HomeRight Paint Sprayer 101

So you are thinking of using a paint sprayer for your project but you don't know where to start when it comes to selecting the right one for the project. Not to mention using paint sprayer can be a little intimidating, especially if you haven’t used one before. Whether you’ve used paint sprayers before or they are a new concept to you, using paint sprayer can make your painting projects much easier, regardless of the painting project size. 

This general overview will help familiarize you with what paint sprayers are and how to choose the right sprayer for your project, large or small. 

What is a paint sprayer? 

Paint sprayers use a piston system that’s built right into the sprayer head. The pump uses hydraulic technology to shoot the paint through small openings in the gun's head, which can be done at pressures of up to 1,000 Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). Airless paint sprayers work with a variety of both paint or stain materials, including: oils, latex, acrylic and water-based.

Types of paint sprayers: Think about the types of projects you are planning to spray within the next year. Is it mostly furniture, cabinets or is it your deck or are you painting your siding on your house. This will play a part in which type of sprayer you select. There are two types of sprayers. 

Airless paint sprayer: airless sprayers work by pumping paint at a very high pressure - some up to 3,000 psi, through a hose and out a tiny hole in the spray gun tip. The tip breaks up the paint evenly into a fan-shaped or round-shaped spray pattern of tiny droplets. Overspray is a concern with this type of sprayer. 

HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) sprayer: Alternatively a turbine unit (commonly containing a vacuum cleaner derived motor) can be used to propel the air without the need for an air line running to the compressor. This type of sprayer typically does not have a large amount of overspray. 

Air-Assisted sprayer: A regulator is often required so that the air pressure from a conventional compressor can be lowered for the HVLP spray gun. 

All of these types of paint sprayers have various measurements in wattage, flow - which determines how fast you can complete a project, types of material they will spray. 

·         Watts - The higher the wattage, the thicker the paint/stain moves through the sprayer unit. 

·         Flow (Gallons per Hour) - A paint sprayer is usually rated by the amount gallons the sprayer puts through the unit per hour. The higher the number, the larger the flow rate which is very critical when covering a large surface area. 

·         Square Feet per Hour - You’ll need to determine how large your current project is (square footage) and how quickly you want to cover the space. The larger the area, the larger the unit you’ll want to purchase, because you’ll finish the job quicker. 

·         Material - Determine the type of paint or stain material you’ll be using. Depending on the thickness, you’ll need to find a sprayer powerful enough to spray the material effectively. The more powerful the unit, the less you’ll have to thin the paint or stain.


Now that you have a little knowledge on the types of paint sprayers on the market we put together the chart below to help you determine the ideal type of sprayer for your projects.