Once the wintertime blues set in, the smallest things can make you feel so depressed. The cold, the snow and rain…how drab your kitchen looks in the faint light cast from the gray sky. Hmm…what better way to get your mind off all the negativity than with a productive project?
Maybe those kitchen cabinets just need a little pick-me-up. A fresh coat of paint, maybe with a nice stain. That would make the kitchen look a little brighter, right?
But where do you start?
With a top-notch, made-for-the-job paint sprayer, of course!
In this article, we’ll answer the most commonly asked questions concerning paint sprayers, help you decide whether you need one or not, introduce the different types, and get you acquainted with the best products on the market today.
Frequently Asked Questions
To begin, let’s review some of the most frequently asked questions concerning spray painters for cabinets. We hope our answers provide you with the insight you need to make the best purchase for your project.
Can you use a sprayer to paint kitchen cabinets?
Yes, you can! Using a sprayer to paint your kitchen cabinets is a totally doable DIY project and it leaves a nice finish you won’t get from brush painting. If you’re considering using a sprayer for your cabinets, do keep in mind that there’s usually more prep and cleanup involved with this method.
Is it better to spray or brush paint kitchen cabinets?
You can use either method for painting your kitchen cabinets, and each has its pros and cons.
- Brush painting is a more accessible method, especially for those with little DIY experience. This method also requires less prep and cleanup work than spray painting does. On the other hand, it takes a lot longer and may leave unattractive brush marks.
- Spray painting is less accessible and requires more prep/cleanup. But it compensates for this in its smooth finish, great detail work, and time-efficiency.
Generally, professionals and DIYers opt to use spray painters for a painting project of this size.
What type of spray painter is best for cabinets?
There are three main types of spray painters: HVLP, Airless, and Pneumatic.
HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) sprayers are the best option for cabinet painting. This is because they produce a high output of paint using low pressure, which allows the paint to cover a larger area and stick better to the cabinets. HVLPs are known to reduce the amount of wasted paint and overspray. In addition, this type of sprayer tends to be lighter in weight than the other types and easier to control for indoor use.
Is using a paint sprayer easy?
Using a paint sprayer is relatively easy (especially if you’re using an HVLP), but there is a learning curve involved. In order to use the spray painter effectively, you have to perfect your technique: this means keeping the sprayer straight while in use, moving your arm carefully to control the spray, and knowing how to avoid serious overlap. Once you have the basics down, you’ll see that spray painting is a straightforward and simple process.
Pros and Cons of Using a Paint Sprayer
Should you purchase a paint sprayer in the first place? To help you decide whether this type of tool is right for you, we’ll outline the pros and cons of owning and using a spray painter.
Covers larger areas
With a paintbrush or roller, you can only cover so much area with paint at a time. Using a paint sprayer allows you to cover a much larger surface area in the same amount of time, making it a more efficient option.
Reduces work time and labor
Because spray painters cover such a large area at a time, they can also reduce the overall work time and exerted labor of your project. You can have the first coat finished in record time and apply the second coat just hours later. In addition, HVLPs feature a user-friendly design that makes the painting process simple and non-labor intensive.
Ideal for detail work
Another charming quality of spray painters is their ability to handle detail work with ease. Because you can attach tips and other add-ons to spray painters, they are perfect for painting trickier surfaces such as corners. They also tend to perform better on tarnished surfaces than paint brushes do.
Provides a clean, even finish
Where paint brushes leave brush marks, spray painters leave nothing but smooth, clean finishes (and maybe the occasional paint drip). This clean finish is possible because the paint is sprayed out in an even layer that holds to the wood with little problem.
More prep work needed
One downfall of spray painters is their ‘overspray.’ This refers to when the paint being sprayed covers more area than intended, potentially getting paint where you don’t want it (such as on appliances, the floor, or the ceiling). For this reason, there is more prep work required when using a spray painter to ensure that paint only gets where it’s supposed to.
More cleanup afterward
Naturally, more prep work means more cleanup afterward. Once the painting is finished, you’ll need to clean up all of the appliance, ceiling, and floor protection. More importantly, paint sprayers need to be cleaned as soon as you’re done using them. This is because any residual paint can cause clogging and shorten the life of the sprayer—if you don’t clean it out immediately, the paint will not come off.
Not great for small projects
While spray painters are ideal for larger-scale projects where lots of area needs to covered, they are not well-suited for smaller projects. The prep, cost, and required ventilation are not worth it for projects that could easily be done using a paintbrush or roller.
Can be expensive
Depending on the brand and model you purchase, you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $1900 on an HVLP paint sprayer. At the lower end of the scale, you’ll find smaller-sized units with more basic features. At the higher end, you’ll find larger units with additional features and specifications.
You can also choose to rent a sprayer on an hourly or weekly basis. This option is best if you only plan on using the sprayer for a one-time project. Estimates for rent vary depending on which type you’re renting and where you’re renting from, but this option will save you a lot of money if you need a high-quality sprayer for a short amount of time.
Different Types of Spray Painters
As mentioned earlier, there are three types of spray painters: Airless, Pneumatic, and HVLP. Let’s take a closer look at each type.
Due to their use of high pressure and ability to spray thick paints, airless paint sprayers are ideal for outdoor projects or larger-scale indoor projects.
Pneumatic sprayers are best suited for painting projects involving furniture or cabinets. They spray paint using compressed air, which makes them effective but rather messy to use.
HVLP is the best option for spray painting cabinets because it uses low pressure (making it less messy) while still producing a good output of paint. Though expensive and only for use with thin paints, this type of sprayer is easier to use and more economical.
How to Spray Paint
Before looking at our top spray painter picks, let’s briefly discuss how to go about your cabinet spray painting project. There are several steps involved, but the process is relatively straightforward.
