Types Of Paint Sprayers

Types Of Paint Sprayers And Their Uses

Paint sprayers are your best friend if you want to get the most pristine paint job done. If you’re someone who does little repair work at home by himself, you must have a paint sprayer. They’re perfect for dealing with cracks and bumps and ace tasks that even conventional paint brushes and rollers can’t handle.

But what are the types of paint sprayers, and which one should you use for your everyday tasks? Compressed paint sprayers are the easiest to master, but you might like the easy usability of gravity feed sprayers.

This article will go over the primary types of paint sprayers and their specific use cases and features. Let’s read along.

5 Different Types Of Paint Sprayers for Your Needs

paint sprayer types

There’re five primary types of paint sprayers. They’re differentiated by their build type, features, and use cases. Let’s go over each of them in-depth. By knowing about them, you can decide which is perfect for your work.

First up, we have airless paint sprayers. Airless paint sprays are usually electric. They use an electric spray paint pump to push the paint through the sprayer’s tip, spreading an even coating layer on the object.

1. Airless Paint Sprayer

Airless Paint Sprayer
  • Usage & Features

These paint sprayers work pretty quickly, so they’re used professionally and can get large volumes of work done in no time. You usually see professional contractors and painters use airless paint sprayers. They’re widely used when varnishing and lacquering furniture too.

Due to its powerful electric pump, the sprayer can inject large amounts of paint through its fine tip quickly. Rapid work is one of its key features.

  • The Good Side

The setup time for this type of sprayer is minimal, and you get to work right away. It’s capable of covering large areas in short amounts of time as it quickly propels paint. Airless paint sprayers are compatible with most paint types too.

  • The Bad Side

As for the downside, airless paint sprayers need some expertise to get used to. Due to its quick spray rate, if you’re not fast enough, you might get multiple coatings in the same area, causing oversprays.

Although speed is king, it might be troublesome if you’re painting something outdoors. Airless paint sprayers don’t work well on uneven surfaces where an even layer of paint needs to be set.

2. HVLP Paint Sprayer

HVLP Paint Sprayer

High-Volume Low-Pressure paint sprayers, or HVLP in short, have a more controllable and precise workflow compared to their airless counterpart.

  • Usage & Features

It sends low-pressure paint through its tip, meaning you have more control and precision on where the color will fall. It is handy in painting different furniture, doors, or wooden cabinets.

The most widespread use of HVLP sprayers is as spray guns. With this type of sprayer, you can use a thin liquid to do short lacquering or varnishing works on your furniture and get the job done efficiently and precisely.

  • The Good Side

As low pressures of paint are ejected, you don’t need much experience to operate them. Its precision work helps with aiming and leaves a much better finish on the product. HVLP sprayers are cheap, so if you’re just starting, they’re perfect for you.

  • The Bad Side

Its low-pressure nature means less amount of paint comes through the tip. This feature implies you can’t get high-volume work done with this sprayer.

Again, you have to use thin paints for their low-pressure nature. It can be problematic in large painting projects as you’ll have to spray multiple layers. The light paint is known to cause frequent clogs too.

3. LVLP Paint Sprayer

LVLP Paint Sprayer

You can probably guess from the previous naming that LVLP sprayers are Low-Volume, Low-Pressure paint sprayers. They require super low-pressure levels to function, at only around 8 to 10 PSI. These are the number one choice if you’re a beginner in paint spraying.

  • Usage & Features

LVLP sprayers are mainly used to paint walls, fences, and other interior or exterior surfaces. They’re small in size so can be carried around easily. For this reason, they’re low-volume.  On large-scale projects, LVLP sprayers are best.

  • The Good Side

Due to their low-volume and low-pressure, they’re highly portable. Its paint spraying is low-volume and easy to control. This ability makes them a great paint sprayer for walls.

Although it sprays light and thin paints like its HVLP counterpart, the color is of a better consistency. So you don’t have to worry about applying multiple coatings with LVLP sprayers.

They’re the cheapest and easiest option when it comes to air sprayers. So if you’re just beginning, they’re perfect for you.

  • The Bad Side

If you don’t have experience working with these before, it’s known to be tiring. Even though the paint consistency isn’t thin, you can’t use the viscous most or thick paints. It is problematic if you want to paint an exterior service with a rough paint coating.

