The Best Sprayers for Staining Your Fence

Oct 4, 2023 | Fence Staining

Thinking about using a sprayer to stain your fence?

Whether you are working with fence pickets, a wood fence, or a privacy fence, choosing the right sprayer can make the job easier and more efficient.

staintrac staining machine

But which one should you choose?

Keep reading…

There is a wide range of sprayers for spray painting available in the market for different purposes.

Buy your own fence staining machine ›

Here are some common types of sprayers:

Handheld Pump Sprayers

These sprayers feature a simple design where a manually operated pump pressurizes the liquid (be it stain, paint, or pesticide).

Upon squeezing the trigger, the pressurized liquid is released through a nozzle, creating a spray.

handheld spray

Pros: Well, there’s more…

Handheld pump sprayers have some significant advantages.

They’re generally lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them a popular option for small DIY projects.

Their simplicity also means they require little maintenance.

Plus, they’re typically quite affordable, which is always a bonus.

Cons: But they’re not perfect.

While handheld pump sprayers can be a great tool, they come with some drawbacks.

They have a smaller capacity and may require frequent refills, which can slow down larger projects.

The manual pumping needed to pressurize the liquid can also be physically tiring if you’re working for an extended period.

Another point to consider is that the spray they produce may not be as even or uniform as other types of sprayers.

In a nutshell, while handheld pump sprayers can be a cost-effective and easy-to-use option for small tasks, they might not be the best choice for larger projects or for applications requiring a very even coat.

Handheld Airless Sprayers

These devices use an electric or gas motor to pressurize the material (such as paint or stain), which is then released through a small hole at the tip of the gun to form a spray.

handheld airless paint

Pros: That’s not all!

Handheld airless sprayers bring several benefits to the table.

They’re capable of providing a more even coat than pump sprayers and handle thicker materials with ease.

These sprayers also cover larger areas more quickly, making them great for medium-sized projects.

Cons: However, they’re not without drawbacks.

While handheld airless sprayers outperform pump sprayers in several areas, they come with their own set of cons.

They tend to be more expensive and heavier, which can cause fatigue during extended use.

Additionally, they often produce more overspray, which can lead to wasted material and require careful masking to prevent stains where you don’t want them.

In essence, handheld airless sprayers can be a great tool for bigger projects requiring a smooth, even finish.

However, their cost, weight, and tendency towards overspray are factors to take into account.

Professional Airless Sprayers

Similar to their handheld counterparts, these sprayers utilize an electric or gas motor to pressurize the material.

However, they are larger, with more powerful motors designed to handle bigger, professional-grade projects.

professional airless sprayers

Pros: Plus!

Professional airless sprayers offer some major benefits.

They provide quick and highly even coverage, capable of handling a wide range of viscosities.

That means whether you’re spraying a thin stain or a thick latex paint, these sprayers can handle it.

They’re designed for large projects, making them a favorite in the professional painting industry.

Cons: Yet, they have their limitations:

While these sprayers are mightily efficient, they’re the most expensive of the lot.

Their size and complexity mean they’re not the most user-friendly, especially for beginners.

They’re heavier, which can lead to user fatigue, and require a more meticulous cleaning process to prevent clogs and prolong the sprayer’s lifespan.

In summary, professional airless sprayers can be fantastic tools for large or frequent painting or staining projects, offering fast, even coverage.

However, their cost, weight, and complexity make them best suited for professional use or serious DIY enthusiasts.

HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure) Sprayers

These sprayers utilize a high volume of air at a low pressure to atomize the material being sprayed.

This results in a very fine finish, making HVLP sprayers ideal for detailed work and precision tasks.

hvlp sprayers

Pros: Also…

HVLP sprayers come with a slew of advantages.

They offer unrivaled control, allowing for precise application even on intricate surfaces.

This makes them great for furniture, cabinetry, or other detailed projects.

They also produce less overspray than many other types, wasting less material and making for a cleaner work area.

Cons: Yet, there are some downsides.

While HVLP sprayers deliver unparalleled precision, they do have their cons.

They’re generally slower and cover less area than other types of sprayers, making them less suitable for large projects.

They also struggle with thicker materials unless thinned appropriately.

And, high-end HVLP sprayers can be quite expensive.

Overall, HVLP sprayers offer great control and fine finishes, making them perfect for detail-oriented tasks.

However, their slower speed, difficulty with thicker materials, and cost might be considerations for some users.

LVLP (Low Volume, Low Pressure) Sprayers

These sprayers operate similarly to HVLP sprayers, but they use a lower volume of air.

This makes them more air-efficient and perfect for use with smaller air compressors.

lvlp sprayers

Pros: But there’s more to it…

LVLP sprayers have several advantages.

Their air efficiency makes them great for use in smaller, more controlled environments.

They offer a good level of precision, producing less overspray and subsequent waste compared to other sprayers.

This makes them excellent for detailed projects.

