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Wagner Control Painter Review

Editor Rating: 4.7/5

Great Product

Wagner Control Painter

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Nov 16, 2020 @ 3:03 pm

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Review Summary:

If you want the mother-of-all handheld HVLP sprayers — few come close to the mighty Wagner Control Painter.

Boasting an industry-leading 1.5-quart cup (1419 ml) and allowing you to paint five times faster than a handheld brush — this unit would suit the ardent DIYer looking to complete medium to larger-scale projects. Trust me, this machine is as happy refinishing a tired coffee table as it is weatherproofing an entire shed.

That said, it’s not all grunt and no finesse.

Offering four spray settings, you can tailor the liquid delivery to your job requirements, not only replicating the action of a traditional brush — but also allowing you to tackle more precise applications such as corner work and intricate moldings.

Compatible with a wide range of mediums from stains through to latex paints, this sprayer is as versatile as it is powerful. And, featuring a proprietary Lock N Go feature — you can easily dismantle the unit post-project for effortless cleaning.

The Control Painter is at the top-end of Wagner’s Control Series — being just one step behind its flagship product, the immense Control Spray Max. This US-based company, with its generations of history in painting power tools, gives you the peace of mind of reliability and durability — although, to misquote Stella Artois — it’s reassuringly hard on the wallet.

Pros:

N
Ideal for medium to large projects.
N
Large 1.5-quart cup.
N
Bespoke iSpray nozzle reduces mess.
N
Cord protector to prevent cable detachment.
N
Rapid coverage.
N
Adjustable flow control.
N
Respected manufacturer.
N
Ergonomic handle.

Cons:

N
A heavy sprayer.
N
Lacks additional nozzles.
N
Premium price for a premium product.

Features and Benefits of the Wagner 052008 Control Painter Paint Sprayer


Down to business!

Wagner rates this sprayer as one of its pinnacle products — let’s pull this unit apart to see if it can deliver on its promises.

Lock N Go and Cleaning


Whatever medium you’re using — lacquer, stain, or paint — they all share one vital characteristic — they’re sticky.

Naturally, this is a bonus — as otherwise, it wouldn’t adhere to your base material, and your spraying efforts would be more than disappointing. The issue is, they also stick to your gun — meaning thorough cleaning is crucial after every project.

Therefore, it’s pleasing to see that the Control Painter incorporates Wagner’s bespoke Lock N Go feature. This enables you at the click of a switch to release the turbine unit from the nozzle and cup and get down to some intense rinsing. Additionally, the nozzle breaks down into its component parts — meaning you can address even the most stubborn of residue.

The manufacturer states that you can clean the entire unit in just five minutes — allowing you to crack open a well-deserved cold one without delay.

Rapid Coverage


If you, like Mick Jagger, see a red door and want to paint it black — the Control painter is the tool for the job.

Its massive 1.5-quart cup will hold enough liquid medium to cover an area of 125 square feet — in fact, that’s enough material for Jagger, Wyman, and Richards to tackle around five doors between them.

Furthermore, its substantial flow rate enables you to complete an eight by ten-foot area in less than two minutes — quicker than making a cup of Joe.

Hence, this machine may be of interest if you’re looking at addressing medium to large-scale jobs — such as walls, deckings, garages, and fences.

However, bear in mind that this unit — weighing in at around four pounds — is a hefty machine. Combine that with 1.5 quarts of paint — and that’s a lot of mass to wield in one hand.

Flow Control


While keeping your sprayer cranked up to the max might be ideal for large-sized jobs — sometimes you need to take it a little more steady.

Therefore, I welcome that this machine includes flow adjustment — enabling you to step down the fluid delivery. So, if you have a project which demands some finesse — such as addressing spindles — you can prevent the base material from becoming saturated and avoid unsightly drips.

The flow dial is both substantially sized and notched — making it easy to operate even with gloved or perspiring hands. This may also appeal if you lack in the hand dexterity department.

Pattern Choices


The Control Painter from Wagner comes with a choice of four spray patterns — wide, narrow, horizontal, and vertical — enabling you to select the perfect delivery dependent on the surface you’re addressing.

Altering the pattern setting is straightforward — just twist the nozzle end by means of the substantial tab attached. Furthermore, this cap-end incorporates Wagner’s iSpray technology — which promises to ensure a clean finish with little to no mess and reducing the likelihood of overspray.

Cord Protector


The capacity of this sprayer means that it’s a sensible choice for more substantial jobs — but that can present its own issues.

While the unit comes with an industry-standard six-foot cable — this can be restrictive in some applications. For instance, like Robin the Frog, being halfway down the stairs painting the banister where there is no power outlet (although, to be fair, he was just sitting, not wielding a spray gun).

Hence, this can lead to overstretching of the cable. At best, the plug will just pop out of the wall — at worst, the cable can detach from the spray unit leading to a damaged unit and a live wire thrashing around like an angry snake (although I think that only happens in movies, not gonna test it though).