4. Compressed Air Paint Sprayer

Compressed Air Paint Sprayer

These use the opposite idea of an airless paint sprayer. Inside, it has a powerful compressor that passes compressed air to the paint in the tank. It pushes the paint onto the sprayer’s tip, projecting the paint outwards at a decent speed.

  • Usages & Features

These are primarily used when painting furniture. Due to the compressed air, you get sudden bursts of paint in little time. Color is usually put into one place, so if you need to fill bumps and cracks, this might just do the trick.

You should use them if you’re an artist or sometimes do DIY projects or paint jobs around your home.

  • The Good Side

Compressed air paint sprayers are dirt cheap. Some people even make them at home as a DIY project. If you have some sort of compressor lying around, you can create it easily at home too.

  • The Bad Side

Although compressed air paint sprays are cheap, they’re gradually being replaced with electric and Low-Pressure sprayers. Due to the compressor’s discrepancies, they can’t put an even coat of paint on a surface. You constantly face issues with the consistency of the color.

The power of a compressed air paint sprayer depends on how good of a compressor you use. Even if you get a powerful compressor, it won’t be as even and consistent as an electric or low-pressure version. Painting large areas is also problematic with this.

5. Gravity Feed Paint Sprayer

Gravity Feed Paint Sprayer

This sprayer is a fancier option if your work isn’t too complicated and you have to luxury of getting one. It works by using the force of gravity to push paint down through the tip and onto your work surface. The paint tank is set on top of the whole device to accomplish this.

It almost acts as an air paint gun as it’s completely portable.

  • Usage & Features

It requires low pressure to operate. A gravity feed paint sprayer might be perfect for works that need precision and detail. This includes repainting cars, taking off thin scratches, and much more. People first used the sprayer in the automotive and manufacturing industry.

  • The Good Side

There is no overspray with gravity feed paint sprayers. With these, you always get a consistent, even, and well-controlled layer of paint. It’s always known to give a perfect finish.

It doesn’t have a spray paint pump like other versions, so it weighs less and is even more portable than LVLP paint sprayers. Cleanup for the sprayer is minimal too.

  • The Bad Side

Gravity-feed sprayers aren’t suitable for high-volume work, though. They’re usually pricier compared to other options too. So if you need a sprayer that can handle more workload and is cheap, you should consider the other four options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ve received multiple questions on paint sprayer types throughout the years. Here are the most common ones with their answers —

1. Is an airless paint sprayer better than HVLP?

We’d say HVLP paint sprayers are much better. You get absolute control in HVLP sprayers due to their low-pressure nozzle. But in airless sprayers, the electric pump is sometimes too powerful, and it’s easy to lose control.

2. Out of all paint sprayer types, which uses the most paint?

Airless paint sprayers use up the most amount of paint. As they’re prone to overspray, it’s common for more paint to come out than needed.

3. Which paint sprayer is the easiest to use?

By far, compressed paint sprayers are the go-to for ease of use. You need practically no experience operating them, and they’re efficient and super cheap.

4. Should I use paint sprayers instead of paint rollers?

Yes, because paint rollers can’t always get into the minute crevices as paint sprayers can. If you need precise, detailed work, paint sprayers are the way to go.

5. How should I use a paint sprayer inside my home?

You just need a power outlet to run a paint sprayer inside homes. If it’s portable or doesn’t need wires like gravity feed sprayers or electric sprayers, it’s even more accessible. Just be sure to keep newspaper on the floor and other furniture so that paints don’t stain there.

6. How can you be safe while using paint sprayer?

Spray painting with a paint sprayer can be a fun and creative way to express yourself, but it can also be dangerous. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe :

  • Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear eye protection and a respirator.
  • Don’t drink or smoke while you’re spray painting.
  • Be careful not to get any paint on your skin or clothes.


If you came here searching for the types of paint sprayers, we hope you’re leaving with the proper knowledge. Based on the five types of paint sprayers we’ve gone through together, you can now safely pick the perfect one for your work.

As a final tip, we’d recommend starting with compressed paint sprayers if you’re just starting. They’re the easiest to master and get most work done. After some experience, you can switch to whichever fits your job best.

We wish you the best of luck. Cheers!

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