Best Paint Sprayers for Ceilings – 2021 Complete Guide

| Last Updated: November 10, 2021

Ceilings can be a nuisance to paint and worse if you are using brushes and rollers. You save yourself the trouble and paint faster, easier, and with a finer finish with a paint sprayer

Buying the best paint sprayer for ceilings is a challenge when you don’t have the right knowledge of what to look for. It gets worse if you have no idea of some great models you should consider.

This article explores some of the best paint sprayers you can buy for your next ceiling painting project, either as a DIYer or a commercial-level painter.

Comparison of the Best Paint Sprayers for Ceilings

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Works with most decorative paints
  • Type: HVLP
  • Working Pressure: 2.5 psi
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  • Includes 3 durable brass tips
  • Type: Handheld HVLP
  • Working Pressure: 3-4 psi
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  • Best for the Money and Best for Basement Ceiling
  • Type: Airless
  • Working Pressure: 3000 psi
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  • Best Paint Sprayer for Popcorn Ceiling
  • Type: Airless
  • Working Pressure: 3000 psi
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  • Best Airless Paint Sprayer for Ceiling
  • Type: Handheld Airless
  • Working Pressure: 1500 psi
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How to Choose a Sprayer for Painting Ceilings

Several factors or aspects determine what a good paint sprayer for ceilings is and isn’t. You have to consider the following factors carefully to ensure you pick the right sprayer for your project. 

Weight

Painting ceilings with a heavy sprayer will be an even harder job. You’ll want a lightweight sprayer that strikes a good balance between the weight and amount of paint it holds. 

The weight of the paint sprayer depends mainly on the size of the paint cup. A larger cup holds more paint and weighs much more when full, while a small cup will be lighter at full capacity. 

When painting ceilings, you should use a sprayer that holds as much paint as possible, but that isn’t always the best option because of the resultant hand fatigue. 

Some paint sprayers have more weighty components, such as a stationary base. While the base can be a nuisance to shift around, it won’t cause weight problems for the hand because of the hose. 

You’ll still be able to spray with no hand fatigue because you can move the hose around, and the base remains grounded with its weight. 

Adjustability Options

Paint sprayers with more adjustability options are your best bet for painting ceilings. Since you will be working against gravity, you’ll want a sprayer that allows as much paint as possible to stick. 

Airless sprayers may be a good option for painting large ceilings at high speeds, but there will be a lot of oversprays, and the high pressure means fewer material sticks to the ceiling. 

Paint sprayers come with a combination of different adjustability options, such as spray patterns, tip and nozzle sizes, pressure, and flow rate. 

Sprayer Capacity

As much as you want a paint sprayer with the highest capacity, this isn’t always the wisest choice when spraying ceilings. 

A sprayer with a larger paint container holds more paint, making the sprayer heavier and causing you more hand fatigue if you hold it for a long time. 

Handheld sprayers are ideal for ceilings. They have smaller paint cups that hold less material, making them suitable for holding for extended durations with less fatigue. 

If you opt for an airless sprayer for painting the ceiling, be sure to pick a model with a long hose and a small paint cup to keep the weight off your hands. 

Key Terms to Know

To help compare products in this review, we have included a few key specifications for each. Here is a quick summary of what they mean.

  • Type of Sprayer: This tells you the method the unit uses to spray paint. (ie; HVLP, LVLP, airless, compressor, handheld, etc)

  • Pressure: The pounds per square inch (PSI) the sprayer puts out.

  • Spray Tips Included: Included tip sizes for the sprayer’s optimal usage.

  • Weight: The actual weight of the sprayer.

  • Dimensions: The length, width, height of the sprayer.

  • Capacity: The amount of paint the sprayer can contain at a time. Measured in CCs, gallons, quarts, milliliters, or cups.

  • Hose or Cord Length: The length of the sprayer hose or cord.

Review of the Best Paint Sprayers for Ceilings

When you are scouring the market for the best paint sprayer for your ceilings, it’s advisable to start with some knowledge of some great models you can check out. 

Here are some great paint sprayers that will do your ceiling painting job well. Be sure to pick a favorite and order it in good time.

