HVLP Vs Airless – Learn Which Paint Sprayer You Need

A paint sprayer can be one of the best tools for you to choose. They can speed up the painting process, helping you get the work done in a few minutes, rather than wasting the whole day getting paint on the wall or another surface.  

As you are shopping for a new paint sprayer, you may notice there are two types available for you to choose from, the HVLP and the airless paint sprayer. Which one is the best for all your painting needs? 

Both of these paint sprayers have a lot of benefits that you are sure to love, but there are different situations where one will work better on a project than the others. This guide will help you compare HVLP vs. airless paint sprayers to see which one is best for you.  

Now that we have discussed some of the different features that come with both the HVLP and the airless paint sprayer, it is time to look at which one is the best for your project. The exact right one will depend on the tasks you would like to complete.

Both of these types of paint sprayers can work on any type of project, though some will be better for one type over another. Let’s compare when you should use each one to see which one you should choose.

Paint Viscosity

The viscosity of the paint will matter in how many coats you will need to use to get it on the wall. If you would like to put in paint without thinning it, then you will need to use an airless sprayer.

HVLP sprayers, which have a lower pressure than the airless paint sprayer, will need you to thin out the paint, at least a little before you can use it. The paint will get stuck if it is too thick for the HVLP sprayer gun.

Performance

Both the HVLP and the airless sprayers are able to get the work done of painting a surface in a lot less time than you can do with brushes and rollers. However, the airless paint sprayer is often more effective at getting the work done. It can handle higher pressure and get the work done faster than the HVLP.  

Over-Spray

When choosing a paint sprayer, you want to ensure that the over-spray is kept to a minimum. You do not want to use up too much paint or have it wasted when you paint a room.

In this case, the HVLP sprayer will produce less overspray, which means it is more efficient to get the work done in any room that you choose. It may be slightly slower than you see with the airless paint sprayer, but it will save a lot of wasted paint.  

Clean Up

After each use, users will need to clean off both of these paint sprayers, or the paint will dry inside. The HVLP sprayer will require a bit more work because you have to disassemble the entire thing to make sure that all the paint is taken out. 

The airless sprayer will take less time to get cleaned out because you can just flush the system with some water while it all stays together.  

Safety

Both of these paint sprayers will be safe to use, as long as the customer makes sure that they do not turn it up too high when they are ready to go. These paint sprayers can go up high in pressure if you are not careful. Choose a steady pressure, and the paint sprayer will be safe to use.  


Painting Specific Surfaces - Ideal Applications

For Painting Cabinets

While there are a lot of benefits to the airless paint sprayer, if you want to do some of the details for your cabinets, then it is best to rely on the HVLP paint sprayer instead. This one is better with the smaller details that come with the cabinets because you will gain more control over the work you do.  

For Painting Walls

An airless paint sprayer is a good option for painting the walls. Just make sure to cover up everything that you do not want to get ruined along the way. You can get even a large room painted and ready to go in no time with an airless paint sprayer.  

For Painting Ceilings

When it is time to paint the ceilings, it is best to work with an airless paint sprayer. This will help you to get the large area done quickly. And since you do not need high precision, the airless paint sprayer is an excellent option to make sure that you get the work done quickly.  

For Painting Automotive Applications

For painting a car, you need to work with an HVLP sprayer. The airless option can work, but it is a challenge because of the pressure it provides. To make the car look amazing, you will find that the HVLP paint sprayer is a great choice and can get the car done in no time.  

For Painting Doors

If you plan to paint a large number of doors at once, go for the airless paint sprayer. They are best for helping you work on a large number of materials at once. But if you just need to get accurate detailing of one door, then the HVLP sprayer is a good option.  

For Painting Fences

For those who would like to paint the fence around their home, an airless paint sprayer is going to be the best option. This type of spray gun is able to get through the work in no time and can make it look nice. The speed is going to work well to get the fence done without having to do a paintbrush or a roller. 

For Painting Furniture

Since furniture is often small and detailed, it is better to use the HVLP. This is a slower process, but the lower pressures make this good for painting your furniture and making it look nice. You will have less control over the airless paint sprayer, which makes it harder to paint the furniture.  

