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The Best Airless Paint Sprayer for DIYers (And it’s inexpensive too!)

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We’ve read all of the paint sprayer reviews and tested this airless sprayer to find the best paint sprayer on the market for DIY and home use.

Best Airless Paint Sprayer for DIYers

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I’m all about budget-friendly projects in our home. But I’m also super conscious of making sure all of these DIY upgrades look anything but DIY’d. The last thing I want is a sloppy paint finish on a newly built piece of furniture, or for my painted cabinets to look drippy and shoddy.

I’ve had my fair share of those projects, and it certainly wasn’t worth the hassle to have to redo them simply because I used the wrong tools.

In fact, you can read all about my cabinet painting mistakes here when I opted for a low-priced, low-quality paint sprayer.

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So I did A LOT of research on paint sprayer reviews. And I even went through a shopping splurge over the years of low-priced entry level paint sprayers for DIY projects before finally settling on airless sprayers.

what is an airless sprayer?

An airless paint sprayer works by using very high pressure to compress and pump paint through a hose, and eventually out a very small hole in the nozzle of a spray gun.

This method is known for delivering a fast, professional looking paint finish that goes on evenly because the paint is disbursed through very tiny holes to achieve a desired spray pattern for paints and stains.

are airless paint sprayers worth the money?

Simply put, if you’re an avid DIYer, or even a beginner who likes to try out different paint projects, then a decent inexpensive airless paint sprayer is well worth the investment.

Airless paint sprayers are one of the only ways to achieve a professional quality paint finish on any project from furniture to walls and even intricate trim and cabinetry.

And aside from the fact that you can paint practically everything just like the pros, there’s the obvious bonus of saving time. Many large painting projects can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to use a traditional brush and roller method.

And while there certainly is some upfront prep work that goes into the process as well as a little time spent cleaning the paint sprayer accessories when your project is complete; the benefit of saving time still far outweighs a little extra effort.

how to choose a paint sprayer

Best Airless Paint Sprayer for DIYers

I’ve personally owned 4 different paint sprayers in my time and used them on a variety of projects from our bathroom vanity makeover to my daughter’s painted antique dresser.

Here are some things you should keep in mind when shopping for a new airless paint sprayer:

  • What type of projects will you be using this for? If your goal is to tackle larger painting projects in a short time period, then you want to make sure that your paint sprayer is equipped to handle large volumes of paint.
  • Hose Length: Be sure that the length of the paint hose will reach from the paint tank location to your painting project. This is especially important for working on tall two-story walls.
  • Ability to control your spray pattern: Using any paint sprayer has a huge time savings benefit to a project. But it can also result in a lot of wasted paint and increased cost in materials. To limit this, you want to make sure that your paint sprayer limits or reduces overspray by controlling how large a spray pattern it produces.

best paint sprayer for home use

So what is the best DIY paint sprayer?

Hands down, my number one choice for the best airless paint sprayer is the Wagner Control Pro 130 Power Tank Paint Sprayer.

At around $219, this sprayer is an excellent cost effective alternative to their expensive professional counterparts.

My favorite features of the Wagner Control Pro 130

  • Produces 55% less overspray than traditional airless paint sprayers. Which is just a fancy way of saying that you waste less paint and end up with a softer spray pattern.
  • Includes a 25 foot spray hose which is perfect for working outdoors and on two story homes
  • Holds up to 1.5 gallons of paint in a spill proof tank making it easier to use for those pesky start/stop painting projects.
  • Storage is easy by placing all of your accessories inside of the empty paint tank after use.
  • No need to thin out paint, as it can handle the thickest of materials and is gravity fed directly through the machine.
  • Ability to purchase additional tip sizes to produce a desired spray pattern.
  • At $219 this is one of the most budget friendly airless sprayers I’ve come across, and rivals some of the more expensive options out there.

how to use an airless paint sprayer + my tips & tricks

Best Airless Paint Sprayer for DIYers

I have to admit, when I first unboxed this airless paint sprayer, I was little more than intimidated at the intricate parts and size of the operator’s manual. But that’s also how I knew that this paint sprayer was a legitimate high quality sprayer.

educate yourself about your new airless paint sprayer

I highly recommend reading the set up instructions long before you even attempt to start a painting project. From assembling the spray nozzle to priming your machine, there are several steps involved in getting your airless sprayer ready to paint. And with most things, you’ll get quicker at setting it up with a little repetition.

