Paint Sprayer - Purchase and Use questions/tips

11 Replies

I'm closing on my next project in a week. A small 2-bed/1 bath ~850 sq ft house we are gutting to the studs. I will be subbing out most of the work but also putting in ~2 months of my own labor. While I have done my fair share of DIY - more than most but less than others - I've never used a paint sprayer before. If I buy one and use it to paint the interior, parts of the exterior, and possibly new unfinished cabinets I'm thinking it should pay for itself.

So - what to look for when purchasing? I want to save money but I also want to buy something that will work well with minimal usage/operating headaches. So I'm thinking it will be something priced middle-low. It will probably be a long time before I use it again (if ever) but it will get a lot of use on this renovation.

And what to keep in mind for operation? What are the tricks and tips? Anything I should know about keeping it clean? Back in the day I used to paint all of my rentals but I hated it. Painting was one of the first things I started hiring out.

I just got my second airless paint sprayer as the old one would not start after 5 years of inactivity and sprayed the interior of a 2200 sq ft home with a 3 color scheme scenario. This time a Graco Magnum X-7. It worked really well for a noob. Came with everything I needed, but I also bought two more tips. One for the ceiling and one for trim plus the included general purpose tip. I also bought a 18" spray extension. I found 75% + of the job is actually masking and taping to prevent overspray, protect the carpets and wall hardware, and create clean transition lines between trim, ceiling, and walls. I highly recommend remove anything that will be removed like cabinets. Then paint. Then add anything that will be added like cabinets, flooring and so on. This will reduce masking and save time.

Be sure to spend the time necessary to thuroughly clean the sprayer equipment and then put the anti-freeze like liquid in at the end to protect it.

I learned a lot from watching "The Idaho Painter" on YouTube also.

@Max T. I have used a Wagner airless, when I did the inside of my house. It turned out really well. Just a couple things to watch out for. Make sure all water that you used to clean the machine is gone, definitely do a bit of spraying before you hit the walls! You can still see where I had a bit of water in the paint. Make sure you clean it really well, the paint will clog the tips. Get extra tips. Getting everything taped off was the hardest part for me. I had some bleed through on my masking tape, not sure what I did wrong but it was easily fixed.

Originally posted by @Max T. :

I'm closing on my next project in a week. A small 2-bed/1 bath ~850 sq ft house we are gutting to the studs. I will be subbing out most of the work but also putting in ~2 months of my own labor. While I have done my fair share of DIY - more than most but less than others - I've never used a paint sprayer before. If I buy one and use it to paint the interior, parts of the exterior, and possibly new unfinished cabinets I'm thinking it should pay for itself.

So - what to look for when purchasing? I want to save money but I also want to buy something that will work well with minimal usage/operating headaches. So I'm thinking it will be something priced middle-low. It will probably be a long time before I use it again (if ever) but it will get a lot of use on this renovation.

And what to keep in mind for operation? What are the tricks and tips? Anything I should know about keeping it clean? Back in the day I used to paint all of my rentals but I hated it. Painting was one of the first things I started hiring out.

 Hi Max,

You might want to check out "The Idaho Painter".

His YouTube channel is very popular.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnrhmEmvA_bIRYkBVPqJ4zg

Good Luck!

@Max T. There are a lot of different types of sprayers. I'm assuming you'll end up going with an airless sprayer. The x7 range is what I'd pick for ease of use but they all work. They'll spray oil based but the only time I've ever considered doing that was on a fence. It's just not worth it inside. I'd buy the x7 and then just flip it once the job is done. Don't buy one and leave it sitting around. The last time I bought tips, Sherwin Williams was cheapest.

The tips are pretty much interchangeable (within the brand). You'll need three sizes most likely, although two will work (you may have to cut your gloss some). You can also use the roller if you're not wanting to mask everything off. It's a lot faster than rolling normally is, or masking everything off for spray. You can buy spray guards and just cut in with a brush once you get good, cuts down on masking, but that skill takes a WHILE to develop.

I clean my tips in paint thinner regardless of what I spray, after I flush the system with water. Make sure you use the pump armor, as stated above, if it's going to sit for a while.

You'll lose a decent amount of paint with spraying, so keep that in mind. Open a window and keep a draft going.

Pro tip: Make sure the spray tips are clear before spraying. Hitting go with a clogged tip is.... entertaining. For those around you.

Spraying everything in primer without taping off is an amazing feeling.

Thank you to everyone who gave advice above. I appreciate your responses. @Steven Epps @Scott Mac @Jordan Norr @Chris B.

A few of you mentioned the Graco x-5.  The one I've screen shot below is a good deal cheaper than the x-5 but still has good reviews. At this price point I wouldn't even be that upset if this rehab was the only job I use it on. Do you think I should go for it or stay with the x-5? I would use it to prime and paint all walls and ceilings. I am also considering it for cabinets and trim (off site) which I would then bring in and install, with touch up paint for the trim cuts/nails after they go in.

Originally posted by @Steven Epps :

@Max T. If you're only using it for one job I don't think it matters that much. The bigger ones would have better resale is all.

I've sprayed cabinets multiple times. Always looks better than a brush, and tends to hold up longer.


 Thanks Steve. I was actually wrong about pricing. The x-5 is only $30 more than the one I showed above. They actually seem the same except the x-5 says it can work with stain.

Hi Max,

Watch your MSDS sheets for SPRAYED paints and solvents. 

Some of them require require additional health protection equipment. Especially when sprayed.

Paint strippers too.

Good Luck!

One difference between the one you picked and the X-7 is the X-7 is elevated and has wheels so it works well with the 5 gallon paint buckets.  I went through 35 gallons and 20 gallons were in the larger buckets. Lowes had it for about $400 which worked for my budget.  The model may have been replaced with a more expensive X-17.  I spent well over $2000 on paint, tape and related supplies for reference.

@Max T.

I bought a Titan 1900 Pro HEA a few years back and it has paid for itself many times over. For $400CDN it was worth it by far. So far 2 exteriors, many interior sets of doors and base/case. And a couple interiors under the right circumstances. Don’t get a handheld... you’ll get awfully sick of carrying 1L of paint around all day and refilling the little cup constantly eats time. They also aren’t rebuild able generally, the Titans have a rebuildable fluid end. If you use crappy paint, you’re looking at about 30-35 gallons per tip but with good paint you may get 50 ish before it wears out. I used it for cabinet refinish recently and that went well even. Buy a good 3M hand masker and you’re all set. Good luck!

Are you using different colors for ceiling and wall? I'm seeing video online recommending to roll the walls if that is the case.

 

I'm also seeing them say I could use the same color for walls and ceilings.... 

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