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What is the best paint sprayer for cabinets?

Spraying cabinets or kitchens are a big market in the States and a growing market in the UK. There are two aspects to this; there are old kitchens that need spraying to make them look new, and also there are brand new kitchens that are sprayed when they are manufactured. Sometimes a new kitchen is sold and fitted with just a primer on it, and then the customer chooses a colour, and they are sprayed in situ.

There are a few types of spraying systems on the market, and each system is good at specific types of work. Kitchen spraying is the one type of work where all four systems are used commercially. This is actually unusual. For this blog, we will look at each type of system and explain who uses it and why. We will also look at the advantage and disadvantage of each system.

Conventional sprayer

This is a compressor and spray gun set up.

The type of people that use these are spray booth sprayers who spray kitchens using two-pack paints. Two-pack paints have a base and hardener; they dry in a set time and are very durable. They need to be sprayed in a booth because the hardener in the two-pack contains isocyanide and is deadly. You would need an air fed mask too.

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The advantage of this system is that it is relatively cheap (if you already own a booth); The disadvantage is that it does create a lot of overspray (which is why you need a spray booth). This system is not for the DIY sprayer because you would need a spray booth.

Airless paint sprayer

A small airless sprayer is ideal for spraying the kitchen in situ. You can spray a neat water-based coating through the airless sprayer using a small tip, and you will get good results. The advantage of airless is that it will spray any paint, and it is fast. The disadvantage is that airless can be challenging to control. This system would be sound if you were a professional paint sprayer who was already experienced with an airless sprayer.

Air assisted airless

This is the system that kitchen and joinery manufacturers use. It is typically fixed on the wall in a spray booth. It will run off compressed air and is not electric. It has both the advantages of airless in that it will spray thicker materials and faster. An air cap sends a stream of air onto the atomised paint to make it a finer mist and, therefore, a better finish than airless.

The advantage of these systems is that you get the ultimate finish. The disadvantage is that it is challenging to use as an onsite solution, and it is costly. It is also very difficult to set up and use. Certainly not for a DIY sprayer. Even a professional sprayer that has already used an airless sprayer would have to get up to speed with an air-assisted sprayer.

High volume low-pressure turbine sprayer.

This is the final sprayer of the 4. In many ways, it is similar to a conventional sprayer. However, you could more easily use this on site. If you had the correct paints, then you could spray your kitchen with this system.

The advantage would be that it is safe to use, and it gives a good finish. The disadvantages would be that the gun is quite clunky and cumbersome if you sprayed in the carcasses. It would also struggle with thicker “off the shelf” decorative paints.

If you have never used a sprayer before, there is quite a bit of getting your head around the controls; it would be best to do a course if you had no experience.

To answer our original question of which sprayer is best for cabinets, we would say “air-assisted airless” because this system gives the best finish and is the one used by kitchen and joinery manufacturers.

However, if you are an onsite sprayer, then we would say that an airless sprayer would be better. You have most of the advantages of air-assisted airless, but it is less cumbersome, less expensive and more site friendly.

Spraying kitchens and cabinets is not an easy spraying task, and it would be very difficult for the DIY sprayer to attempt. You would end up spending more money on equipment and getting up to speed than you would pay to get a professional to do it for you. You may end up with a mess on your hands too; if the kitchen is not sprayed correctly, we are not sure it’s worth the risk. If you do decide to have a go, then get plenty of practice on some spare kitchen doors.

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