Best Automotive Paint Guns: Perfect for DIY Projects
DIY paint jobs (domestic or auto) can be quite satisfying as they make old objects look shiny and new again. However, without the right tools, the success of your endeavor is doomed to failure from the get-go.
Of course, a professional paint gun doesn’t cover for the lack of skill and experience, but it gives you the opportunity to learn and experiment. As such, when you’re looking for the best automotive paint guns, make sure you are considering your specific needs first.
As you will see from our reviews and general online search, there are lots of products on the market. Some feature fancy features and high-end settings, but they usually exceed the budget of an amateur DIY painter. Furthermore, not all spray painters are suited for automotive work, especially if you want one that can be used on a daily basis.
We did the research and found the top 3 best car paint sprayers that also work on projects around the house. Also, to help you find the best model for your needs and budget, we have a detailed guide of the features that matter when selecting such a product.
If you’re looking for a paint gun that offers perfect control over the stream of paint, then look no further than the Wagner Spraytech model!
The two-stage turbine engine uses High Volume – Low Pressure technology to atomize the materials in the paint container into fine particles that can be easily controlled. Also, the finish is smoother than with regular paint sprayers and the result looks better.
You can use this machine with a wide range of paints, primers, and thinners materials (polish, lacquer, or latex paints) so it’s not just for painting your car’s hood. It can just as well be used to paint a fence, a piece of furniture, walls, floors, and what have you.
It is powerful (510 watts) and develops a speed of 80cfm. Furthermore, it comes with 1-quart metal cup and a 1-1/2 quart plastic cup, so you’ll have the perfect tools for each project. Also, the 2-foot air hose makes it easy to move around with the spray gun.
The settings can be adjusted using the pressure control dial and material flow adjuster. This way, you can customize the painter for each new project. Moreover, the Wagner Spraytech comes with an air cap which can be set for spraying round, horizontal, or vertical just by turning on its ears.
Overall, the Wagner Sprayer is a useful tool to have around the house. It is versatile, easy to use, and comes with everything you need for any type of job. It’s also easy to install and clean and doesn’t take much space when in storage.
It is lightweight, portable, and incredibly easy to use – these are the main reasons we consider this to be one of the best car paint sprayers on the market.
While other designs separate the engine and the spray gun, connecting them through a hose, the Ultimate-750 is one compact unit. It just needs a 6.6 Ft. power cord that connects the machine to the power source.
To make sure you’re not running out of paint too soon, the unit is equipped with a 1000ml high-capacity container. Also, paint is conserved due to the precise spray pattern that distributes the materials evenly on the entire surface.
This sprayer is a good fit for a wide range of DIY projects (fences, pieces of furniture, vehicle chassis, auto lifts, garage doors, and more). For this, there are three different nozzles (2.0mm, 2.5mm, and 3.0mm) that support three different patterns. You would use the 2.0mm nozzle for regular painting jobs, the 2.5mm nozzle for sealers and varnish, and the 3.0mm nozzle latex paint, chalk type paint, and milk type paint.
Finally, the spray gun has an adjustable flow control knob that lets you regulate the paint output. For instance, you can reduce the flow around edges and corners, and increase it on flat surfaces where you don’t need that much control.
Marketed as the go-to painter for workshop and residential use, the Fuji 2203G is a semi-professional paint gun that can tackle a wide array of projects. It features a 1400 Watts 2-stage motor that feeds a 400cc Gravity Cup and an M-model spray gun with a stainless steel nozzle and needle.
The spray gun is quite advanced, featuring a dedicated fan control that helps users adjust the pattern size (from 1” to 12”) and a non-bleed system that reduces wasted paint during spraying. It also comes with several air cap sizes for different materials with different levels of viscosity.
The entire system is easy to install, use, and clean, which makes it a fantastic option for anyone who does frequent paint jobs around the house. Also, due to the 25ft Hi-Flex hose and the handy gun holder, the machine is easy to use in a small garage or other confined spaces.
Top Features for the Best Automotive Paint Guns
There are many factors that can influence the outcome of a paint project, such as type of material, the surface, settings, and even the spray gun you use. As such, you need to be careful with the product you choose, as it needs to be versatile enough to support all your future ideas.
In this section, we listed the features that are most commonly considered when buying a paint gun:
HVLP vs. LVLP
The products we reviewed are all HVLP, which means High Volume – Low Pressure, and use low pressure to atomize the paint and release it in high volumes.
