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The Best Wood Stain Spray Paint Machine — Buyer’s Guide, How To, Reviews, and Comparisons

Don’t let brush marks, shed bristles, and an uneven application wreck your timber coating projects — a wood stain spray paint machine ensures the consummate finish to your handiwork. Available in airless, pneumatic, and HVLP turbine formats, these versatile tools can knock out shellacs, colors, varnishes, sealers, weatherproofers, and lacquers. They ensure a steady and even coat with minimal overspray, every woodworker’s dream. Whether you’re a hobbyist crafter, ardent DIYer, or artisan cabinet-maker, there’s a handheld or external-drive machine for your jobs. And with units capable of addressing small shelving work through to substantial fencing, there’s a stain sprayer for any sized project, large or small.

Our Top Pick
Wagner Control Spray Double Duty
Two paint containers of 1 and 1.5 quarts make this handheld HVLP turbine unit suitable for a plethora of job sizes. A steady flow rate of 4.9 ounces per minute ensures precise stain application, while its accurate Control Finish nozzle promises pleasing atomization for the perfect sheen.
Features
  • Three spray patterns.
  • Includes viscosity cup.
  • Integrated filter.
  • Compatible with multiple stains.
Product Rating: 4.6/5

Product Comparison Table

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Format: Handheld
  • Power unit: Turbine
  • Paint cups: 1 and 1.5 quarts
  • Hose/cord length: 6-foot cord

Features

  • Arrives complete with two paint cups.
  • Features Wagner’s accurate Control Finish nozzle.
  • Includes a viscosity cup.

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price at Amazon
  • Format: Floor standing
  • Power unit: Turbine
  • Paint cups: 1 and 1.5 quarts
  • Hose/cord length: 20-foot hose

Features

  • Impressively low bounceback and overspray.
  • Two nozzles for both speedy coverage and precise finishes.
  • Lock-N-Go system enables fuss-free cleaning.

Product Rating: 4.5/5

Check Price at Amazon
  • Format: Pneumatic gun
  • Power unit: External compressor
  • Paint cup: 0.13 quarts
  • Hose/cord length: None included

Features

  • Incorporated ladder hook for safe storage.
  • A textured handle promotes a secure grip.
  • Non-dripping cup.

Product Rating: 4.4/5

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  • Format: Handheld
  • Power unit: Turbine
  • Paint cup: 0.875 quart
  • Hose/cord length: 6-foot cord

Features

  • Twelve ventilation slots.
  • Ideal staining unit.
  • Lock-N-Go feature for rapid dismantling.

Product Rating: 4.3/5

Check Price at Amazon
  • Format: Floor-standing
  • Power unit: Turbine
  • Paint cup: 1 quart
  • Hose/cord length: 25 feet

Features

  • All metal construction non-bleed spray gun.
  • Rotating air cap permits spraying from any angle.
  • Versatile 1.3-mm stainless steel tip.

Product Rating: 4.3/5

Check Price at Amazon
  • Format: Handheld
  • Power unit: Airless hydraulic turbine
  • Paint cup: 1.31 quarts
  • Hose/cord length: 18 inches

Features

  • Variable power output of 500 to 1500 psi.
  • Rated for 25 gallons of annual usage.
  • Adjustable spray width from 4 to 12 inches.

Product Rating: 4.0/5

Check Price at Amazon

The Best Wood Stain Spray Paint Machine: Buying Guide

For the smoothest coverage and a flawless coat when top-coating timber work, a spray paint machine designed for wood stain is crucial.

Compatible with a multitude of wood finishers, these versatile power tools deliver a finely atomized mist that ensures a consistent and blemish-free coverage, while allowing you to complete your projects faster than using a traditional handheld brush.

Why You Need a Wood Stain Spray Gun

Unless you’re a serious bare timber fanatic, the vast majority of wood products in your home and garden feature some kind of stain — fences, tables, cabinets, deckings, sheds, shelving — they all have, or need, a top coat of varnish, urethane, shellac, or dye.

Not only do these mediums make your wood more attractive and pleasing to the eye, but they also add a level of protection from knocks and bumps and shield the timber from ultraviolet light damage and weather erosion.

Traditionally, a paintbrush would be used for the stain coat but this method has a multitude of problems.

