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Tips for Choosing the Best Paint Sprayer Rental

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Matt is a professional painter who owns and operates his own painting business, specializing in interior and exterior house painting.

My Graco 495 Ultra Max airless. This guide will help you find the best paint sprayer rental.

My Graco 495 Ultra Max airless. This guide will help you find the best paint sprayer rental.

Painting Projects

Paint sprayers are generally easy to use and work wonders for tedious painting projects. Have you ever painted cabinets or stained a huge fence with only a paint brush? It isn't fun. With the right sprayer, you can finish large painting projects in half the time it would take brushing and rolling.

Why Rent a Paint Sprayer?

Here are a few good reasons why you might consider renting a paint sprayer for your painting or staining project:

1. Versatility. Airless paint sprayers are awesome for painting cabinets, walls, ceilings, paneling, fencing and more. Depending on the type of sprayer you choose, you can spray different types of coatings in addition to paint including lacquer, stain, polyurethane, solvent-based primer and enamel.

2. Cost. A rental from a paint store is typically $25 to $100 per day, depending on the size of the sprayer. Large airless sprayers on wheels usually cost more to rent than a smaller skid model without wheels.

A Home Depot paint sprayer rental is a little more pricey than other stores, starting at a rate of $76 for only four hours, while Lowes charges only $70 for four hours. Unless you absolutely need a sprayer on wheels, you can lower the rental cost by renting a skid model without wheels. Paint stores and equipment rental shops usually offer the best deals.

The cost to buy a sprayer depends on a variety of factors, but expect to spend over $1,000 for a brand new pro contractor model from Graco, or Titan. I paid close to $2,000 for my Graco 495 Ultra Max airless. I still use the sprayer to do this day, ten plus years later. Cheap paint sprayers from home improvement stores are in the range of $200 to $500, but often have performance limitations with pumps that don't last long.

A rental makes sense for a small one-time project that will take a day or two. For example, maybe you have several doors prepped and ready for paint. You can rent a sprayer for one day and spray all of the doors for a lot less than what it would cost to buy one. Buying a sprayer makes sense if you have multiple painting projects.

3. Paint Stores Rent Pro Sprayers. One of my local paint stores rents out a Graco 390 airless sprayer for only $50 per day. The 390 is a contractor sprayer that costs a little over $1,000 brand new. Renting can give you access to professional spray painting equipment that can do more than cheap paint sprayers sold at big box stores. Look for airless rentals made by Graco, or Titan.

4. The Finish. Nothing beats the glassy smooth finish of sprayed paint versus the stippling texture you get from a roller. There is a noticeable difference. Like an HVLP sprayer, airless sprayers can be used for fine finish spray work too, using special spray tips and the proper materials. For projects like painting aluminum and vinyl siding, cabinets, paneling, and trim, using a sprayer will produce a smoother and more professional looking finish than brushing and rolling.

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Choosing the Best Paint Sprayer Rental for Your Project

The most common rental available in paint and home improvement stores is the airless sprayer. These siphon paint directly from the can, or bucket, and spray at a high rate of pressure. I own three airless sprayers and use them to spray everything from stain and enamel to pigmented lacquer and paint. For big painting and staining projects, an airless will save you an enormous amount of time.

Here are a few considerations when choosing a rental:

1, What Are You Spraying?

Make sure the sprayer you rent is capable of spraying your materials and that the spray tip size you want to use is supported. Thicker coatings like block filler, primer and exterior paints usually call for a larger spray tip orifice and pump to atomize the material properly.

Forcing thick paint through a tip too small, or using a pump not powerful enough, will result in a poor spray fan pattern with "tails" on the edges. Are you spraying a flammable coating? Professional models usually have a sealed motor so you can safely spray solvent-based coatings without hazard.

Call paint stores in your area and ask if they rent contractor sprayers from either Graco, or Titan. I'm a big fan of Graco. Contractor models like the 390 and 490 have bigger pumps and support multiple spray tip sizes and coatings without problems. Another model you might find for rent in stores is the versatile Titan 440 Impact. I own this sprayer and use it for interior and exterior painting.

2. What Spray Tip Is Included?

A rental usually includes one spray tip, but the tip size might be incorrect for your painting project. For example, if you're painting cabinets you should use a 310 fine finish tip, but the rental might come with a 517, which is way too big for cabinets, but fine for spraying siding and interior walls.

If the rental doesn't come with the tip you need, you can buy one for around $40. I really like the blue and green RAC-X spray tips from Graco and use them on all of my projects. For a finer finish, the green Graco FFLP tips are awesome for cabinets and trim. Always be sure to choose the right tip size for what you're spraying.

3. Airless Rental vs. HVLP

Most sprayer rentals are airless rigs, but it is possible to rent an HVLP. The HVLP sprayer operates at a significantly lower pressure than an airless, using a compressor to deliver air to the spray gun with less over-spray and a finer finish. These are good only for small projects because they spray slower and only hold one to two quarts of paint.

Another option is to rent a handheld airless that operate off a rechargeable battery. These are cheaper to rent and work awesome for spraying a few doors and other small projects.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Matt G.

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