Paint spraying indoors can be a messy business! That’s hardly what you want, since most of us buy a sprayer machine to class-up our decor. We’re here to help you find the ideal solution for your indoor projects!
Indoor painting requires a few different things from a machine than outdoor painting: you need a machine which runs a neat, tight spray that won’t make a mess. Plus, you want something efficient enough to make good use of fancy indoor paints. You’ll also want something quiet enough to use inside without becoming deaf by the end of the project. At the same time, you still want enough power to atomize for fine finishes on walls and furniture!
It’s a tall order to fill. There are also so many options out there that it can be tricky to tell the difference between the DIYer models and the professional-grade machines.
In this guide, we’ll look at a all our favorite paint sprayers for indoor use. We’ll introduce you to all the features and specs which we think make them winners inside the house or garage. Then, we’ll help you figure out which is the right one for you!
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Best Indoor Paint Sprayer Reviews:
- HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer
- Campbell Hausfeld Gravity-Feed Spray Gun Kit (CHK005CCAV)
- Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun, 1.0 mm
- Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer
- Fuji 3003-T70 Q3 PLATINUM – T70 Quiet HVLP Spray System
- Graco Ultra Max II 490 PC Pro HiBoy Electric Airless Sprayer 17C332 Hi Boy Pro Connect
1. HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer
A lot of paint sprayers can be expensive, to say the least. When you’re a casual DIYer with only a project or two in mind, that can be quite discouraging. Thankfully, handheld paint sprayers have been improving rapidly in the past few years. As a result, there are models priced very reasonably which can give you spraying capability without breaking the bank.
Our favorite handheld unit for small, indoor projects is the HomeRight Finish Max. It’s actually the best-selling sprayer online right now, and for good reason! It’s very affordable, at less than $75. Even though it’s inexpensive, it still has enough power and precision to tackle most basic DIY projects. We think it’s an excellent choice for folks trying to save money on cabinet painting projects, furniture re-sprays, and other projects around the house.
It’s ideal for small home projects. The HomeRight is designed for people who want to do a few small-scale sprays, but don’t have the budget or need to buy a big, expensive full-size paint sprayer. It’s design for painting, staining, or finishing chairs, book cases, fences, or cabinets. That’s what most DIYers are looking to do in the first place, so this is perfect for the casual buyer.
It’s very compact, so it’s easy to pack away after you’re done with a project. You can easily pop this on the shelf with your other tools when you’ve finished spraying. That’s not easy to do with full-size systems. It’s easy to maneuver in garages and small spaces in the house, too.
Unlike a lot of other cheap handhelds, the HomeRight has a brass needle and spray cap set. That’s a big upgrade in quality, and one reason why we’ve found it lasts longer than other handheld models. While they can’t compare to professional-grade or high-end DIYer setups, the brass components on this model are better than average in this category.
It has adjustable spray control, while many handhelds are single-mode! The HomeRight has horizontal, vertical, and circular spray patterns to choose from. You can also adjust the width of each spray pattern between 1 and 6 inches in width. Oh, and you can adjust the flow control as well! There’s an easy knob right on the barrel of the sprayer.
It also incorporates HVLP technology. While this isn’t a true HVLP turbine system, it does spray at a higher volume and lower pressure than other handheld units. That gives you a cleaner spray, with less wasteful overspray and bounceback. Not only does that mean two key areas of material savings, but that’s a reduction in two annoying effects to have to deal with indoors!
As long as you follow the thinning guidelines carefully, this unit should be able to spray any interior coatings, as well as exterior stains. It’ll work with latex, enamels, and varnishes very well. It even works with chalk and specialty paints! Again, the key is to thin properly, and to be realistic when you start planning your projects. You’ll need to lay more coats with this than you would a full HVLP system, especially if you’re working with thicker coatings.
It’s completely self-contained. Since every component you need for spraying is built into the hand unit, you don’t have to worry about buying hoses, turbines, or compressors.
It comes with helpful accessories. There’s a cleaning brush for scrubbing the spray tip, a viscosity cup to help you get your thinning ratios right, and an extra air-blowing nozzle which gives you a fourth operating mode! This extra nozzle transforms the machine into an air blower, with a concentrated, pressurized cone to clear dust from your work surfaces before you spray coatings.
It’s easy to clean. All you have to do is empty your paint cup, refill it with water, and then keep spraying the water through the system until it’s spraying clear. If there’s anything stubborn left over, you can then go at it with the scrubber brush.
It’s less than 3.5 pounds all told, minus the weight of your coating material. It’s easy for anyone to handle, even at awkward angles.
It’s priced very reasonably. You can find this for less than $75, which is half the price of some other handheld systems!
It’s covered by a 2-year warranty.
