If you've ever used a brush or roller to paint a large room or a twenty foot fence, you'll instantly appreciate the speed and ease of use of an airless paint sprayer. Connect, print and you can finish large areas in minutes.
Okay, it takes some practice, but even as you get used to your new airbrush, you'll still be painting faster than ever!
BestReviews will help you choose just the right airless paint sprayer. Our mission is to make shopping easy. All five models here are our top picks for performance and value. We've also put together the following buying guide to break down how the best airless paint sprayers stand out from the rest.
Airless paint sprayers aren't just for painting walls. You can also paint cabinets, varnish doors and seal your patio. And the high pressure of an airless system means most fluids don't need to be diluted.
Paint Spraying Technique: Air or Airless?
All paint sprayers use one of two technologies: air or airless.
Air operated paint sprayer
An air actuated system uses aCompressoror Turbine to blow paint (or other finish) through the gun. An automotive painter or fine furniture maker will benefit from the refinement that a high volume, low pressure air (HVLP) system provides. Airbrush artists painting custom cars or helmets use air for this reason.
Faster transfer rates (more ink where you want it)
Best for fine details
Best for touch ups
Slow product delivery (not so good for large areas, especially exterior walls)
Picky about materials (some need to be diluted or sifted, others can't be used)
Turbine units lack flexibility
Expensive compressor units
Airless paint sprayer
An airless paint sprayer uses a piston to pump paint under high pressure. If you would likepaint your house(inside or outside), doors, fences or decks, an airless paint sprayer gets the job done faster and with less effort. Although the airless system doesn't produce the glass-like finish possible with an HVLP sprayer (it's a difficult technique to learn and simply unnecessary for surfaces like drywall, brick, or garage doors), the comparative simplicity of an airless system makes it so from it is very easier to learn to use well.
Minimal learning curve
Easy to use
Cover large areas quickly
Uses virtually any undiluted material
High-pressure spraying (old paint)
Not good for detail work
Not good for a glass-like finish.
Types of Airless Paint Sprayers
Although there are many differences in the details, there are two basic types of airless paint sprayers.
Compact air atomizerStore motor, paint cup and spray gun in the same hand tool.
Pedestal mounted air diffusers(or cart mounted) Feed paint through a hose to the spray gun.
Your choice should be based on the type of painting you do most often. Those looking for an airless paint sprayer usually have big projects in mind. If that describes you, compact air sprayers just don't have the capacity or power you need.
Compact air atomizer
Compact air sprayers (also called electric hand guns) are popular for fixing up old furniture and other relatively small projects.
Adjustable nozzles; different spray patterns (some models)
relatively low cost
28-ounce cup capacity (requires frequent refills for large areas)
Heavy when filled with ink.
Lack of durability (cheap models)
Pedestal mounted air diffusers
Bracket mounted air sprayers (or cart mounted units) are the solution we recommend for spraying large areas.
Good for indoor or outdoor walls, patios, fences
Good for small jobs (doors, furniture)
Lighter for on the go (separate paint tank, separate motor, hose-connected gun)
easy to control
takes up more space
More power means more overspray
Limited hose length (typically around 25 feet)
The pump must be primed before use.
Airless paint sprayer features to consider
That's always a consideration. Bracket mounted air atomizers weigh only about 10 pounds but need to be transported from site to site. One touch makes it easy. Commercial and medium-sized cart-mounted airless sprayers range from 20 to 60 pounds or more, but these models have wheels. The wheels and tires are generally solid so movement, even up and down steps, isn't a problem.
engine size and pressure
These are less important than you think. Do-it-yourself motors start at around 3/8 horsepower (hp) and commercial sprayers rarely go above 1 hp, which doesn't make much of a difference.
Also, maximum pressure ranges from 1,500 pounds per square inch (psi) to 3,000 psi, but this is not directly related to machine size. We find several DIY models at the top of this range and one or two mid-range models at the bottom.
However, the pressure control is a great advantage. It gives you the ability to adjust the pressure to the material and spray with more control and less waste. Many airless sprayers don't offer this feature, but it's invaluable when you want maximum accuracy and material cost savings.
This is the amount of paint (or other material) that is sprayed per minute. More material flow means the job gets done faster. It's hard to be exact as the same gun will spray a thick material like latex at a different rate than a thin water based paint. But it is useful for comparison. Entry level airless paint sprayers are rated at about 1/4 gallon per minute. Business models can replicate this.
Duty cycle (also known as recommended annual usage) is another good indicator. A DIY model with an annual output of 50 gallons is fine for many homeowners, but mid-range and commercial airless paint sprayers can use anywhere from 125 to 500 gallons per year (again, this varies by product thickness). be used). powdered).