While there are some water-based sealers, the majority are oil-based, which makes them awkwardly sticky. They’re challenging to apply with a handheld brush as the hairs stick together, bristles drop, and tell-tale brush strokes often ruin your final coat. Plus, it’s a long, slow process.

Admittedly, if you’re adding the final sheen to the small hand-crafted wooden toy train you lovingly carved for little Jimmy, you can get away with a brush. But, if you’re tackling anything larger, such as cabinets, deckings, fencing, or treehouses, a brush won’t cut the mustard. And do yourself a favor, buy little Jimmy a gaming console — he’s not interested in a darn train.

The advantages of using wood finish spray guns include:

  • Permit coverage of timber up to ten times swifter than a handheld brush.
  • Propel an ultra-fine spray mist providing a sheer, flawless coat.
  • No brushes mean no lost or wayward bristles wrecking your final finish.
  • Capable of delivering the stain staples of colors, shellacs, lacquers, sealers, and varnishes.
  • No brush marks ruining the appearance of your wood project.
  • Takes significantly less effort to spray paint than to wield a brush.
  • It’s hard to overload, or underload, the paint delivery.
  • You can deliver multiple coats in the time it would take to make a single coat with a brush.
  • Spray painting is fun — making you feel like a space cowboy wielding a mighty laser. Handheld brushes don’t provide that satisfaction.

How To Choose the Best Spray Gun for Wood Finishing

The perfect wood finishing spray gun depends on your personal preferences and the requirements of your timber project.

Depending on the model and manufacturer, these tools vary in their suitability for individual stain types, project sizes, and the scale of your wood job. Here are a few factors I suggest considering when selecting the consummate machine for your needs.

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Power Unit Type

The best wood finishing spray guns are available in three formats: HVLP turbines, airless, and compressor-driven.

HVLP Turbines for Wood Staining

The most popular, and affordable, type of wood staining sprayer. Using a turbine (fan) as the driver, they utilize a high air volume yet deliver paint or stain at relatively low pressure (hence HVLP). These machines are highly portable and can be used straight from the box. An example is the Wagner Control Double Duty — an excellent home DIY unit.

These devices are favored in the wood staining world because of their low power output. Delivering a steady pressure at just 5 to 10 pounds per square inch (psi), these units excel at propelling stains, which are low-density mediums. You won’t overspray or drench the wood, which would ruin the coat. Instead, you achieve a fine sheen that enhances the timber’s natural beauty.

Airless Sprayer for Wood Spraying

While you can use an airless tool for wood staining, their uses are limited.

Again, the suitability comes down to the viscosity of the staining medium. Airless units (sometimes known as hydraulic pump sprayers) are the most powerful machines in the entire spray painting category. They knock out a brawny 3000 psi or more compared to the maximum 10 psi of an HVLP turbine.

When you combine a grunty machine with a low-density medium, such as sealers and urethanes, the results can be seriously disappointing. It’s akin to using a belt sander to clean your teeth, complete overkill.

This can lead to considerable overspray, substantial wastage, and a total drenching of your target area.

That said, they do have a place in the wood staining arena.

Thick shellacs, lacquers, and weatherproofers require a little extra brawn, and airless units can help deliver these mediums. Note that you’ll need a hydraulic unit such as the Graco 360 that permits you to lower the output pressure. Furthermore, airless units’ rapid coverage speed makes them the go-to staining choice for large-scale work such as extensive border fencing.

Pneumatic Sprayers for Wood Stain

Driven by an external compressor, these machines are typically the realm of pro wood staining artisans.

As they require an additional pneumatic power unit at extra cost, and, accordingly, lack portability, they’re not generally used in DIY applications. However, as they provide the cleanest and smoothest finish of all staining sprayers, they are common in antique or fine furniture restoration and cabinet making.

The guns used for wood staining come in two forms HVLP and low-volume low-pressure (LVLP) as their small power output makes them ideal for mediums with low viscosity.

As the delivery power is minimal, they can usually run off the smallest of compressors that easily fit into a standard home garage.

accuracy

Handheld or Externally Driven

Both airless and HVLP turbine wood stainers are available as handheld or externally powered units.

