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Airless Paint Sprayer: Buy or Rent?

Time is money and for the homeowner, time not painting is time doing useful things.

I have a long post on the top commercial airless sprayers today. Here I show the logic of when to rent, when to buy an airless paint sprayer.

My everything sprayers page (types, tips, accessories, etc) is all in one place.


Let’s take an example suitable to both the homeowner and the contractor. 

Cost Comparison: Renting vs Owning an Airless Paint Sprayer

Let’s agree that for many commercial and residential painting jobs, a couple of guys with an airless paint sprayer can go 4x as fast as a couple of painters who will cut and roll every coat. That includes the masking they have to do that the rollers don’t.

Both teams of painters charge the same amount for an interior remodel, let’s say five thousand.

The boys with the airless paint sprayer will generate 20 thousand in the same time the ones without a sprayer make 3,000 bucks. The spray team did the ceilings, walls and trim and only had to touch up after the masking was removed.

So if it takes the sprayer crew 1 week and the traditional crew 4 weeks, the sprayer (costing perhaps 2-3 thousand like this Graco 695 –  check price here) pays for itself in a month and then multiplies the owner’s income every month thereafter.

Homeowner economics of owning an airless paint sprayer

It’s different if you just like having the right tool for the job. If you will be painting a number of rooms every few years or so, you will fly through it, but you don’t want to spend too much on your machine. I wrote an article about the best airless paint sprayer just for you.

My view: never buy a used airless paint sprayer. Why would anyone sell? Are they retiring? Maybe then I’d consider it, but like a used car, you are buying someone else’s sprayer problems. Wisdom from the old school!

Renting: At what point does it save to buy a commercial sprayer?

More math: Home Depot and most paint stores will rent you an airless paint sprayer for about 90 – 100 dollars per day or about 500 per week, before tax, if you have no cleaning charge.

Answer to the question

So if you rent it for 2 days, that’s like buying the Graco Magnum X7, (the most popular homeowner machine, along with the Magnum X5).

So if you spray for a living you could rent 9 times, that’s like buying the awesome Graco 390 ProConnect.

How many times will you use it? That’s the key.

Other fees?

Every rental shop is different, and the most forgiving will not hassle you if it’s not clear water coming out, but some do. (See Home Depot’s rental rate.)

Either way, you have to clean the machine when you are done, or you could pay another 100 for the cleaning fee. We’ve probably all had that discussion on whether or not the water coming out of the hose is clear or not.

Then figure taxes and delivery if you don’t pick it up.

My Conclusion

If you are going to be regularly painting more than a couple of interior rooms, or an exterior larger than a 1000-2000 ft²,

it’s worth it. The resale cost is shown here in this category on ebay.

Please feel free to comment below, I try to reply right away.

3 thoughts on “Airless Paint Sprayer: Buy or Rent?”

  1. Thanks for the hot tips Brad!!

    Thinking about the project and what we have on hand, here is the solution we came up with…

    We have a generator and can put it on a trailer to use with the big electric sprayer we have for other uses.

    Happy painting, Beth

  2. Hey, I wonder if you have recommendations for the best equipment to paint a long fence that has no access to electricity.

    Thanks for your work on this,



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