It’s neater than other handhelds, but not as neat as a true HVLP system. You’re still going to need to cover well before you use this tool, since there’s a fair bit of overspray. You’re also going to find that you waste a fair amount of paint, as you would with any other handheld.
It takes a lot of cleaning and thinning to make this work consistently. That’s true of most handhelds, even the best. So, plan to be meticulous in following the thinning charts, and never leave paint in the system for too long. It can clog fairly easily if you’re not on top of cleaning the tip right after using it.
It’s also important to strain paint before you pour it into the cup, since this model doesn’t have an internal filter screen.
It’s not super durable. Some people ran into leaks between the seals and the sprayer components, while others noted that the seal on the paint container can wear out easily. You have to be rather meticulous about lubricating the seals if you use it frequently, making sure to keep them clean of paint to maintain a good contact surface. It’s one of the inconveniences of a handheld over a full-scale sprayer.
While you can adjust viscosity levels and the spray pattern, you can’t adjust the tip widths to suit different coatings. This is an entry-level tool, so it’s a bit one-size-fits-all.
There are some quality control issues. Some buyers ended up with units that sprayed regardless of trigger position, while others had motor issues. It’ll overheat on big projects in particular, which is why we only recommend it for small applications.
2. Campbell Hausfeld Gravity-Feed Spray Gun Kit (CHK005CCAV)
This Campbell-Hausfield set is our recommendation for DIY folks who have an air compressor in their garage or shop, and want to use that as their spraying power station! This set comes with two very respectable spray guns and lots of accessories, all for a budget price. Plus, it comes with lots of accessories and room for adjustments. It’s ideal for all-purpose work, from coverage painting to spot finishing!
It comes with two guns, at a price you’d normally pay for only one! This set comes with a larger coverage gun, and a smaller finishing gun for spot fixes and touch-ups. Both are very well-made compared to other tools at this price, and the low price makes them a great value buy. You can easily outfit your compressor for painting at less than $75!
The larger gun has a 550ml cup. It’s big enough to make for fast coverage with few refills, but not so bulky as to be annoying to use. This one’s a good choice for painting cabinets, finishing large panels, or staining fence pieces. Anytime you want to cover ground, it’s a very solid performer!
The smaller gun has a 120ml cup, as well as a smaller overall frame. It’s a great second gun to have on hand for work where you want finer control, like on trim or molding. You’ll also find that it’s easier to maneuver in tight spaces, especially in cramped indoor situations!
Both guns use a relatively low CFM, which means that they’ll run well off most DIYer air compressors. With most other compressor guns, you’ll need a bigger, more expensive compressor to supply the appropriate air pressure and volume. The larger gun uses 2.1 CFM at 40 psi, while the smaller gun uses just 0.7.
Like the HomeRight, the Campbell-Hausfield guns are built around an HVLP design. So, they put out a greater volume of paint at a lower pressure (40psi). That gives you less overspray and bounce back than with other compressor guns. It also allows you to run your guns off a compressor that doesn’t have quite as much grunt power, as long as it has the volume to keep up! They’re gravity-fed, too, which is the most efficient way to maximize output from each cup of paint.
Both guns atomize much more finely than the HomeRight handheld, because they’re not relying on a tiny motor to supply their power. They also have better machining in the spray tips. These will give you much better finish results than any handheld sprayer, for about the same cost (air compressors aside!). We’d recommend this set over the HomeRight for the more ambitious DIYers.
Both guns are made equally well, even though one is significantly smaller. They’re almost entirely metal, aside from the filters, and they feel quite solid. They’re certainly better than other guns at this price! While they’re a bit no-frills in terms of grips and other fittings, we always think it’s better to go simple and sturdy than fancy and fragile!
Between the two guns, you’re equipped to spray just about any materials. You can spray latex paints, lacquers, enamels, and even auto paints with these, though we wouldn’t recommend them for high-end car work. For someone working on a bike or a trailer, though, or home furniture, they’re perfectly suitable.
Both guns are fitted with 1.4mm spray tips, which we consider an all-purpose gauge. You can use these for most coatings, as long as you thin properly. If you plan to work with lots of thicker coatings, you can also switch tips easily, and keep a few spare ones in your case!
There are metal adjustment knobs for getting the pressure and flow just right. They feel much more reassuring than the plastic knobs you typically find at this price. Each gun is also adjustable in the spray pattern. You can narrow or widen it between 1.5 and 9.0” for different projects.
The best part of the package in our opinion is the pressure adjustment valves you get for each gun! They’re worth nearly as much as the package by themselves, and they help you throttle your air output to the low, HVLP psi you need. They’ll take any spikes or fluctuations out of the supply, too, which can be a problem with smaller DIY-grade compressors.
