Help - Buying an Airless Paint Sprayer

I am planning to spray paint my house with latex stain. That is what is on it right now. I own a Sears compressor and a spray gun - but several people told me that the "airless paint guns" do a better and easier job. Can I spray latex stain with one of these guns? Has anyone completed an entire house using this method? I plan to pressure wash the house thoroughly and use a bleach/water solution to clean off any mildew - etc - before I start painting. I am newly retired and just bought this house in Tallahassee. The paint is ok now - but some spots need work - I figure I will just try to pant the whole house. I will stain it the same color - gray - I will take a sample to Lowes and let them match it. What kind of airless paint gun do you have - and how do you like it? I plan on buying one for this job. snipped-for-privacy@everhart.com
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I bought a 3/4 hp Campbell-Mansfield some years ago. I personally have run over 400 gallons through it, friends and family more.
You need to match the paint to the orifice on the gun. And you may need to dilute the paint a bit. For latex I use about a gallon of clean water to five gallons paint.
Prep is very important after you pressure wash it is time to scrape. Gad I hate scraping. Good blue 3/4" masking tape and a taping machine help.
Clean up of the sprayer is very important. I run 5 gallons of water through mine then prime it with paint thinner. I have to run 5 gallons of water through it when I want to use it again cause of the thinner. Keeps the pump and stuff much cleaner than if you follow C-H directions which caused my first rebuild
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wrote:

Your prep may take a month but the painting will only take a few hours with a good airless. I have an old Binks setup from the mid 80's, still runs like a champ.
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Harry Everhart wrote:

I bought one of the new model smaller Graco ($250 or so) for the barn -- very pleased after about 30 gal primer (oil-based) and 50 or so of top coat (latex) so far. Been to cold to finish since about first of December. Avoid any w/ a tank reservoir to clean as they're nearly impossible.
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Since this project will probably take a month - the cost of renting tools would be too much - so I will buy one. Thanks for the advice though. What is the name of a good one that you used? Harry
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You need to paint a section at a time not stopping in the middle or it will be noticable. You need to mix all paint together for color match. An airless can put out 1100lb of pressure it is a quality piece of equipment. It may take a month to prep but a day to spray. You may be better off rolling it as cheap sprayers are crap. My Titan cost 1100$, but you can`t spray if there is any breeze if neighbors are nearby. I have sprayed alot, on my house my cr was 70ft away, no wind and it still got trashed. If you never sprayed you may just want to consider roll and brush. Glass must be covered , plants, everything. If you rent and it is windy , good luck. It is not one time use equipment if you pay 600+ for it.
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I may not know enough to ask the right questions - but some of the sites I checked - "airless paint sprayers" seem to have air hoses attached to them. What am I missing? I have a Sears compressor and a spray gun that I used to paint a jeep with pretty good success. I though an airless system would be one like a Wagner with just a power cord. Harry
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Airless is "airless". Your old compressor uses compressed air that is mixed with a bit of paint at the nozzle, then comes out as a mist of air and paint.
An airless is a constant spray of liquid. No air mixed in. It is a fine mist sprayed as a liquid through a small orfice at high pressure. At such a high pressure, you can cut your finger down to the bone if you put it in front of the spray. It is a high pressure squirt gun, but instead of a straight stream, it comes out as a oblong spray pattern.
Hope this helps you understand.
Airless uses no air between the paint bucket and the nozzle. It is liquid all the way, and at incredibly high pressure.
Steve
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Harry, et al:
We renovated our rent house to turn it into a vacation rental two years plus ago. It was a pretty big project, stripping every square foot of wallpaper, fixing drywall, retexturing, exterior paint, painting block walls, you name it, we did it.
We decided that an airless was the way to go. Now, mind you that every stick of furniture was out of there, and the floor was bare. That makes a big difference when using an airless.
I shopped around, and decided on a Graco XR7 because of asking in the newsgroup, and epinions.com ratings. They sell new for around $500. I bought one on ebay for $360, and it was like new. I sprayed the entire house, using one person spraying, and on person backrolling. I used it to shoot the entire "popcorn" ceiling, which is a b**** to do any other way. It was S-I-M-P-L-E with an airless. In the meantime, I have also sprayed 4,000 square feet of block wall with it. Today, I used it to spray a garage conversion. We started at two PM, and it is now 4:17 PM, and we are done, put away, cleaned up, and I am inside on the computer. I have used it the two previous days spraying a coat of primer over new drywall, and the first coat.
Airless sprayers are the way to go, but they are not the thing for all applications. For areas where you just want to spray large quantities of paint, it is like spraying it with a garden hose it goes on that fast. The downside is that you will spend as much or more time masking and cleaning up as spraying. But you get thicker consistent coats of paint with MUCH less labor. There are ins and outs of using it, but when you analyze how much work two men can do in a day, it is incredibly more productive than any other method. Now, that does not include doing fine work, as an airless wouldn't be very good for that. Airless sprayers are the cat's meow for some things, and worthless for others. They shine for volume spraying.
I suggest you look at the Graco XR7, and consider it over the XR5. It is the big brother, and if you ever want to really spray 50 gallons of paint on a block wall, it won't stutter once. The XR5 has some limits when trying to spray lots of paint. For the average home spraying, the XR5 may be adequate. But I like to buy more than I need for that once in a while when you need to push the envelope.
As mentioned before, renting would run you about as much as a new one, so might as well get one, and have it in reserve.
IMPORTANT: Read the instructions, and when you put it away, do it right. But if you put it away according to directions, it will work first time every time. They ain't rocket surgery, but they do have a few nuances, none hard to learn.
This may be a little long. I can't say enough about an airless or how happy I am with my Graco. I once sprayed 3200 sf of block wall with one helper in less than four hours, and that included drag out, spray, clean, and put away. I probably would have had a coronary by rolling it on there. And today was a breeze. Monday, we will mask the walls on our casita, and squirt the ceiling. Total time, about an hour.
HTH
Steve
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Harry Everhart wrote:

