Ultimate guide to selecting a paint sprayer 

The decision to paint your house yourself without the help of professionals is a big one. You’ll be carefully browsing brands and colours, in the hopes of finding the perfect match for your needs. You’ll also be trying to work out one of the key considerations before starting a big project - the budget. However, the decisions don’t end there! You’ll also be considering whether to use paint and rollers or a paint sprayer - and this decision is entirely dependent on your budget, time frame, and of course the job you need to do. Paint sprayers have become steadily more popular in modern times due to their high quality and efficiency.  Here at PaintAccess, we want to make everyone’s life easier, whether you’re a tradie, a commercial painter or a DIY homeowner, which is exactly why we’ve put together this handy blog for all our valued customers. This blog is about all things paint sprayers, so if you’ve made the decision to spray - read on for our top tips and tricks! 

Why should I use a Sprayer?

There are many reasons why you may want to use a sprayer over a roller - so we won’t waste time going into them all! Sprayers tend to get the job done a lot faster in comparison to using a brush or roller. Also, they can cover a large area much more easily. If you are struggling to reach high-up or out of the way areas, then a sprayer may be for you! Rough or uneven surfaces can be covered effectively, leaving you with a professional-looking finish (at only a fraction of the cost!) Paint sprayers are also significantly easier to clean than rollers and brushes, which is an extra bonus. No one wants to spend their valuable time on clean-up when your effort could be put towards the painting itself. Of course, using a sprayer, just like anything, has its downsides. For example, there is a lot more stray paint that could cause damage to furniture or other precious belongings. 

Types of Sprayers

The main types of paint sprayers are airless and assisted. Airless sprayers are the most commonly used for painting purposes. They use their own internal piston to create the force required to push the paint out. When compared to applying paint with a roller, the airless sprayer method consumes more paint. However, it also gets the job done at a much faster rate - which is key if you are under time constraints!

High-Volume, Low-Pressure

Meanwhile, Assisted, or HVLP (high-volume low-pressure) sprayers are particularly useful for working with fine finishes as they have better control. These systems utilize compressed air but in a different way to standard air spray systems. A turbine delivers a large volume of air at a much lower pressure to atomize and spray the fluid. They are designed for smaller jobs that require a fine finish because they provide the least amount of overspray and detailed precision, allowing for a high-quality professional finish. They also come with special nozzles with various designs - so you can get creative! 

Airless Spray 

Unlike HVLP sprayers, the airless models do not require a compressor or turbine. Airless spraying is considered the fastest and most versatile way to achieve professional-looking results. An airless sprayer is up to 10 times faster than using a brush - so that’s a lot of time saved! The fluid comes out of the tip in a solid stream which is then disrupted upon hitting the air - separating it into small droplets that form the spray pattern. 

Air-Assisted Airless 

The Air-Assisted Airless combines both airless and air spray methods in order to deliver a high-quality finish like that of an HVLP sprayer - along with the speed and efficiency of an airless sprayer. Air-Assisted Airless spraying requires 20-40% lower pressure than regular airless spraying. A small amount of air added to the edges of the spray fan allows for a softer pattern, a high degree of control, and less overspray. 

Choosing the perfect airless sprayer 

 If you want to go for an airless sprayer - there are some key performance indicators to help you make your choice.

Maximum spray tip size 

  • You should ensure that you select a sprayer that supports the tip size of the materials you’re planning to use
  • The size of the tip determines how much fluid will leave the gun when you pull the trigger and also how wide the spray pattern is
  • A wider spray pattern is ideal for larger surfaces whilst a narrow size is better for smaller surfaces 
  • Light coatings such as lacquers, stains, and enamels are best completed with a smaller tip
  • Heavier coatings such as texture will require a larger tip 
  • Tip extensions are also available - they come in handy for painting surfaces such as high ceilings and foyers 

Maximum hose height

  • This is a particularly important consideration if you need to paint an area that requires reaching significant heights 
  • A larger job such as painting a fence will require a longer hose on your sprayer - long-distance jobs will likely require a hose or extension cord of at least 15m

Annual usage 

  • You should consider how many litres of paint you’re looking to spray per year 
  • This calculation will help you determine what size of sprayer to select 

Another lesser but still important consideration is the weight of the sprayer itself. Depending on the project, you may be looking for something smaller and easily portable, or maybe your project needs a sprayer more suitable for heavy-duty tasks. Sprayers can weigh anywhere from 10kg to 100kg (and beyond!) so the key is to identify your needs and make the choice from there.

DIY or Trade?

One of the most important considerations is the purpose for which you need the sprayer. The budget may be a significant concern particularly if you require the sprayer for DIY purposes. If you are looking to do a DIY job and don’t want to shell out too much - consider hiring the services of a paint sprayer. You may want to do some research and get quotes from sites such as Oneflare, Gumtree, or new start-up BorisDoes! Here you can find quality handymen services at reasonable prices, which saves you both the time and money of DIY. 

However, if you are in the trade industry and running a business, you may be interested in making an investment for the long-term benefit of the business. Paint sprayers generally range from $500-1500, but this cost may be worth it for larger commercial projects such as painting warehouses or factories. 

Which brand should I choose?

Due to the huge range of sprayers available on the market, you have the choice of which brand you would like to select. Graco, Wagner, TriTech, and Titan are among the big brands with a reputation for high quality. In particular, Graco is the dominator of the market, and although based in the US, has a top range of paint sprayers available for any painting needs. Graco has also taken measures to ensure that its products are as user friendly as possible. There is a huge network of service centers and a wide range of online tutorials available to peruse. Here at PaintAccess, our Graco sprayers are our most popular for this very reason! Whether you’re after a handy portable sprayer for smaller jobs or a heavier-duty option, there will be something to perfectly meet your needs. We also carry a range of Wagner and Qtech sprayers - so whatever your preference, there’s plenty of options for you.

Check out our paint sprayers page to see our full range of sprayers!

Bells and whistles 

Now that we’ve talked a bit about the main features of paint sprayers, there’s also the bells and whistles to consider. These may include filters, pressure gauges, and even electronic Bluetooth connectivity. Overall, the key considerations such as maximum spray tip, maximum hose height, and annual usage are more important than the other bells and whistles. As long as you select a sprayer that is suitable for your needs, budget, and annual usage, you should be good to go! However, we’ll give you a brief run-down of some of the common bells and whistles - just in case you’re looking to invest a bit more in your sprayer!


Filters help to ensure a smooth finish, and also remove paint debris. Also, they make sure your paint tips don’t clog, which can cause paint splatter and ruin your neat finish.

Pressure gauges

A pressure gauge is a helpful tool to determine sprayer performance. Because paints atomize at different pressures, a gauge can help to determine the minimum pressure necessary to atomize different paint or coatings. Spraying at the lowest pressure necessary to atomize the paint helps reduce wear of the spray tip and pump, which may affect performance and lead to a pressure drop below the point of proper atomization. A gauge can show you whether poor spray performance is a result of low pressure. 

Conditioners and protectants 

Conditioners and protectors can be useful in extending the life of your paint sprayer. They protect your sprayer from hazards such as freezing, rust, and more. It’s always important to clean your prayer completely, water should be coming out clear. When you store your sprayer, always make sure to use protectants to protect your sprayer against rust and other damage. 

Wrapping it up

Now that we’ve given you some handy tips to keep in mind when selecting your sprayer - the rest is up to you! Although it may seem like a daunting task given the wide range of sprayers available on the market, don’t worry. Selecting your sprayer is only the beginning - the fun part starts when you begin the paint job!