Latex is one of the most common types of paint and finish material today. Its low toxicity, long-term resilience, and low cost make it incredibly popular for homeowners and contractors alike. You can use it indoors, outdoors, and on furniture pieces.
On the other hand, it’s one of the thickest, most viscous materials that you can use to coat furniture or interior surfaces. You’re going to need a powerful, capable paint sprayer to handle it well!
We’ve put together this guide to show you a range of our favorite options for spraying latex well. There’s something for every need and budget here! Whether you’re a DIYer looking to give an old cabinet an upgrade, or a professional home painter who needs to cover ground at an industrial pace, we’ll get you sorted!
Here’s a look at our top three:
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For this specific guide, we’ve chosen to look at sprayers only in the context of latex materials. If you’re looking to tackle latex jobs as well as coating projects with other materials, you’ll want to look at the first three of our recommendations on this guide, or head over to either our home page or our guide to HVLP paint sprayers!
Let’s get right into the world of latex paint spraying with our in-depth reviews and recommendations!
Best Latex Paint Sprayer Reviews:
- Astro 4008 Spray Gun with Cup, Red Handle, 1.8mm Nozzle
- HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer
- Campbell Hausfeld Gravity-Feed Spray Gun Kit (CHK005CCAV)
- Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun
- Graco Magnum 262805 X7 HiBoy Cart Airless Paint Sprayer
- Graco 17G180 Magnum ProX19 HiBoy Paint Sprayer
1. Astro 4008 Spray Gun with Cup, Red Handle, 1.8mm Nozzle
One of the least expensive ways to get spraying latex is to outfit an air compressor with a spray gun. It’s cheaper to do so for latex than for some other finer finish materials, since you don’t need something that’s completely HVLP.
This Astro spray gun attaches to a standard air compressor with no extra valves or gauges required. It does a great job with latex, as long as you do some basic thinning. We suggest it to DIYer’s who already have an air compressor and are looking for an easy, inexpensive way to branch out into latex projects.
It’s cheap! You can pick up one of these for well under $50.
While it’s inexpensive, it’s more solid than other budget options. A lot of other budget spray guns are made with lots of plastic parts, and rattly construction. The Astro has relatively solid body construction with a simple, no-frills design.
The few components it does have are nearly all metal, fitting with our basic philosophy: it’s better to have fewer features and to have them all work well than to have many features and poor functionality!
It works well for laying thick coats, which is what you want with latex. That’s because it incorporates HVLP aspects without requiring an additional valve. The unique air valve design self-adjusts the inlet, so you don’t need an extra component.
It sprays at a lower pressure and higher volume than traditional compressor guns, which places the emphasis on output rather than fine atomization. With latex, you don’t miss the dip in atomization quality much, and you can get away with fewer coats.
Most HVLP-style guns that are built to fit standard compressors require an adjustment valve to take the pressure down and increase the volume before the air hits the gun.
That’s not necessary with this one, so you can save money and know-how. The Astro runs at 50-60 psi, where others run between 30-40 psi, which does require that additional valve (see the Campbell-Hausfield set below).
Even though it doesn’t have superb atomization for fine finish work, it’s still good for all-purpose projects. You can easily spray any other materials, though you’ll want different tip sizes to get the best results. The Astro will give you good results with stains, lacquers, and enamels, provided that you thin adequately and make adjustments to the settings.
Spray tips are relatively cheap and easy to change, as you’d want on a budget gun. The 1.8mm tip that comes pre-installed should be all you need for latex, but if you decide to branch out, you can add to your collection as you go without needing to buy a whole new gun.
The Astro has a fully-adjustable fan control, reaching up to 8” at an 11” distance. That’s enough to cover ground decently fast, without making the tool unwieldy.
There’s also a pressure/output adjustment knob for you to adjust the flow itself. That’s handy for adjusting between coating materials, or for tweaking each cup of latex to minimize overspray.
The Astro comes with a metal (rare at this price!), 1 quart suction-feed cup. It’s designed much better than other inexpensive cups, with a dripless design that actually does what it’s supposed to do!
The whole thing is covered by a 1-year warranty.
You’re going to need to thin your latexes, usually to the tune of 10%. Your ratios and results will depend on your specific materials. However, it’s important to know up front that you can’t spray un-thinned paint through a gun like this.
You may also want a larger tip, though we’ve found that the 1.8mm works well with most latexes.
You’re going to need to have a good air compressor on hand, or to buy one. Not all DIYer pancakes will work, either.
7+CFM is required for a steady spray, so make sure your system can handle it! That’s a hidden cost, so to speak, when you’re buying just the spray gun, so make sure you account for the extra piece of equipment.
It’s for small projects only. This isn’t built to handle a whole house, or for professional use. We suggest it for furniture projects, trim projects, or single walls.
It’s also on the heavier side, at close to 3 pounds. That makes it less ergonomic over long sprays.
It’s made in China, and it comes with a pretty poor manual. You can find basic thinning guidelines online to help you figure out your rations, which is a good thing given that the manual won’t help you much at all beyond basic troubleshooting.
Between the Chinese construction and cheap price tag, there are a few sacrifices you’ll be making in terms of build quality and tight control. The adjustment knobs aren’t as high-quality as more expensive guns, for one thing. The whole body doesn’t have the precision and machining quality you’d get on more expensive guns, either.
That’s to be expected given how cheap the Astro is. What it translates to when you’re working is a gun where the adjustments are harder to get exactly right, and which doesn’t hold settings exactly all the time.
