Airless Paint Sprayer vs. HVLP

The paint spray technology has revolutionized the painting industry and manufacturers have continued to improve this technology. However, knowing which paint spray technology best suits your needs can still be tricky. In that regard, we will look at the performance of the Airless Paint Sprayer vs. HVLP.

Operating Principle: Airless Paint Sprayer vs. HVLP

The HVLP’s compressor atomizes the paint and sprays it at high speed but keeps the pressure inside of it low. Other HVLP sprayers make use of a turbine to atomize the paint instead of relying on a compressor.

Airless sprayers work on a different principle that does not involve atomizing the paint by forcefully mixing it with air. Instead, it forces the paint to go through a small orifice and emerge out as a spray. Therefore, airless sprayers make use of hydraulic pumps instead of turbines or compressors.

Because of the way HVLP operates, it is productive when working on a work piece that requires an elegant finish. However, it is not preferred in a high production environment. One thing to note with airless sprayers is that they have a lower transfer rate of just 50%.

When you compare that to the 90% transfer rate of HVLP models, you realize that HVLP technology is highly efficient. The high transfer rates mean that when spraying work-pieces, there is less waste.

With HVLP sprayers, you don’t need to take extensive measures to recollect the untargeted paint. The airless paint sprayers are used widely in a production environment because of their high pressure, which can be as high as 2000 PSI.

The high pressure means that pigments land on the surface getting painted with an enormous force, which boosts their ability to bond properly. HVLP have a small pressure of only up to 10 PSI.

The better atomization of the achieved by the HVLP makes them give finished products a nice polished look. It is therefore popular with varnishes, enamels, and staining finishes. If you need to give a styling finish or detail a job, the HVLP is the best option.

Its efficiency makes use of expensive paints to detail a job worth it. When a contractor cannot use the HVLP to work faster when doing outdoor jobs, airless sprays instead and sacrifice efficiency for speed. An airless paint spray can consume as much as 2 gallons every minute.

Material Viscosity

When using the airless sprayers, you must thin the paint, otherwise, the paint will come out in a straight spray. In the case of HVLP, it is required that you thin paints such as enamel latex.


When it comes to varying the quality of the spray, the HVLP sprayers are more suited for the job. The pressure provided by HVLP compressor is adjustable as opposed to the hydraulic pumps used in airless paint sprayers. The HVLP’s turbines units are portable and therefore useful when you need to move around.

Furthermore, the hot compressed air boosts the speed with which the paint dries once it’s sprayed on a surface. It also clears any paint remaining in the pipe when the reservoir is exhausted and eliminates choke of the hosepipe.

Airless paint sprays, although bulky, are preferred for their ability to spread thick paints and quickly carry out jobs that cover large surfaces in a matter of minutes. The appearance of the paintwork is course and the spray is usually hard to control, which is another reason they are not the best for spraying small surfaces.

That’s why the airless paint sprays are a favorite among contractors. When it comes to the noise, the airless paint sprayers are louder than HVLP paint sprayers.


The airless sprays operate at high pressures and temperatures, which makes them more dangerous, compared to HVLP sprays systems. Furthermore, unlike HVLP systems, their overspray nature means you must stay outside of their spray radius to be safe at all times.

To safely work with airless sprays, it’s important to cover all nearby objects and non-working surfaces to prevent accidental spraying. While spraying, you need to wear a gas mask, safety goggles, safety boots, and dress in overall clothing. Moreover, you have to put up signs and red tape indicating people should stay away from the work area.


HVLP and airless sprayers complement each other, and the choice of one over the other will depend on what you want to achieve. If you are doing a massive painting project such as painting external wall, then go for the airless sprayers.

If you need to paint small surfaces, paint graphics, or any other piece of work that requires attention to detail, then go for the HVLP sprayers. More importantly, you must observe all the safety precautions and protect yourself and those around the workspace.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: