Last Updated: August 14, 2020
Interior house painting is an essential part of home maintenance and renovation, yet people rarely give it a second thought. That is until they are forced to give their own ceilings and walls a much-needed freshening-up.
Ceilings are a challenge for professional painters and Do-it-Yourselfers (DIY) alike. Manual brush painting is too time-consuming and potentially dangerous if you don’t like climbing ladders. Therefore, the logical option is to opt for a quality paint sprayer that lets you safely perform the task like an expert.
Choosing the right paint sprayer is not as easy as you think, given the number of options available. It’s literally a jungle of out there. There’s so much sales fuss, features, specifications etc. to choose from, that it becomes hard to make the right decision. That’s why we’ve reviewed over 50 paint sprayers. We then hand-picked our 5 favorite sprayers for painting ceilings for you to see below.
Hopefully reading these reviews, and our popular buying guide will help you find the right sprayer for your needs.
|Best Overall||Graco Magnum 257025||
|Best Value||REXBETI REX006||
|Graco TrueCoat 360||
Graco is a powerhouse American brand in professional fluid handling systems, and its Magnum Project Painter Plus Airless Paint Sprayer (“Magnum 257025”) comes through as a top choice for homeowners and DIYers.
As the jewel of its DIY Series, the Magnum 257025 gives you the confidence to handle both interior and exterior paint jobs. It is particularly well-suited for ceilings, thanks to its stainless-steel pressure pump and adjustable pressure control for variable-speed spraying of thinned and unthinned paints. Its ability to connect to both one and five-gallon containers via a flexible suction tube and 25-foot hose give you maximum flexibility for use in either large or small projects.
Hassle-free maintenance (and extended life) is assured with its Power Flush Adapter that can be connected to a garden hose for fast and easy cleaning. Faithful use of soap and water along with its Pump ArmorTM product should give you several years of quality service.
The Wagner 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint Sprayer (“Wagner 0518080”) is a worthy contender for top spot in our survey. It offers variable air pressure control and pattern adjustment (horizontal, vertical, wide narrow) options for maximum coverage flexibility.
With this Wagner model, you – not the manufacturer – can adjust the paint flow to better suit your covering speed and ceiling size. That’s what HVLP – high volume, low pressure – technology is all about.
Of the 4 other paint sprayers we’ve reviewed, the Wagner 0518080 was the Graco Magnum’s closest competitor. It did not take the #1 spot because of issues with latex paint use and its better fit with fine-spraying applications versus ceiling projects.
With big-time features and a surprisingly good price, the RexBeTi REX006 model offered stiff competition to the top two finishers. Enough to earn our ‘Best for the Money’ tag.
Why does this orange wonder shine? It has built-in HVLP technology with low overspray and 3 spray patterns. Reasonably powerful (400w) and sturdy, it is less intimidating for DIYers and beginners to use. While the 800 ml (27 oz.) cup capacity is a little low, chances are that time is less of a factor if you are considering REX006 to paint a ceiling.
Despite a lot of positive attributes, the RexBeTi REX006 lacks the power and capacity to match the elite in this category. However, if you have a few friends who can help out with the ceiling, buying a second or even third sprayer for their use may be a financially viable option.
Astro Pneumatics Spray Gun with Cup (“Astro 4008”) may be the plainest looking (and cheapest) sprayer in our list, which is fine if it does the job.
Construction is simple with two major parts (air valve, gun with red-handled 1.8mm nozzle). It offers wide pattern spraying, as well as a metallic one-quart dripless cup.
The Astro 4008’s shortcomings start with its size. At two pounds and with a small footprint, it is dwarfed by its competitors. Also, you’ll need a 3 hp compressor that provides an operating pressure of 50-60 psi. That’s quite low for even modest ceiling jobs and a reason why faint spray patterns are a common complaint.
Our conclusion is that while it may be useful for other jobs, the Astro 4008 is just not meant for ceilings.
At the start of this paint sprayer review, we rated the Graco Magnum 257025 tops in our list. So, you may be wondering why another product from the same company rates so poorly. Unfortunately, that’s the fate of Graco’s entry-level airless sprayer – the TrueCoat 360.
What’s the problem? To begin with, the 32-ounce cup capacity means that you will require several refills to properly paint an average ceiling. You are limited to single-speed operation and, at 1,500 psi, TrueCoat 360 has barely half the spraying pressure of its Magnum cousin.
Even for a once-in-a-lifetime ceiling paint project, do you want to risk using such a limited model? The TrueCoat has earned a reputation for heavy spray volume – bad news when you only have one speed.
The good news is that, for a small increase in your ceiling sprayer budget – say, by forgoing one family steakhouse dinner – you can forgo the TrueCoat 360 and purchase the Graco Magnum 257025 instead.
Using a paint sprayer for ceilings is more than simply setting the trigger at an upwards 60o angle and firing away. You should have adequate knowledge of sprayer specifications and be able to optimize its features.
Your decision-making process begins here and ideally ends with a successful purchase. Apart from the specific models discussed here, you the reader should gain valuable hints about what to look for.
There are three major types of sprayers to consider:
Increasingly popular, airless sprayers pump out paint (droplets) at high pressure and are most adept at evenly coating large surfaces. As such they are tailor-made for handling ceilings and other interior walls. They can be used with thicker paints as well. Expect to pay a premium for the best models.
Compressed air sprayers are the classical house painting solution – air compressor, hose, paint gun and you’re ready to go! They use compressed air to spray onto surfaces for a smooth, satisfying result. They can be used for ceiling jobs but tend to be messy and are prone to overspray. You may have to spend more on paint, but the upside is that they are inexpensive when compared to HVLP or airless sprayers.
As the name implies, HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) sprayers carry paint droplets on a steady but large volume of air. The process is slower than with airless sprayers, but the idea is that more droplets hit the surface to make the results last. These sprayers waste less paint, but the trade-off is that they are more expensive as well. By and large well-suited for ceilings, provided you do not use thick paint options.
Regardless of your purchase choice, always be safety conscious – spray in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves, a mask, and protective clothing. Airless sprayers, in particular, operate under extremely high pressure, therefore look for models that include a stand and avoid handheld options. As a final tiebreaker, consider price differentials and frontline customer support.
So let’s conclude. Our all-time favorite model for ceilings is the “Graco Magnum 257025“. However, if that sprayer exceeds your budget, you will also get a decent sprayer for the money with the “RexBeTi REX006“.
It was a pleasure writing this article, and we hope that it will help you in your search.
Feel free to leave feedback or questions below, and we’ll try to get back to them as soon as possible.
David Janus is the founder and CEO of Paint Sprayer Magazine. He has over two decades of experience in the spray paint industry and still enjoys writing about new products and technologies.
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