Maximum hose length is a good indicator of performance. For example, a sprinkler may come with 50 feet but be able to use 75 feet. Power decreases as hose length increases, so this is a good sign that there is plenty of power available. If you want to extend it, you must use the correct high-pressure hose. The garden variety does not withstand the pressure and splits.
The ability to pump straight from the paint can to the gun is another handy benefit available on many paint sprayers.
Many airless paint sprayers have a hose connection for a quick flush (although of course one should always consider where the dirt is going).
Manufacturers like to claim things like "less overspray", "higher transfer rates" and "better control". These are always better than the "standard". The challenge is knowing what "standard" is. Without a direct comparison, these figures should be treated with caution.
Airless paint sprayer prices
There is a popular mythHVLP-LuftzerstäuberThey are cheaper than airless. It's true that you can buy an air spray gun for $15, but you also need to buy the compressor and hose so you can easily spend $70 or $100. Quality HVLP guns are $250 and up just for the gun, so can you imagine what kind of tool you get for $15!
You can expect to pay anywhere30 US-Dollar bis 700 US-Dollarand more for an airless paint sprayer.
Compact and portable airless spray guns can be found e.gless than $30But cheap airless guns, like their air-powered counterparts, aren't something we recommend. They don't perform as well as you would like and durability is an issue.
Good quality airless guns are availableabout $70. Sounds like an affordable solution if you're on a tight budget, although as mentioned above, they lack productivity and are cumbersome to use.
The airless paint sprayers we recommend start at about225 $and run400 $.
you can pay$700 or morefor an airless paint sprayer, but unless you're a contractor, you really don't need to.
It may seem like a sizable investment, but these are powerful machines that can spray large areas at remarkable speeds. If you compare them to the cost of hiring a contractor, they are very good indeed.
Always wear safety goggles and a mask when spraying.Most wall paints are relatively harmless, but you don't want to drink or inhale the stuff. Paint and paint fumes are unpleasant and can be toxic, so always work with adequate ventilation.
When cleaning your airless paint sprayer, pay attention to the small washers.These can easily be flushed down a waste water bucket and accidentally discarded. Shims aren't expensive to replace, but if you don't notice one is missing, the next time you turn on your spray gun, paint could go everywhere!
Never pour old paint or cleaning supplies down the drain.Water-based paints like latex can be thrown away. Use something like sawdust orfor catsto soak up the liquid first. Oil-based paints must be taken to your local hazardous waste center.
- Don't forget overspray.You want an overspray so each stroke you make blends into the last for an even finish. You don't want to overspray the windows and doors, so cover them up before you start. There are professional products, but you don't always need fancy materials. Duct tape and newspaper often do a perfect job. If the ground or terrain is already done, don't forget to cover that as well.
Most airless paint sprayers come with a 515 spray tip, a great all rounder. Other tips are available for different spray widths, although cheap spray guns often have tips that cannot be interchanged.
frequently asked Questions
Q. Are airless paint sprayers difficult to clean?
A.No, but most problems occur when the paint dries in the machine, so you should clean it up immediately after painting. The tricky part is the ink tip, although reversible models make the job easier.
The manufacturer of your paint sprayer has cleaning instructions, and there's a lot of useful information online as well. It takes a while, but cleaning traditional paint rollers is also time-consuming. Don't try to take shortcuts. The pros tell us that most paintwork problems are caused by equipment that hasn't been properly cleaned and maintained. Following the procedure carefully will help ensure even coats next time you paint, extend the life of your sprayer and reduce paint waste. After completing a job, it is generally recommended to fill your airless paint sprayer with water or storage solution.
Q. Can I paint a car or truck with an airless paint sprayer?
A.Although you can put automotive paint in an airless gun and have it sprayed, this is not recommended. Car painting is very expensive. Automatic guns use HVLP technology to increase accuracy, reduce overspray and provide a thin, even coating. Airless paint sprayers, on the other hand, are designed to spray large areas quickly. They may not look like it, but the paint droplets sprayed are much larger and the spray pattern is much wider. Attempting to achieve the glassy finish you see on vehicles is simply not possible with airless sprayers and would create a lot of waste that would be very expensive.
Q. What is atomization? Looks like it could be dangerous!
A.Atomization is simply the process of converting a liquid into fine droplets, often using compressed air. Carburetors and injectors do this with your car's gasoline. An airless paint sprayer does this with a piston pump. The pressure used to force the paint through the nozzle breaks up a liquid that would otherwise be thick enough to spray onto the wall.