As long as you’ve got an air compressor and a hose, this kit has everything you need to get spraying. It’s a bargain, especially when you consider what else you get aside from the guns:
- 2 adjusting valves
- 5 in-line paint filters
- 10 paint filters
- 3 cleaning brushes
- a metal file
- a coupler
- PTFE thread tape
- an adjusting wrench
- a carrying case to store everything
It’s all a neat, convenient package for people spraying in garages or small home workshops which don’t have space for bulky painting setups. All the components pack away and store easily on a shelf.
This is also a great indoor choice because you aren’t going to need an additional air supply unit, like an HVLP turbine. You can use the compressor you already have to get your paintwork done! You save space as well as money!
Everything’s covered by a 1-year warranty.
These aren’t professional-grade guns. They can’t atomize quite as finely as the Graco-Sharpe gun below, and they also won’t achieve quite as perfect finish results as a true HVLP system with a turbine. We wouldn’t use these for cars, or for high-end furniture work. For DIYers, though, we think they’re an excellent starter set which gives you room to grow and very respectable results.
They’re made mostly from metal, but they do have plastic cups and filters.
They don’t have the precision or fine atomization you’ll get from the higher-end guns. We wouldn’t use these on cars, for instance, even though they can certainly spray the materials. They’ll produce very good finishes for DIYers, but not quite professional-grade results.
You’re going to need a good air compressor to use these. While you don’t need as much air as you would to supply the Graco-Sharpe gun below, you’ll still want a compressor that can produce at least 6-8 CFM at 40psi or more.
If you’re wondering why we recommend a 6-8 CFM compressor for a ~2 CFM gun, that’s because painting is a 100% duty cycle draw, while most compressors are rated at 25% duty cycles. So, you have to round up your requirements by 75% in most cases. If you’re not sure whether your compressor meets the grade, check out our compressor guide for more info!
3. Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun
This Graco-Sharpe gun, available in a range of spray tip sizes, is a higher-grade version of the HVLP, gravity-fed, compressor gun format we’ve just looked at in the Campbell-Hausfield set. While one of these guns will cost you considerably more than the entire Campbell-Hausfield set, a Graco-Sharpe is a better choice for higher-grade furniture work or auto body spraying. It’s more precise, and gives you a better atomization quality on the spray surface. We recommend it to either ambitious DIYers or average professionals–anyone looking for the best painting solution for their shop air compressor!
It’s gravity-fed, just like the Campbell-Hausfield guns. The materials you save when you work with a gravity-fed gun might not be a huge factor when you’re a casual user, but once you start working with high-end materials in your shop, every drop counts! The Graco-Sharpe does a great job of draining each cup to the dregs.
While it’s a compressor gun, it’s built around an HVLP design, just like the Campbell-Hausfield’s. The Graco-Sharpe sprays at 30 psi, less than half the output of most standard air compressors. So, it’ll reduce your overspray and bounceback, while laying more of your coating material on the work surface!
This gun is even more effective at incorporating HVLP spray technology than the Campbell-Hausfield’s. It has more precise, refined engineering in the spray tip and cap set, which means a more tightly-controlled spray pattern at any width.
That’s why this one is a better choice for high-end work where flawless results really count. While you can do a great job on home projects with the Campbell-Hausfield’s, the Graco-Sharpe is more likely to give you that glass-like finish you expect on fancier furniture jobs and auto sprays.
The extra control and precision simply makes the Graco-Sharpe more pleasant to use in a shop, too, especially if you’re using it for most of the work day. You’ll have to do less covering around the spray area, and be able to see better as you work because of the reduced misting.
It’s made more ruggedly, too. The Graco-Sharpe is all-metal, like the Campbell-Hausfield’s, so there isn’t an obvious visual difference. You can certainly feel the difference in the hand, though! The whole thing feels sturdier, especially the knobs and fittings. This one also has an aluminum cup!
The whole thing is still lighter than the Campbell Hausfield guns, which is impressive given the extra quality! This is just about a 1-pound gun all told! It’s more ergonomic than the Campbell-Hausfields, too, which makes it more pleasant to use on long sprays.
You can get it in a wide range of tip sizes: 1.0mm-1.8mm. That makes it easy to pick a gun for anything from clear coat to latex paint. The Graco-Sharpe is perfect for people who are experienced enough to know what they want. You can adjust the spray pattern from about 1” to 1’ depending on the tip.
It comes with a wrench and cleaning brush.
It’s pricey. These guns can cost as much as $150 each, and that’s for a single one. Compared to the multi-gun, value-packed Campbell-Hausfield set, the price difference is substantial. We don’t think most casual DIYers or beginners need to pay this much for a spray gun. However, if you’re an ambitious DIYer who wants room to grow, or a professional working off a compressor, the Graco-Sharpe is the way to go.
