Airless paint sprayer recommendation

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Forum topic by SBOhio posted 03-02-2011 04:41 PM 14503 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 2481 days

03-02-2011 04:41 PM

Can anyone help with an airless sprayer recommendation? My current project is to paint an estimated 2000 sq. ft. floor joist in the basement overhead. I have to paint the second half next year. I also have several out buildings and barns to do. I intend on doing 3-4 projects a year. Is there a unit that can handle both heavy acrylic latex and finer oils, stains and finishes for woodworking projects? I am looking for something very reliable unit that does a good job and has good parts support. I see a wide range of units for up to $3000! Can I find something for around $500 that will meet my needs?

21 replies so far

View pete79's profile


154 posts in 2560 days

#1 posted 03-02-2011 04:52 PM

I believe the Earlex HV5000 might not be a bad idea (about $340). I bought one a little over a year ago and it worked great. The only question I would have is how much area you need to cover and whether you’d need a larger quantity supply capability. If the Earlex interests you, let me know as I used mine twice and haven’t touched it since – probably was an impulse buy and I’d be willing to part with it.

-- Life is a one lap race.

View TJU's profile


72 posts in 2076 days

#2 posted 03-02-2011 05:10 PM

Airless sprayers are great for large projects like you are going to do. I would go into a paint store (like sherwin williams) and ask them what size sprayer you need for your intended uses and then shop around. I would recomend at least .3 gph and up to .5 gph. I would not recomend a sprayer like this for your shop for 3 reasons. It wastes a lot of finish in the piston and hose that need to be flushed out. It is harder to clean than a compressed air or turbine unit, and even though it is airless it still produces a good amount of overspray. I would feel comfortable with the Graco brand. Some places rent them out. Unless you are going to use it as a part of a buisness you could buy a turbine for you shop and just rent an airless for you big projects.

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2652 days

#3 posted 03-02-2011 05:14 PM

Are you wanting an airless, or just a sprayer that does not require a compressor? There is a difference? The self contained turbine HVLP sprayers like the Earlex do a good job. A friend has the Harbor Freight copy of the Earlex, we painted his house, and a barn with it no problem shooting latex house paint…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View SBOhio's profile


24 posts in 2481 days

#4 posted 03-02-2011 07:06 PM

Pete79 & dbhost: The Earlex looks like a nice unit. I was thinking I needed a larger capacity, to get away from filling the pot every 5 minutes, and to have the manueverability to work upside down with gun without the pot attached. Would the Earlex type work upside down? I also have a large old victorian home and several outbuildings to paint and stain. Would the Earlex type unit work with a longer hose?
TJU: I quess its like anything else where 1 tool won’t do it all. I have a Sherwin Williams and will check out. Your point is well taken on wasted material. I used one several years ago and it takes considerable amount of material just to get them primed. I spotted an Earlex5000 for $279 on the web and it would probably be worth that for my woodworking projects since they are smaller.
PS: My basement project alone looks like 30-40 gallons paint x 3 coats! 1 primer and possibly 2 finish. That’s a lot of pot filling.
Can you buy a good airless for under $500?

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Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2706 days

#5 posted 03-02-2011 07:12 PM

I tried a cheaper airless years ago, and it was a piece of junk. I actually never got it to work.
I ened up giving it way, and bought a Graco, which is a professional gun. They aren’t cheap, but they do make a smaller one than what I have.

You might check this out.

TJu was right, some places rent them. I( did that once before I bought mine. The cost is not bad at all if you don’t need it much.


View pete79's profile


154 posts in 2560 days

#6 posted 03-02-2011 09:46 PM

I think the Earlex would be too small for you given what you’re describing intending to use it for. I can’t imagine filling the canister that often!

My recommendation would be to rent a professional-grade sprayer given the budget you’re trying to stay within. My guess is that you wouldn’t be too happy with most sprayers for under $500 for what you’re trying to do.

- Pete

-- Life is a one lap race.

View Earlextech's profile


1157 posts in 2110 days

#7 posted 03-02-2011 11:05 PM

I would agree with Pete. You should use an airless for the sheer size of the projects you are doing. However, you will waste material due to overspray and what is lost in the line. Rent it. That way you don’t have to fix it.
HVLP is what you want for woodworking and finishing projects. Practically no overspray, easy to clean up, total control of the finish. Buy that. It’s something you don’t want to share with everyone.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2099 days

#8 posted 03-02-2011 11:09 PM

I have a graco 490 st I’ve been using for 10 years now. If it broke down today I would buy another one tomorrow. I’m not saying there the best but I am saying I’m so happy with it I wouldn’t even attempt trying a different one.

You can run anything through it, just need to buy the right tip. Its the only thing I use in my wood shop. I love spraying lacquer with it.

-- New Auburn,WI

View ChrisBunker's profile


15 posts in 2095 days

#9 posted 03-05-2011 07:37 PM

I bought the Wagner 1700 that Costco sells for the exact same job as you. There is a pretty good discussion over on the Garage Journal, another Forum I am on.

It’s in your price range and it works really well. You don’t need to spend big bucks on a commercial duty cycle capable unit. I have no regrets in purchasing mine.

P.S. In selecting a color for the ceiling/rafters, I decided on a dark flat brown, kind of like really dark coffee. White just showed every imperfection in the floor joists and flooring under layment. You’ll see when you prime it.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2480 days

#10 posted 03-05-2011 08:19 PM

This gun will be perfect for upside down spraying and need to refill often.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2480 days

#11 posted 03-06-2011 03:54 AM

or the other option is this sprayer

View SBOhio's profile


24 posts in 2481 days

#12 posted 03-07-2011 04:36 PM

Chris Bunker:Read the whole GJ thread. Not sure that this pump is still available. Read another review that said the new ones are no longer the same piston pump? Are you happy with the brown in your basement. I was leaning toward white to brighten it up and thought it would contrast nice with my cobblestone walls?
Steven H:What Graco is this? I can’t read the label? PS: Strongly considering the Graco 390. The lifetime warranty on the drive and motor are appealing. Plus 3 years on parts. Local support at SW. SW is having a sale for $635. Mar. 15. Close to my original $500. Does anyone have any thoughts on using the home made storage solution of Motor oil and thinner along with a ratio? What is a whip hose?

View ChrisBunker's profile


15 posts in 2095 days

#13 posted 03-07-2011 05:14 PM

Well, I suppose you’re right as far as getting one directly from Costco. I bought mine last winter. I did find the same one from another source HERE:, albeit a reconditioned one.
Another option on what looks to be a very similar version from Wagner is THIS:. More $$$ though, about $100 more than the retail of the 1700, which Costco had discounted down to $199, but the specs appear to be similar.

Re: Brown – yes, very happy with it. I too thought that the white would be better for light reflection etc, but after seeing a couple basement ceilings painted this way I got turned off because of the fact that it highlights every little nail poking through, and every little knot and imperfection. I considered Black but didn’t like the “back stage” or “night club” feel it would give. The dark Brown I think is perfect.

As far as the light reflectance issue, for my down lights, instead of just tacking up the recessed cans, I built a very shallow(1.5”) soffit of sorts that the cans mount in. I painted it white. It actually looks pretty cool and way more finished than just bare cans hangin up there.

View ChrisBunker's profile


15 posts in 2095 days

#14 posted 03-07-2011 05:18 PM

Found a better deal HERE:

View woody123's profile


53 posts in 2726 days

#15 posted 03-07-2011 05:30 PM

What about renting an airless, trying it, then deciding if you really need to buy. For that matter what you want to buy.

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