Have you been interested in trying a paint sprayer for your DIY projects, but the idea of choosing and learning how to use one is a little overwhelming? That was how I felt a couple of years ago, when I was in the middle of our DIY fireplace remodel. I ended up buying one, and not only was it SO FUN to use but it produced such a nice paint finish that now I use a paint sprayer on all of my DIY built-in cabinetry projects! So, if you are looking for the best paint sprayer for DIYers (whether you’re a beginner, or taking on larger projects), I can’t tell you that I’ve tried them all; but, I will tell you the paint sprayers that I DO use and love, and give you my paint sprayer review of three different paint sprayers from Graco!
The three paint sprayers that I will talk about in this post are the:
My favorite part about all of these? You don’t have to thin the paint! (Because who wants to add one more step/complication to the process, right?!). Anyway, read on to see if one of these might be a good choice for your DIY projects!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for the tools & supplies I used in this project. This means that I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you!) should you chose to make a purchase through my link.
Graco Truecoat 360 Dual Speed Paint Sprayer Review
The first paint sprayer I ever purchased was this DIY series dual speed paint sprayer from Graco. At the time I was in the middle of upgrading our builder-grade fireplace, and had added beadboard to the walls. I knew that a sprayer would likely be quicker and give a nicer finish on beadboard texture. This little dual speed sprayer worked out great! For me, it was the best paint sprayer for beginner DIYers because it:
- Was easy to use
- Had only two speed settings to choose between (which kept things nice and simple for me as a first-timer)
- Had straightforward clean-up instructions (and it’s really not a bad cleanup process once you get the hang of it!)
I purchased my dual speed sprayer in 2021, but since then it looks like Graco has slightly updated it. According to product info, the updated version also includes a funnel and strainer. I have those as part of the Graco Variable Speed Sprayer, and they are SO helpful! I’ll include links here for the updated sprayer on Amazon and Home Depot. I recommend checking out who has the best price if you’re looking to purchase one!
Graco Truecoat 360 Variable Speed Paint Sprayer Review
The second sprayer I have tested is the Graco Truecoat 360 Variable Speed Paint Sprayer, which Graco gifted me last summer. This one is very similar to the dual speed sprayer, except that it has 10 speeds instead of two. This allows you to have more control over the speed at which you spray, which can be really nice as you get more comfortable with your sprayer.
How to Find the Right Paint Sprayer Speed
When it comes to finding the right speed, I recommend practicing on a scrap piece of cardboard. The more you spray, the more you’ll get a feel for what combination of sprayer speed + how quickly you move the sprayer gives the best paint finish. I tend to stay on the lower to medium speeds and move a little slower, but I know others who prefer the higher speeds!
My biggest advice is just that it is better to err on the side of spraying multiple lighter coats. If the sprayer speed is high and you move too slowly, you could end up accidentally putting out too much paint and getting drips. (I’ve been there! Don’t panic- you can either try to smooth it out lightly with a foam brush, or wait until it dries and sand the drips before your next coat).
Other Features of the Truecoat 360 Variable Speed Paint Sprayer
My other favorite parts of this variable speed sprayer? It came with a storage bag, laminated quick start guide, and a paint funnel and strainer. Straining your paint is important so that it doesn’t clog your sprayer, and this new included strainer was SO much faster and easier than using paper straining cups. All of these features contribute to why I see this as one of the best paint sprayers for beginner DIYers!
I did experience some clogging with this sprayer during one of my projects, but I reached out to Graco and their customer service was so kind and helpful. They gave me instructions for unclogging the sprayer with some water and soap, and it was good as new in minutes! To me, no product is ever going to be perfect, but customer service is what matters. I’ve personally been very happy with Graco’s!
Since receiving this sprayer, I’ve used it to paint our mudroom built-in desk and DIY powder room vanity. It worked great for both! I painted both pieces in this paint sprayer tent that I set up in our basement.
Graco ProX17 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer Review
One of my biggest projects to date has been this DIY coffered ceiling that I completed in our Dining Room. As I was planning this project, I started researching larger paint sprayers that could spray directly from a gallon of paint. While the Truecoat 360 sprayers are great for smaller projects, I was really interested in a sprayer where I wouldn’t have to keep refilling the sprayer cup!
After researching different options, I reached out to Graco and they kindly gifted me their ProX17 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer. This is a Pro Series sprayer and is definitely an investment. If you take on a lot of projects, though, it has so many amazing features that will save you time and leave you with a beautiful finish! I definitely think it is one the best paint sprayers for DIYers taking on more or larger projects!
Features of the Graco Magnum Pro X17 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer
The features and benefits of this sprayer that really drew me to it are:
- Ability to spray directly from a 1 or 5 gallon bucket of paint
- Cart for easy maneuverability
- ProXChange pump system allows you to replace the pump down the road if needed. This is helpful if you are going to be taking on a lot of paint jobs
- Spray gun with swivel to make it easier to move the sprayer without getting twists in the hose
- Easy cleanup using a garden hose. (I haven’t tried this feature yet since it was still cold outside when I first used this sprayer. I am definitely excited to try it on my next project though!)
Using a Paint Sprayer Extension Rod
This sprayer made painting my ceiling so much easier! As part of this project I also tried out Graco’s paint sprayer tip extensions. These allowed me to reach the ceiling without having to move around on a ladder. I ended up using these for the first coat but not the second, because I just felt like I couldn’t see as well from the ground how thick the paint was spraying on or not. I also couldn’t get the sprayer directly parallel to the surface that I was spraying this way, which is ideal for having an even spray. If I were doing this type of project again, I would try out one of the cleanshot valves or adjustable nozzles that Graco sells, which would allow me to adjust the angle of the spray head so that I could spray parallel to my surface.
In either case, being able to spray directly from my gallon of paint and have a lighter spray gun to maneuver (rather than the entire handheld unit) made this project SO much quicker and easier. I had a learning curve on this one too with the speed- but I’m overall really happy with how smooth the paint finish turned out! I have no doubt that using a sprayer on this coffered ceiling was quicker and gave a smoother, more professional finish than painting by hand would’ve been!
Helpful Resources for Graco Magnum Pro X17 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer Setup
Here are the YouTube videos I found really helpful when I was learning how to set up and use this sprayer. You can find many more options on YouTube as well!
- Go Industrial has a great 3-part video series on the Graco Magnum Pro X17. Here is a link to part 1 (they they have the other parts linked in their video description)
- This setup video from The Excellent Laborer was super helpful and I followed it step by step the first time I used this sprayer (the setup starts about 3 minutes into the video)
Other Paint Sprayer Options
If you’re looking for a paint sprayer that is somewhere between the handheld TrueCoat 360 models and the ProX17 model, you can check out Graco’s “Project Series” models. While I have never used a sprayer from that series, I have heard great things about the Magnum X5. \
Paint Sprayer Supplies- What Else Do I Need With a Paint Sprayer?
Linked below (and here on LTK) are the other supplies I use when paint spraying built-ins or a full room! Stay tuned for a full blog post with more information on how/when/why I use these products, and let me know what other paint sprayer questions you have!
Shop Project Supplies
Also- if you’re more of a visual learner and want to check out some video content with more paint sprayer tips, check out this paint sprayer reel over on my Instagram and follow there for more DIY projects!
DISCLAIMER: DIY Projects and using power tools pose inherent risks. Christine Nickerson Design cannot be held liable for any injury, damages, or losses sustained in the course of your project. Always follow local building codes and manufacturers’ instructions provided with your tools.