Replacement tips are also fairly expensive compared to other high-end spray gun makers like Fuji.
You’ll need to buy a pressure adjustment valve separately to bring the supply pressure down to HVLP levels. That could add between $25 and $50 to the overall cost.
These guns have a much higher air draw than the Campbell-Hausfield’s. Most DIYers probably won’t have compressors capable of running the Graco-Sharpe because of that factor.
You need at least 8 CFM, preferably 10 CFM to work continuously with one of these. Don’t plan to use one of them on a pancake or hot dog compressor! Make sure you check your compressor before you buy, or plan to upgrade.
4. Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer
So far, we’ve looked just at HVLP-style systems, even though they’ve been handheld or compressor-fed models. HVLP’s are great for finish work, but when you’ve got lots of ground to cover, it’s hard to compete with an airless paint sprayer!
This Graco Magnum is our top recommendation for DIYers and handymen with whole rooms and big projects to paint. It’s compact enough to be manageable in your living space or small shop, while giving you the power and spraying speed to get work done fast. We think it’s the best choice for general DIYer painting inside the house, where you’re working on projects larger than single pieces of furniture. If you’ve been thinking about repainting a few rooms, or re-doing your entire cabinetry with a fresh coat of latex, this is a homeowner’s best bet.
The two sprayers we’ve looked at so far are mainly for shop use. That’s because they’re run from compressors, and compressors of a size that’s impractical to move around a house. They’re great for furniture and trim work that’s going to be installed inside a house, but you’ll have to paint the pieces in the shop before you install them in the house.
This X5 works wherever you want it to! It’s very easy to move around a building to paint wherever your projects are. Or you can set it up in a shop. It’s more compact than other Graco airless models, which makes it easy to store and to transport. The whole thing is just over 1.5 cubic feet. It sits squat on its own little stand, and there’s a handle mounted in the top.
We prefer this one over the larger cart-mounted airless sprayers for working indoors, because it doesn’t feel industrial or disruptive. It’s also better for folks who want to do big projects, but don’t have a big space to store their sprayer at the end of it. This one fits on a shelf, and it’s only 13 pounds! The 25-foot hose that’s included is also much easier to manage than the 50 or 75-foot hoses that come with the larger models.
It’s much better for latex paints than the HVLP guns above. That’s mainly because of the sheer grunt power behind this system. It’s also been designed with thicker coatings in mind, as opposed to the sort of fine finish materials you’d use with an HVLP gun. You won’t have to thin nearly as much with the X5 as you would with either the Campbell-Hausfield set or the Graco-Sharpe gun–if you have to thin at all!
It comes with everything you need to get painting. No need to find an air compressor, hose, or gauge! The X5 comes with the pump unit, a feeder hose for paint, a 25-foot hose and a metal spray gun. You just need a paint bucket and your coating materials!
All that will cost you less than $300, which we think is an excellent value. It’s well within the average homeowner or DIYer’s budget, especially when you compare the price against the cost of having professionals come paint your big projects. Plus, we think it’s important to consider how much time an airless sprayer will save you over using a roller and brushes. Time is money, after all!
It’s the easiest of the bunch to clean. That’s because you can simply hook it up to your garden hose and spray until the system runs clear. It’s essentially a high-powered version of the cleaning technique you’d use on the HomeRight. You can be completely done with cleaning this system in less than 5 minutes.
It’s powered by a stainless steel piston pump. A lot of other low-priced airless sprayer systems have cheaper diaphragm pumps, which are less reliable and less consistent in output. This pump can easily handle unthinned paints, as long as they’re strained! It’s run by a 1/2 HP motor.
The power is such that you can use up to 75 feet of hose with this one! That’s convenient because you can park the pump unit far away from your work area, to get the same output with less noise.
The output settings are completely adjustable. So, you can choose the pressure and volume that best suit each project, from wall coverage to trim molding. While you’ll never get an HVLP level of finesse from an airless system, it’s still very versatile.
It comes with a metal spray gun, comparable to the HVLP guns we’ve looked at above. It’s solid, ergonomic, and intuitive to use. Size-wise, it’s in the middle of the pack, so it’s quite maneuverable.
The spray tips are both swappable and reversible! You can buy and keep a few different tip sizes on hand for different projects, like stains vs. latex paint. Being able to reverse them makes cleaning the tips easy, since you can blast most clogs and buildup free.
The X5 comes with a 515 spray tip out of the box, which measures at .015” . That’s the maximum tip size for this setup, but smaller sizes are available.
The 515 tip is on the larger side of all-purpose, so it’s perfectly suitable for latex and other thick coatings. Since there’s so much power behind the X5 it can atomize quite finely even with a smaller tip than you’d need to use with an HVLP system.