Handhelds feature either a turbine or hydraulic pump — depending on whether it’s an HVLP or airless machine — incorporated into the gun’s housing. This makes them relatively small, compact, and transportable.

Conversely, the power units for externally driven sprayers are located in a floor-standing casing. Not only does this reduce the amount of weight in the hand, but it also permits the sprayer to have a more powerful motor — making them more suited for larger projects and work where rapid coverage is crucial.

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Nozzle Tip

The size of the tip dictates delivery precision, the level of atomization, and the density of fluids the sprayer can propel.

In general terms, smaller diameter nozzles permit greater accuracy and a smoother finish. In contrast, wider nozzles can deliver denser stains, such as highly viscous shellacs, and offer speedy coverage.

However, this general rule of thumb can change according to the format of the sprayer, the medium being propelled, the unit’s air consumption, and the pressure output. To make choosing the correct tip for stains straightforward, I’ve put together a complete guide to finding the right sprayer nozzles.

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Hose and Cord Length

The longer the mains cord and paint hose, the farther you can work from power outlets and the power unit (if you’re using an external-drive sprayer).

Consider the scale of your projects. If your main staining work involves addressing small coffee tables, indoor shelving, door trims, and so on, lengthy cables may not be required. Conversely, if your jobs include staining fences, deckings, or wooden outdoor buildings, longer cords and hoses may be beneficial.

true rms

Paint Container Volume

Choose a wood sprayer with a paint cup capacity sizeable enough for your staining projects.

As a rule of thumb, a 1.5-quart container holds enough medium to cover around 120 square feet — excellent for doors and fencing but massive overkill for shelving and moldings. Also, bear in mind that a larger cup means greater weight in your hand, which can induce fatigue.

How to Spray Paint Wood Stain

Once you receive your new and shiny wood stain sprayer you’ll want to whip it out and get down to some serious action.

However, before you start spraying anything in sight, there are two things you need to do.

First, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Okay, I know, it’s a pain and you don’t want to read page upon page of guidance when you want to get down and dirty. However, even if you’ve used a power-painter before, individual models have specific characteristics you may be unaware of. To prevent problems later, and to stop yourself from wrecking the machine on its first use, have a brief read-through at least.

Second, check that you have all the tools and materials you need for wood staining at hand. This saves time messing around looking for something when you’re mid-flow and ensures the most rewarding results.

Here’s a (kind of) brief shortlist:

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

How To Use a Wood Finish Sprayer for Staining

Step 1 — Preparation

  1. Put on your protective clothing.
  2. If you’re working indoors, cover all furniture, electrical equipment, and flooring with a drop cloth.
  3. If the wood you’re staining meets walls or windows, protect these with masking tape, paper, or polythene sheeting.
  4. If your wood features hardware such as handles, knobs, or hinges remove these with a screwdriver and store them safely.
  5. Check the wood for old screws and tacks and remove with a screwdriver or claw hammer. Naturally, if you’re addressing brand new timber this step can be omitted.
  6. If your target area already has a coat of varnish or paint, remove it with a heat gun and a manual scraper. Use a small amount of chemical paint stripper in stubborn, hard-to-reach areas such as molding relief and corners. For more info on removing paint from wood, check out my 101 guide to stripping.
  7. Sand the wood. Start with coarse paper and gradually progress down to fine. I suggest 80 grit to begin and moving to around 220 grit. If you wish, use an electrical palm sander — crucial if you’re attacking large expanses of timber.
  8. Inspect the surface area for cracks, holes, cuts, and scratches. Use wood filler in combination with a putty knife to address these areas, and then sand again until smooth.
  9. Wash the wood with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge.

Step 2 — Step 2: How To Use Wood Spray Guns With Stain

  1. If you require a thin coat, or your medium is too dense for your paint gun, you’ll need to dilute the stain. Use a viscosity cup to correctly gauge the amount of thinning required and then combine your medium with thinner or water (depending on the medium) in a mixing cup with a paint stirrer.

    Here are some tips on thinning wood stain — both oil and water-based:

  1. Set up your paint sprayer following the instructions outlined by the manufacturer. While preparation varies between models, I’ve put together these brief guides on using airless, turbine, and pneumatic guns.
  2. Execute a few test sprays into an old bucket to ensure the paint is flowing evenly from the nozzle. Ideally, have your machine set to the lowest power setting possible to reduce overspray, dripping, bounce-back, and wastage.
  3. Begin to spray at a distance of 8 to 12 inches from your target material. Wherever possible, use long strokes moving the plume along the same direction as the wood’s grain. Overlap each pass by 30 to 50 percent.
  4. Wait for the lacquer, varnish, or shellac to dry. Check to see if the wood needs an additional coat. If so, lightly sand, wash, allow to dry, and then respray.
  5. Remove all the masking tape and uncover furniture and flooring.
  6. Reattach any hardware to the wood.
  7. Clean the whole sprayer, including flushing with water or thinners depending on the stain you’ve used. This helps to extend your unit’s lifespan and prevents any old, dried stain from rearing its head the next time you use the machine. Check out my brief guide to cleaning your sprayer for more information.
  8. Crack open a cold one, stand-back, and admire your perfectly stained wood surface.

Our Picks of the Best Wood Stain Spray Painters

Our Rating: 4.6
Wagner’s Control Spray is the best of all the wood finishing spray guns currently on the market in my opinion.

Ideal for small to medium projects, this versatile handheld turbine boasts variable volume control to ensure the right amount of varnish or shellac hits your project. With a delivery rate of around 4.9 ounces every minute, the Double Duty ensures a satisfying, steady flow.

At the business end of the gun is Wager’s proprietary Control Finish nozzle — a precise tip designed for stains and sealers that permits accurate coverage on trim and moldings. A quick turn of this nozzle allows you to switch between three spray patterns to suit your wood target.

This sprayer features a choice of two paint containers — a 1-quart cup for smaller, indoor jobs and a more substantial 1.5-quart cup for medium-scale outdoor projects. An included viscosity cup helps you obtain the perfect dilution prior to filling the container.

The internal components and your final finish are shielded from dirt and detritus by an easy-fit replaceable filter. And, with an industry-standard six-foot power cord, only more sizable jobs will need an extension lead.

Pros

  • A choice of two differently sized paint containers.
  • Can be used to stain inside and outside timber projects.
  • The ultimate machine for trim, moldings, and embossings.
  • Air filter extends longevity.
  • Three spray fan formats: vertical, horizontal, and circular.
Cons

  • Dense shellacs and lacquers may require thinning.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Wagner’s Control Spray is the best of all the wood finishing spray guns currently on the market in my opinion.

Ideal for small to medium projects, this versatile handheld turbine boasts variable volume control to ensure the right amount of varnish or shellac hits your project. With a delivery rate of around 4.9 ounces every minute, the Double Duty ensures a satisfying, steady flow.

At the business end of the gun is Wager’s proprietary Control Finish nozzle — a precise tip designed for stains and sealers that permits accurate coverage on trim and moldings. A quick turn of this nozzle allows you to switch between three spray patterns to suit your wood target.

This sprayer features a choice of two paint containers — a 1-quart cup for smaller, indoor jobs and a more substantial 1.5-quart cup for medium-scale outdoor projects. An included viscosity cup helps you obtain the perfect dilution prior to filling the container.

The internal components and your final finish are shielded from dirt and detritus by an easy-fit replaceable filter. And, with an industry-standard six-foot power cord, only more sizable jobs will need an extension lead.

Pros

  • A choice of two differently sized paint containers.
  • Can be used to stain inside and outside timber projects.
  • The ultimate machine for trim, moldings, and embossings.
  • Air filter extends longevity.
  • Three spray fan formats: vertical, horizontal, and circular.
Cons

  • Dense shellacs and lacquers may require thinning.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating: 4.5
This external turbine wood stainer is as happy addressing molding, embossing, and trim as it is attacking decking and fencing.

Two paint cups are included; the one-quart aluminum container is ideal for detail work, while the 1.5-quart acrylic cup excels on larger scale projects. Thanks to the unit’s rapid-screw fittings, changing between the two is effortless and swift.

Wagner’s respected Control Finish nozzle ensures overspray is kept at bay, while still delivering an ultra-atomized mist for blemish-free wood staining. Furthermore, the plume can be adjusted from a modest 0.5 inches through to a mighty 12 inches — allowing you to set the spray to match the scale of your work.