Prepare the kitchen for painting
This involves relocating kitchen items held by the cabinets, drawers, or shelves you’ll be painting. You should also cover other appliances nearby, as well as the ceiling, floor, and other areas you don’t want to be painted.
Remove / disassemble
Once all items are removed from the cabinets and the kitchen is well-prepared, it’s time to start removing and disassembling the cabinets. This will involve unscrewing the doors/drawers and removing any handles, knobs, or hinges. If possible, try to label everything so you won’t have any problems when it comes time to reassemble everything.
The next step is to clean all of the cabinets and drawers you plan on painting. You should do this with soap (or trisodium phosphate) and warm water, which will effectively remove grease or other contaminants.
Sand, patch, and sand again
Once the cabinets are clean, you should sand them down to remove their sheen. Next, you’ll want to wipe down the wood using a tack cloth and use wood putty to patch up any tarnishes, holes, or other imperfections on the cabinets. Then sand them down again and wipe away the dust.
Once you’re satisfied with the sanded and patched-up appearance of your cabinets, you should add a primer to the wood. This will reduce the chances of the paint peeling off the cabinets.
Finally, it’s time to paint! You will want to give each cabinet a first coat, wait four hours or longer, and then apply the second coat. Be mindful while spraying of any paint drips, which could ruin the overall appearance of the final product. If you happen to notice these paint drips, you can brush them in carefully using a paint brush.
As for the cabinet frame, you can simply paint these using a paintbrush.
The Best Paint Sprayer for Cabinets
At this point, you should be more familiar with spray painters and what to expect while using one. To help you make the best purchase for you and your project, we’ve rounded up our top picks for the best paint sprayers for cabinets. Each product on our list is designed to provide a high-quality paint job and a user-friendly painting experience, so feel free to browse to your heart’s content.
This 450-watt electric paint sprayer from HomeRight offers more versatility than the average HVLP sprayer. It’s capable of being used for both indoor and outdoor projects, features an easy-to-adjust air cap and flow control knob, and comes with three tips designed for spraying different mediums. These features allow you to have more control over each painting project—and, in fact, to use one quality tool for any number of projects. Its turbine motor and high wattage allow this sprayer to use thicker paints than most other HVLPs can handle, and the paint will have a smoother finish as well. You’ll also appreciate its simple cleanup: just rinse with water or mineral spirits, and it’s good to go! And considering its 2-year warranty, there’s really nothing to lose when you purchase this product.
Versatile, easy-to-use, efficient…these are all words that perfectly describe the Flexio 590 from Wagner. No matter what painting project you have lined up, know that this sprayer has you covered with its two nozzles and ten speed settings! Each of its nozzles serves a different function, with the iSpray best suited for large-scale projects and the Detail Finish Nozzle best for work that requires more detail. You can even adjust the flow pattern to meet your specific painting needs. This handheld sprayer boasts a fast painting time of eight gallons per hour, so you can rest assured your project will be accomplished in record time!
If you see yourself doing lots of around-the-house painting projects in the future, then this 400-watt HVLP sprayer is exactly what you need. Its portable handheld design three spray patterns make this unit both user-friendly and versatile for use on a range of projects. This sprayer boasts a high level of precision and less overspray than similar models, meaning less cleanup time and no worries concerning the quality of the finish. The unit also comes with additional items, including a second nozzle, paint strainers, and a brush for cleaning after use. Best of all, there’s a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty in place to give you that extra peace of mind!
Another great option for around-the-house projects, this HVLP sprayer from REXBETI offers flexibility and convenience. Not only does it feature four nozzles of different sizes, three spray pattern settings, and simple flow rate control, but it also boasts quiet operation. If louder models are a turn-off for you, then this one is definitely worth a try! Its comfortable hand grip, long extension cord, and included additional cleaning items make this sprayer quite the steal.
This sprayer was designed with your comfort and convenience in mind. It uses a two-stage turbine engine with a stationary base to make the entire painting process as smooth as possible for you—all you have to do is wield the lightweight handheld component and spray! Its nozzle features a versatile design that can be used for any number of projects, and the unit comes with two different-sized cups (1. qt and 1.5 qt.) so you’ll be able to carry around the amount of paint you need for any project size. In addition, you can easily control the pressure and flow rate. This model comes with a 1-year warranty, so what are you waiting for?
Like the other models on this list, this 400-watt electric spray gun paint sprayer from Tacklife offers three spray pattern options and an adjustable flowrate. It also has a switch that allows you to adjust the width of the spray, making it a flexible unit for all your daily painting needs. You’ll also appreciate this product’s unique design features, such as easily removable parts for hassle-free cleaning and a simple paint-adding method. Its 900ml holding cup promises fewer mid-project refills, and its ABS construction ensures a long product life. What more could you ask for in a paint sprayer?
With consistently great ratings and some of the highest-quality design features on the paint sprayer market, this HVLP sprayer from Fuji has everything you could possibly need for your upcoming projects. Most impressive is its 1400-watt, two-stage motor. While most other sprayers will max out at 400-450 watts and leave a less desirable finish, this one provides a powerful spray for the incredible results you deserve. It also includes different-sized air caps, Adjustable Pattern Air Control, and a reversible top-feed/gravity-feed cup. If you need a quality spray painter that more than gets the job done—and have a little extra cash lying around—this is definitely the way to go.
We know that this vast world of paint sprayers can be a real headache, so we hope this article helped you better understand what you should look for in your upcoming purchase. A spray painter is quite an investment, so it’s important to find one that checks all your boxes and is made to last.
In the end, the best paint sprayer for you depends on your intended use, your personal preferences, and your budget. If none of the products on our list quite hit the mark, we encourage you to explore other products from these trusted brands until you find a sprayer that’s ‘just right.’