It comes with a “Pump Armor” lubricant product to help the pump run longer and smoother.
There’s a flexible suction tube which can feed from either 1-gallon or 5-gallon buckets of paint.
The pressure adjustment nozzle is marked with graphic indicators to help you choose the best setting. That’s a real boon for DIYers and homeowners who don’t have a professional’s familiarity with tool settings.
It’s made in the USA! At a time when so many manufacturers are going overseas and cutting corners on their manufacturing costs, this X5 is still made in the States. That assures you of a higher degree of quality control and reliability, as well as Stateside customer service.
It’s all covered by a 1-year warranty.
It’s fine for finish work inside, but not for cars or furniture lacquers. We don’t recommend any airless sprayers for lacquers, clear coats, or other projects where you need a glass-like finish. However, you shouldn’t have any finish issues with paints or stains using this system.
It’s quieter than other airless systems, but still loud enough that you’ll need ear protection.
It’s a great DIYer model, but not for professionals or frequent users. The X5 is rated for up to 125 gallons per year of usage. That’s a lot for most DIYers, but a pittance to professional painters. If you’re a pro, you’ll find that you wear this out pretty quickly. However, for home projects and room resprays, you can easily expect it to last for years!
You can’t replace the pump. That’s one key reason not to test the usage rating on the X5! If you’re a professional indoor painter, you’d be better off looking at the more expensive Graco model we’ve recommended below!
Like any airless sprayer, you’re going to get a lot of overspray with the X5. That’s the tradeoff for being able to cover lots of ground quickly. On the bright side, this doesn’t produce more than is normal.
5. Fuji 3003-T70 Q3 PLATINUM – T70 Quiet HVLP Spray System
This Fuji is our all around favorite indoor paint sprayer system for most buyers. The Graco below is more powerful and an obvious choice for professionals doing basic house painting, but this is a more well-rounded system for ambitious DIYers and professionals. While it can handle full rooms and latex paint like the X5, this is a much better choice if you’re working with varnishes, enamels, clear coats and other fine finish tasks that the X5 simply isn’t designed to handle. It’s versatile, powerful, and achieves a level of finish quality that the X5 just can’t match. The Q3 is also simply more enjoyable to use, since it’s so quiet and ergonomic.
It’s much quieter than the X5 or a compressor gun setup! In fact the Q3 is far quieter than other HVLP’s, too. It only produces 50% the noise level of your average HVLP turbine: at 15ft, it’s only 62 dba, while at 20ft, it’s just 59 dba. As a rule of thumb, the noise level of a normal Conversation is generally considered to be about 60 dba. This powerful system is no louder than an average household vacuum!
Having such a quiet system that can spray powerfully is a huge advantage indoors. It’s the main reason we recommend the Q3 for workhorse use in professional shops, and for ambitious DIYers who want to be able to spray at high atomization levels in home workshops without disturbing family or neighbors.
You can use it on anything from plain latex paints to high-end furniture work! It’s an extremely versatile system that achieves excellent results with any coatings on the market. As a true HVLP turbine system, it sprays them all with much less overspray and a much finer atomization than our other recommendations. It’s by far the best for people who are working on high-end furniture or auto projects. The Q3 produces glass-like finishes and extremely smooth paint coats.
That’s thanks to both the turbine system and the spray gun:
On the turbine end, the Q3 is powered by a 3-stage motor. It’s got enough power to spray indoor latexes, as long as you thin them, and its extra grunt-force gives you a much higher atomization with all your thinner coatings as well!
It also comes with a fantastic gun, which directs all that power in a precise, measured spray. The T-70 is one of our all-time favorite spray guns all by itself, so it’s more than welcome in this set! It’s a bottom-feed HVLP gun with all-metal construction, and an extremely ergonomic design. It has lots of user-friendly features, like a side control knob for spray pattern adjustments and a stay-cool nylon grip.
More than the ergonomics, though, what really sells us on this gun is the precision and consistency of the spray. The high-efficiency spray cap does an incredible job at reining in overspray and focusing all your materials on the spray surface. Fuji’s non-bleed spray cap design also prevents blowing around and reduces paint accumulation on the nozzle. Overall, it saves lots of wasted material, and makes for a cleaner, more pleasant work experience indoors.
It also has the best quality machining on the spray tip that we’ve seen on any HVLP gun. That gives you a fully-adjustable spray pattern with precision and fine atomization that’s far beyond what you can get with any of our other recommendations!
The Q3 comes with a 1.3mm cap set for all-purpose finish work out of the box. It’s ideal for thinner coatings like clear coats, varnishes, or lacquers. It’ll work with latexes as long as you thin them appropriately, but Fuji also have a range of other spray tip sizes available. One advantage of the Fuji system is that their tips are much less expensive than Graco-Sharpe’s, even though we think they’re actually rather better!