Most of these guns require turbine motors and compressed air (around 3 to 8 PSI) and deliver a high-end finish without wasting any paint. The flow is also easy to control, so you’ll be able to paint around edges and corners without making a mess.
These models are perfect for DIY projects because they are easy to install, clean, use, and maintain. However, they consume more power than LVLP products and need more compressed air.
LVLP (Low Volume – Low Pressure) designs, on the other hand, are very energy efficient and have a better focus on preventing any paint waste. These work amazingly well with waterborne paints and deliver close-to-perfection coverage and finish. Of course, they are also a bit pricier than HVLP, but if you want a professional paint job and have the dexterity to deliver it, this is the right tools for you.
Gallons per Minute (GPM)
This feature specifies the amount of paint the device can transfer onto the surface in one minute. So, if you usually work on large projects, and you want to finish quicker, you will need a paint gun with a high GPM.
Nozzles and Nozzle Size
The nozzle is a crucial component when it comes to paint sprayers and the best devices come with several nozzles that differ in size. This way, if you have a project that needs a thicker coating, you will use a large-sized nozzle, while for one that needs just a polish, you need to work with a small size nozzle.
Keep in mind that it is not recommended to work with the same type of nozzle for every project! This can ruin the surface you want to improve and destroy your project.
Paint Flow & Pattern Control
Whether they are knobs or buttons, your paint gun needs to give you the possibility to adjust the flow of paint and pattern according to the situation. In fact, the key to a professional-looking finish stands in the type of adjustments you have available.
Look for devices that let you adjust the air pressure, volume of paint coming out, and pattern.
Size of the Container
As you can see from the products we reviewed, the paint is stored in a container that’s attached to the paint gun. Now, if this container is too small and you work on large projects (a car, for instance), you’ll have to stop and refill several times. As a result, you may end up spending more time with the refill than you do working.
Most paint devices use a hose to connect the tool you hold with the unit where the engine is housed. If this is not the case and you’re working with a compact unit, you’ll still need to consider the length of the cable that supplies the power.
A longer hose (or cable) means more freedom to move around the unit and approach the surface from different angles.
Just like with the hose length, portability is about moving freely around the surface on which you are working.
If the unit is compact, you don’t need to worry about portability, but if you have a two-piece unit (engine and gun) you may want to consider a wheeled cart or at least a handle or a strap that lets you carry the engine around.
Ease of Cleaning
Let’s face it: working with paint is a mess! However, due to devices like the ones we reviewed, the mess is now contained on the inside of these tools.
But this is not necessarily good news. A system that works with paint and isn’t properly maintained will quickly diminish in performance and you’ll end up with a clogged spray gun. To avoid this, you must make sure to clean it after every use. But this is not something easy to do!
These tools have a lot of internal elements and cleaning be quite a hassle if the producer didn’t think to make it easy for you. So, before you buy a cheap sprayer, make sure to check how easy it is to clean. Most modern devices are created to cut the cleaning work in half.
How to Use a Paint Gun?
While it looks like an easy-to-follow process, using a sprayer may be a bit of a challenge (especially if you’re a beginner). So, we thought it best to provide a few easy to understand steps.
Start by putting the device together, following the instructions available in the Instructions Manual (delivered with the product).
Quick tip: Before you work on any surface (vehicle’s chassis, walls, furniture) you need to prepare it for painting. This means cleaning, removing any old paint, sanding off, and even using a rust converter if this is the case.
Once the gun is in place and the container is filled with the material you want to use (paint, primer, polish, etc.) start moving the gun around (without spraying) to get used to the weight. You should move it in long, straight strokes so the coverage is uniform and you don’t overspray.
Make sure the nozzle is perpendicular to the surface, at about 10 to 12 inches distance. This is the position you must maintain while spraying, to avoid splatters or applying too much paint in one location. Also, avoid swinging the nozzle in an arc – the application should be straight.
Finally, choose an area that’s somewhat hidden and do a few test spray runs, to get used to the motion. Once you get used to it, move to the rest of the surface and keep going!
Now that you have all the information on how to choose a good paint gun for your auto work (or home projects) and reviews for some of the best products, it’s time to make a decision.
Ideally, the best product for you is a combination of our tips, your budget, and the type of projects you want to pursue. But, if you know you want to use this tool for a wide range of jobs, we would recommend setting the budget limit a bit higher. After all, if you paint your car without paying for a professional job, you’re already saving a lot of money. In conclusion, a high-quality paint gun is an investment with high return.