Cons: Nonetheless, every rose has its thorns:

While LVLP sprayers are a great tool, they do have some drawbacks.

They tend to be slower than other types of sprayers, making them less suitable for larger projects.

Also, they might struggle with thicker materials, requiring you to thin the material appropriately before application.

In essence, LVLP sprayers are excellent for detail-oriented projects and smaller spaces due to their precision and air efficiency.

However, their slower speed and potential struggles with thicker materials are factors to consider.

Compressed Air Sprayers

These are traditional sprayers that use a compressor to atomize the paint or stain.

The material is stored in a canister and mixed with air to create a fine spray.

Compressed Air Sprayers

Pros: But there’s more.

Compressed air sprayers have several advantages.

They’re versatile, capable of handling a variety of materials, from thin stains to thicker paints.

They provide a smooth and even finish, making them a great choice for many projects. Plus, they’re usually very affordable.

Cons: However, not everything is roses:

While compressed air sprayers can be a handy tool, they come with some cons.

They tend to produce a lot of overspray, which can lead to wasted material and a messier work area.

They’re also less efficient than other types of sprayers, often requiring more material to cover the same area.

Lastly, they require an air compressor, which can add to the cost and complexity of the setup.

In essence, while compressed air sprayers can be a versatile and affordable option, their overspray, inefficiency, and the need for a compressor are factors to consider.

Airless Paint Sprayers

These sprayers operate by pumping out paint at high pressure, atomizing the paint as it’s released through a small hole at the tip of the spray gun.

This results in a high-speed, even spray of paint.

Airless Paint Sprayers

Pros: In addition…

Airless paint sprayers offer several benefits.

They can cover large areas quickly and provide an even, professional finish.

They’re also great at handling thicker paints, making them a versatile tool for a variety of projects.

Plus, they require less thinning of paint compared to other sprayers.

Cons: However, it’s not all positives!

While airless paint sprayers are highly efficient tools, they have their cons.

These sprayers often produce a significant amount of overspray, which can lead to more paint usage and a need for careful masking to prevent unwanted staining.

They’re also the more expensive, and because of their power, they may be harder to control for beginners or for finer detailed work.

In essence, while airless paint sprayers are ideal for large areas and provide a smooth, even finish, their overspray, higher price, and potential lack of control are factors worth considering.

An important point to add to our discussion on sprayers:

Regardless of the type of sprayer you opt for, you have two main options when it comes to staining or painting your fence.

You can either spray the fence after it’s fully assembled, or you can spray the individual components before assembly.

picket fence spray painting

Curious about the differences?

Spraying an assembled fence ensures that every nook and cranny is reached, resulting in a comprehensive and even finish.

It’s typically the preferred method for most professionals and DIY enthusiasts as it’s more efficient and less time-consuming.

But what about pre-spraying components?

The advantage of spraying components like pickets and posts before assembling the fence is that you can achieve a thorough coating on all sides.

However, this method is often more time-consuming and can get a little messy.

Extra care is needed to protect your workspace, and you also need to keep in mind that the assembly process can lead to scratches or scuffs that might need touch-ups.

So, whether you choose to stain and seal an assembled fence or the individual components before assembly, each approach has its pros and cons.

Staintrac as better fence stain sprayer for contractors

One brand that stands out for contractors who want to pre-stain wood prior to fence installation is StainTrac.

This sprayer has been designed with this specific need in mind, making it a great tool for such a task.

Curious? You’re not alone.

StainTrac Staining Machine

StainTrac has garnered positive reviews for its effectiveness in pre-staining wood.

It’s efficient, easy to use, and designed to provide a consistent, even application of stain.

This can save contractors time and result in a high-quality finish, ensuring a beautiful and long-lasting fence.

But don’t just take our word for it:

For a more in-depth look at why StainTrac is a preferred choice for pre-staining prior to fence installation, here’s a helpful article detailing similar sentiments.

The article provides further insight into the benefits of using a StainTrac machine and why it’s a favorite among contractors 

If pre-staining is your method of choice for fence installation, then considering a specialized tool like StainTrac could be a wise move.

To Wrap It All Up:

Choosing the right sprayer for staining your fence hinges on several factors such as the size of the project, type of stain, and your specific needs.

Whether you opt for handheld pump sprayers, handheld airless sprayers, professional airless sprayers, HVLP sprayers, LVLP sprayers, compressed air sprayers, or airless paint sprayers, each has its unique features, pros, and cons.

For contractors favoring the pre-staining method, specialized tools like StainTrac offer a tailored solution to efficiently stain components like pickets and posts prior to assembly.

If staining an assembled fence, options abound based on your budget, the scale of the project, and the type of finish you want.

Remember, no matter the type of sprayer, preparation is key.

Clean, dry fence components will hold the stain better and prolong the life of your fence.

In summary, a successful fence staining project involves selecting the right sprayer or the best machine, preparing the fence components correctly, and deciding whether to spray before or after assembly.