As a result, it ends up with a fair amount of overspray, also making it harder to clean than better-made guns. All that said, it’s a very decent DIYer gun. We simply wouldn’t recommend it to pros.
2. HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer
This HomeRight is our budget recommendation to people who don’t have an air compressor to use for painting. It’s an all-in-one handheld unit which is powerful enough to spray latex quite well, as long as you thin accordingly. It’s great for small furniture re-sprays, and other trim or small-scale projects around the house.
It’s a miniature HVLP system, in a handheld package! Most compact handheld paint sprayers have some form of a pump inside, so they’re essentially mini airless sprayers. The HomeRight operates more like a compact HVLP turbine, blowing a stream of air to create a mist of coatings for you to paint with.
The HVLP design gives you a more consistent finish result than other handhelds, especially at this price point (if you’re not familiar with HVLP, we’ve got a whole glossary section on our homepage).
While this isn’t industrial-grade by any means, it’s still built better than other inexpensive handhelds. The HomeRight has brass spray needle and housing construction for improved longevity. Brass won’t rust, and it’ll stay intact for quite a while compared to cheaper metals that are used in other low-cost spray caps.
The spray cap, combined with the smooth HVLP sprayer unit, is the main reason this one produces better finishes than the competition. It’s much easier to get a clean, accurate spray fan from the HomeRight, and the flow in any spray pattern comes more consistently. Whether you’re staining or painting, the difference is apparent even to untrained eyes.
Unlike a lot of other handheld units, it can do quite an impressive job with latex, too. While we would never compare something like this to a professional airless system, or recommend it for exterior latex, it’s more powerful and more consistent with latex than other handhelds we’ve reviewed. You’ll need to thin according to the charts in the manual, but it sprays household latexes like a champ.
Like the Astro gun, the HomeRight is a versatile tool that can spray a wide range of coating materials. It’s quite good with thinned latex, as we’ve said, but it’s also appropriate for acrylics, enamels, and most other contemporary and specialty paints. You can also use it for any non-flammable clear coat finishes.
That’s one of the big reasons why it’s the best-selling paint sprayer on the market right now! The HomeRight is built to handle all the materials most DIYer homeowners want to use, and can afford to use.
There are lots of adjustments to help you get the right setting for each coating and each project. The HomeRight gives you the option to choose between three spray patterns: horizontal fan, vertical fan, and circular spray. Each spray pattern can then be adjusted in width, from about 1-6”.
The settings are very intuitive to adjust, even to folks who have never used a paint sprayer before. They also hold their place quite well. That’s a weak spot of other handheld units!
It’s easy to clean, as long as you’re quick to start after you finish painting, and are careful never to leave materials in or on the machine. To clear the system, you just empty and rinse the cup, then fill it up with water and run the system until the output is clear.
There’s also a cleaning brush included, which helps you remove any tricky bits of coating material around the nozzle.
There are a few other accessories as well. You get a viscosity cup to help you thin your lattices and other coating materials. There’s also an additional nozzle which turns the HomeRight into a compact air sprayer to clear dust off of surfaces before you paint.
Since it’s all self-contained and compact, you can store this one away very easily. For DIYer’s who don’t have room for air hoses or guns, let alone a bulky air compressor, this is a space-saving alternative.
It’s covered by a 2-year warranty.
As with the Astro gun, you’re not going to get professional-grade results from the HomeRight.
It doesn’t have the power to atomize super finely, which means you won’t get quite the best finish texture and consistency. We’ve found that it can sometimes be inconsistent in output, too, even if you do a great job filtering your materials.
It’s also going to produce a lot of overspray, which makes a mess and wastes materials. Overspray is sadly a fact of life with handheld units like this one, but it’s something that folks who paint frequently or those who work professionally can’t afford.
Finally, it’s just not a very heavy-duty machine. This is an inexpensive handheld sprayer, made in China with many plastic parts. It’s better than average, but it has some reliability issues.
Thankfully, most of them can be avoided by cleaning the spray cap thoroughly and keeping the seals maintained. With that said, it’s not rated to handle frequent or professional use. For a DIYer who works on occasional small projects, though, it should be perfectly suitable.
One downside of buying any budget-priced tool is that there are going to be a few inconveniences to deal with. The HomeRight clogs easily, if you forget to strain your paints well. Its seals leak easily, too, unless you’re on top of cleaning them and lubricating. The cheap materials used for the seals and fittings won’t last a lifetime, either.
While it’s capable enough with latex, it takes a lot of thinning. You’re going to have to plan on doing several coats, and thinning more than you’d have to with a standard gun or a full-size airless system.
One other thing to consider is that while it’s very adjustable, you can’t change your spray caps like you can with standard/full-size spray guns. So, there’s no way to buy one cap for latex and one for finish materials: you have to rely on the adjustment knob to make the right corrections.
Since that makes the HomeRight less exact with any coating, it does sacrifice some control and finish quality. Again, it’s very much for the casual DIYer as opposed to the ardent hobbyist or professional user.
As with the Astro, the HomeRight is decidedly not for big projects. It can get quite hot if you spray constantly for extended periods, and given the motor’s mixed record in the reliability department, we wouldn’t recommend pushing it.
If you’re planning on doing a small project every weekend or so, it should be fine. If you’re planning a marathon of projects, and getting ambitious with the scale of your painting, go for something more expensive and rugged.