The last piece of the puzzle when it comes to the Q3’s precision and efficiency is the hose, remarkably enough! The 25-foot hose has a built-in control valve to help reduce overspray and bounce back. It’s a great way to tweak the system beyond the adjustments you can make on the gun itself.
It’s professional-grade. The Q3 is part of Fuji’s professional range, and it’s built accordingly. The turbine unit is equipped with sturdy metal casing and it’s paired with an all-metal gun. Even the hose is thick, rugged, and kink-proof.
One key durability feature that you won’t see on the surface is Fuji’s patented heat dissipation box on the turbine unit. It’s completely silent, but it dissipates heat away from the motor to the outside of the casing, where it escapes through ventilation holes. That preserves the integrity of the motor, and allows you to work all day with this machine without running into trouble.
There are lots of reasons we love the Q3 for working indoors. Ergonomics are near the top of the list, though! There’s a gun holder on the case and a handle built into the top of the turbine unit. The whole thing is very compact, and is no bigger than the X5 system above. It’s easy for a DIYer to pack away, and to maneuver around living spaces.
The Q3 set comes with a cleaning brush, viscosity cup, and adjustment wrench. There’s also a very helpful manual included.
It’s made in Canada, by a company with a fantastic reputation for quality control, durability, and customer service.
The whole thing is covered by a 2-year warranty
It’s not the best choice for cars, even though it can do a very good job. Fuji recommend a 4-stage or 5-stage motor for professional-grade auto work. We think their Q5 is a better option for garage sprays, if you’re looking for professional-grade results. We haven’t recommended it here, as it’s overkill for most indoor painting tasks.
You can easily spray latex with this unit, as long as you thin properly and use a larger tip size. However, it’s not as powerful as the X5, so you have to do a lot more work thinning and straining.
By the same token, it can cover rooms, but not as quickly. You’ll have to do much more thinning, a few more coats, and fill the cup repeatedly. The X5 can spray right from buckets, and needs little to no thinning.
It’ll cost you almost $1000. This isn’t for casual painters. We recommend it to frequent, ambitious DIYers and professional users.
If you’re looking for something professional-grade, but only for general painting (that is to say, no fine finishing work), look at the Graco below! It’s not as versatile, but for a professional painter who does rooms and simple trim jobs, it’s a much faster, more industrial choice.
6. Graco Ultra Max II 490 PC Pro HiBoy Electric Airless Sprayer 17C332 Hi Boy Pro Connect
The Graco Ultra Max II is our ultimate recommendation for interior painting, with one important caveat: it’s for walls, trim, and stains, but not fine finish work. This is a professional-grade coverage beast for folks who paint lots of rooms every day. It’s also a capable sprayer for exterior latex, so it’s a good choice for any professional house painter!
It can cover lots of ground–fast! The Ultra Max II can crank out just over 1/2 gallon every minute on the highest setting, which means you can blast right through your interior walls and ceilings! That’s just what the contractor needs to get jobs done efficiently.
You can turn the speed down for trickier tasks, don’t worry! In fact, this is almost infinitely adjustable. That’s because it has a whole computer system onboard! The smart control system allows for precise adjustments in flow volume and pressure, with digital regulation to keep things consistent. The screen displays a real time pressure reading as you work
The computer system also tracks paint usage, pumping time, and other helpful stats for pros. It can tell you when maintenance checks are coming up, and when you’re likely to need a new pump. All those features are overkill for DIYers and casual professional users, but if you make your living painting interiors, they’re very helpful!
It has a full 1 HP DC motor for grunt power! DC is more forgiving to voltage fluctuations than AC, and allows for the longest power cords. It’s a brushless motor, which makes for better long-term durability with less maintenance. The whole thing is also sealed, so dust or overspray can’t affect the internals.
This motor runs with higher torque than other airless sprayer motors, so it blasts through clogs or impurities without straining. That’s thanks to hardened steel gears at a high-ratio reduction, running fewer strokes but with more oomph behind each one. The design makes for cooler running temps and a longer motor life.
The motor powers Graco’s Endurance pump, which is rated to last twice as long as the competition (in our book, Graco make far and away the best airless sprayers on the market, and the pumps are a big reason why)! It’s got a hardened steel cylinder for durability, and an easy-access intake valve for quick cleaning and de-clogging.
The pump filters lift out in a little canister, vertically so as to cut down on spills. It has an innovative inside-out flow design which solves the problem many filters have of collapsing. The cylinder also gives a large filtration area, which reduces clogs very effectively. By the same token, it cleans out quickly with only a few gallons at the end of the spray job.
