When you have one or more painting projects at hand and you need to finish the jobs soon, a handheld paint sprayer is your best option. A paint sprayer typically paints 10 times faster than traditional brush painting and 3-4 times faster than if you painted with a roller.
That said, paint sprayers come in a wide price range—something in the line of $60 to $400. Some common features to look into are the tip size, spray pattern width, pressure/airflow/horsepower, spray pattern, air-driven vs. airless and so on. However, first of all, you need to consider the job at hand. Do you need the sprayer for painting furniture, cabinets, windows, etc.? Or are you looking to get a larger and complete interior/exterior paint job done with the sprayer?
For larger jobs, professional rated (and commonly air-driven) paint sprayers (available at prices of $100 and more) would be ideal. However, for smaller paint jobs, it would be in your best interest to stick to more pocket-friendly consumer products. The latter category will be best suited for most DIY-ers. In the following reviews, we will cover products from both these categories so that you may be able to decide easily which sprayer would be best-suited for your requirements.
1. HomeRight Finish Max C800766
This 400-watt HomeRight product happens to be the best-selling paint sprayer on Amazon. With its easy spraying, easy set-up and easy cleaning features, this is an ideal product for beginners or those who don’t do paint jobs on a regular basis. The adjustable air cap is able to release a high volume of air at extremely low pressure and this allows a higher volume of paint to reach the painting surfaces. You can also use a large variety of oil or water based coating materials such as primers, enamels, varnish such as furniture or cabinet paints, chalk type paints, etc. as well as latex, polyeurethene and stains. It is a self-contained unit with no air compressor which still packs a lot of power with its 400 watt potential.
Top HomeRight Paint Sprayer Q&A
Q. Is it okay to use latex paint or chalk paint with this product?
A. You can use both, but make sure to thin the latex paint and your chalk paint should not include any unsanded grout mix as too thick coatings can clog the nozzle.
Q. May I use this indoors?
A. This prayer can handle both indoor and outdoor jobs as long as you are not using it for larger projects such as painting walls, etc.
My Thoughts on this Paint Sprayer
2. Wagner Flexio 590
This is a high end, all purpose handheld paint sprayer which will let you finish pretty much all interior and exterior paint jobs. Powered with the latest X-boost Turbine and iSpray technology, the product allows for extreme project flexibility. For example, you can set the sprayer to as much as 9 different speeds and change between two different cups and nozzles and these features come handy when handling different types of projects. You can also use all types of coating materials including unthinned latex paint for wall and other jobs.
Top Wagner Flexio Paint Sprayer Q&A
Q. What is the essential difference between Wagner 590 and Wagner 570?
A. Among other things, 590 comes with 9 different speed settings (compared to 2 of 570), includes two different nozzles and allows you to spray more gallons per hour.
Q. Does it work okay for edges and corners or will I need to use a brush/roller for them?
A. The second nozzle of the product is meant expressly for fine finish at edges/corners/borders, etc., so that you don’t need to spend extra time rolling or brushing them.
Our Thoughts on Wagner Flexio
3. Wagner Power Painter Plus 0525027
This Wagner product is equipped to handle most small to medium interior and exterior paint jobs. You can paint furniture, cabinetry, dressers as well as outdoor fences, garage doors and even smaller rooms.
The powerful engine is able to spray up to 6.5 gallons per hour which is pretty decent in its weight class. It is also able to spray un-thinned latex.
Top Wagner 0525027 Q&A
Q. Can you use both water and oil based paint with this sprayer?
A. Yes, you can use both oil and water-based coating materials and even un-thinned latex.
Q. What does Optimus Dual Tip refers to?
A. Dual Tip simply means that the spray tip has two orifices instead of the standard single orifice of most spray painters. The dual tip helps you achieve a more even spray pattern and also less overspray.
Our Thoughts on Wagner Pro Paint Sprayer
4. Graco 16Y385 TrueCoat 360
This Graco Sprayer is a popular one in the professional mid range category and ensures high quality performance. The sprayer comes with a powerful piston pump which will let you paint with a wide variety of painting/coating/sealing materials without needing to thin them out.
The high-pressure pump (operable at 1500 psi) also ensures that there is little overspray during a paint job.
Top Graco 360 Paint Sprayer Q&A
Q. Does it include an adjustable spray tip nozzle?
A. No, but the VacuValve Technology used in making this product ensures that you can spray without any hassle no matter how much you tilt the sprayer.