Anticipating this, Wagner has introduced a cord protector in the handle of the sprayer — reinforcing the connection between machine and mains lead — and preventing accidents.

Naturally, in some circumstances, you may wish to use an extension cable. If that’s the case, always ensure that it’s rated for the amperage of your machine — the manufacturer recommends a 12 or 14-gauge lead for the Control Painter.

What do The Users Say?


For me, the Wagner Control Painter handheld HVLP paint sprayer is the perfect solution for home-improvers wanting a compact unit that can tackle medium to significantly sized projects.

But, is that opinion mirrored by owners of this spray gun?

To ensure a thoroughly balanced review, I delved into the multitude of online Wagner Control Painter reviews — to see what users of this high-end unit thought about the machine.

Reassuringly, it seems I’m in the right ballpark with my opinions.

Owners of the unit gave it generally positive reviews — praising its ease of use, rapid coverage, and adjustable flow control. Admittedly, there were a few naysayers who mentioned it caused fatigue when used for extended periods. But these strength-challenged DIYers were in the minority.

If you want to judge for yourself, then take a few moments to look at the customer feedback.

Alternatives to Wagner Control Painter


While an impressive machine from one of the ‘big boys’ in the paint spraying world — it could be that this unit isn’t tickling your spraying fancy.

Horse for courses, right?

Hence, if you’re looking for something a little different, take a moment to check out these creditable alternatives.

Need something with a little more precision and attention to detail than the heavier duty Control Painter? This may be a viable option.

The Control Sprayer 250 is Wagner’s flagship finishing machine — incorporating a smaller cup and more compact design than the Control Painter — allowing you to address objects such as children’s toys and cornices with more finesse.

  • Easier on the bank balance than the Control Painter.
  • 0.85-quart cup as opposed to a 1.5-quart.
  • Half the weight of the Control Painter.

Rexbeti Ultimate 750


Perhaps my main criticism of the Control Painter is the lack of additional nozzles — which can be an issue if you’re dealing with a variety of spray mediums. If you share this concern, then consider this unit.

The Rexbeti includes three interchangeable nozzles, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0mm, allowing you to select the perfect cap end dependent on your liquid’s viscosity.

  • More budget-friendly than the Wagner.
  • Smaller cup — 1.05 quarts as opposed to the 1.5 quarts.
  • Its 6.6 feet of cable is longer than the standard six feet of the Wagner.
Want the complete package but don’t want to break the bank? This ultimate kit may hold the answer.

This HVLP paint sprayer from Scuddles arrives complete with cleaning utensils, funnel, and five additional nozzles. Meaning you have everything you need in one box to address a multitude of projects and utilize a plethora of mediums — without having to buy extra accessories.

  • 1.05-quart capacity as opposed to 1.5 of the Wagner — not suitable for larger-scale work.
  • Three spray settings, the Control Painter, has four.
  • Lower price point than the Wagner.

Conclusion


When you need the ability to tackle larger projects — but would prefer a handheld unit — this sprayer is the solution.

Providing rapid coverage and a 1.5-quart capacity cup, this machine is the consummate power tool for DIYers looking to paint walls, whitewash fences, stain decking, and cover ceilings.

Adjustable flow control and a choice of four pattern settings enable you to tailor the delivery for your particular job. The Lock N Go feature allows for effortless cleaning, and the cord protector provides peace of mind on more challenging work.

To be fair, the overall weight of the sprayer combined with a full container may be too fatigue-inducing for some users. That being the case, I’d suggest opting for a machine with a separate turbine — such as the Control Spray Max.

However, for ripped DIY guys who want serious power in their palm — the Wagner Control Painter delivers.

The FAQ

Can You Use the Control Painter 052008 Inside?
Yes. Keep the flow rate to the minimum (while still providing adequate coverage) to reduce the risk of overspray. Furthermore, always ensure that you keep the area well-ventilated — especially if using solvent-based mediums or thinners.
What Filter Do I Use as Replacement for the Control Painter?
When you need to change the internal turbine filter, the correct Wagner replacement is product number 2382954A.
Can the Control Painter Be Used to Spray Polyurethane?
Indeed it can! Although, depending on the viscosity, it may require thinning.
What Is the Tube of Grease For With the Control Painter?
The grease allows you to lubricate the seals and O-rings on the gun — extending longevity and preventing unwanted drips.
What Are the Control Painter Uses?

Suitable for medium to large scale projects, the Wagner 052008 is ideal for spraying:

  • Decking.
  • Fencing.
  • Large furniture.
  • Walls.
  • Ceilings.
  • Garages.
  • Sheds.
  • Outhouses.
  • Doors.
  • Garden furniture.
  • Jungle Gyms.
  • Treehouses.
How Much Does the 052008 Control Painter Cost?
The high-end Control painter from Wagner is a powerful machine that comes with the backing and customer service of a major home-improvement brand. To check out its current price, click here.

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