After I posted the video of us painting our shiplap with our paint sprayer we got SO many questions as to what paint sprayer we were using, how it worked, would we recommend it, etc.
We decided to use the paint sprayer to paint the vertical shiplap wainscoting this time around because of how difficult it can be to paint between the grooves with a regular brush. Though it can be done, it takes some serious patience and you want to make sure you have really good lighting while painting because it can be tricky to see in between the grooves.
Plus, I used to be very intimidated by paint sprayers because I thought they were difficult to use and that I would get paint everywhere in the room from overspray, but our paint sprayer is incredibly easy to use and there are many ways to avoid overspray.
So today's blog post is dedicated to our honest review of our Graco paint sprayer that we purchased earlier this year to complete my mom's Emerald Bathroom. If you missed that transformation, we installed vertical shiplap from floor to ceiling and even on the ceiling. We attempted to use a $100 paint sprayer that we had seen on the internet and let's just say it produced less than stellar results. Which led to us purchasing our Graco paint sprayer halfway through the project to make sure the final coats were smooth and worth of my mom's praise.
Let's go over the most frequently asked questions we received about our paint sprayer!
Q: What is the paint sprayer you all used?
A: We used the Graco TC Pro Cordless paint sprayer. We love the fact that it is cordless and compatible with the Dewalt 20V battery because most of the tools that we own are Dewalt brand. As mentioned earlier, we originally had purchased a more budget friendly sprayer that we had seen several other DIYers use, but the results were subpar which forced us to begin the search for a new paint sprayer and I am so glad we did because it led us to a favorite company of ours, Graco!
Q: Why would you use the paint sprayer instead of a regular roller brush?
A: TIME and EASE! The shiplap we installed wraps around the entire room, so it is no small area. The first time we painted shiplap was during our transformation of the office when we installed the shiplap on the ceiling.
At this time we did not have a paint sprayer, so we used a brush to get between the grooves and then rolled it afterwards. While this process worked it took a while and required multiple coats. We did not want to repeat that process again in the Emerald bathroom or in our nursery (check out the mood board here), so we invested in this air sprayer and it has been a GAME CHANGER. We were able to paint the entire shiplap in less than 20 minutes per coat (two coats). The finish of a paint sprayer is also the cleanest and smoothest you can achieve no matter how good the quality of brush or roller.
Q: Did it produce a lot of overspray?
A: Any paint sprayer is going to produce some overspray which is why we properly prepared the space with tape and contractors paper. However, Graco offers several types of tips to use with their paint sprayers that significantly reduce the amount of overspray. We highly recommend visiting their website for assistance because they have this awesome Paint Sprayer Tip Selector page that helps you decide exactly what tip you'll need for the job. Having the right tip for the job is the best way to reduce overspray and ensure the best results with your paint sprayer.
You also want to make sure you stand about 12inches from the wall to reduce overspray that occurs from having the nozzle too close to the surface you are going to paint.
Additionally, here are some other materials we used to protect our white walls and doors from any overspray including builders paper, delicate tape and tape+plastic. We highly recommend the delicate tape on areas where you are applying the tape over previously painted areas to ensure it does not remove anything from the walls.
We have also found that outlining everything with the delicate or regular painters tape first and THEN taping the carpenters paper and tape+plastic on top of that first tape outline works best. The tape+plastic is a fantastic invention that we have used several times, but it does not have the best adherence to regular walls when the paint sprayer gets going, so we apply it on top of a previous layer of tape. We used the tape+plastic when we painted our dining room windows black and it held up very well with the spray paint!
Q: Why not a corded version? (linked here)
A: This was a personal choice. We have several Dewalt batteries, so we were not concerned about running out of power midway through a project. Additionally, we enjoyed the ability to move about the room without being plugged into an outlet. According to Graco's website, the Dewalt 20V battery will last for about 1 hour of continuous use before requiring a charge. We painted our entire room twice through on a single charge! Always make sure to charge your tool's battery the night before in a room temperature environment to avoid an mid-project frustration!
Q: Can you use this paint sprayer for large projects such as the exterior of your home?
A: While you could use our sprayer for nearly any project, we would recommend one of Graco's paint prayers that can hook up to a gallon or 5 gallon can of paint (such as Magnum X7 Electric TrueAirless Sprayer) whereas our handheld sprayer can only hold 32 ounces of paint at a time in their FlexLiner paint bags that can be cleaned and reused or tossed for easier clean up. One of these large sprayers will probably be on our list to purchase in the next few years.
Q: Is it easy to clean?
A: YES! All you need it water to clean this paint sprayer! The instruction manual provided by Graco has a fantastic step-by-step to cleaning the nozzle to make sure you do not create any clogs in the between uses. We have had a great experience simply covering the nozzles with aluminum foil just as we would for a paint brush between coat uses on the SAME DAY, however the instruction manual recommends cleaning after each use. If you are going to use the paint sprayer for multiple consecutive days we DEFINITELY recommend fully cleaning after each use because nobody has time for a clogged nozzle.
When cleaning and clearing the nozzle make sure you have an empty bucket or trash can to spray into that you don't mind covering in paint because that is the easiest way to shoot water through the nozzles to ensure it is all clean.
Additionally, we clean our FlexLiners after each day of use because I'm super frugal, but they relatively inexpensive when you buy multiple at a time (plus the TC Pro comes with a few to get you started.) Here is a 3 pack you can buy from Lowe's or if you know you will be doing a TON of painting you can save more money and buy a 25 pack off of Amazon.
You all had fantastic questions about the paint sprayer and we hope we answered all of them in a meaningful way. In addition to answering your questions we wanted to go over a few pros and cons of our own.
Super easy to use for any beginner
Easy to clean with few parts
No need to thin paint, just fill the FlexLiner with paint directly from the can (this was a HUGE plus for us)
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
Easy to unclog tips
Compatible with Dewalt 20V battery (great for any Dewalt lovers like us!)
Includes pump filter for an extra layer of filtration to improve finish
Easy to follow user manual explaining how to clean, store and get rid of clogs or air pockets
Only holds 32 ounces of paint
More expensive than some other DIY paint sprayers on the market
Requires a battery, so will limit how long you can spray for
We hope this review was helpful for those who have either entered the giveaway or who are simply looking to add a Graco TC Pro to their Christmas list! We only recommend or giveaway products that we absolutely love and use ourselves, and we simply cannot say enough great things about this beginner friendly paint sprayer.
If you have any more questions about the paint sprayer feel free to leave a comment below, and we would be happy to answer them to the best of our abilities!