We’ve done a lot of painting over the past 12 years. A. Lot. And with every project we tried to find ways of making it as painless as possible, while making sure the finish was done right. This took us into the realm of paint sprayers, which is quite the rabbit hole to head down.
We’ve used 7 different paint sprayers, all available in many hardware stores. So let’s talk about the strengths, the weaknesses, and value you get from each! We’ll also share another option that we have, but haven’t broken out yet. None of these reviews are sponsored – all opinions are our own.
Our Top Pick Overall – Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus
As far as sprayers for the DIYer go, Graco is a little pricier, but worth it if you plan on using it a lot. The Magnum Project Painter Plus is at a more obtainable price point, but uses the same airless tech that all of the Graco sprayers use.
– Price (as far as Graco goes)
– Airless tech gives a finer spray without thinning
– Long lead hose for maneuverability
– Can be sprayed at any angle
– Lots of nozzle options so you can use the same sprayer for all paints, primers and stains
– Lots of nozzle rods and attachments for more flexibility
– Fairly simple clean up
– If air does get in the hose (you run out of paint, for example), it can be a pain to get the spray going properly again
– Price (if you’re trying to go as budget as possible)
– Lots of potential for wasted paint if not careful when cleaning
Best Budget Option – Wagner Flexio 590
We used this sprayer for years in our first two homes, and it works really well. The paint does need thinned a smidge (we’d recommend Floetrol for this) and this sprayer is also more prone to spitting, so have a brush or small roller on hand to catch any big drips that may come out.
– Easy to use
– Can’t be held at any angle – must be kept mostly upright
– More prone to spitting
– Cleanup is more intricate – entire spray unit has to be taken apart and all the individual pieces scrubbed – takes maybe 30 minutes.
Favorite New-Comer – Graco Ultra Cordless
This little guy is our new favorite for quick, small paint jobs. It’s battery-operated, using the same batteries as the DeWalt 20V Max tools (which just so happens to be what all my tools are). Pricey, but really quality.
– Easy to use
– Handheld, battery operated
– Same airless tech as other Graco’s – really even spray
– Incredible flow rate for a handheld unit
– Can be sprayed at any angle
– Unit as a whole is larger, so not great for tight spaces
Other Sprayers in Order of Preference
Graco Magnum X5
The step up from the Project Painter Plus, this sprayer just has a little more to it. A longer hose, higher PSI (3000 vs 2800), and an increased flow rate. Really great for bigger jobs.
– Higher PSI and flow rate for larger jobs
– Pricier. Only worth it if you will use it on big jobs a lot
Wagner Flexio 570
This is a fine sprayer. A little less power than the 590. All things considered we’d suggest just going for the 590 but this one will also do fine.
– Cheapest of the ones we’ve tried
– Least powerful
– Most prone to spitting
Wagner Flexio 890
The 890 gives a finer spray than the 590, but comes with a lot more bulk. It is nice that it has a case that everything fits into, but using it overall was a bit too clunky for it to be our go-to.
– Better spray pattern and consistency than Flexio 590, but only just
– Tethered to a base station with a not-very-long hose
– Can’t spray at any angle – must be kept mostly upright
One Worth Looking Into – Critter Siphon Gun
We bought this one and started using it on a cabinet project but realized quickly it’s perhaps best suited for small furniture. It connects to any air compressor via a standard compressor hose, and you simple fill the jar with paint and get after it. And the price is hard to beat, assuming you have a compressor already.
Things that excite us about this one:
– Compact size
– Easy to store
– Simple cleanup
– Great for small furniture-painting jobs
Why it might not be for everyone:
– Separate compressor and hose required
– Small paint reservoir – would have to refill often on large jobs
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