Worth it to buy a power painter

lynn_r_ctMay 29, 2013

I have seen a number of projects in the shelter mags where "power painter" tools are used. I wondered whether I could just use an electric one or should I get one that uses a small compressor?

To be used for painting my new 6' mantel with lots of intricate detail and to repaint some cabinets that will be used as built-ins in the dining room so it is important that the applications be uniform.


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Tyia -- I am no professional but many on here are. I hope they weigh in with advice.

As an amatuer painter and DIYer ... I'd say don't bother. I've owned two electric sprayers and they've sucked. They get clogged, use way more paint than necessary and they never spray evenly (because of the clogging). For me ... an old fashioned brush and roller work best.

I have no experience with a Compressor version but I'm curious about their performance.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 5:35PM
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I purchased an unfinished large mantel and legs(s) as I said, with lots of intricate detailling. When I primed it, no matter what size brush or roller I used, I either got runs or missed spots.

A friend suggested I take it to an auto body shop, but I don't think they would do this, but if so I can't imagine it would be inexpensive. I saw a show, which I believe was on HGTV where someone was using a small compressor paint system to repaint kitchen cabs. Once I finish this mantel project I have some really high end kitchen cabs I bought on CL for peanuts, which I planned to redo as built-ins for the DR.

I should do it all now while the DR is fairly gutted, that way I don't have to be concerned about weather and I can keep the cats away. The garage you say, hmmmm, I can barely walk in there, but that's hubbys' domain. I'll do more online research and talk with the guys at Lowes when I am there tomorrow (for whatever that's worth).

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:52PM
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Ahh, I understand your challenge better now lynn -- any intricate wood surface or something with alot of ridges or mouldings will drip with a brush. The trick is a lightly loaded brush and many, many coats to get all the inlays and stop the drips as they are occurring (if the piece is vertical especially).

A sprayer sounds like a good solution. You may be able to rent a high-end one too from Home Depot or a Rental Outfit.

Anyway -- good luck. Let me know how it turns out. I have some shutters staring at me that I may tackle with a sprayer.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:02AM
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You could also buy a spray can of shiny paint just for the areas where the brush won't fit.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Luckily the mantel is not mounted on the wall yet but is in pieces. I had planned to place the pieces, one at a time obviously, across some saw horses which is how I primed them. Didn't make it to Lowes today - 95 plus temps here so I would rather stay in the house with the AC.

Still not sure. Problem with cans is there are so limited in their colors, and I am rather OCD about that i.e. white is simply not white, there are hundreds of whites out there. I suppose I could get over this LOL.

Sprayers have so many mixed reviews - don't buy this one and don't buy that one. I will still do more online research and maybe get to HD or Lowes Monday - don't go near them on the weekends except for emergencies.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Our local True Value - Benjamin Moore dealer has a machine that will put any of the BM colors into a spray can. You might want to look at that option.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Wow, that sounds like a great option. All the comments I have seen about electric/battery sprayers is that they are difficult to clean and clog often, which was why I hoped to hear from someone on the forum with experience with them, and also whether it was worth it for me to invest in a compressor unit.

I am glad you emailed me. I have an extra piece of plywood that I was going to experiment with using a can of spray paint I have. True Value may just be the right answer for me. Will let you know. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:42PM
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Sorry to have taken so long to get back, but heat has been oppressive - what I really want is a gin and tonic - not a paint sprayer.

I did talk with the True Value guy and the set up would be about $13/can. Not worth it to me, with all the cabinets I wanted to spray in addition to the mantle. So off I went to Lowes. What a waste as far as help (shoulda' known). The discussion went like this "can you tell me where the power sprayers are" and he pointed his finger to another aisle and said "there" - big help. Found them okay, not much of a selection, and I am totally ignorant as to the different types so I asked if he could help by explaining the differences between the various ones. His response was "they have different prices". I'm a lady, in my entire lifetime I have seriously never, but I wanted to spit I was so ticked.

Home Depot was not much better, so I did research online. My conclusion is that I can't use the little portable ones with the plastic can of paint attached. They are just to heavy for me to use. So I researched the various "airless" ones out there.

With what limited knowledge I have, I narrowed it down to two - the Ryobi RAP200G which is $100 at Home Depot. The reviews are decent and I liked the fact that it had a roller attachment. I also liked the Milwaukee M4910-21 and M491-10, $190 and $125 respectively. They seem to be better made but they don't have roller attachments. If the attachments are offered at an additional price I would be willing to buy them, but don't want to unless I can get them.

I am going to try calling HD tomorrow to see if anyone knows the answer. That should be fun. Will let you know.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Lynn -- thanks for the research post. Make sure you investigate the type of paint required -- I think most sprayers require oil-based paint (to avoid the clogging).

You might want to look at renting a professional airless sprayer (if you are determined).

For the mantle -- I'd spring for the Custom Color in a can. The cabinets -- harder challenge. We used off-the-shelf spray paint for the interior of all our cabinets and it has held up fine. The exteriors, however, I plan on brushing or re-staining.

Let us know what you decide!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 6:02AM
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You can spray any kind of paint through a sprayer.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 7:41PM
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I have a Graco Magnum ProX9, that I picked up a couple of years ago. It has been nothing short of fantastic. I've painted rooms, garage, stained decking, and sprayed a shed that a neighbor had built. The real secret to them is in the maintenance and cleaning. Oh, I've had that hand- held Wagner with the container.....really garbage; I bought new atmozier, spray tips......same failed results.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:23PM
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