3. Campbell Hausfeld Gravity-Feed Spray Gun Kit (CHK005CCAV)
We suggest this Campbell-Hausfield set as a starter kit for folks with air compressors who want to paint using latex and lots of other coatings. Since you get two guns and lots of accessories, this is a much more versatile set than the Astro gun or HomeRight sprayer. It’s higher-quality than both those options, and gives you lots of bang for your buck.
You get two guns for the price of one! The biggest selling point on this kit has to be value, no questions about that. For less than $75, you get two very nice guns, plus all the fittings and accessories to get up and painting!
The larger of the guns is for coverage, and it has a standard size and weight. It’s comparable to the size of the Graco-Sharpe gun below, or to a standard HVLP spray gun. The larger gun has a 550ml cup, which is enough to cover quite a bit of ground without refills. It’s ideal for single rooms, or for larger latex projects on cabinetry.
The smaller of the two is a compact finish gun for trim and other small touchups. It has a smaller frame, and a lower weight as you’d expect. The small gun is also equipped with a much smaller 120ml cup. You wouldn’t want to use this gun for a whole wall or to do wide passes on a cabinet, but it’s ideal for trim tasks, and for spraying in hard-to-reach areas on your projects.
Both of the Campbell-Hausfield guns are all metal, aside from one plastic component filter inside. They’re no-frills, but solid–much like the Astro above. Even without any fancy grip on the handle, they sit well in the hand. All the adjustment knobs are metal, and they’re more tightly-fitted than the ones on the cheaper Astro gun.
They’re both HVLP designs, as well. They run at 40 psi, drawing 2.1 CFM, 0.7 CFM respectively. That’s relatively low, even when you consider than at a 100% duty cycle, which is always the best thing to do. The low air requirements are a boon to DIYer’s who might not have the most capable of air compressors to use.
The HVLP designs, combined with the tightened-up builds, make these more efficient than the Astro or HomeRight, since you can get a better handle on overspray to prevent waste. They also benefit from being gravity-fed, instead of pressure-fed like the Astro or HomeRight.
That helps you get right to the bottom of each coat to get the most from your materials. For homeowners and DIYer’s on a budget, that’s a real benefit, especially when you’re working on larger projects.
Unlike a lot of other HVLP-style compressor guns, which require you to buy an extra valve to lower the pressure output from your compressor, you also get the valves in the package! They allow you to adjust the output before the gun, before you even get to the adjustment knobs. That gives you much more consistent air supply to begin with, and more room to tweak within that output range.
Both guns come with 1.4mm spray tips, which give you noticeably better atomization than either the Astro or HomeRight. That’s because they’re machined much better.
Atomization isn’t as important with latexes as with materials like lacquers, but it always results in a smoother and more consistent finish–never a bad thing! Plus, the tighter machining quality does a great deal to cut down on overspray.
The Campbell-Hausfield guns are both super versatile, and can be used for absolutely any coating you need to spray. Again, we think they’re an excellent way for DIYer’s to get kitted-out for any painting or coating projects. Since they have better machining quality than the Astro, and more power to back them up than the HomeRight, you can get superior finish results with any of your coatings, not just latex.
Since you can choose between the two guns, and make even more adjustments with the valves, this kit gives you many more options for finding exactly the right way to spray each coating and project than our other budget recommendations.
Each gun has knobs for both pattern and pressure control. You can choose between 1.5”-9” spray fans for each.
There’s also an accessory kit:
- 5 in-line paint filters
- 10 paint filters
- 3 cleaning brushes
- metal file
- PTFE thread tape
The best of the accessories is the hardshell case to keep it all in. The accessories and guns fit neatly inside, and the hardshell material gives you a protective box to store it in your shop or garage. It’s an average briefcase size, so it’s super easy for DIYer’s to store.
One of the key reasons we prefer these guns over the HomeRight or Astro for latex is that they’re very easy to clean. They don’t clog on latexes as easily as the other two, either.
Everything in the set is covered by a 1-year warranty.
It’s still not professional-grade. While Campbell-Hausfield is a company that does make professional-grade equipment, these are still budget-range spray guns. They won’t atomize as well as the Graco-Sharpe, they still produce some overspray, and they’re not as precise in their adjustments as some more expensive options.
The coverage gun is a reliable choice that could easily be used to paint an entire room with latex. However, given that you’ll have to have a compressor and hose with you, that may be impractical. If you’re looking to do more wall coverage than specific projects like cabinets or trim, you might want to have a look at one of the airless systems below.
Campbell-Hausfield has a great reputation as an American company. Disappointingly, these guns and accessories are made in China. That’s part of the reason they’re so affordable but it also means they suffer a bit in machining quality, and feel slightly looser and less exact than a Graco-Sharpe, like we’ve recommended below.
Compared to other budget gun parts, the spray caps are a bit expensive to buy separately, and you’ll probably want some larger ones for latex if you don’t want to do as much thinning.
The factory caps are great for finish materials, though, so you wouldn’t need to buy more than one set of larger caps to get a wide-range spray setup going. We’ve found that you can do a pretty good job with latex as is, as long as you plan to do a few coats and thin properly.
Even though each of the guns are about the same price as an Astro, the Campbell-Hausfield’s cups are made of plastic, while the Astro comes with a metal one.
4. Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun
This Graco-Sharpe spray gun is essentially a professional-grade version of the Campbell-Hausfield guns. It’s an all-metal, precision-engineered spray gun which integrates HVLP technology into a design that fits onto a standard compressor.