Wagner 0525032 Power Painter Max Airless Paint Sprayer

HVLP Paint Sprayers (Overview + Pros & Cons) 

HVLP is a spray gun that uses high volume and low pressure. To get the paint out of the machine and onto the wall, it will use some compressed air to force the paint out of the reservoir and through the tubes until it comes out of the nozzle.  

At the same time, the HVLP paint sprayer will pump forced air into another tube so that when it meets with the paint, it can create a gentle pressure towards the wall or anything that you would like to paint.  

The HVLP paint sprayer is able to provide quick and accurate coverage on almost any surface. And since it works faster than using a roller or traditional brush while using less material than a traditional air sprayer, it may be one of the best options for your home when you need to get a lot of painting done.  

For some of the more detailed and delicate work, the HVLP paint sprayer is an excellent choice. It has a lower pressure than some of the other options for paint sprayers, which makes it easier for the detailed work that you would like to do. It can take on larger projects, but it may take longer to complete.  

While you can use a HVLP sprayer for any type of painting project you would like, but it works well on furniture, automotive, and marine types of work. You can often find this in auto body repair shops. If you want to apply a finish to some of your furniture, then the HVLP paint sprayer will be able to provide the accuracy that you need.  

Benefits 

  • Easy to transfer
  • Even coverage 
  • Quick 
  • Lower air pollution 
  • Doesn’t use as much paint 

Drawbacks 

  • More expensive than airless paint sprayer
  • Clean-up of the machine takes longer 
  • Not as versatile for as many projects 
HVLP Vs Airless Paint Sprayers

Airless Paint Sprayers (Overview + Pros & Cons) 

A second option is to use an airless paint sprayer

The airless paint sprayer can handle a large volume of paint and rely on an electric motor instead of the air compressor of the HVLP paint sprayer. 

The pressure that comes from the motor is enough to help you to paint consistently and effortlessly for all of your painting needs.  

wagner airless

The way that this airless sprayer is able to differentiate from the other types of sprayers because it works without any pneumatic pressure. Instead, the internal pressure that is inside the sprayer will help provide an effective spray pattern that is difficult for the HVLP and other sprayers to do.  

For professional paint jobs, the airless paint sprayer is an excellent option to choose. They are able to take on some of the larger paint jobs that you need, though they do tend to use up more paint than some of the other paint sprayers. If you are trying to prevent a mess and avoid wasting paint, then the airless paint sprayer is not going to work as well.  

The airless paint sprayer is also really fast. If you need to get a large area covered in a short amount of time, then this is the right paint sprayer. It is a bit rough on some of the smaller and more delicate projects, like cabinets, because the pressure is higher than you need. It can do the work, but the user may need to make some adjustments and be careful.  

Benefits 

  • Does not come with a bulky air compressor 
  • Smooth finish 
  • Cleaner paint job  
  • Less maintenance than other paint sprayers 
  • Easier to clean out with fewer parts 

Drawbacks 

  • Not as efficient with the paint
  • Not as good with some of the smaller projects 
  • Does not come with a lower pressure

HVLP & Airless Sprayer FAQs

Can you spray house paint with an HVLP gun? 

You can spray out house paint with the help of your HVLP gun, which makes it a good option if you would like to put a new color on your home. However, you will need to make sure that you use the proper pressure to ensure that it will come out smoothly.  


How often should you clean a spray gun? 

It would be best to clean out the spray gun after each use. If you plan to put a second coat onto a wall after a few hours, you can let the paint stay there. But it can damage the paint sprayer if you decide to leave the paint in there for more than a few hours. When you are done with a room, clean out the spray painter and get all the paint out.  


How much pressure does an HVLP gun need? 

The amount of pressure the HVLP gun will need depends on what you are doing with it. For example, a 28 to 29 PSI is suitable for most of these guns, but if you need higher pressure, you can choose to make it go up to 40 psi.  


How long do paint sprayers last on average? 

If you pick a high-quality paint sprayer and you make sure to clean it out each time that you use it so the paint will not stay inside, your paint sprayer can last a long time. Some of the better brands are able to last up to 10 or more years with the proper care.  


Conclusion

Both the airless paint sprayer and the HVLP paint sprayer are good options to get all of your painting needs done. With the help of our guide above, you will be able to see the similarities of both and can make a smart decision on which one you should get for your home.  

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