To Invest or Not to Invest? DIY vs. Commercial Sprayers

To Invest or Not to Invest? DIY vs. Commercial Sprayers

Posted by Matt Piggin & Nikki Michaels on 30th Sep 2020

To Invest or Not to Invest? DIY vs. Commercial Sprayers: Getting the Best Value Out of Your Spray Painting Unit

I’m often asked whether or not a DIY spray painting unit will work for a specific job or ‘X’ number of jobs, so I wanted to write a quick post outlining my thoughts on getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to airless spray painting tools.

I’ve come up with an analogy that I think is the clearest way to describe the capacity of individual spray units.

Serious DIY and commercial spray units are like cars towing a large trailer boat. The boat’s your fixed object — aka your spray painting job.

For the most part, DIY airless spray units can spray just like small commercial units. The difference here is capacity; you can tow a seven-metre boat with a small car, but that car won’t last very long, and it’s likely to break down. Not ideal when you have a weekend planned out on the boat.

If you have a large, powerful vehicle, on the other hand, you can tow all day long and go wherever you want.

In other words: sure, you can do commercial work, new builds, repaints, and multiple roofs with a DIY unit, but that unit’s not going to last — and if you’re spraying frequently, you’ll end up taking a far heftier chunk out of your wallet in the long run when you have to replace an exhausted DIY unit or pay up for maintenance.

The key is balance; you don’t want to overinvest, but it’s even worse to underinvest. With that in mind, here’s what I recommend:

If you’re just spraying your home (whether it’s a new build or a repaint, just the roof or the roof and the full interior), then a DIY unit will generally do the job. Something like the Wagner Control Pro 350 would work well.

But if you’re actively working in the trade or planning on doing multiple jobs using your spray painting unit, then you can’t use DIY equipment and expect to get continuous good results.

Consider an entry level commercial spray unit instead — like the Graco 190 PC or Wagner PS20. These machines are built with better quality pumps, superior componentry and designed to be used — frequently.

Yes, commercial units are more expensive. But that investment pays off in durability and long-term usage when you’re spraying regularly.

If you’d like more help determining which spray painting tool is the right fit for your application, email me at or give me a call on 021434724.

NB: This article is written for considering DIY vs. small commercial airless sprayers, but it's easily transferable to small vs. mid-range or mid vs. large.