We bought this Harbor Freight sprayer. The person at the register warned me at least five times that there is a 20% restocking fee. I had to acknowledge it at the payment terminal. She highlighted it on the paper receipt. I am surprised that she didn't tattoo it on my arm.
Before I left the store, I visited the store manager's office, saying that the last sprayer failed to work, and I didn't want to risk 20% if this one failed. He informed me that Harbor Freight had an issue where people kept buying and returning them like "rentals", so I assured him that I just wanted confidence that it would work. The manager agreed to waive the 20% if it didn't work when I got it home.
I went to our local auto parts store and bought some auto paint filters. They cost $4.50 for three paper/nylon filters and three wood tongue depressors in a small box. Someone suggested using them instead of regular paint store filters.
We followed the directions and cleaned it thoroughly. We thinned the latex paint with water until it matched the 20-25 second drain cup test. We filtered the paint and were ready to go.
The paint sprayer never clogged, but what a mess! The paint comes out in a very wide cone-shaped mist. The knob changes the paint/air ratio in the spray, but not the cone shape or the force of the flow itself. Because the paint spray cone was so wide, most of the paint did not hit the thin wood of the trellis. Paint got all over the ladder we used as a stand, despite the drop cloth over the ladder. The air was very still, but paint mist floated all over me, Spouse, the paint gun, the surrounding lawn, etc. The sprayer was very noisy, too. Wear gloves, long sleeves, and a mask with this sprayer.
Spouse and I managed to get the trellises painted. After prep, paint, and cleanup, she declared that from now on we will paint similar objects with brushes, despite possible runs. Heck, I discovered my own new-found talent for making runs with the sprayer, anyway. It would have taken far less time and effort to paint them with a brush. Quality was no better with the sprayer, but my technique needs improvement.
-> I want to recognize my spouse for being a good sport about trying the second sprayer. After the first failed sprayer, she wanted to throw in the towel and just paint the dang things with a brush. She was right!