I suggest you rent a real one, not buy a consumer model. You will be glad you did.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Thank you for all the great information about airless paint sprayers. I would be painting the outside of a 3000 square foot home. It is one floor with a few high gables. I am painting it all one color - gray - the same color that is is now. I may consider buying a $500 airless paint sprayer and put it on ebay when I am done with it. I have not gotten bids on painting the house - but I am guessing it would be at least $3000. I am retired and have the time. Harry
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"Harry Everhart" wrote

Do read up on how to pressure wash wood properly. Incorrect pressure or nozzles can shred your siding. I would be more concerned with this than the type of application to stain. Some say never pressure wash wood. Just food for thought.
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As somone else posted earlier: Check EBAY. I just bought a used Fuji HVLP system to do the trim, doors, and a Graco XR5 to paint interior walls. I went with the XR5 since I generally repaint an apartment only a couple time a year. Its small enough to transport easy. If I need a better paint sprayer, then I will invest in a Graco 395 or Graco STX. I settled on Graco because I already own a texture sprayer made by them.
Lots of people buy paint sprayers to do their homes and then never use them again. Therefore a lot of them end up on Ebay. Be careful though, some people bid up the used ones close to the price of buying new. Don't worry if one painter gets bid up too high; soon there will be 1/2 dozen more online to bid on as well.
Stay away from anything by Wagner. I have never used a "home owners" painter by them that worked worth a darn.
Harry Everhart wrote:

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It's not an air hose, it's full of paint at pressure over 1,000 psi. If fact, if you have air pockets in the hose it would spudder paint all over the wall.
What am I missing? I have a Sears compressor and a spray gun that

I suppose you could paint you house with air but that would take much, much longer realitive to airless. (See comment below.)
I though an airless

True, I too have one of those hand held buzz box airless Wagner. Don't believe the TV commercial that it will do a whole house unless you truly have a month for painting. It's for small jobs, not for your 3,000sf house. The airless setup I'm talking about come with its own cart with pneumatic wheels and a long hose and takes a 5 gallon bucket of paint at a time. If you could keep up with the airless, you could discharge 5 gallons of paint on the wall in about 15 minutes or less. That is something that your Sears compressor and spray gun cannot touch.
I don't know about the inexpensive DYI airless total package set up they have at the big box stores like Home Depot. It maybe be pretty good or not. Mine Binks is a commercial set up and cost a lot more. If this is a one time shot why not just rent one out or even use a roller. One more thing, airless uses a lot paint than a brush or roller so do you want to save paint or time?
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wrote:

