How to Compare Paint Sprayers

The price range and variety of paint sprayers on the market today is mind-boggling at best. There are three basic types of sprayers, according to OnlineTips: air sprayers, airless sprayers and HVLP sprayers —these include the gas powered and electric varieties–. HVLP stands for High Volume, Low Pressure, and is probably the most commonly used for the application of latex-based paints which are slightly thicker than oil-based.

1.  Determine the size of the job you have to do. This will factor largely into your choice of sprayers. A small job might be best accomplished with an HVLP sprayer, as they have an easy clean-up, whereas a large or on-going job may benefit from an air sprayer, or a gas or electric airless sprayer.

2.  Decide on your paint. HVLP sprayers are recommended over air sprayers for latex paints because of the thickness of the paint. According to OnlineTips, an air sprayer can also add unwanted water to your paint if you have not properly equipped your compressor with a filter.

3.  Compare costs. This includes not only the cost of the sprayer itself, which usually start at around $200, but other factors as well. If purchasing an air sprayer, you will have to purchase an air compressor to run it unless you already own one. This can be a major expense in itself.

4.  Consider the tip you will need for your job. According to Bob Vila, there are a few factors that go into deciding on your sprayer tip: job size, type of finish to be applied and result you are seeking. Larger tips allow both for thicker finishes and more rapid application, while a smaller tip will fine tune a job and leave you with a more flawless finished product.

5.  Decide on horsepower. A large job such as painting the outside of a house will require more power, whereas staining a cupboard or a piece of furniture will require less.

6.  Decide on capacity. Again, your requirements will depend on the job you are doing. Be sure you have purchased a large enough sprayer that you’re not having to stop and refill too often.

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