An easy-turn, rear-mounted dial enables you to tailor flow volume to suit the density of your weatherproofer or varnish. Additionally, a generous 20-foot hose ensures significant operational freedom. Lock-N-Go tech means fuss-free dismantling and cleaning once you’ve finished spraying.

The gun handle incorporates a rubberized face for a reassuring grip and helping to stave off fatigue. With a trio of spray fan designs, you can ensure the delivery is suited to both your stain and target wood.

Pros

  • Suitable for both newbies and experienced DIY sprayers.
  • Durable turbine casing.
  • Minimal bounce-back.
  • Control Finish nozzle is compatible with stains, varnishes, and urethanes.
  • Functions as both a wood and masonry sprayer.
Cons

  • Latex paints and some dense lacquers will require dilution.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
This external turbine wood stainer is as happy addressing molding, embossing, and trim as it is attacking decking and fencing.

Two paint cups are included; the one-quart aluminum container is ideal for detail work, while the 1.5-quart acrylic cup excels on larger scale projects. Thanks to the unit’s rapid-screw fittings, changing between the two is effortless and swift.

Wagner’s respected Control Finish nozzle ensures overspray is kept at bay, while still delivering an ultra-atomized mist for blemish-free wood staining. Furthermore, the plume can be adjusted from a modest 0.5 inches through to a mighty 12 inches — allowing you to set the spray to match the scale of your work.

An easy-turn, rear-mounted dial enables you to tailor flow volume to suit the density of your weatherproofer or varnish. Additionally, a generous 20-foot hose ensures significant operational freedom. Lock-N-Go tech means fuss-free dismantling and cleaning once you’ve finished spraying.

The gun handle incorporates a rubberized face for a reassuring grip and helping to stave off fatigue. With a trio of spray fan designs, you can ensure the delivery is suited to both your stain and target wood.

Pros

  • Suitable for both newbies and experienced DIY sprayers.
  • Durable turbine casing.
  • Minimal bounce-back.
  • Control Finish nozzle is compatible with stains, varnishes, and urethanes.
  • Functions as both a wood and masonry sprayer.
Cons

  • Latex paints and some dense lacquers will require dilution.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating: 4.4
Pro tradespersons demand the ultimate finish. This pneumatic wood stain gun may appeal to contractors and artisans who upcycle furniture, build cabinets, or address extensive areas of carved and embossed timber.

Its small 0.8 mm tip ensures ultra-atomization for a clean, smooth sheen. Furthermore, this super-fine tip allows you to stain with high degrees of finesse and accuracy.

A 0.13-quart top-feed acrylic cup helps you access hard-to-reach areas while keeping the gun’s weight to a minimum. Additionally, as the gun is gravity-fed, it needs seriously low pressure input from the compressor, cutting back on wastage and overspray.

The nozzle promises three different spray patterns and is suitable for propelling sealers, urethanes, enamels, and stains. Although, due to the narrow diameter, some thicker varnishes and lacquers may require dilution.

Adjustability is enhanced by variable air and medium flow levels, allowing you to set the unit to match the coating’s viscosity. With an incorporated ladder hook, you can store the gun safely when work is done for the day.

Pros

  • 5/16-inch hose compatibility.
  • The textured handle ensures a secure and precise grip.
  • 5 cubic feet per minute (cfm) at 35 psi — compatible with small, consumer-style compressors.
  • Non-drip stain container.
  • Internal filter.
Cons

  • Not suitable for large projects.
  • The narrow tip means dilution may be required for many stain types.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Pro tradespersons demand the ultimate finish. This pneumatic wood stain gun may appeal to contractors and artisans who upcycle furniture, build cabinets, or address extensive areas of carved and embossed timber.

Its small 0.8 mm tip ensures ultra-atomization for a clean, smooth sheen. Furthermore, this super-fine tip allows you to stain with high degrees of finesse and accuracy.

A 0.13-quart top-feed acrylic cup helps you access hard-to-reach areas while keeping the gun’s weight to a minimum. Additionally, as the gun is gravity-fed, it needs seriously low pressure input from the compressor, cutting back on wastage and overspray.

The nozzle promises three different spray patterns and is suitable for propelling sealers, urethanes, enamels, and stains. Although, due to the narrow diameter, some thicker varnishes and lacquers may require dilution.

