here are the differences between airless paint sprayer vs. air

Airless Paint Sprayer Vs. Air – Key Differences

When it comes to painting a house, car, or other objects, brushes, and rollers are no longer doing the magic; thus, the introduction of paint sprayers.

Paint sprayers use modern technology and, therefore, save time and energy and can paint faster than traditional brushes and rollers.

However, when you hit the market to purchase a unit, you would be greeted with the choice between air and airless paint sprayers.

We curated this post to help you make an informed decision when choosing between airless paint sprayer vs. air. This post will take a look at the differences and similarities of these two models based on the following areas:

Airless Paint Sprayer Vs. Air

here are the differences between airless paint sprayer vs. air
roofer builder worker with pulverizer spraying paint on metal sheet roof

Many factors differentiate airless paint sprayer from the air models. Let’s quickly look at these factors:


One significant difference between airless and air paint sprayers is their portability. Air sprayers would have to be connected to air supply for it to function.

This means an air compressor must be stationed close to where you want to carry out a painting project. This is a clear departure from airless sprayers.

Airless sprayers make use of pressurized streams of paint to force the painting materials out. This arrangement makes it more portable than a typical air sprayer.

Paint Finish

In air sprayers, compressed air is used to force the spray material out of the nozzle. The compressed air can easily mix with the paint material and thus form bubbles in the finishing.

Airless sprayers, on the other hand, eliminate the possibility of air mixing with the spray material, and this provides a bolder and smoother finishing.

However, the high-pressure nature of airless paint sprayers means that some practice is needed to get the correct layering and spraying rhythm to make sure that the paint job does not look wavy or uneven.


When it comes to pressure, the difference between airless sprayers and air is immense.

The air pressure in airless sprayers can increase to an unsafe level (around 2000 pounds per square inch) while in operation, which can result in break glass, knock holes, and curve thinner metals.

Plus, it could even put some paint materials under the skin of the users. Meanwhile, in air sprayers, air pressure would only build to the capacity of the attached compressor (typically around 10 pounds per square inch).

This means air sprayers are quite safer when painting breakables like thin metals, glass, and other light objects.


[su_note note_color=”#ebeec6″ radius=”5″]Air sprayers are typically more affordable than airless sprayers. In fact, if you already own an air compressor, that means you’ll spend less as you don’t need to repurchase one.

Airless sprayers are an expensive alternative, but they can be used to finish large projects in less time.

As of 2010, new air paint sprayers were retailing between $20-$100. As I said earlier, the proposition is somewhat cheap if you already own an air compressor and the required hoses.

Airless sprayers, on the other hand, can go from around $200 up to $1000, making them a costlier alternative.

The question of pricing, therefore, becomes a matter of efficiency: airless sprayers are generally more expensive but produce quality work in shorter periods, while air sprayers are more affordable but take longer to run and can display paint finish flaws.


Cleanup is vital in any painting project. You will agree with us that brushes and rollers can mess up your working environment each time you embark on a painting project.

This mess can be reduced by using either of these models. Both of them can pump either from cartridges or from cans of paint, and both eliminate a bunch of the mess and waste from drips and over-spray.

Although, slopping paint into sprayer canisters has a risk of multiple negligible spills while directly pumping from a can carries the risk of knocking that entire can over.

Finally, airless sprayers can help you to better reduce the mess in a working environment than air sprayers.

Transfer Rate

The transfer rate of air sprayers is higher (typically about 90%) than airless sprayers (about 50%). At these rates, it shows that air sprayers produce less waste than airless ones.

Application Use

If the project you have in mind to spray is quite expensive, air sprayers would be your best bet. The reason is that it guarantees less overspray than airless sprayers.

Similarly, air sprayers would help you achieve finish detail spraying better than airless ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an airless paint sprayer better?

Yes! An airless paint sprayer is better because you can get the job done much quicker than when you’re using an air sprayer.

How does airless paint sprayer work?

Airless paint sprayer works by pumping paint at high pressure up to 3,000 psi, via a hose and out from a tiny hole in the spray gun tip.

The tip is built to evenly break up the paint into a fan-shaped spray pattern of little droplets.

How does air paint sprayer work?

Air jets direct paint to the air nozzle within the compressed air sprayer, which then atomizes the paint and pushes it onto the surface you’re painting.

The fluid nozzle controls the delivery of the paint, while the needle assembly is what makes the paint flow.

How does air paint sprayer work

Does an airless paint sprayer need a compressor?

No! Airless paint sprayers do not need a compressor to paint.

As I mentioned above, it functions by pumping out paint at very high pressure and moving out droplets to cover the surface evenly.

Is it better to use airless paint sprayer?

The airless paint sprayer is better than both traditional methods, meaning that you can get the job done much more quickly than you would expect. This prevents the overspray problem, which mainly paint machines have, and you can also control the flow of the spray, so it does not go everywhere.

Do airless sprayers use more paint?

Airless paint sprayers are extremely popular, but also tend to waste more paint on average than other types of spray guns. Your run-of-the-mill airless paint sprayer will waste up to 40% of the paint that you use, and even more if you aren’t operating the spray gun properly.

What is the advantage of an airless sprayer?

Airless paint sprayers are also more precise and efficient than conventional sprayers. Since they use hydraulic pressure instead of pressurized air to apply paint, they minimize overspray and bounce back. The tips on most sprayers are also customizable, allowing you to choose the right-sized application for the job.

Which is better HVLP or airless sprayer?

HVLPs are more fine production, not high production.” Unlike airless spray guns, HVLP guns have a second control knob that regulates air flow, giving the user more control over the fan size. There is less overspray, making HVLPs a good choice when working with expensive paint.

Do I need to thin paint for airless sprayer?

The airless spray gun systems work well with latex paints, some not even requiring any thinning paint for spraying. You can use the paint directly from the paint can.

Do professional painters use sprayers?

Professional painters have paint sprayers running into the thousands of dollars. As a do-it-yourselfer, you may choose to start with a simple, less expensive type of paint sprayer often called a cup gun sprayer.

Is brushing or spraying paint better?

If there is a problem area that needs fixing, you’ll often see it better when brushing rather than when spraying. Brushing, too, is a great way to conserve paint. The paint goes on thicker when brushing, yet it uses less paint. Still, brushing is more physically demanding than spraying.

Do paint sprayers make a mess?

A paint sprayer will make a mess if you don’t know how to use it. However, if this isn’t you’re first rodeo, your paint sprayer shouldn’t leave a mess at all. It really depends on how well you use it. There are different spray guns out there with different nozzles and air pressures.

What is the major advantage of using paint guns?

A paint gun affords you better control of the spraying process when compared to brushes. This ensures you get your desired thickness and coats. For example, if you’re using an air sprayer, you can adjust the fluid flow, air pressure, and fan size to make sure you get light& even coats over the surface you’re painting.

Which is better gravity feed or siphon?

There are many advantages that come with using gravity feed over conventional spray guns. Less air pressure: It is obvious that gravity feed overcomes the limitations of a siphon feed design, since less air pressure is required to atomize the paint, making this type of spray gun more efficient.


Now you know the key differences between airless and air paint sprayers; we believe you can now make an informed buying decision once you hit the market.

The point is that both airless and air paint sprayers are good and will both get the job done. However, you have to decide precisely what you want based on the job that you’re doing and your budget.

If you still need help, feel free to use the comment box below.

Related Posts On Airless Paint Sprayer Vs. Air: