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After reading my post, what is the best suggestion? Airless, HVLP, brush/roller

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good morning everyone,


Backstory: I have just recently bought a 2-story raised ranch. I will be painting and renovating the entirety of the house. The first job I have begin is the kitchen remodel. The cabinets were in real good shape, so I have stripped and sanded all of the cabinet faces and boxes. The cabinets are now ready for paint, and I have purchased a SW Emerald Urethane paint. I would like to have a near "factory-finish" on the cabinets so I have stopped progress to research the best way to get it. Additionally, I want a tool that will be useful for a homeowner DIYer for all future painting needs that come with the full house renovation.



The Dilemma: I am not sure whether I should go the Airless, HVLP or brush and roller route. My budget is no more than $400 for the tool I will use to paint.


The Research: It seems all of the PROs prefer an Airless over both HVLP and brushing/rolling. It seems they use it for the time-savings more than anything else though, with the biggest CON being the paint waste and cleaning time.


The Question: What should I purchase under $400 to get the best finish for my kitchen cabinets with SW Emerald Urethane AND will also be the most versatile for the rest of the house interior paining (all walls, bathroom vanity, trim etc.)



With research, I am considering the following:


Airless (Graco Magnum x5 or x7)


HVLP (Fuji Semi-Pro 2)


Brush/Rollers (Purdy)


I am heavily leaning towards either brushing/rolling with Purdy products or purchasing a Graco x5/Graco x7.



The concerns I have with the brushing/rolling is that I will be unhappy with the finish. I do not mind the extra time required to do the job, and will be happy at the lower cost to purchase materials.


The concern I have with the Airless is whether or not it is best for a homeowner. I do not know if one-time jobs like painting kitchen cabinets, trim painting and bathroom vanities are considered "small jobs" that would be better done with brush/roller due to Airless paint waste and cleaning/prep time. My biggest concern is definitely the paint required to prime the Airless. I bought 1 gallon of SW Emerald Urethane because I was told it was plenty for a cabinet remodel, but will I need another gallon for the Airless, and is that additional cost worth the finish being better than brushing and rolling?


Also consider, I will be using oil based primers and water based paints. Will the airless still be ideal for that, or should I prime by hand and only airless paint the water based, OR both prime and paint with the airless, cleaning between oil and water coats? Obviously with brushes and rollers, I can just buy a set each for oil based and water based.



TLDR:
I am not concerned with time-savings at all between Airless/HVLP VS brush/rolling, but instead:



While using a high quality paint like SW Emerald Urethane, is the paint finish of an airless/HVLP that much better than brushing and rolling that merits the additional cost of the unit and paint waste/cleaning time considering?
 

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Here is the deal with sprayers.
Airless are great for moving 5+ gallons. You need about a quart of paint in the line before it can spray any material. This makes it difficult to spray one gallon at a time. More overspray more wasted material. You can get a good finish with FFLP tips but again these machines are better for larger jobs.
Turbine HVLP leave a great finish with minimal waste but you are going to need a 5 stage turbine to push paint grade material. ~$1000.

The cheap home Depot grade airless sprayers will do what you need but just be warned they are not built to last and are a fire hazard.

For a one off project I would rent one for $50 or do them by brush. A good brush and mohair weenie roller can put on paint almost spray quality.


Oil primer is difficult to clean completely out of airless sprayer and more hazardous, go get some BM217 alkyd undercoater, with a splash of mineral spirits very easy to apply by brush/roller and sands to a powder.
 

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I agree with everything @cocomonkeynuts said. Hey, there's a first time for everything, lol.
I think what happens in the minds of DIYers is that they tend to think that a sprayer, whether HVLP or Airless, is going to make their painting lives so much easier. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, it can create problems and lots of them.

My spraying is limited to a few things. Why, you ask? Because 30 years ago I had an overspray insurance claim that just about put me out of business. Removing oil based primer from a car lot full of trans-ams was quite expensive. There's a learning curve, there's overspray issues, there's viscosity issues with the paint running through certain (mostly cheap) sprayers.

If you really want to spray, follow Coco's advice and RENT one. Most rental stores will give you a tutorial on how to use one. It's a cheap way to see if it's going to work for you.

As an aside, I will add that a skilled painter using an Airless can paint cabinets that look like glass. A brush and roller can come close, but, there's always just enough stipple/brush marks that keep it from being a true "glass-like" finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your insight. I think I will stick to brushing and rolling based on your responses. I thought an airless with a 310 tip could work well for my cabinets and also be versatile enough to use for all our interior painting - apparently I was wrong.


I assume two sets of brushes, one for oil primer, one for Emerald Urethane, would be the best route to go for my cabinets?


It's probably a good idea just to rent one for one day jobs like exterior house and shed painting.


I thought for the price of a Graco Magnum x5/7, it would be nice to keep around, but I guess I just got caught up in all the reviews I read.


Again, thank you so much!
 

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Thank you both for your insight. I think I will stick to brushing and rolling based on your responses. I thought an airless with a 310 tip could work well for my cabinets and also be versatile enough to use for all our interior painting - apparently I was wrong.


I assume two sets of brushes, one for oil primer, one for Emerald Urethane, would be the best route to go for my cabinets?


It's probably a good idea just to rent one for one day jobs like exterior house and shed painting.


I thought for the price of a Graco Magnum x5/7, it would be nice to keep around, but I guess I just got caught up in all the reviews I read.


Again, thank you so much!

I have owned three lts17 models. all three died less than 100 gallons. one even the motor caught fire.


on the other hand graco 390 or titan 440 will last thousands of gallons with minimal maintenance.


Also the lower end models pressure is mechanically controlled instead of with transducer. Not good for fine finish work.
 
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