Kitchen Cabinet Guide Part 6: Master Your Sprayer - Airless vs. HVLP

If you’ve decided to go for it and spray your kitchen cabinets, good for you! Spraying can give you an absolutely amazing finish (though you'll still need a high quality brush like The Original Cabinet Brush for touchups and other smaller areas.)

Let's get you on your way to MASTERING your sprayer... 

Airless vs HVLP Sprayers

First, let's make a distinction - there are two main types of paint sprayers when it comes to home painting projects, airless and HVLP.

Airless Sprayers

Airless sprayers use a pump that sucks in paint and puts it under high pressure, then forces it through a spray tip and into a perfectly shaped fan for painting.

Airless sprayers apply a lot of paint really fast. This makes then great for exterior painting, spraying ceilings, new drywall and more.

But they aren’t the best for DIY cabinet painting.

Due to their high volume of paint and high pressure, airless sprayers produce a lot of overspray, more runs for inexperienced painters, and a more coarse finish compared to HVLP sprayers.

While you can get professional results painting your cabinets with an airless sprayer, it takes far more practice.

I only recommend airless sprayers if you have more than just cabinets to paint... maybe you also plan on painting your exterior soon?

My personal favorite airless sprayer for the DIY Painter is the Wagner Control Pro 170.

The Control Pro 170 is the perfect all-around sprayer that can handle almost all of your painting projects.

Check out my video review of the Wagner Control Pro 170 here:

HVLP Sprayers

HVLP stands for high volume, low pressure. This means they produce a high volume of air at a low pressure.

That’s great, but what does this mean for you?

HVLP sprayers are great for painting kitchen cabinets because they use less pressure to spray the paint, which means they create a finer mist.

This finer mist helps to make the paint coat very smooth and even, which is perfect for detailed work on cabinets.

Also, because they produce less overspray (wasted paint that doesn't land on the surface), they are more efficient and less messy than airless sprayers.

So, HVLP sprayers can save you paint, reduce cleanup time, and give your cabinets a professional-looking finish.

HVLP sprayers can also be fine tuned to go nice and slow for a new painter, which is great when you have little experience spraying!

As you probably noticed in my last email, my personal favorite HVLP sprayer for the DIY painter is the Wagner FLEXiO 5000.

If you do end up using an HVLP sprayer, they can be a little tricky to set up and dial in, so I made a couple videos to help you get the most out of your HVLP Sprayer:

1 - Mastering Your HVLP Sprayer:

2 - The Secret to Perfect Spraying

Next Up:  The Best Brush for Painting Kitchen Cabinets