Best Overall

Wagner 0529033

Wagner 0529033 Home Décor HVLP Paint Sprayer, 6' Hose, Chalk Paint Spray Gun, Milk Painting Tool, Latex Paint Spray for Home, Spray Painting Gun, Finish Sprayer

Specifications

Type: HVLP

Pressure (PSI): 2.5

Capacity: 20 oz

Hose Length: 6 ft

Weight: 1.08 lbs

Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 10″

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Review

There’s a good reason the Wagner 0529033 HVLP paint sprayer tops our list. As an HVLP sprayer, it ensures you spray with more precision, less overspray, and with less hand fatigue. 

The sprayer is very lightweight, making it possible to spray ceilings for an extended period without causing your hands’ excessive fatigue. 

However, you’ll have to struggle with frequent refills because of the small paint container.

Bottom Line

The Wagner 0529033 handheld HVLP sprayer is ideal for painting both small and large ceilings. If you have moderately sized ceilings, the sprayer will serve you even better. 

The one downside to the sprayer is that you’ll have to refill it too often because of the small paint cup. Frequent refills are usually messy and consume too much of your precious time.

Pros

Super lightweight device for less hand fatigue

Includes a material flow control knob to reduce overspray

Has a pattern adjustment dial for changing spray patterns

Comes with a 6-foot hose for easy reach and maneuverability

Has a 6-foot hose hence keeping the weight of the stationary base grounded

Cons

Low capacity due to small paint cup makes frequent refills necessary

Runner-up

HomeRight Super Finish Max

HomeRight C800971.A Super Finish Max HVLP Paint Sprayer, Spray Gun for Countless Painting Projects, 3 Superior Brass Spray Tips, 3 Spray Patterns

Specifications

Type: Handheld HVLP

Pressure (PSI): 3-4

Spray Tips Included: 4.0mm, 2.0mm and 1.5mm

Capacity: 40 oz

Hose Length: 25 ft

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Dimensions: 9.5 x 6 x 12.5″

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Review

The HomeRight Super Finish Max offers excellent features such as a powerful motor, a set of three brass spray tips, and options to adjust the flow rate and spray patterns. 

You can choose between round and horizontal spray patterns, which are both suitable for painting your ceiling. The powerful motor makes it possible to spray.

Bottom Line

One thing to like about the HomeRight Super Finish Max is its high number of allowable spray tips. The sprayer comes with three brass tips out of the six permissible tips. 

Although you have to buy the remaining tips separately, the sprayer is still a good option when you want a sprayer that can handle a wide range of spray materials with different thicknesses.

Pros

Generous 2-year warranty

Can spray thick materials as it has a powerful 450-watt motor

Manages overspray by adjusting the flow rate using a control knob

Allows horizontal, round, and vertical spray patterns by adjusting the air cap

Supports up to six brass spray tips that are more durable than plastic tips

Cons

You have to buy three of the six allowable spray tips separately

Best for the Money and Best Paint Sprayer for Basement Ceiling

Graco Magnum X5

Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer, Blue

Specifications

Type: Airless

Pressure (PSI): 3000

Spray Tips Included: 0.015”

Capacity: 1 or 5 gal

Hose Length: 25 ft

Weight: 19.73 lbs

Dimensions: 14.5 x 12.75 x 19″

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Review

The 110-volt Graco Magnum X5 airless paint sprayer will serve you well for spraying tight spaces like basement ceilings. 

The airless sprayer can spray unthinned materials at high pressure and speed, ideal for quickly painting a basement ceiling. 

The good thing is that you can easily adjust the pressure to lower levels to make it easy to spray your ceiling with less overspray and reduced material wastage. 

The sprayer supports up to 75 feet in hose length, so it is easy to reach open and tight spots easily over the basement ceiling. 

With the Magnum X5, your cleaning time will be easier because of the RAC tips and Power Flush Adapter. 

The RAC tips allow you to unclog the tip by reversing it, while the adapter enables you to connect a garden hose to the unit for easy cleaning.

Bottom Line

Spray painting basement ceilings on a tight budget are easy with the Graco Magnum X5 airless sprayer. Since it is an airless model, the sprayer makes painting large ceilings easy and faster than handheld and HVLP sprayers.

The sprayer eliminates the need for thinning paint because it ejects paint at high pressure, forcing even thicker particles out of the tip onto the surface. 