Hi Kim -
I am 57 and retired. I have the time - but want to save the aches and pains of using a paint brush 8 hours a day :-) I am not afraid of using time or money to do this job. How about these roller systems that have a hose attached to a roller. Are they easy to use? messy? do a good job? I live in Tallahassee - weather is nice now - not much rain - house is 3000 square feet - all one floor with a few high gables - maybe 16 feet high. The whole place is stained gray. I plan to latex stain it gray again.
Harry
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Harry Everhart wrote:

How much paint goes on the surface is dependent on the user, not inherently the system...while as noted a sprayer <can> put 5 gal on in a relative heartbeat, the surface it covers depends on how you spray...
As noted before, I bought one of the ~$250 Graco units from the Borg for the barn...it works quite well. The barn is about 4000 sq-ft so somewhat larger than your house.
I would equate the roller system to a Wagner airless...just not up to the task at hand. You will need to learn to use the sprayer and should brush or roll behind it to get the best job, but I would still recommend it over the alternatives.
How you going to get to the upper heights? Even the walls are higher than you can reach by hand and a single ladder up/down is going to be a <real> pita. I'd recomend looking into at least a couple ranks of scaffolding or at a minimim a good quality walkboard for a ladder pair.
(When starting the barn refurb I looked at renting scaffolding and it was exorbitant for the time it would take--found an online place that made a deal on new old stock and returned scaffolding so bought enough for one side two-high (22 sections) plus railings and leg sets at ~$1500. Plus, I had found a 40-ft JLG manlift on eBay at $5k. W/O those, the job would have taken years (particularly the roof and siding reconstruction. Painting was virtually all done from the lift as could work along the side.
Planning and preparation for both the surface and access are key to success...
While my route is undoubtedly overkill, felt significant to make sure you're considering the logistics as well as the application. You've got to clean and prep the entire surface before you ever start to paint, then prime then top coat, so there's a lot of operations here...
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The house is already stained gray and I plan to stain gray right on top of that. I plan to power wash the house - let it dry - and then latex stain it. Right now I am considering using a powered roller with an extension stick to get the upper areas. I plan to do maybe 10 x 40 feet a day. I am guessing about about 7 days. Of course I will have to use a brush for detail areas. I do own a craftsmen compressor and spray gun. I also have a pressure washer. Harry
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Harry Everhart wrote:

Whether that's sufficient prep will depend wholly on the present condition--can't judge that from here, obviously.
Personally, I think the "roller on a stick route will be quite painful", but ymmv. Guess you'll know after a few days... :)
Anyway, happy painting. Once it warms up I've got one end and the rest of the trim on the barn yet to go...got the lift out of the shed again yesterday to do some trim work and the d-- battery was dead again this am after one brief turn. Charger on it now, when cranks will have to see if alternator done died or something else... :(
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Power rollers are a waste of money, I have one for my airless and never use it.
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An update from the endless remodeler:
Today, we sprayed two ceiling coats in the casita at 2, one at 8 AM, and the other at 2 PM.. (Our under construction garage apartment) My helper left at three. We were done and cleaned up that fast.
In the morning, after we sprayed the first coat, we masked and taped my living/dining room to airless spray it tomorrow morning. We were going to roll it, and looked at each other and said, "Why?" We masked it off, and tomorrow will spray a first coat in the morning, a second in the afternoon. We will wait two days for the wall coat to dry, mask around the top of the wall, and do the same thing in two days with the ceiling paint.
I don't know about you, but I hate rollering paint on walls or ceilings. Particularly when an airless is available. I know what we did today would have kicked my butt physically had we done it with rollers.
My daughter offered her Wagner Power Roller, which she swears by, but after using an airless, you get spoiled to the speed of it all. Plus, with spraying airless and backrolling, one gets a much better finished paint job with less lines and less spots of thin or thick paint.
Don't know about the rest of you, but when it comes to putting on much more than two gallons of paint, roller is a four letter word.
W-O-R-K !
Steve
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