Essentially, it’s at the high end of the spectrum which begins with guns like the Astro. This is our top quality recommendation for folks who want to spray latex with a compressor as the air supply!
The biggest differences between the Graco-Sharpe and the Campbell-Hausfield guns aren’t completely obvious from the outside. That’s because the Graco-Sharpe is also all metal, and it has a very similar profile to the larger Campbell-Hausfield.
However, the difference is extremely apparent once you’ve got the gun in your hand. The Graco-Sharpe has excellent machining, in every aspect. All the components fit tightly but move smoothly. The adjustment knobs feel sure and accurate, and the trigger pulls effortlessly without wiggling around.
Those differences are all hard to measure objectively, but they add up to a more rugged, reliable, and accurate gun for all your projects. They also add up to some serious savings in your materials, since the tight machining and improved adjustments allow you to cut way down on wasteful overspray!
The impressive thing is the price, which you wouldn’t expect to be so low for a tool of such high quality! You can pick one of these up for under $150, half the price of a premium fine finish gun like a DeVilbiss or Iwata. Some of those guns are certainly better in key ways, but they’re made for professional auto coatings and fine furniture finish materials. On latex, the Graco-Sharpe is as good as you need to go.
You can also pick your tip size! This model, the FX3000, is available in a whole range of tip sizes from 0.8mm to 2.0mm. That’s one reason we recommend it to pros and very experienced DIYer’s: it suits someone who knows exactly what they want!
Generally, we’d advise going with the 1.8mm or 2.0mm for latex, but you can decide how much thinning you want to be doing as you make your decision.
It’s easy to cover ground quickly with the aluminum, 600cc gravity cup. It’s a perfect middle ground between giving you lots to work with, and staying light in the hand.
This is a gun that’s good enough for auto work, so you can’t ask for better with home and furniture latex in terms of finish quality. It lays down finishes like glass with any coating materials, and it’s an excellent choice for latex trims and cabinet work, even in upscale homes.
Doors, frames, and molding are another area where the even coats and consistently smooth finish really shine. It tackles uneven surfaces perfectly, without creating uneven finishes!
It gives you much wider coverage than the Astro or the Campbell-Hausfield’s. You can set the fan on this as wide as a foot. So, as long as you’ve got a portable air compressor that can go around a house, you could paint whole rooms. Just be aware that airless systems are usually the way to go with big coverage projects, since you wouldn’t have to do any thinning.
These things last forever. As we’ve said, the Graco-Sharpe is built like a tank, and that means you can use an FX3000 for years, even professionally, before you have any issues!
It’s easy to clean, and comes with a brush. One key benefit of having a tool that’s more tightly machined is that there are fewer nooks and crannies for paint to accumulate. This one’s also
It’s expensive, compared to the other compressor guns we’ve recommended here. This is at the top end of what we’d recommend for spraying latex using a compressor, but we would point out that it’s still relatively cheap compared to other high-end guns, especially those meant for fine finish materials.
So are the spray caps. Compared to other high-end gun companies, Graco-Sharpe spray caps are pricey indeed–around half the price of the gun! That’s why we’d recommend going with one of the largest options, and then getting a smaller tip afterward for finish coatings, if you need.
Remember that even the biggest tip sizes that are available with this gun will still require some thinning! If you don’t want to thin at all, you’ll have to go with one of the airless systems below.
Even a rugged, capable gun like this isn’t built for exterior latex. You’ll need a high-end airless system to handle those materials.
It needs lots of air–9.5 CFM at 90 psi. That’s a lot more than the Astro or Campbell-Hausfield guns draw, and it’s more than most DIYer’s will have on hand from their air compressor. The high air requirement is a key reason we recommend this to professionals rather than DIYer’s.
You’ll want at least 11 CFM from your compressor, and you should only run this on a compressor that has a motor rated for a 100% duty cycle. If you need pointers or further explanation, head over to our air compressor guide!
You’ll need a good pressure regulator valve (basically a high-end version of the ones that come with the Campbell-Hausfield kit) to use one of these properly. That’s a cost to figure into your calculations when you’re thinking about your budget.
5. Graco Magnum 262805 X7 HiBoy Cart Airless Paint Sprayer
So far, we’ve looked mostly at options for spraying latex onto smaller projects, mainly in a workshop. However, a lot of folks are thinking of painting whole rooms or whole houses when they’re looking for a latex paint sprayer. That’s where airless systems like the X7 come in!
We’ve skipped over Graco’s cheaper X5 unit, because while it’s very popular, the price difference between the X5 and the much more capable X7 makes the larger, wheeled model an easy decision. This is a far better machine dollar for dollar, and we think it’s well worth the extra cash. This is an excellent option for DIYer’s who are thinking about painting several rooms, up to a whole house!
While it’s not the most affordable airless system on the market, we think it’s the best value. It’s rated for a higher annual usage than the X5, it cranks out 15% more output than the X5, and supports larger tips that help it tackle exterior paints and coatings that the X5 can’t handle.
It’s rated for quarterly use (125 gallons per year), which generally means serious DIY customers, or for light contractor/handyman use. We think that even if you’re just painting a few rooms at the moment, it’s better to get a system that can stay with you for the next remodel rather than having one that’ll burn out if you try something ambitious further down the road!
The X7 also supports a longer hose length than the X5–up to 100ft! That’s great for two-story rooms, landings, and other places that are hard to reach. We think it’s simply an all-around better machine, especially given that it’s cart-mounted for convenience.