The Graco Magnum X5 is your best bet for spraying ceilings faster while drawing large amounts of unthinned material from detached paint buckets.

Pros

Sprays up to 125 gallons per year

Can spray unthinned materials at high pressure

Uses Reverse-A Cleaning tips for easy unclogging

Can be connected with a garden hose for easy cleaning

Fully adjustable pressure for controlled material flow rate

Cons

Stationary base and required buckets for holding the paint can easily become extra baggage

Best Paint Sprayer for Popcorn Ceilings

Graco Magnum ProX17

Graco 17G177 Magnum ProX17 Stand Paint Sprayer, Grey/Blue

Specifications

Type: Airless

Pressure (PSI): 3000

Spray Tips Included: 0.017″

Capacity: 1 or 5 gal

Hose Length: 50 ft

Weight: 32 lbs

Dimensions: 15.1 x 13.2 x 21.2″

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Review

The Graco Magnum ProX17 can paint as much as 300 gallons of material per year, making it ideal for commercial painters with large repeat projects. 

The sprayer comprises three major parts and a fourth one when you add the paint bucket. It’s a fairly compact model but can get limiting when you fix up to 300 feet of the allowable hose. 

However, you are still okay with this sprayer since the long hose makes it easy to reach expansive areas.

Bottom Line

When spraying popcorn ceilings, you’ll want a sprayer that can spray material at high pressure to ensure most of the material sticks in between the bumps. The ProX17 is a good bet for this.

Pros

Can be cleaned easily once connected to a garden hose

Uses Reverse-A Cleaning spray tips for easy unclogging

Pressure fully adjustable for optimal material volume control

Supports hose length of up to 150 feet for easy reach and maneuverability

Has a flexible suction tube for drawing paint directly out of a detached bucket

Cons

Wasteful at high pressure because of excessive overspray

Best Airless Paint Sprayer for Ceilings

Graco TrueCoat 360

Graco 16Y385 TrueCoat 360 Paint Sprayer, Blue/White

Specifications

Type: Airless

Pressure (PSI): 1500

Spray Tips Included: 0.015”

Capacity: 32 oz

Weight: ‎3.5 lbs

Dimensions: 5.25 x 12.5 x 9.75″

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Review

The Graco TrueCoat 360 is a powerful electric handheld paint sprayer ideal for painting small and moderately sized ceilings. 

With the powerful 120-volt motor, you can spray unthinned materials at high pressure to eliminate the need for messy thinning. 

One exciting thing about the sprayer is its recyclable FlexLiner bags to replace the ordinary cups traditionally used in other sprayers.

Bottom Line

The Graco TrueCoat 360 airless sprayer is an excellent choice for spray painting ceilings. Because it is a handheld model, the sprayer lets you paint even large surfaces fast and with less hand fatigue.

Pros

Uses Reverse-A Cleaning tips that are easy to unclog

Uses VacuValve technology to allow spraying in any direction

Robust 120-volt pump suitable for painting at high pressure

Has reusable FlexiLiner bags that are better than traditional paint containers

Cons

Power cord is short, and limits reach

Types of Paint Sprayers for Ceilings

Paint sprayers come in different types, and some are ideal for spray painting ceilings, while others are ideal for other types of painting jobs. 

Read on to find out which sprayer types are the best for painting ceilings. 

HVLP Paint Sprayers

HVLP means High Volume, Low Pressure. The term refers to paint sprayers that eject painting material at high volume but low pressure onto the intended surface. 

Because of the lower pressure, HVLP systems are slower and ideal for small to moderately sized painting projects. You can choose this type if time is not a big worry. 

HVLP sprayers are also great for ceilings because the lower pressure means that most of the high volume material sticks to the surface with less overspray and material wastage. 

When you want more precision, an HVLP sprayer is ideal. The reduced overspray means that an HVLP sprayer will paint more of the intended parts and less of the surrounding unintended areas. 

Wagner 0529033

Electric Handheld Sprayers

Given their small paint cups and lightweight nature, electric handheld paint sprayers are the best for spraying ceilings. 

The only two major limitations with handheld sprayers are the lower capacity and electric cord. 

A small paint container means lower capacity, making frequent refills necessary. Refills are time-consuming and can be messy. 