I stumbled across this helpful YouTube video which quickly walks you through the entire setup process to get you ready to start painting. I follow all of those steps to a T each and every time I use my machine.

clean your paint sprayer

It might not be the most satisfying part of using your new airless sprayer, but it is the most important.

Take the time to thoroughly clean out your paint sprayer after every use to prevent clogs and unnecessary wear on the machine. It might sound complex, but since most latex paints clean up easily with warm water, it really doesn’t take much effort to remove old paint from the hose and spray gun.

This video shows you how easy it is to clean the wagner paint sprayer when you’re finished using it. I’ve also found that using a simple scrubbing kitchen sponge and hot water helps to remove dried latex paint from inside of the paint tank.

practice makes perfect

You’ll also want to practice applying paint to scrap wood so that you can get used to handling the spray nozzle and adjusting it to achieve the perfect horizontal and vertical spray patterns.

This is also a great step to include before you start any major paint project as it gives you a chance to get the paint consistently flowing so that you don’t end up with any drips or runs when first running the motor.

The biggest piece of advice I have for applying paint to any project is to not start and stop on a surface if you can avoid it. This is mostly for pieces of furniture or cabinetry.

I always begin spraying my paint nozzle just before I hit the surface of an object so that I can avoid any potential paint splatters or drips. And I end in the same manner; just after the end of surface I’m spraying.

Use a variety of spray tips

The Wagner control pro 130 airless paint sprayer comes with a standard 515 spray tip size, which is universal for most latex paints. The spray tip measures the size of the opening which controls how much paint flows through the nozzle.

A general rule of thumb is that you want to use a larger size spray tip to allow thicker paints to flow and smaller tips for thinner materials such as stains and clear coats.

I however, conducted my own little experiment with spray tip sizes, mainly because I wasn’t happy with the quality of the paint finish that was going on my bathroom cabinets.

I found that even though I was using one of the thickest paints on the market, I needed a smaller spray tip to limit the flow of paint. It was going on way too heavy and creating an orange peel like texture when it dried.

By using a smaller 211 spray tip, I was able to apply the paint in a very fine mist. Not only did it dry perfectly and in half the time compared to the larger spray tip. But it also cut down the time of my project significantly.

Since the paint applied in such light even finishes, I was able to recoat additional layers in no time at all. I would strongly suggest purchasing an additional spray tip in a smaller size so that you’re prepared for a variety of painting projects.

Where to purchase this airless paint sprayer?

I’ve found the best price and fastest delivery on the Wagner Control Pro 130 at Walmart. At $219 and free 2-day delivery, you can’t really beat it.

I promise you’ll enjoy all of the DIY possibilities with your new airless paint sprayer! If you have any questions at all, feel free to drop me a comment below. I do read and reply to each and every one.

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3 Comments

  1. I wanted a shine to my paint- I purchased high gloss paint- it came out flat- no gloss. We tried two different nozzles before I gave up and painted by hand- am I missing something?

  2. Hey! We have a friend who has one of these and it started leaking… any idea about how to prevent the same issue if we get one? I’m not sure how diligent he was about keeping it clean…

    1. Cleaning is definitely a must! 🙂 My hubby critiques how I clean it because I’m not thorough enough either. The only time I’ve ever experienced a leaking issue was when I didn’t have an attachment properly tightened. Bu there is a pretty extensive Q&A troubleshooting packet included with the sprayer. This has been my favorite sprayer purchase so far.

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