Ultimate Guide to HVLP Sprayers

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Professionals, homeowners, DIYers, and hobbyists who need a trusty paint sprayer should look for HVLP sprayers. This type of paint sprayer will result in reduced overspray, less paint consumption, and less pollution. This tool has become sought after for a commercial painters toolbox. It is great if you need a tool that can help you with painting furniture, automotive painting, house painting, and interior painting.

Comparing the different types of paint sprayers available on the market can be tough. Knowing what the available options are, what features to look out for and what brands to avoid can seem like a task only suited for experts.

As a commercial paint sprayer or homeowner who likes to do work around the house, you may have had your fair share of bad tool purchases. This is something we all go through and you aren’t alone.

We hope this guide gives you all the information you need to get the best HVLP sprayer possible, while ensuring you avoid a mistake by getting the wrong tool for the job.

Whether you are looking for a paint sprayer to paint your walls, car or furniture or you need a dependable professional tool for a commercial job the HVLP sprayer may be the right tool for you.

Man using paint sprayer for car

HVLP Sprayers: What are they?

An HVLP sprayer, otherwise known as a “High Volume Low Pressure” paint sprayer, is a similar variant to your traditional paint sprayer. Using an air compressor, this type of paint sprayer takes in a high volume of air and uses it to aerosolize and project the pain onto the surface, maintaining a low air pressure.

More often than not, HVLP sprayers are used by general contractors and commercial painters, for automotive painting, furniture painting, exterior painting and a range of other materials.

The benefits of the high volume low pressure include less overspray, helping to keep aerosol pollution to a minimum and less paint consumption which helps you cover more surface area with less paint.

Man spraying paint on radiator with HVLP sprayer
Man spraying paint on radiator with HVLP sprayer

Technical Breakdown of a HVLP Paint Sprayer

There are two parts to high volume low pressure paint sprayers, you have the “high volume” which helps you control the flow and direction of the paints as well as the “low pressure”, which reduces the overall atomization of the paint spray.

As mentioned above, the reason the paint sprayer was designed this was to help prevent overspray and give you more control over the flow of the paint.

From everything we’ve said so far it may seem like HVLP sprayers are great but there are some reasons why you may want to consider another type of paint sprayer

5 Reasons to get a HVLP Paint Sprayer

  1. They are up to 60% more efficient than your standard paint sprayer.
  2. They have less paint overspray, making them easier to control.
  3. Emits less aerosols into the environment, reducing it’s overall environmental impact.
  4. Less paint and lower cost to run, this is due to it’s paint transfer efficiency.
  5. They are often portable and compact.

4 Reasons not to get a HVLP Sprayer

  1. HVLP paint sprayers take longer to apply paint.
  2. You will need a air compressor to power the unit
  3. Does not handle think coatings as easily due to it’s low pressure
  4. Not intended for high production work where you are paint large areas quickly

Common Questions

How often should I clean my HVLP paint sprayer?

As with any paint sprayer, it is best practice to clean it after each and every use. This ensures that your unit does not clog over time and that it is ready for use the next time you need it.

Check out the video below on how to clean your HVLP spray gun. It breaks down the process for you, allowing you to follow along as they clean a HVLP sprayer from start to finish.

What is the difference between HVLP and Airless sprayers?

This is a question that comes up time and time again. When comparing the HVLP and Airless paint sprayers the first key difference is the efficiency of paint transfer. While the airless paint sprayer may be quick, it is definitely not efficient, using up a lot more paint than a similar HVLP sprayer. Another difference is the level of overspray that occurs when painting, in comparison, HVLP units leave far less unintended spray than airless sprayers, because of their transfer efficiency, making them better for detail and accuracy.

Additionally, HVLP sprayers tend to have a finer output than airless sprayers, this is due to the level of atomization that occurs when spraying the paint. One thing to highlight is that if you are considering heavier materials such as latex paints, an airless sprayer may be a better option due to HVLP units low pressure they can have difficulty handling thick paints and stains.

Another area these sprayers differ is their price, while you can often find HVLP paint sprayers in the $20 – $100 range, airless paint sprayers can go for as much as $200 all the way up to $1000 and more. The costs for the airless paint sprayer aren’t even factoring in any additional accessories that may be required to get the unit running such as fluid or tips.

Overall, if you need something for detail and accuracy, you should consider an HVLP option on the market. This is especially true If you need a unit for painting large areas in a short period of time, such as when you are painting houses, an airless option may be your best choice.

What should I use to clean my paint sprayer?

What you use to clean your paint sprayer will depend on what type of paint, stain or lacquer your put in the unit, we have included the typical cleaners below.

  • Latex Paint: Use water
  • Oil Based Paints: Use Mineral Spirits
  • Lacquer: Thinner


We hope this article gave you a good background on HVLP sprayers. Ultimatley, the sprayer you end up picking will depend on the type of task you are looking to finish and there is no “right” sprayer all the time. You will need to determine what you want out of your tool and make your purchasing decisions with that in mind.

If you found this article interesting or have points to add make sure to drop your comments below, and a member of our team will respond.

Thanks for reading!



Ryan is a writer for ToolboxAdvice.com. He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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