Refinished Furniture

Researching and Comparing Paint Sprayers

The entire time I was researching different paint sprayers and what each brought to the table I was set on a HVLP.  I started looking for a good brand and model. Researching them I realized how annoying thinning paint would be.  It’d be a huge hassle, messy and time-consuming to have to thin the paint every time I wanted to use it.  The main brand of HVLP carried at Home Depot was Wagner. I read reviews on many different sites and there was too many bad reviews for me to be comfortable spending so much money on one.

HVLP had a few marks against them, so I checked out my options and looked into airless sprayers. I watched video after video of people spraying furniture and walls with the airless and it turning out beautifully without having to thin the paint.

The brand that kept being talked about with great reviews was Graco. Their airless sprayers kept popping up on a lot of the websites I was searching.  Home Depot carried them so from there I started researching which Graco airless sprayers would be best for me.

Again, this took 90% longer than picking out a baby name.

There are some questions to ask yourself when looking for your perfect airless sprayer. 

  • What type of tip does it have? Brass tips are said to be the best tips
  • What is the size of the nozzle (tip)? How many different tips does it come with or are available? Different paints and stains need different size of tip or nozzle. 
  • What accessories come with the sprayer? Some sprayers come with many accessories. For example, different tips, cup liners, a carrying case or cleaning brushes. The accessories are mentioned in product detail. The sprayer may be cheaper, but you may have to buy each accessory separately making it more expensive in the long run.
  • How much paint does the container hold? If you are going to be doing a large job you would want a higher volume paint basin. This would save you time not having to refill it all the time.
  • How big is it/How much does it weigh? If you are using a handheld it needs to be light enough for you to be able to hold for longer periods of time. 
  • Does it have an adjustable spray pattern and paint flow? Most spray guns have a shield on the tip that you can adjust the spray pattern to vertical, horizontal or round pattern. Changing the pattern or paint flow can be easy and clean or difficult and messy. 
  • What is the PSI of the sprayer? The handheld sprayers I looked at ranged for 500-2000
  • Ease of cleaning? Even if a product says easy to clean, every sprayer should be taken apart and cleaned right after use. No waiting. This is a no brainer. 
  • Reviews? Obviously before you spend money on a sprayer do your own research! Google ‘reviews’ for whatever product you are looking for and you will get a ton of opinions.

I researched Graco Airless Sprayers for days

I wasn’t going to spend more than $250 on my sprayer so that narrowed my options a bit.
I looked at the Graco Project Painter because I thought the handheld might be too heavy for me. The Project Painter sits on the ground and pulls directly from the paint can. I would only have to hold the light spray gun. I started watching videos and reading reviews. It had very good reviews and the videos showed that they applied a smooth coat of paint. The product overview says easy to clean, but after watching clean up videos I realized it was too difficult and messy for just doing a small project.  So I moved onto the my next option. 
The Graco Truecoat Pro II Cordless Airless Sprayer and the Truecoat Pro II Airless Sprayer were too expensive for me. They ranged from $350-$500.
For my price I narrowed it to Truecoat 360DSPTruecoat 360VSPTruecoat II and Truecoat Plus II
This link compares all the
 handheld sprayers.
I moved onto the Truecoat 360 DSP and Truecoat 360 VSP. I read the reviews of each and figured out the difference between the two.
Here’s what they both had: 

  • Both had reviews that they often overheated with in 15-25 minutes of using it. After cooling for 20-30 minutes they were back to working.
  • They both seemed very loud in the videos I watched.
  • Both were relatively light compared to other handheld sprayers… Under 4 pounds.
  • Both were all plastic including the tips.
  • Both only had 2 tips… 4 inch and 12 inch
  • Both are not repairable. Certain parts can be replaced, but it will eventually wear out and won’t be repairable. 

So what is the difference between the two?
Truecoat 360 VSP

  • 42 oz cup
  • Variable speed settings
  • 500-1300 PSI
  • 3.8 pounds
  • $259

  Truecoat 360 DSP

  • 32 oz cup
  • 2 speed settings. High and Low
  • 900 and 1300 PSI
  • 3.5 pounds
  • $179
There is also a Truecoat 360 DS.  Graco says the only difference between the DS and the DSP is the DSP comes with three more bags and a hard shell carrying case.  
When spraying furniture I think I will need more than two-speed settings to get the best coverage with the least amount of overspray. I ruled out the Truecoat 360DSP for this reason. The Truecoat Plus II was the same price as the Truecoat 360VSP at $259. I then compared those two sprayers.
The differences:
Truecoat 360VSP

  • 42 oz cup
  • Variable speed settings
  • 500-1300 PSI
  • 3.8 pounds
  • 2 tips available 

Truecoat Plus II

  • 32 oz cup
  • Variable speed settings
  • 1000-2000 PSI
  • 6 pounds
  • 4 tips available 
  • around 200 gallons before it needs repair
After a ridiculous amount of time and more stress than it probably should have been I decided to go with the
Truecoat Plus II. It was repairable, I definitely didn’t want to buy a product knowing that eventually when it breaks I won’t be able to fix it and just have to throw it away… That didn’t seem very green to me. I like to do what I can for the environment.

Since most of my projects will be smaller the 32 oz. cup was fine for me. Clean up is relatively easy for both products so that is not an issue.

Now I just have to wait to get back to the states and test out my new sprayer! I can only hope after the effort I put into picking out a sprayer it is a good as I think it will be.

Oh I think I should add I am not a paid blogger for Graco or Home Depot. (It’d be awesome, but haven’t gotten that opportunity yet)

Blog to come on the results!


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