One of the best features the Ultra Max II has to offer the professional painter is a replaceable pump system! The system uses Graco’s Endurance pumps, which we’ve just mentioned above. In the Ultra Max II, they’re installed via a socket and bracket assembly on the side of the unit. You can pop one pump off and install another in less than a minute! That makes for on-the-job replacements with very little hassle.
The replacement pumps are relatively inexpensive, and Graco has a system whereby you can send in failed or faulty pumps for repairs, so you don’t have to buy entire new ones. There’s a subscription service, too, which you can coordinate with the computer console to have replacements on hand. That’s probably overkill for the average professional, but if you’re a contractor managing a fleet of sprayers it’s a great option to have.
Since the whole thing is so powerful, you can spray un-thinned latex all day without issues. Stains and other interior paints are a piece of cake as well. Between the speed and torque, there’s really no competition when it comes to coverage projects and professional workloads.
It’s mounted on a wheeled cart base, making it easy to get around your work zone without heavy lifting. The whole system only weighs 66 pounds, too, so it’s easy to get into the truck at the end of the day.
It comes with a 50’ hose. Having so much range out of the box is a boon to folks who paint professionally, since you can do entire rooms without moving the pump. Plus, in many cases, you can keep the pump in one room as you work in another. That makes for much quieter, more enjoyable work hours.
The Ultra Max II ships with Graco’s professional-grade contractor gun. It looks similar to the DIYer-grade gun on the X5 system above, but it’s much more rugged and precise. This one’s all-metal and it has improved tips and guard components. The trigger pulls more easily, and the adjustment knobs are better engineered for a smoother and more precise adjustment.
Like the X5’s gun, the contractor gun on the Ultra Max II has a switchable, reversible spray tip. The factory tip is a 517 (.017”) all-purpose spray tip which is ideal for any interior coatings on the thicker side, as well as stains. This one can actually go all the way up to a .023” tip size, if you need to paint with exterior latex as well as interior coatings. There are smaller sizes available as well, though we think the 517 is a good choice for most jobs.
As with the X5, the Ultra Max II has a flexible suction hose to draw paint from either 1-gallon or 5-gallon buckets. The Ultra Max II’s cart also has a hook right on it to hold a 5-gallon bucket as you move around, which is super convenient.
Also like the smaller X5, the Ultra Max II can be cleaned in a matter of minutes by hooking up a garden hose to flush the system.
The whole system is made in the USA!
This system makes an almighty racket. It’s by far the loudest machine we’ve ever reviewed (90-100db). We’re still recommending it for indoor use, though. Here’s why–even though it’s loud as hell, it’s so powerful that you can simply run a long hose indoors and leave the pump unit outside! If you’re spraying from 5-gallon pails, you won’t have much of a hassle at all, and you certainly won’t lack for power. Since this system works with up to 100 feet of hose, we think that with the pump unit parked outside, it still makes the best indoor coverage system on the market!
It commands a massive price tag, too. This will cost you over $2000, which is no small purchase. The price tag is the main reason we don’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t make their living painting professionally.
While it’s hard to beat in terms of sheer power and spraying capacity, it’s not the most versatile machine out there. No airless sprayer can give you fine finish quality like the Q3 above or other professional-grade HVLP systems. This is great for walls, trim painting, and basic latexes or enamels. However, you’d never want to use it for lacquers or other fine, precision work on furniture pieces.
This is a professional-grade tool, and there are other reasons we don’t recommended it to DIYers beside the price. It can be dangerous if you don’t have the strength or skill to handle it. Airless sprayers like this can cause serious, toxic injection wounds if you lose control of them. Please only buy the Ultra Max II if you’re an experienced professional painter with the appropriate safety training.
Which of our recommendations should you buy?
The HomeRight is the ideal choice for a casual homeowner looking for something to help accomplish a few small projects. It’s good for single furniture pieces or for straightforward cabinet sprays. Don’t expect it to do whole walls, though, or to be a workhorse tool! If you’re a more regular DIYer, you should look at one of the compressor gun options.
The Campbell-Hausfield set is the cheapest way for DIYers with air compressors to get painting inside. The small air draw means you can run these guns off portable compressors around the house, which makes them a bit more portable than a Graco-Sharpe that requires a big, stationary compressor. These guns won’t give you the finish quality you can get with the Graco-Sharpe, though. They’re also not as good at covering walls and ceilings as the Magnum X5.
The Graco-Sharpe HVLP spray gun is our recommendation for DIYers or casual-use pros who have a powerful, capable air compressor to use as a supply. It can give you better finish results on furniture and other more specialized interior spray jobs than the Campbell-Hausfield guns, and you can cover a lot more ground than you could with the HomeRight. However, because of the air supply requirements of the Graco-Sharpe, you’ll probably need to use this in a shop with a stationary compressor.
