Low Cost Latex Paint Sprayer? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Low Cost Latex Paint Sprayer?

I built three trellis (trellises?), which will go on the outside of the house. They are done, but need to be painted with latex paint to match the house. Spouse tried brushing them, but the criss-cross pieces make it difficult to paint with a brush without getting runs. They are primed with rattle can spray primer.

We have a good, durable air compressor, but can only put out around 5 CFM at best:
https://www.ingersollrandcompresseda...essor_p_9.html

I bought a cheap Harbor Freight HVLP sprayer to use with our air compressor, but it won't spray our latex paint unless I thin it to a point where it won't cover the trellis:
https://www.harborfreight.com/20-fl-...gun-62300.html

I am looking for a low-cost solution for a sprayer that will work with our ordinary latex paint. It must work with our air compressor, or be a standalone sprayer with its own motor/compressor.

Ideas? Suggestions? Recommendations?
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 11:20 AM
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Very few cup guns will spray latex paint because it is so thick. You have to look for one that pressurizes the cup.

Another option would be a pressure pot sprayer. Harbor Freight makes a two quart sprayer that comes with the gun and hoses for 58 bucks. https://www.harborfreight.com/64-oz-...kit-62895.html
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 01:30 PM
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I sprayed my single space garage workshop, 12x25x11, all walls and ceiling with a $20 harbor freight sprayer. I used a 20% off coupon. It sprayed two coats of uncut latex paint and it still works. If i lived near you i'd lend it to you. I wonder what it takes to kill it.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 02:38 PM
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An airless sprayer is really the way to go. I've heard these sprayers aren't bad. For $75 probably worth a try.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Very few cup guns will spray latex paint because it is so thick. You have to look for one that pressurizes the cup.

Another option would be a pressure pot sprayer. Harbor Freight makes a two quart sprayer that comes with the gun and hoses for 58 bucks. https://www.harborfreight.com/64-oz-...kit-62895.html
Thanks for the suggestion, but it requires 10 CFM of air at 40 PSI, and the best my compressor will do is maybe 4 or 5 CFM. Sorry.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by P89DC View Post
I sprayed my single space garage workshop, 12x25x11, all walls and ceiling with a $20 harbor freight sprayer. I used a 20% off coupon. It sprayed two coats of uncut latex paint and it still works. If i lived near you i'd lend it to you. I wonder what it takes to kill it.
Thanks for the offer, but I live 1,000 miles away. You live in a nice area, so it might be worth the trip anyway. :-)

That $20 Harbor Freight paint sprayer got terrible reviews, and many reviewers complained that they had to dilute their paint so much that it didn't cover. I suspect that the results won't be much different than the one I tried already.

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An airless sprayer is really the way to go. I've heard these sprayers aren't bad. For $75 probably worth a try.
I was hoping to spend under $20 if this is a one-off. I don't mind spending more, but would want a sprayer that I could use long term for a variety of uses, including wood finishes.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-16-2019, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but it requires 10 CFM of air at 40 PSI, and the best my compressor will do is maybe 4 or 5 CFM. Sorry.
I see it now, they are putting a HVLP sprayer on them now. It could be fitted with a siphon sprayer that would work much better and use less air but it would be another twenty dollar expense.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-17-2019, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
I was hoping to spend under $20 if this is a one-off. I don't mind spending more, but would want a sprayer that I could use long term for a variety of uses, including wood finishes.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as far as sprayers go, latex is a *****. Your best best will be either electric airless paint sprayers, or pressure pot sprayers. The bad news is that neither of those will come in under that $20 price point, for that low of a price youre looking at basic air spray guns and maybe those crappy handheld electric units, neither of which will handle latex.

Biggest problem with latex is how spray guns work. Most any paint sprayer functions using the venturi effect, which uses a fast moving stream of air running over a straw to create a negative pressure in the straw, which sucks the paint up the straw and into the air stream. Latex paints are so thick they dont get easily sucked up by the air stream, picture trying to slurp pancake batter through one of those coffee stirrer straws. Getting latex thinned out enough to spray through one of these sprayers usually requires thinning the paint way past the manufacturer recommended maximum, so thats pretty well out.

