HVLP vs Airless Paint Sprayer – Which One Need To Select?

Think of your spray gun as one of the fundamentals on your journey to a final smoother finish! It doesn’t matter what type of paint job you’re doing! You cannot simply achieve the desired appearance by neglecting the importance of a paint sprayer device.

Whether you are working on a smaller paint job or requiring a longer project, it is important to choose a paint spring system carefully.

There are different paint systems. We will focus on the differences and similarity among HVLP vs Airless Paint Sprayer.

Take a look for a better understanding!

What is the HVLP Paint Spring System?

HVLP stands for high volume low pressure. Don’t stress yourself from unfamiliar words. We are going to discuss this whole technique of high pressure!

Let’s Go!

HVLP is similar to any other conventional spray gun! It also uses a compressor to source out the air. But the difference is this particular hvlp requires a low pressure (LP) while using a low volume of air. This causes paint to boost and release at low pressure as compared to other sprayers.

Consider a paint gun having a paint basin and an air compressor. That is HVLP. While painting with it, the trigger on this gun gets pressed. Due to this, paint in the sprayer gets mixed with compressed air. As a result, paint produces a very smooth layer.

Sometimes HVLP systems need a regulator to lower the air pressure. And some systems use a turbine unit as an alternative. The turbine unit is a derived motor containing a vacuum cleaner. This dismisses the need of using the regulator running to the compressor.

Application Of HVLP Spray

You can use HVLP for many applications. It is very famous in the automotive industry. This product stands out because of its efficient performance while refinishing. You can always rely on this gun as it can manage the primer of auto finishing very well!

Whether you are working on a DIY project or you are a professional yourself, with HVLP you don’t need to buff the top coating.

Use for Marine Finishing

Marine Finishing

As you know we are talking about marine vessels, so you must know that finishing is an important part of the process.

While dealing with both metal and wooden surfaces, you can easily use the HVLP sprayer. However, make sure that your nozzle is properly adjusted to get ideal results.

Keep a distance about 4” from the surface while spraying. As you have already become aware that it reduces over spraying. So, it perfect for excellent coverage.

Best for Building Painting

 Building Painting

No doubt, professionals prefer it for painting transportation structures. But it also has maximum benefits for architectural work. Even it can be easily applied to different features of building with full confidence.

You can be using any type of paint and the result will be still smooth. Like consider it for drywall mud application, the result will be plane even when applied in layers.

Overall, you can use it for both outdoor and indoor applications. You can save yourself from extra expenditure as well due to a lack of overspray!

Also Read: Top Rated Basement Waterproofing Paint Reviews.

Easy to Use as Furniture Finishing

Furniture Finishing

Furniture finishing requires a lot of hard work. When we are talking about furniture, we are aware that it needs a high level of precision. One thing goes wrong and the whole project goes down.

Using HVLP will save you from worrying about the uneven coating. It is a perfect tool because it releases paint very smoothly. Don’t worry about cleaning and extra coating while using this specific gun for your furniture finishing.

We have discussed the main applications of HVLP but benefits don’t end here!


Reduce the Overspray

HVLP device is based on a high-volume low-pressure technique. Right? So, using a greater volume of air, paint inside will be released at a slow rate. As a result, the final coating has more consistency.

So, we cannot deny the fact that it reduces overspray. No more scrubbing! No more wasting! No more cleaning!

Offers Better Performance During the Automotive Painting

You will experience a high performance of spraying compared to many other sprayers. Shortly, you can say better transfer efficiency. Transfer efficiency depends on the quantity of sprayed paint on the surface.

If you have experience of a normal standard sprayer gun, you know how spraying causes extra stress due to bouncing back off of a surface. Though, HVLP due to low pressure doesn’t cause that problem.

Be surprised!

The transfer efficiency of HVLP is 65 percent more than a normal sprayer.

No Air Pollution

While working with paints, breathing that paint affected air is bad for health.

Use HVLP to minimize this factor!

It releases less paint due to the high-pressure strategy. This gives you a big advantage and a big reason to use HVLP over other paint systems.