The powerhouse of the X7, and the component that really sets it apart from the X5, is a 5/8 HP universal motor. It drives a stainless steel piston pump, which is much better than the diaphragm pump designs used on other, cheaper airless systems.
Where a lot of other airless systems at this price stall or sputter at the start of a spray, the X7’s pump sports an auto-priming design that consistently starts with smooth output. You won’t have to fiddle or jostle it to get it going, which is more than worth a bit of extra money.
The pump feeds from a flexible suction tube, which can draw directly from 1-gallon or 5-gallon buckets. It’s super convenient, since you can cover lots of ground without refilling a compartment or paint cup. Compare that to the guns above, which can only hold a quart at most per spray.
The X7 also comes with a hose adapter, which allows you to hook the system up to a garden hose to flush the innards. It’s an incredibly convenient way to clean out your paint sprayer, and it works very well. All you need is access to a hose!
The business end of the X7 is just as good as the pump end. There’s an all-metal gun included, which is rugged and accurate, even if it’s not quite the contractor-grade level that you find on the more expensive Graco systems like the X19.
It supports up to a .017” tip and comes with a 515 (.015”) tip out of the box. That’s exactly in latex territory, and can atomize well without clogging or sputtering. We especially like that the tips are reversible, so you can blast out any clogs you encounter–a great feature when you’re working with latex!
Between the powerful pump and the generous tip size, and depending on your paint type and preferences, it can spray un-thinned paint! You could also spray paint that’s only thinned very slightly, if you want to do multiple coats or just be easier on your system.
It’ll paint just about anything: walls, ceilings, trim, you name it. Airless systems like this have the power to spray at angles better than most compressor guns or HVLP’s.
It’ll also spray nearly any coatings (though you wouldn’t use an airless system like this for fine finishing with lacquers and such). You can spray enamels, stains, or oil-based materials! The X7 does it all quite well, as long as you clean it promptly and thoroughly afterward. It’s also important to have an appropriate tip on hand for any non-latex materials.
With that said, you’ll be set for spraying stuccos, primers, anything! The X7 even does a decent job on exterior latex, at the highest settings. You may want a 717 tip, though.
To help you get the best setting for each surface and each coating, there’s an adjustable flow control feature with graphic markings on the knob. That allows you to turn the system down to minimize overspray and bounce back on things like interior trim, or crank up to full-bore for re-doing outdoor stucco.
The pump is repairable, should you ever exceed the annual usage recommendations and run into trouble. That’s not likely for DIYer’s, even in large homes. If you’re a pro who doesn’t paint much now, but ends up painting a lot later on down the road, it’s nice to know you can rebuild your system relatively easily and get more use out of it, before you upgrade to a larger system!
It’s a wheeled design, so it’s super easy to move around. That’s a key reason why we prefer this model over the X5.
An added benefit of the cart format is that you can attach either a 1-gallon or 5-gallon bucket to the frame below the pump, and run a suction hose directly into it. That allows you to wheel your whole operation around the house without stopping or worrying about the suction hose coming out of your bucket. It’s super convenient!
The X7 comes with a 25-foot hose, which also wraps around a bracket on the cart frame for storage.
The cart frame is made from lightweight aluminum, and folds easily to load into the back of a vehicle, or into storage. The whole system only weighs 23 pounds, so it’s hard to beat the X7 in the portability department!
It also comes with Graco’s Pump Armor fluid, which helps keep the innards in good condition when the sprayer isn’t in use.
Everything’s made in the USA, and covered by a 1-year warranty.
You can use it for furniture projects, but it’s harder to get a pristine finish on hardwoods and some other materials than when you’re using an airless system. If you’re planning to use this to spray latex onto things like cabinets, you’ll need to experiment with the lower spray settings in order to minimize bounce back that leaves uneven finishes.
If you’re using super thick latexes, you may find that this clogs without some minor thinning. It’s not overwhelmingly powerful as the X19 below. However, most paints will go through perfectly fine without being thinned.
You’ll want to get a stiff toothbrush to clean the spray tip, since there isn’t a cleaning tool included. Most of the paint in your system will come out once you hook up to a hose, but it’s good to have backup if there’s a bit that sticks around stubbornly.
It’s not for professional use! The X7’s pump is rated for up to 125 gallons per year. That’s a lot for most DIYer’s, but a drop in the bucket to most pro contractors. Unless you’re a low-use handyman, we don’t recommend the X7 to people who are making their living with painting. If you’re a fairly regular professional painter, have a look at one of the more expensive Graco systems below.
Airless sprayers like the X7 are extremely powerful, and they can be dangerous if you’re not careful. We’re giving an additional warning with this one since it’s marketed to DIYer’s who may not have much experience with tools of this kind. Be very careful when you’re using it, and never let others operate your airless sprayer system.
Airless systems like this produce more overspray than an HVLP-style compressor gun like we’ve looked at above. The X7 is relatively efficient, but does waste more materials than the Graco-Sharpe. That’s the trade-off for the speed and power of airless systems.
6. Graco 17G180 Magnum ProX19 HiBoy Paint Sprayer
The ProX19 is one of Graco’s Professional airless systems, sandwiched in between the DIY-class models like the X7 and the super high-end Commercial series. It’s aimed at pro users who paint latexes as part of a contracting operation, or people who manage lots of properties which need painting on a more than quarterly basis (up to 500 gallons per year).
