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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 wasted paint. A win-win!
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Pick (and runners up):
Advantages of using paint sprayers instead of rollers and brushes
Paint sprayers have several advantages over using a roller or brush to apply paint. These include:
- The ability to cover large areas with speed and ease
- Can be used to get into nooks and crannies
- Applies with an even finish
- Wastes less paint
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.
When should you use a paint sprayer?
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.
Paint sprayers should be used:
- To paint a large area
- To paint furniture
- When you want to paint your walls, floor, ceiling and trims all at once
Paint sprayers should NOT be used:
- For small areas
- Areas where lots of taping is required to protect items you don’t want to be painted
- When the job is not worth the time and hassle to dismantle the sprayer for cleaning after use
- If you only plan on using the sprayer once or twice and you can’t borrow or rent one
Types of Paint Sprayers
There are two main types of paint sprayers, High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) and Airless.
HVLP Paint Sprayers
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 topcoats. 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.
Airless Paint Sprayers
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 to be painted.
So which one should you choose -- HLVP or Airless?
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 an HVLP paint sprayer as it is more economical with paint and can be better controlled within small areas.
- Technical Specifications To Consider
- Power (Watts)
- Paint Volume/Flow Rate (litres per minute)
- Air Pressure (bar)
- Canister capacity (ml, HLVP only)
- Hose Length
- Thicknesses (viscosity)
- Spray patterns
- Easy, intuitive adjustments
- Tips/Nozzle size
- Paint Thinning (if required)
- Quick/Easy Cleanup
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.
The Top 5 Paint Sprayers
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.
- Suitable for wood & metal paints including; gloss, satin, undercoat, stain, varnish wood preservatives and many more
- Perfect for spraying fencing, decking, garden furniture, doors, skirting, windows and other wood or metal surfaces.
- Fully adjustable paint volume for ultimate control
- Click & Paint handle to quickly change the paint pot, refill or clean
- 3 spray patterns, vertical, horizontal or detailed & Includes HVLP technology for minimum overspray
The Wagner W100 is a great all-round HVLP paint sprayer which works equally well on both wood and metal surfaces.
The fully adjustable paint volume, three unique spray patterns and click & paint handle make the W100 flexible and easy to use.
If you’re new to paint spraying and only plan on doing the odd job once in a while, you can’t go wrong with this handy and very affordable paint sprayer.
Pro Tip: Adjust the spray pattern according to the type of painting you are doing.
- Ideal for fast completion of all indoor or outdoor painting tasks
- Side filling canister fast and simple to fill or empty
- Paint flow indicator displays the flow setting for simple, repeatable performance
- Precise, simple adjustment of spray pattern easily adjusts to suit your project
- 2 years guarantee
The BLACK + DECKER model is suitable for all painting tasks, especially those involving large surfaces. It works particularly well with thin paints and stains and is even supplied with a mixing bucket for thinning paint when needed.
This sprayer is lightweight, meaning it is a good option for ceilings or large areas, however, it also works well for detailed projects.
This model comes with a paint flow indicator which helps the painter achieve an even coating each time. The canister fills via the side making it easy to load or empty.
Due to its flexibility, ease of use and low price, it’s recommended for home DIYers who don’t expect to do heavy paint spraying on a regular basis. Its lack of power and paint capacity means its not a great choice for professionals.
- Four Nozzles, Three Spray Modes: It can be adjusted to 3 different spray patterns: horizontal, vertical and circular jet; Three nozzle sizes at 2.0mm/2.5mm/3.0mm and one copper nozzle size at 1.0mm to adjust the spray of the paint, allows you to choose the fittest one for your different work needs, the best spray gun distance (25~35cm)
- Save Time＆Wide Application: Quick refill lid can add paint quickly, help you save time; SGP15AC Spray Gun can work in many surface areas such as furniture, wooden products, floors, ceilings or any other external project, it is also an ideal tool for DIYer
- Adjustable Valve Knob＆Clean thoroughly: SGP15AC Spray Gun is light, with a 2-meter power cable, you can quickly move the spray gun from job to job, help your work efficiently; Edges, corners, and broad interior surfaces can be sprayed easier, save you from the tedious hand brush
- Long Working Distance＆Better Coverage: The adjustable valve knob can control the paint flow; Large 900ml paint bottle do not need to be filled frequently; The sprayer can easily be detached to three parts, which can help you clean the parts thoroughly with our cleaning brush
- Package Contents: 1 x Tacklife SGP15AC Spray Gun with a canister, 1 x Funnel, 1 x Cleaning Needle, 1 x Cleaning Brush, 2 x Gaskets, 4 x Spray Nozzle
The Tacklife Paint Sprayer is great for painting walls, ceilings and furniture with thin paints and stains. The paint flow can be easily adjusted for three spray patterns; vertical fan, horizontal fan, and round.
Also comes with three nozzle sizes: 1.0mm, 2.0mm and 2.5mm. Similar to the BLACK + DECKER, this model is lightweight and efficient, meaning you can move around the job quicker and get more done in less time.
The easy-fill 900ml canister allows for quick and clean refills without removing the canister from the sprayer. As with the BLACK + DECKER model, it’s recommended for home DIYers who don’t expect to do heavy paint spraying on a regular basis.
Pro Tip: The Tacklife easily comes apart for an effortless cleanup
Note: the previous three paint sprayers are aimed at DIY enthusiasts. These next two models are aimed at professionals or DIYers who plan on doing a lot of paint spraying.
- Integrated storage box - to hold tools and accessories
- Practical carry handle and lightweight components - to easily change working location
- Automatic valve depressor - for safe operating and easy start up
- 9 m flexible airless hose - for a large working range
- Light weight airless spray gun with 2-finger trigger - for greater precision and to work longer without fatigue
The previous three options were all HVLP, our final two choices are airless and both made by the Wagner brand.
The 250 R model is compatible with all water and solvent-based paints, varnishes etc. You can even use it for anti-corrosion coatings. This sprayer is only recommended for serious DIYers or professionals.
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.
The video below provides a great overview of the benefits of this model and High-Efficiency Airless (HEA) technology.
Pro Tip: The 250 R has a two-finger trigger which means less trigger pressure on your fingers and less recoil.
- Cart with telescopic handle - for easy transport and space-saving storage
- High-efficiency airless pump with reduced spraying pressure - for maximum control, longer service life and up to 55% less overspray
- 15 m flexible airless hose - for a large working range
- Adjustable pressure - for a perfect spray pattern even with differing materials
- Light weight airless spray gun with 2-finger trigger - for greater precision and to work longer without fatigue
The 350 M model has the same features as the 250 R above, including HEA technology, but includes some high-powered extras. This sprayer is only recommended for serious DIYers or professionals.
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.
Pro Tip: The 350 M has its own transportation cart so can easily be moved to, from, and around the workspace.
|Model||Type||Rating||Power||Paint Volume/Flow Rate||Spray Pressure||Canister Capacity||Hose Length|
|Wagner W 100||HVLP||4.5||280W||110ml/min||N/A||800ml||N/A|
|Wagner ControlPro 250 R||Airless||4||550W||1.25l/min||110 Bar/11 MPA||N/A||9m|
|Wagner ControlPro 350 M||Airless||4||600W||1.5l/min||110 Bar/11 MPA||N/A||15|
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.