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Which sprayer?

I am going to take the plunge and buy a sprayer. Most of my work involves restoration projects, although I paint walls and perform general decorating. The walls I tend to paint are a maximum of 2.5m x 2.5m, I never get involved in industrial-sized work.

Do you think I could use one of the HVLP units like a Q-Tech
HVLP 5 Stage Turbine? I know it will handle my wood restoration but would it handle the occasional room? I looked at a Wagner Control Pro 350 but a relative had tried one and he was not impressed. He said if you are blasting walls and ceilings it is okay, but once you try and add finesse you will struggle.

What do you guys think? I spoke with Ron Taylor a couple of years back but sprayers seemed to have improved since then. I may have to contact him again for the latest advice.

1 Like

Hi,q tech have a useful brochure, of what sprayers suitable for tasks,my decorators merchant
sells them,he rates them. Once you bought your sprayer, jack paughl forum is usefull,lots
of info,might be worth buying airless spraying guide as well.Also theres an excellent book by
Peter wilkingson.

Hi Dave,
I think I am coming to the end of my sprayer discovery journey and am not only a few quid lighter but can safely say that there is a masking tipping point. That is - is it worth taking the time to mask + cost when I could just as easily get a roller out - and yes still protection required. I’m now convinced that the decorator and rightly so, is more obsessed about the finish than the client.
Anyway, for me, airless for walls and ceiling. We run a Graco for the airless and HVLP for built in furniture, cabinets etc. Look at Apollo (US not UK). I’ve just rinsed 1600 on a precision 5 stage as seen here, although my finances stopped short of pressure pot.

I believe the inside track is that the air assisted will disappear, especially as Apollo have set the bar high on the HVLP.
Avoid the Chinese imports. The imports also had the effect of forcing decent sprayer manufactures to provide sprayers under £1000. In turn it pushed the quality of build down so that the entry level machines are not stainless steel.
Go with a machine where there is really good technical and customer support. The Graco team have been patient, put up with moaning and provided fantastic service. They will come out to you with demo machines and spend time with you - worth a shout on the airless.


Thank you for the replies, I apologise for the slow response. We’ve had some awful family news related to COVID19. Two elderly members contracted the virus and could not fight it off. Another close member caught it on Monday and had a couple of bad days before starting to improve. One of our friends was on a ventilator was 20 days and thank goodness he is now off it and making progress. Our friend is just 40, so it shows how awful this virus is.

Enough of the doom and gloom, let me update you on the sprayer topic. I borrowed a Wagner 350 Pro to paint a room’s walls and ceilings. I would describe it as okay, but that’s about it.

I did lots of research and went for the Wagner XVLP 5000. I agree with you, @Howzz; I think [EDIT]Air Assisted Airless is on the decline, so I took the chance with XVLP. It cost me £580, and I managed to get the Wallspray gun via the manufacturer.

First attempt was weak, but that is my lack of experience rather than the quality of the machine. I had splatter drops which suggested the paint was not thin enough. I am using Tikkurila anti-reflex 2 as I want a flat matt finish. I must add, I am painting small 1.2m x 2.3m walls, not some vast expanse. I thinned the paint, and the next attempt was better. I am still working on product flow and turbine pressure, which I will achieve given time. The practice medium was a cardboard box laid flat. I then tried on a small internal wall, and it started to come together.

Am I correct with my assumption the splatter was down to the high viscosity? I read the datasheet for the paint, and it suggests 5% water to thin it down. I had better results with 10%, even after it all dried. The test is ongoing!

I would appreciate all tips you can offer. Perhaps some floetrol would be an option?

Many thanks, be safe all of you.

Brings home that it is actual people suffering and dying and not about numerical values.
My condolences.

I was saying that the Air Assisted Airless could be on the decline. However, in this country, I’m wondering whether we are really cracking this at domestic level, and that ultimately, given current market forces, we will be force back to a manual process.

Did you do the viscosity cup?

Thank you, I am grateful.

Sorry, I meant to say Air Assisted but didn’t type it all out lol.

I did not use a viscosity cup; I haven’t used one of those for over 30 years. I am showing my age! I use a simple method taught to me by a car paint sprayer. He used his paint sprayer for his DIY projects; he was a real character. He used a straight ruler and stirred the paint with it. When he lifted it, the paint was supposed to fall like a waterfall. He looked for a continuous run off the ruler rather than a series of drips. It worked too, but only when I was at around 10% dilution.

I sorted the paint splatter; it was the fluid nozzle not seated correctly in the tip of the gun.

When you use your viscosity cup, what sort of time do you want?

Thanks again

PS I found the answer to the splatter problem via Google. I did not know it was related to fluid nozzle not seated correctly; I am not experienced enough to know that.

Not sure I can remember 30 years ago. Old and battered now, the body wants to retire.
My confession is that I’m a gut feeling and trial and error person, partly because the eyesight isn’t to hot either, certainly not for measuring liquids. It also goes against my instinct as the guy who taught me was anti adding anything to a paint as it weaken the chemical structure - but needs must.
Just a recap - did you paint a whole room with a XVLP, if you did, my hat off to you.

Apparently, “spraying makes sense” .( is useful, just dont let them sell you a qtech


This is reallly useful info, thanks.

No, I am not spraying the whole room, well not in one go. I plan to paint sections in different colours and finishes. It is to keep my good lady happy; it is not a commercial project. I mainly work with old wooden projects, churches, community halls, and mason lodges. This XVLP will be perfect for some of the jobs provided I can get a handle on it.

Let’s face it; I have plenty of time on my hands!

I’ve used both HVLP and XVLP and XVLP is much the easier to use. Though I find both are problematic in use.

Both need a lot of setting up to get viscosity, air and fluid right for consistent results. For instance what works today may not work tomorrow if the humidity or temperature is different or the paint is colder. Also the settings that work with one paint most likely won’t work with another.

I found lots of testing and practice works wonders if you have the time. And trying to get a finish with a product you’ve never used before on the day you’re spraying the finish can be difficult.

Keep a log of what works for you with certain products. Certainly how much thinning is required and what you thinned it with ie water, extender for water based and white spirit or Owatrol for oil. Sometimes a mix of the two is better.

Don’t thin any paint or primer to much. Yes it may spray better but it won’t adhere or be durable if over thinned. I try never to thin primers over 15% and topcoats over 10% if I can help it. Standing the pot with paint in in warm water will help both oil and WB paints spray easier. Running the turbine fir 5 minutes before spraying with help as you’re using warm air and not cold.

You need a full wet coat when applying the paint. To much product and not enough air will give an overloaded splattery finish that can run on verticals. To much air will have paint drying before it hits the surface giving a rough feel.

A lot of paint we use isn’t formulated for low pressure spraying (I can only think of Caparol NAST that is) and is tested with brush, roller and airless, which all require little, or no setup. But it can be done with a bit of practice and patience


Thanks, Ron, I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Today, I managed to get a decent finish with the Anti-Reflex 2. I used the wall spray gun and went for a middle setting on both product and airflow. It was on a small pattern as I was painting a lot of coving. It looked terrific, even the wife gave it the thumbs up.

I moved onto a small ceiling in another room but went up one notch on product and air. Once again, I was pleased with the result. I did suffer a significant splatter storm at one stage, the fluid nozzle worked loose, but I spotted it in time. I did a quick clean, a reseat and all was well again.

I have created a diary in OneNote and am keeping a record of my settings.

I will try and keep you updated.