It’s a similar format to the X7, but souped-up in every way! We suggest it to most professionals, or to the most ambitious DIYer’s who want an airless system that could last them a lifetime.
On the outside, the ProX19 is a nearly identical format to the X7: a rolling cart design featuring a stainless steel pump, a metal gun, and a wheeled aluminum cart frame. It sprays all manner of latex coatings, as well as other household paints and stains. The system has fully-adjustable pressure, just like the X7, with easy graphic indicators Each of those elements has been jacked-up, though, as you’ll see!
Like the X7, the ProX19 has storage onboard for a paint bucket and your coiled hose. They both fit neatly on the cart frame. The key difference is that the ProX19 comes with twice as much hose in the box! You get a 50-foot length instead of the 25-foot hose that’s shipped with the X7.
The biggest differences are under the hood, though. The ProX19 is powered by a 7/8 HP DC motor. It’s brushless for better longevity with less maintenance. Compared to the X7, this motor is much more powerful, and the DC format makes it more forgiving to changes in voltage. That’s a key feature for contractors and folks who are sometimes working on unreliable power supplies or generators.
Having so much grunt power behind your system means there’s really no reason to be thinning your paints at all–even exterior latexes! The ProX19 can spray even the thickest latexes straight from the bucket, through the same suction hose as the X7.
The extra power also gives you superb atomization with those thick finishes, so you can get siding results that rival your indoor walls for smoothness and consistency.
While we’re on the subject of the suction hose, this model cleans out the same way as the X7, too. You can hook up a garden hose to the inlet valve, and flush away until the water runs clear.
You’ll find that having some extra pump power makes for even easier cleaning with this model. In fact, there’s an extra motor setting which is just for cleaning. It runs the pump even faster than the highest paint setting, so you can pack up and head home at the end of your day.
As well as a more powerful motor, the comes with a better gun. The contractor-grade, all-metal gun on the ProX19 supports up to a .019 tip, and comes with the same 515 in the box as the X7’s gun. As with its smaller sibling, the tips on the ProX19’s gun are all reversible to clear clogs.
One last benefit of the super-powerful motor: the ProX19 can support up to 150 feet of hose! That’s ideal for pros working on multi-story projects, especially outside.
Not only is the system easy to repair and modular, like the X7, but the ProX19 features Graco’s user-friendly, replaceable pump system. It’s called ProConnect or Pro Xchange, and it allows you to make jobsite swaps between pumps with no tools needed! That’s ideal for pros who put a lot of wear on their sprayer, since you can just keep a spare pump handy when you’re getting close to the 500-gallon mark.
With all the ProX19’s extra power and features, you’d think it’d be bulky and inconvenient. Nope! It’s still only 38 pounds all told.
Everything’s made in the USA and covered by a 1-year warranty. You also get the same pump maintainer fluid in the box as you do with the X7.
It’s overkill for most DIYer’s, unless you’ve got an ample budget or are doing your entire house (interior, exterior, and trim all at once). It’s twice as expensive as the X7, and most DIYer’s aren’t going to come anywhere close to spraying 500 gallons of paint in a year.
However, if you’re one of those folks who simply wants the best machine regardless of whether it’s slightly excessive (and trust us, we understand!), this is a very sound long-term investment.
It might not be industrial enough for some professional users. The ProX19 is at the bottom end of Graco’s professional range, and it’s less powerful and rugged than some of the commercial-grade options.
We think it’s good for single pros and small companies, but probably not as a workhorse unit for a larger firm or contracting operation. If you’re a demanding commercial user who sprays a lot more than 500 gallons per year, take a look at our “see also” recommendation below!
Now that we’ve had a look at a whole range of options for spraying latex, which should you buy?
The Astro gun is our least expensive recommendation for DIYer’s who have a decent air compressor that they want to outfit for painting with latex. It’s great for spraying small projects in your shop or garage. You can expect it to last quite a while, and it’s intuitive for beginners to use. As long as you thin your materials, it sprays latex very well out of the box without any additional tips.
On the downside, it requires a lot more tinkering than a more expensive gun to get flawless results, and it’s simply not as precise or versatile as more expensive options. While you could certainly spray whole walls with this one, you’d probably end up wasting a lot of materials, due to the lack of perfect controls. It also won’t last as long as more expensive guns like the Graco-Sharpe. We wouldn’t suggest it to any pro users for that reason.
The HomeRight handheld sprayer is our suggestion to DIYer’s on a budget who want to work on small-scale projects, and don’t have an air compressor available. It’s appropriate for roughly the same sort of tasks as the Astro gun, and it’s more convenient for casual users who don’t have a huge tool kit. This is one of the only all-in-one handhelds which can actually handle latex, and it’s pretty darn good at it for its size and price.
Don’t try and paint entire walls with this, though. The small motor will overheat easily on any large-scale tasks. It’s also not going to give you professional-grade results on furniture. It requires you to do lots of thinning, and to work with several coats of paint. We recommend it to DIYer’s only, and just for smaller projects or cabinet re-sprays. If you’re planning anything bigger, think about getting either a compressor and gun or an airless system.
The Campbell-Hausfield set is a perfect pair of guns for the DIYer with a compressor who wants to be able to branch out. Both of these guns can spray latex well, but they give you a lot more range than the Astro in terms of other projects and coatings you could try. Having two guns allows you to choose the gun and cup size that’s best for each project, and the all-inclusive nature of the kit makes it a great value.