Q. Are replacement parts available for this product?
A. Yes, replacement parts for all Graco sprayers are available and you can order them conveniently from Graco official website.
Q. Does it include a tip extension?
Our Thoughts on Graco Paint Sprayer
5. Graco 17A466 TrueCoat 360DS
This one is the costliest of the five products we are reviewing in this article. Performance-wise, there isn’t too much of a difference from the Graco Truecoat 16Y385 we have reviewed above. Both use the exclusive Grac0 VacuValve Technology and a powerful stainless steel piston pump which lets you paint even very thick painting agents without thinning them out. However, this model allows you to set the sprayer at two different speeds (low & high) and at two pressure performance (900 & 1500 psi). This slightly expands the range of jobs that you can perform with this product as compared to the 16Y385 model.
Top Graco 360 Paint Sprayer Q&A
Q. Does the unit draw straight from the can?
A. No, you need to fill the paint in the FlexiLiner Cup System bag attached with the sprayer.
Q. Is it an air-driven model?
A. No, this is an airless electric model.
Q. How many gallons per hour this sprayer can paint?
A. This Graco sprayer can spray up to 8 gallons per hour. However, it is recommended that you don’t spray more than 25 gallons per year with this model.
My Thoughts on Graco 360DS
Q. Best paint sprayer for furniture and cabinets?
A. If you are looking to paint furniture, cabinets and dressers alone, we suggest you go for either the HomeRight Finish Max or the Wagner PowerPainter Plus models reviewed here. Both do a pretty good job of smaller projects and the spray tips reach the corners and edges effortlessly.
Q. Handheld sprayer vs. Roller?
A. Handheld sprayers finish paining 3-4 times faster than rollers. A sprayer will cost you more than a roller kit, but if you need to save time and want a neater job, a sprayer is always the better choice.
Q. How to clean a handheld paint sprayer?
A. How you clean your sprayer will primarily depend on the model you are using. Closely follow the cleaning instructions given in the User’s Manual.
Best Handheld Paint Sprayer—Our Pick
All the products we have reviewed here in this article enjoy favorable ratings across different sellers’ websites. All of them, for example, have customer ratings of 3.2 and above at Amazon.
Now, it is a difficult task when it comes to choosing one single product out of the five we have reviewed here and for multiple reasons. Firstly, for the reader’s sake, we’ve listed here five products from different price ranges or weight classes. Each of them is also pretty much the best you are going to find in that price category.
As we have already mentioned in our introduction to the article, the best handheld sprayer for you depends on the jobs you will need to handle with the sprayer. So, if you need to paint furniture or dressers alone, there is obviously no need to invest in an all purpose paint sprayer. And as mentioned already in the FAQs section, you may go for either FinishMax or Wagner Power Pointer Plus for furniture and cabinetry.
That said, there is also something called performance/price ratio—in other words, how much you are getting for the price you are paying for any particular product. And based on that criterion, our favorite pick from the products reviewed here would be the Graco 17A466 Truecoat model. And right next to it, we would place the Wagner Flexio model.
Both is an all purpose sprayer. The Graco model is priced at $179 (though currently available at Amazon at a discounted price of $148!) while the Flexio Sprayer will set you back by $120. We must remember that neither is a heavy-duty model, chiefly since this post is not geared towards professionals.
Heavy duty models cost around $300-$400 and we don’t think that sort of price is practical for DIY homeowners who will need to use the sprayer either for a one-time makeover or will only use it at infrequent intervals.
Now, we often advise people to rent a professional grade sprayer for jobs that can be completed in one day. Typically, you will need to spend anything from $80 to $100 as rental for a high quality sprayer. That is far less than if you hired professionals to do the job for you. Plus you don’t need to worry about factors such as storage, maintenance, etc.
However, we still think it is reasonable for a DIY homeowner to invest in a $180 model as long as the model delivers high performance and is rated to be highly durable. And this is the reason we choose the Graco 17A466 as our favorite. Yes, the Wagner model does come with a lot of useful features (as mentioned above) and will normally cost 2/3rd of the money you will pay for the Graco model. But we still choose to stick with it for the fact that it includes features that are more relevant to quality finish, namely high and adjustable pressure performance and different speed controls.
Yes, the Wagner Flexio model does deliver fine and quality finish, but the powerful and durable piston pump used in the Graco model ensures quality jobs through a long period of use. And this, after all, what you look for when you are investing in a relatively high end model (and are not renting one).