Adjustability is enhanced by variable air and medium flow levels, allowing you to set the unit to match the coating’s viscosity. With an incorporated ladder hook, you can store the gun safely when work is done for the day.

Pros

  • 5/16-inch hose compatibility.
  • The textured handle ensures a secure and precise grip.
  • 5 cubic feet per minute (cfm) at 35 psi — compatible with small, consumer-style compressors.
  • Non-drip stain container.
  • Internal filter.
Cons

  • Not suitable for large projects.
  • The narrow tip means dilution may be required for many stain types.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating: 4.3
You don’t have to go down the compressor route for impressively accurate staining. This portable handheld HVLP turbine offers precise application, but with straight out-of-the-box functionality.

This machine features Wagner’s highly regarded Control Finish nozzle — an air cap that provides flaw-free and consistent finishes on woodwork while reducing the likelihood of bounce-back and overspray.

Boasting an 0.875-quart paint container, it has sufficient capacity for more modest wood staining projects, while remaining compact enough for excellent maneuverability and effortless access to confined spaces.

A straightforward twist of the nozzle cap’s ‘ears and you can alternate between circular, vertical, and horizontal fan designs. Turn the handy dial on the trigger to set the volume flow and delivery intensity of your wood stain.

This sprayer is built to last — a robust ABS casing shields it from the knocks and bumps of DIY hardcore use. A six-foot hose offers pleasing freedom on those smaller timber jobs. Wagner’s Lock-N-Go tech assists with fuss-free dismantling — meaning you can thoroughly rinse the unit at the end of your working day.

Pros

  • Affordable fine project DIY stain sprayer.
  • Fatigue-busting ergonomic handle.
  • Features Wagner’s trademarked Control Finish nozzle.
  • Pneumatic-like spray delivery without the hassle of a compressor.
  • Varnish, urethane, enamel, sealer, and shellac compatible.
Cons

  • A small paint container makes the gun unsuitable for larger projects.
  • The turbine output power cannot be adjusted.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
You don’t have to go down the compressor route for impressively accurate staining. This portable handheld HVLP turbine offers precise application, but with straight out-of-the-box functionality.

This machine features Wagner’s highly regarded Control Finish nozzle — an air cap that provides flaw-free and consistent finishes on woodwork while reducing the likelihood of bounce-back and overspray.

Boasting an 0.875-quart paint container, it has sufficient capacity for more modest wood staining projects, while remaining compact enough for excellent maneuverability and effortless access to confined spaces.

A straightforward twist of the nozzle cap’s ‘ears and you can alternate between circular, vertical, and horizontal fan designs. Turn the handy dial on the trigger to set the volume flow and delivery intensity of your wood stain.

This sprayer is built to last — a robust ABS casing shields it from the knocks and bumps of DIY hardcore use. A six-foot hose offers pleasing freedom on those smaller timber jobs. Wagner’s Lock-N-Go tech assists with fuss-free dismantling — meaning you can thoroughly rinse the unit at the end of your working day.

Pros

  • Affordable fine project DIY stain sprayer.
  • Fatigue-busting ergonomic handle.
  • Features Wagner’s trademarked Control Finish nozzle.
  • Pneumatic-like spray delivery without the hassle of a compressor.
  • Varnish, urethane, enamel, sealer, and shellac compatible.
Cons

  • A small paint container makes the gun unsuitable for larger projects.
  • The turbine output power cannot be adjusted.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating: 4.3
For more substantial wood staining projects, you need to pull out the big guns. This sprayer’s mighty motor makes it ideal for large swathes of decking or fencing and attacking garden or yard sheds.

At the heart of this HVLP machine is a grunty three-stage external turbine. Its 1200-watt power unit delivers 5.5 psi, making it compatible with the whole gamut of wood stains, including polyurethanes, shellacs, lacquers, and varnishes. Furthermore, this beefy unit knocks out medium at 0.12 gallons per minute for the rapid coverage that’s crucial in larger jobs.

The sprayer arrives complete with Earlex’s contractor-grade Pro8 gun. A 1.3-mm stainless steel needle ensures splutter-free atomization — and allows you to adjust the spray fan style, material volume flow, and airflow. What’s more, its robust aluminum one-quart paint container is finished with non-stick polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) for corrosion protection and headache-free cleaning.