Every technology has its drawback and so does HVLP. Take a look at what can be major concerns while using this spring system.

  • Application takes more time as low pressure is involved.
  • Low pressure also means that high viscosity paints cannot be handled with this gun.

However, if you are a professional and know the proper technique to use HVLP properly, the above-mentioned issues shouldn’t bother you.

What is Airless Paint Sprayer?

This is a product that can be used for the same purposes as HVLP. A big difference is that it is an airless system. It is based on a high-pressure technique. This high pressure is strong enough to accomplish atomization.

You should select it if you have the following two objectives.

  • If you want to speed up the complete painting process, specifically if the job requires tons of paint gallons.
  • Secondly, if you are working with wooden furniture and want a highly smooth glossy look.

Its pumping is extremely efficient and with a very high precision, up to 3000 psi. Paint is released through a hose from a hole that is on the spike of the spray gun.

Tip of this spray gun is designed in such a way that paint gets into a fan-shaped pattern based on tiny droplets. This pattern presents a very even look. Though using different techniques, you can apply different kinds of finishes like thin material including varnish, lacquer, or stain.

You can also use it with full confidence in applying thicker material like latex paints. It is best for heavy paint jobs. For example, if you are working with 5- gallon paint bucket, whole paint can be directly pumped while painting.

You are going to get over-excited by learning the following benefits of this airless paint sprayer.


Efficient work at lower cost

If you are going to select a sprayer that is more budget-friendly, then you can choose an air sprayer. At low cost, you can still give your furniture or any other surface the desired finish.

Less time required

Air sprayer is famous due to its speedy job. It pumps out spray so fast, that you can easily do a 5-gallon paint job directly in a few minutes.


It also has a few drawbacks.

  • A lot of material will be wasted due to overspray.
  • Due to high pressure, it can get into the surfaces you don’t want to.

HVLP vs Airless: What are the Differences?

Viscosity of Material

If you have selected an airless sprayer, thinning Is not required. It is due to the high pressure of this sprayer. However, always consider thinning more heavy viscous material. Otherwise, the outcome will be straight and not in an even layer.

Choosing HVLP, due to low pressure you should thin your paint before using. This point is very important to understand to handle different paint jobs. For example, if you are using enamel latex paints, don’t use HVLP as it requires a high-pressure job.


Talking about airless sprayers, they are capable of more paint materials as compared to HVLP. The main reason is, it doesn’t require you to thin the material. Airless sprayers are portable. You can easily apply thicker paints on larger surfaces.

If you want av very speedy work, the airless sprayer will apply tons of gallons in just minutes. That is the reason airless sprayers are more famous among contractors who work on larger surfaces.

However, don’t get excited about its performance to manage the work more smoothly on narrow spaces, HVLP does a greater job. To control different patterns, HVLP is more efficient.

Final Outcome

This is a win-win for HVLP if you are requiring an extra even layer. HVLP works on low pressure and high air volume, so it releases a slow but smoother paint layer.

Typical air sprayer also produces a fine look evenness will be smaller than HVLP.

Transfer Rate

Transfer rate is the measurement of transferring paint efficiently from sprayer on to the surface. Airless sprayers have a 50 % transfer rate while HVLP offers 90 percent.

That means HVLP doesn’t cause any wasting of the product. It also reduces air pollution. Airless sprayers are based on high-pressure systems usually under 2000 psi, so it produces a lot of waste as well. On the other hand, an HVLP works fine only using 10 psi.


It is proven that HVLP produces a better result and is environmentally friendly. So, this is more expensive than a typical air sprayer.

Though if you are working on a limited budget, you can choose an air sprayer that is more cost-effective. Remember that the high price of HVLP only represents better technology and strength. Due to the higher transfer rate, paints will last longer as compared to an air sprayer.


From the detailed comparison of HVLP vs airless sprayer, it is obvious that selection completely depends on your job type.

If you are doing massive paint projects then choose an airless sprayer. It will save you time and money. Though if your main concern is getting a final smooth look, prefer HPVL!

We wish you all the best for whatever you are going to choose among both. Don‎ gets confused and you can always read this article again to clear any doub.

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