On the downside, the set suffers from some of the same issues as the Astro: imperfect machining quality, semi-professional atomization, and less durability than professional options. Again, we wouldn’t use this set for entire walls, or for professional latex applications.
The Graco-Sharpe gun is where the buck stops for painting latex using a compressor, as far as we’re concerned. It’s much more tightly-machined than the Campbell-Hausfield or Astro guns, which gives you a lot more control over your output rate and spray fan. Plus, it’s more efficient with your resources thanks to both the machining quality and the gravity-fed design. It’s sturdier than the less expensive models, too, so it’s up for professional or ambitious DIY use. This is as much as we think you should pay for a compressor gun when you’re planning on spraying primarily latex.
Given the size of the cup, though, you wouldn’t want to use this to paint more than single walls. It’s better for furniture, trim, and small-scale house projects. And, of course, unlike most airless systems, you’ll have to thin all your latex paints to spray them through this gun.
The Graco X7 is our top recommendation for DIYer’s with ground to cover. It’s a powerful, value-packed airless system that’s perfect for painting a few rooms, up to a whole house. This system isn’t the cheapest in the X-series lineup, but it’s much more versatile and powerful than the cheaper X5. We think it’s a good choice for people with ambitious plans for repainting walls, ceilings, and trims around their home. You can turn it up for exterior paints, or turn it down to do basic furniture projects with latex paints. It can spray paint straight from the bucket, and it’s incredibly portable.
However, it’s not as powerful or rugged as a professional-grade airless system. We don’t suggest this to any pros aside from light-use handymen or property managers who will stay under the 125-gallon annual usage rating.
The Graco ProX19 is our recommendation to working pros who will paint up to 500 gallons per year, or to the most ambitious DIYer’s who want the ultimate airless system. It’s even better than the X7 with the thickest paints. That’s thanks to the more powerful motor and the long-lasting, replaceable pumps. This system is nearly as portable as the X7, even though it packs more power and provides a more industrial output. We think it’s an excellent buy for contractors, property managers, and other medium-use professionals.
It’s probably overkill for most DIYer’s, though, since the X7 is capable enough for most home painting jobs with interior or exterior latex. However, if you’re a DIYer with a particularly large house, which you’re looking to entirely redecorate, this one might be worth the extra money for the additional power and peace of mind.
For the high-use, full-time professional:
Graco Ultra Max II 490 PC Pro HiBoy Electric Airless Sprayer
The Graco ProX19 that we’ve recommended in our main reviews is powerful and sturdy enough for most professional users, up to 500 gallons per year. Given that you can replace the pumps easily, too, we decided to make it our top quality recommendation for the vast majority of buyers.
However, we’re aware that some folks not only paint professionally, but paint thousands of gallons a year professionally. If painting is all you do, and you do a heck of a lot of it, you could run the ProX19 into the ground before too long. That’s where this additional recommendation comes in!
If you’re an extremely high-use painter, the Ultra Max 490 HiBoy is the ideal sprayer for you. There are technically models higher up in Graco’s commercial lineup, and you’re welcome to explore them if you paint on an industrial scale, but we think this is more than most people need by itself. It’s also a lot less exorbitantly-priced than the larger models, so it’s more affordable for working pros with a bottom line to watch out for.
The 490 is a cart-based airless system like the ProX19, but it blows the ProX19 way out of the park. It has a full 1HP brushless DC motor, it can spray more than half a gallon of paint in a minute, and it can support tips up to .023 in size. If you want a daily-use system, it’s absolutely ideal. You can swap the pumps out in minutes, with no tools, and it has the same hose-flush system as the other Graco airless systems we’ve looked at.
It can spray absolutely any latex materials you could run across, and it can do so incredibly fast. Check it out, full-time pros!
Spraying latex isn’t the trickiest thing in the world when it comes to technique, but it certainly narrows the field when you’re considering which paint sprayers can actually handle the material. Here’s our advice for finding a system that’ll serve you well with latex paints:
Know which type of paint sprayer you want:
The first big order of business is to choose your type of paint sprayer. Unlike some other painting and finishing applications, latex can be sprayed with a few different types of system. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s run through your options!
Airless spray systems:
Airless systems are your best friend when it comes to spraying latex, and they’re what we recommend to the majority of people who are thinking about latex in terms of painting around the house on walls, ceilings, and trim. Airless systems have the most powerful pumps and motors, the best spray rate, and the least likelihood of clogging or struggling with thick latexes.
One of their biggest appeals is that you can spray latex paints without thinning if you’re using an airless system. Even on the nicest HVLP systems or HVLP-style compressor guns, you’ll have to thin your latexes to get a good spray going.
Another big benefit is that since airless systems are suction-fed, they can spray directly from a paint bucket. That makes for a much faster working pace than a traditional cup gun, which you’ll have to be refilling much more often.
In short, airless systems are the ideal solution for covering ground quickly, inside and outside buldings, which is what post people use latex for. They also enough control to do basic cabinetry and trim jobs, albeit with less finesse than an HVLP system.
The downside is they’re not particularly versatile. These are meant only for paints and stains, not fine finish materials/projects. They don’t have the efficiency or refinement to do fine finish work on furniture, or to give you amazing clear coat results (since they produce a lot of bounce-back).
You’ll also find that airless systems are the most wasteful way to paint. That’s the trade-off for all the power and speed, sadly. They create lots of overspray, and will go through considerably more paint than an HVLP-style sprayer, in covering the same amount of ground. Then again, they don’t require lots of coats, since you don’t need to thin your materials.
Our take: if you’re primarily thinking of painting in and around a building, on walls and trim, get an airless system.
HVLP turbine systems:
HVLP’s are another option for spraying latex paints, but we haven’t included any full turbine systems here. Here’s why:
They haven’t traditionally been very good for thick materials like latex paints, but these days, as long as you’ve got the turbine power behind them, they can do quite well. You can simply turn up the output and get a larger tip size, and then get to work. Here’s the catch, though: you have to thin, and you have to thin fairly extensively. In order to spray latexes at a practical viscosity (that won’t need 10 coats), you’ll need a pretty expensive 4 or 5 stage turbine.
So, while a very good HVLP turbine system can certainly tackle latex, they’re so expensive that folks who are looking to paint primarily latex (as opposed to latex on the side of fine furniture or auto work) should seriously consider why they’re prepared to spend so much to use only a fraction of an HVLP system’s capabilities.
HVLP turbine systems’ strength lies in their control, efficiency and finesse–qualities which aren’t nearly as important with latex as with other materials. We haven’t featured any complete turbine systems here, because if you’re just doing latex, airless is the way to go.
If you’re sure you want the all-purpose versatility of an HVLP, but still want lots of latex capability, look at one of the more powerful turbine systems on our homepage, or on the Indoor or HVLP guides!
HVLP-style compressor guns:
To get the best of both worlds, and save some money, you can use an air compressor spray gun that integrates aspects of HVLP design. These guns operate at a close approximation of a true HVLP system’s gun. They spray at a lower pressure and higher volume than airless systems or traditional compressor guns.
The appeal is that they give you the efficiency and precision of an HVLP system, only they attach to your standard compressor instead of requiring a separate turbine.
Another key benefit of these guns is that like full HVLP systems, they can spray fine finish materials, making them a much more versatile choice than airless systems. No airless system can give you good lacquer or clear coat results, but HVLP guns can do those tasks even more easily than laying down a smooth latex coat.
They have the same downside as HVLP turbine systems, though: they require a decent amount of thinning, they can’t handle exterior latex, and they need to be refilled quite often.
This is mainly a practical solution for folks who already use air tools or have a capable air compressor on hand already. Otherwise, you’ll need to consider the fairly equal costs of buying a compressor and gun set vs. a complete HVLP system or airless system.
There are some cases where it makes sense to go the compressor and gun route, though. If you’re planning to expand your air tool collection, and want to be able to paint finish materials on furniture and cars, getting a compressor and gun set can be a value-packed solution.
For those who do have decent air compressors already, this is the least expensive way to get to painting!
For the smallest projects and for people looking to get their feet wet, handheld all-in-one’s are excellent options. They’re very user-friendly, so they’re ideal for folks who have never used a paint sprayer before. You can use them on the weekend, and store them on a shelf with minimal space loss.
Handheld units are surprisingly good these days when it comes to small projects, like painting a bookshelf or adding a coat of latex to class-up some old imitation-hardwood cabinets. They require thinning with most materials, but with a bit of practice, you can get admirable results that are much better than what you’d achieve with a brush or roller.
On the downside, you can’t use them for big projects, like entire walls. They’re just for small, weekend DIY projects. You shouldn’t expect one of these to last forever, either. We mainly recommend them to casual users or first-timer’s, in cases it wouldn’t make sense to invest in a larger, more durable system.
How to choose your type:
- Know what you want in terms of thinning/not thinning
- Think about where you’ll be working
- Consider how often and how intensively you’ll be spraying latex
- Do you want to spray anything else besides latex?
- Do you already have an air compressor or are you starting from scratch?
- How much can you afford to spend?
Look for bigger spray tips or add them in at the checkout:
Latex is a thick, viscous material, and it requires at least a 1.8mm tip in most cases.
Focus on power and output before finesse and efficiency:
Latex isn’t difficult to spray in the way that coatings like lacquers are. It’s relatively easy to get a smooth finish, and since it’s a cheaper material, you’re not going to be super concerned about wasteful overspray. After all, airless systems always waste a fair amount, and they’re what the pros who worry about their bottom line use. Latex is much more forgiving than finish materials like lacquers, and it settles smoother.
Instead, latex is tricky simply because most sprayers don’t have the sheer power to spray it well. So, before you start thinking about precision and efficiency, make sure you’ve clearly established that your new sprayer has the brute force to get the latex out the business end.
Be aware of durability ratings:
Make sure you know how much you’re planning on using your system, and then check the usage ratings to be sure it’s prepared to handle that amount of painting. Most airless systems have annual usage ratings listed. They’ll tell you about how long a pump or motor can be expected to last.
If you’re looking at using a compressor gun, make sure your compressor is either rated to 4X the CFM requirement of the gun (since spraying is a 100% duty cycle and most compressors are rated at a 25% duty cycle), or rated to slightly more than the gun’s requirement at a 100% duty cycle. No matter which system you buy, paying close attention to specs before you buy will pay off.
We hope this guide has answered all your questions about spraying latex! Hopefully, now that you’ve finished reading it, you have at least one paint sprayer in mind for your future projects. If one of our recommendations seems like a good fit, you can find out more about it by simply clicking on the links in our review.
If you’re still searching, don’t worry! Head to our home page to see our all-time favorite all-purpose paint sprayers! Most of them are good or excellent with latex. Or, check out Amazon’s best-selling airless systems to see what other folks are buying!