A flexible 25-foot, no-kink hose enables you to maneuver effortlessly around larger wood jobs. The 360-degree rotating cap ensures continuous delivery even when spraying away from the horizontal plane.

Pros

  • Robust metal turbine casing promotes durability and longevity.
  • Non-coil, non-pinch Hyperflex hose with quick-connectors.
  • Low overspray.
  • Rapid delivery.
  • A contractor-grade sprayer that’s pleasingly straightforward to operate.
Cons

  • Loud operation.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
For more substantial wood staining projects, you need to pull out the big guns. This sprayer’s mighty motor makes it ideal for large swathes of decking or fencing and attacking garden or yard sheds.

At the heart of this HVLP machine is a grunty three-stage external turbine. Its 1200-watt power unit delivers 5.5 psi, making it compatible with the whole gamut of wood stains, including polyurethanes, shellacs, lacquers, and varnishes. Furthermore, this beefy unit knocks out medium at 0.12 gallons per minute for the rapid coverage that’s crucial in larger jobs.

The sprayer arrives complete with Earlex’s contractor-grade Pro8 gun. A 1.3-mm stainless steel needle ensures splutter-free atomization — and allows you to adjust the spray fan style, material volume flow, and airflow. What’s more, its robust aluminum one-quart paint container is finished with non-stick polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) for corrosion protection and headache-free cleaning.

A flexible 25-foot, no-kink hose enables you to maneuver effortlessly around larger wood jobs. The 360-degree rotating cap ensures continuous delivery even when spraying away from the horizontal plane.

Pros

  • Robust metal turbine casing promotes durability and longevity.
  • Non-coil, non-pinch Hyperflex hose with quick-connectors.
  • Low overspray.
  • Rapid delivery.
  • A contractor-grade sprayer that’s pleasingly straightforward to operate.
Cons

  • Loud operation.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating 4.0
Sometimes you want it all — impressively accurate delivery but with the power to knock out dense wood stains. This mighty airless handheld sprayer could be the solution to this dichotomous issue.

Boasting an eye-watering 1500 psi — which is remarkable for a portable handheld sprayer — this unit effortlessly propels thick lacquers, varnishes, and shellacs. However, if need to ease off the gas when spraying thin sealers and stains, you can gradually lower the pressure to a more modest 500 psi.

Graco’s proprietary VacuValve technology permits multi-angle spraying — even when the unit is inverted — with no loss of pressure or risk of splutter. Reach hard-to-access areas such as the internals of cabinets or the underside of tables with ease.

The gun comes complete with two fine 0.015-inch tips. One provides a narrow, four-inch plume for smaller jobs, and the other offers a 12-inch fan for more substantial projects. As the nozzles are reversible, you can easily remove any blockages without dismantling the sprayer — saving you valuable downtime.

The 1.31-quart acrylic cup uses disposable FlexLiner bags for rapid cleaning and swift color switches. As the gun arrives on your doorstep with a carry case, you can use this to transport the machine from job to job, while keeping the gun, liner bags, and nozzle tips safe.

Pros

  • Adjustable 500 to 1500 psi output.
  • Rated for 25 gallons of annual usage.
  • Arrives complete with four 42 ounce FlexLiner paint container bags.
  • Rapid coverage while compatible with dense stains.
  • Includes a storage case.
Cons

  • Short power cord of just 18 inches.
  • At a weight of four pounds, it’s heavy for a handheld stain sprayer.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Sometimes you want it all — impressively accurate delivery but with the power to knock out dense wood stains. This mighty airless handheld sprayer could be the solution to this dichotomous issue.

Boasting an eye-watering 1500 psi — which is remarkable for a portable handheld sprayer — this unit effortlessly propels thick lacquers, varnishes, and shellacs. However, if need to ease off the gas when spraying thin sealers and stains, you can gradually lower the pressure to a more modest 500 psi.

Graco’s proprietary VacuValve technology permits multi-angle spraying — even when the unit is inverted — with no loss of pressure or risk of splutter. Reach hard-to-access areas such as the internals of cabinets or the underside of tables with ease.