The Graco Magnum X5 is the most affordable option here for DIYers or handymen who want to paint a lot at once, but not every day. It’s a very capable system for repainting whole interior rooms, trim, and deck projects. You can use it with just about any paints, with very little thinning. Since you can draw straight from buckets, it’s super fast to use. The hose cleaning feature makes it a cinch to take down too. However, it’s simply not built for professional use, and it isn’t good for fancy furniture work.
The Fuji Q3 is the best all-around sprayer here, in our opinion. It can cover ground on walls and ceilings almost as quickly as the X5, albeit with thinning for latex paints and more frequent refills. At the same time, it can lay down glass-like finishes on lacquer or enamel furniture projects that are even better than you’d get with the Graco-Sharpe gun. It’s quiet, powerful, and very user-friendly. The Q3 is our ultimate DIYer recommendation for interior work, and for professionals working in a shop all day. If you don’t need to do anything fancy and are just looking for serious coverage through the workweek, though, go with the Graco Ultra Max II.
The Graco Ultra Max II is our recommendation to professional interior painters who don’t need to do any fancy lacquering or furniture work. If you’re focused on walls, ceilings and trim, they don’t come any better than this! It’s also a very capable machine for exterior latex paints and deck stains. The Ultra Max II is incredibly powerful, and comes with lots of control to help you get your contracts done right. It’s cost-prohibitive and most certainly overkill for anyone who’s not making a living painting, though. It’s also not as versatile as the Q3 so if you’re doing any fine finish work go for the Fuji.
We’ve gone into a lot of detail in our reviews, so you should have a good idea at this point about which paint sprayers are best for which painting needs. You can also find general pointers and info on choosing a system, such as the differences between airless and HVLP spray systems, or our handy guide to understanding tip sizes, on our home page.
When it comes to indoor paint spraying, though, there are a few specific features we look at in addition to the usual criteria:
Whenever you’re working with power tools in an indoor setting, noise becomes super important. Painting the outside of a house can be super loud, but even the loudest sprayers are more bearable outdoors. Indoor painting creates echoing sounds and even some reasonably quiet machines can cause a massive racket in tight spaces. So, be sure to take noise into consideration before you make any buying decisions.
Handheld paint sprayers are relatively quiet, and generally make no more noise than a cordless drill. Given that, if you’re looking for something to complete a few small projects around the house, handheld units are a particularly quiet option.
If you’re looking at HVLP guns that attach to air compressors, the key thing to consider is the noise output on the compressor. That should be listed in the specs with your machine. Most air compressors have volume levels somewhere between an HVLP sprayer system and an airless sprayer system.
HVLP paint sprayer systems are the quietest complete solution for interior painting and furniture work. They’re often 20+ decibels quieter than their airless equivalents, which is a huge difference. If you’re working in your shop, especially for long periods, we really recommend an HVLP system, even better if it has noise-dampening features.
If you’re looking at airless paint sprayers you should simply expect a noisier machine. That’s the nature of having a pump vs. the turbines that you find on HVLP systems. In that case, at least make sure you have the hose range to keep the unit away from you, preferably in the next room. That can make a big difference.
Aside from noise, the other big factor that matters more on interior jobs as opposed to exterior jobs is precision. We’re not saying that precision doesn’t matter when you’re painting outside, but you can certainly get away with a lot of overspray and blowing around which you wouldn’t want to deal with indoors.
So, in order to minimize those factors and get a tight, controlled, neat spray for interior projects, look for more finely-machined spray tips, as well as paint sprayers which offer lots of room for adjustment so that you can find the best “sweet spot” with minimal overspray and mess. The more adjustments and tip sizes available for your spray system, the neater a spray pattern you can hope to achieve.
HVLP spray systems and HVLP-style guns run from compressors tend to be the neatest to work with, while airless paint sprayers and handheld units tend to be the messiest.
While we’ve gone into exhaustive detail on choosing between the different types of sprayer on our homepage, we want to reiterate how important it is to know your projects up front, so that you choose the right indoor solution! Here are some quick questions to help you narrow the field:
- Are you spraying in a shop or around a building’s interior?
- Are you doing coverage work (walls and ceilings) or finish projects (furniture pieces and lacquers? Both?
- Are you starting from scratch or do you already have an air compressor?
- How much use will you be expecting from your system?
- How much do you want to spend?
Finally, look at all the general things you’d look for when buying any power tool:
For a more exhaustive guide to shopping for any paint sprayer, head to our home page!
For more information about any of our indoor recommendations, and to compare specs in detail, simply click on any of the links in its review! Or, head over to our home page where you’ll find lots more reviews and recommendations for all your paint spraying needs!