Pressure sprayers and airless sprayers get around thing by working different. Pressure pots use positive pressure in the pot to actually force the paint through the straw and into the airstream, picture forcing pancake batter through a syringe instead of sucking it through a straw. Thickness isnt as much of an issue because youre dealing with a lot more pressure forcing the paint around. Airless paint sprayers function similar to a pressure washer, in that they use a pump to suck up the paint and force it through a tiny nozzle to atomotize it with a load of pressure behind it.

Honestly, id say check out the pressure sprayer that Steve posted, give it a shot. Yeah, it admittedly says it needs a fair amount of air, and it does, for continuous use. Short bursts of spraying you should be able to get away with, and youll be able to use the sprayer with pretty much any finish you want. Plus, those air rating nearly always lie, youd be surprised what you can get away with

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-17-2019, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
I was hoping to spend under $20 if this is a one-off. I don't mind spending more, but would want a sprayer that I could use long term for a variety of uses, including wood finishes.

Airless sprayers can be rented.


You can also check into thinning latex with windshield wiper fluid instead of water.


And I will mention that I have sprayed latex thinned with water many times successfully through a 1.4mm tip gun.


Keep in mind you're not painting cabinets, here.


That said, it appears you don't have enough compressor to run a spray gun so its a moot point.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-18-2019, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
That $20 Harbor Freight paint sprayer got terrible reviews, and many reviewers complained that they had to dilute their paint so much that it didn't cover. I suspect that the results won't be much different than the one I tried already.
20% reviews are bad because the reviewers are clueless. I read them. As I told you, it works flawlessly spraying uncut latex. I sprayed almost 2000 square feet with a $16 HF electrical paint gun. I assume thats why 80% of the reviews are positive. If it failed I could have returned it for full refund no questions. Instead it's still working as it did out of box. So I kept it.


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I was hoping to spend under $20 if this is a one-off. I don't mind spending more, but would want a sprayer that I could use long term for a variety of uses, including wood finishes.
LOL, you sound like you're wanting a $200 Wagner system that breaks shortly after the warrentee expires. Then just go buy it, you'll see....
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-19-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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20% reviews are bad because the reviewers are clueless. I read them. As I told you, it works flawlessly spraying uncut latex. I sprayed almost 2000 square feet with a $16 HF electrical paint gun. I assume thats why 80% of the reviews are positive. If it failed I could have returned it for full refund no questions. Instead it's still working as it did out of box. So I kept it.
Okay, I'll give it a try. You're right - nothing to lose.

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LOL, you sound like you're wanting a $200 Wagner system that breaks shortly after the warrentee expires. Then just go buy it, you'll see....
Actually, I was thinking more about one of those Rockler or Earlex HVLP sprayers. I do not know if one of them can do latex paint and woodworking spray finishes well enough for my needs.

I would pay $200 for a sprayer I could use on rare occasions for a long time. I have no interest in a $200 Wagner system if it breaks after a few years.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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FINAL REPORT

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.
https://www.harborfreight.com/5-gph-...gun-63452.html

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!
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
FINAL REPORT

We bought this Harbor Freight sprayer.

Thank you. I was just about to declare, "Next time I think I want a paint sprayer, I'm going to buy that Harbor Freight sprayer."


When we painted our kitchen cabinets I did all the research I could--and found there was a sprayer that did latex paint without a lot of trouble--and then read how it produced a really good finish, just about what you'd expect from a roller. I decided to cut through all the baloney and....used a roller.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-02-2019, 09:49 AM
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If you get runs with a brush, you are putting it on too thick. I loaned some saw horses to some friends to paint cabinets. When I got them back, it looked like they painted the cabinets with a mop; paint runs all over them. Read this thread with interest. We have some rooms that will be painted this fall and winter. We were at Lowe's and looked at some of the Wagner products. Thanks to all for your input. I do need to check my compressor spec's to see if I can use it- Porter-Cable pancake compressor.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-09-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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The trellises are done and mounted. I wrote about them and posted a photo here:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/w...1/#post2065797
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