The gun comes complete with two fine 0.015-inch tips. One provides a narrow, four-inch plume for smaller jobs, and the other offers a 12-inch fan for more substantial projects. As the nozzles are reversible, you can easily remove any blockages without dismantling the sprayer — saving you valuable downtime.

The 1.31-quart acrylic cup uses disposable FlexLiner bags for rapid cleaning and swift color switches. As the gun arrives on your doorstep with a carry case, you can use this to transport the machine from job to job, while keeping the gun, liner bags, and nozzle tips safe.

Pros

  • Adjustable 500 to 1500 psi output.
  • Rated for 25 gallons of annual usage.
  • Arrives complete with four 42 ounce FlexLiner paint container bags.
  • Rapid coverage while compatible with dense stains.
  • Includes a storage case.
Cons

  • Short power cord of just 18 inches.
  • At a weight of four pounds, it’s heavy for a handheld stain sprayer.
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Conclusion


Forget the handheld brush — for artisan-worthy stain application, you need a power sprayer.

These flexible machines create a smoother coat than traditional manual methods while preventing the brush marks and lost bristles that can mar your finish.

When selecting your stain sprayer, consider what drive-format is most suitable for your jobs — HVLP turbines deliver a clean finish with low overspray, airless machines offer rapid coverage and the ability to drive dense shellacs, while pneumatics promise ultra-fine atomization for the perfect coat.

Additionally, ensure that the hose and paint container are suitably sized for your most common varnishing jobs and that the nozzle can cope with the staining mediums you frequently use.

Don’t be a Luddite and rely on your old-faithful brush — becoming a timber coating craftsman and opt for a wood stain spray paint machine.

The Best Wood Stain Sprayer FAQs

Q: Can You Buy Wood Stain In a Spray Can?

Yes, you can but I don’t advise it.

Using a wood stain spray can for your timber projects appears to be a practical and affordable solution, however, the results can be disappointing. Compared to a power stainer machine, they have the following issues:

  • No variable delivery rates.
  • Uneven coverage.
  • Fixed spray pattern and fan width.
  • Liable to overspray.
  • Costs more money in price/coverage ratio.

If budget is an issue, opt for the pleasingly priced Opti-Stain Plus. However, if you’re heart is set on using a spray can, perhaps the best of a bad bunch is the Krylon Wood Stain.

Q: What Is a Good Wood Stain Remover Solvent?

If you need to strip old wood stain, varnish, or shellac, use a paint scraper combined with a heat gun for the most satisfying results. However, there can be stubborn areas such as corners, trim, and molding work that will not yield up the aged stain.

In these cases, I recommend an oil and water-based varnish remover such as the Hi-Speed Ready Strip.

Q: Is There a Difference Between a Paint Sprayer and a Stain Sprayer?

Stains, sealers, and varnishes require smaller tips and lower pressure than paints — allowing you to make precise applications and enjoy a flaw-free and perfectly smooth coat.

While some machines such as the Control Spray Double Duty are specifically designed for these thin mediums, some units, like the Earlex SprayPort 6003, can be used for both stains and denser paints.

Q: Can You Use Wood Stain In a Paint Sprayer?

Yes. Although, if the machine is specifically designed to deliver thicker latex paints, you will have to lower the power output to prevent overspray and drenching your timber project.

The Wagner 5000 is an excellent paint spraying machine that comes with a choice of two nozzle heads — one for highly viscous paints and another for detail finishing with thin stains.

Q: Is It Better to Spray or Brush Stain?

Using a stain sprayer such as the Control Spray Max eliminates brush marks, prevents dropped bristles, and the fine atomization provides a smoother coat than a traditional handheld paintbrush can deliver.

Q: What Is the Best Wood Stain Sprayer?

With a choice of two differently sized paint cups, precise delivery, and super-atomization from the Control Finish nozzle, the best stain sprayer for wood is the Control Spray Double Duty.

Q: Can I Use a Wood Stain With a Compressor Spray Gun?

Yes. Pneumatic guns offer the most flawless stain application of all power painting tools. Perhaps the best example is the Ingersoll Rand 200G Edge with its fine 0.8-mm tip, a compact 0.13-quart paint container, and a low pressure requirement of just 5 cfm at 35 psi. It can run off most small, home compressors.