paint is fed to the sprayer directly from it's can or a separate container via a hose. So unlike HVLP models, you don’t need to keep filling a canister.
This model features High-Efficiency Airless (HEA) technology which improves control, coverage and accuracy. This means less prep work and less wasted paint compared with other airless models.
Watch this video to learn more about HEA technology:
Pro Tip: The 250 R has a two-finger trigger which means less trigger pressure on your fingers and less recoil.
The 350 M is suitable for all types of painting projects, including spray painting art. However, it is particularly suited to large projects. This model comes with an extra-long 15m flexible hose for easily painting a wide area.
Watch this video for an overview of what Wagner airless paint sprayers can do:
Pro Tip: The 350 M has its own transportation cart so can easily be moved to, from, and around the workspace.
Having read this exhaustive guide to the top 5 paint sprayers available in the UK, you should now be able to make an informed decision on which one will suit you best.
If you want to learn more about using paint sprayers, make sure you check out this guide: How to use a paint sprayer like a pro.