An electric handheld sprayer relies on electricity supplied through the cord from the main outlet. The cord is usually short in most sprayers, which limits maneuverability. 

Also, you can only use the sprayer as long as it is connected to mains. However, you can use power extensions to bring the sprayer closer to your working area. 

Another viable option for painting ceilings is cordless handheld sprayers. These are easy to use, highly portable, and very lightweight. 

The two significant downsides of cordless handheld paint sprayers are low capacity and fast-draining batteries. 

Since manufacturers want to keep cordless models as lightweight as possible, they only make ones with small paint cups. You have to keep stopping more often for refills. 

Additionally, fast-draining batteries become a nuisance in a cordless handheld sprayer because you can only work as long as the battery is still powered. 

Once the battery runs out, you have to stop working and recharge it. As such, battery-powered or cordless handheld sprayers aren’t a good fit for painting large ceilings. 

Graco TrueCoat 360

Airless Sprayers

As noted earlier, you would have better times painting a ceiling with an electric handheld or HVLP sprayer. However, if the ceiling is quite large, an airless sprayer would serve you better. 

Airless sprayers eject a high volume of material onto the intended surface at high speed and high pressure. These two qualities make airless models ideal for projects where time is of the essence. 

The major downside to airless sprayers is that they have a lot of oversprays, which leads to paint wastage and messing up surrounding surfaces or objects you didn’t intend to paint.

Which Sprayer Tips Are Best for Ceilings?

As mentioned, paint sprayers offer different adjustability options. Using spray tips with different sizes helps you regulate the amount of material and spray patterns.  

You can use the following spray tips to spray different materials for ceilings. 

414 Tips

414 tips are ideal for spraying ceilings with thin materials like paint and lacquers. Such thin materials require low pressure and can be ejected at moderate speed. 

515 – 523 Tips

Thicker materials like latex, primers, acrylics, and other interior paints require large spray tips. They also require more pressure to eject.

Price Points of a Paint Sprayers for Your Ceiling

Since there are different brands on the market, you can expect to pay varying prices for a paint sprayer for your ceiling. Here are general price points for ceiling paint sprayers.

$80 – $100

The Wagner 0529033 and HomeRight Super Finish Max are great examples of paint sprayers in this price range. 

Some features to expect here include adjustability options, durable brass spray tips, powerful motors for spraying unthinned materials, and hosed sprayers. 

$100 – $320

Graco TrueCoat 360 is a handy sprayer within this price range, as is its sister, the Graco Magnum X5. 

With sprayers in this range, you can expect to spray 25-125 gallons of material per year, easy-to-clean devices, RAC spray tips, and long paint hoses. 

$500+

The Graco ProX17 is an ideal sprayer above $500 with likable features such as a 150-foot paint hose, RAC tips, adjustable pressure, and annual spraying ability of up to 300 gallons. 

Conclusion 

The best paint sprayer for ceilings is the one that best does the job for you with less overspray, more precision, and in considerably good completion time. 

An HVLP system strikes the middle ground when you consider the aspects above, while handheld models and airless sprayers follow closely for small and large ceilings, respectively. 

People Also Ask

Below are some common questions people ask about spray painting ceilings. This section will help clear any doubts or confusions you may have about painting ceilings either as a DIYer or commercial painter.

Is It Hard to Spray Paint a Ceiling?

Spray painting a ceiling is easy if you have the right type of sprayer and a good model. 

Since you are working against gravity, find a sprayer that ensures as much paint sticks to the ceiling as possible. An HVLP sprayer will be best here, with less overspray, more sprayer control, and high precision. 

Can You Use the Same Paint Sprayer for Ceilings and Walls?

There is no harm in using the same paint sprayer for ceilings and walls. For a new house that’s empty, an airless sprayer will be great for spraying faster and at a high volume. 

If the house is occupied, an airless sprayer is a no-no because of excessive overspray. You’ll have to go for an HVLP system to enable you to spray with more precision. 

You could also use an electric handheld sprayer if you want even more control and have lots of time to spray slowly. 

Regardless of the type of paint sprayer you choose, ensure that you start with the ceiling and then the walls. This way, you’ll mask up less surface on the ceiling when painting the walls.

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.