Review: The Wagner 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer

The Wagner Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer

I have always done house painting by hand and I enjoy the process for the very most part. But I have a tendency toward rotator cuff flare ups from lots of painting and this year I finally tried a paint sprayer for the bulk of the siding work. 

Earlier this year we actually bought a paint sprayer, a Graco model with a lot of good reviews. Unfortunately, it had several drawbacks, the biggest to me being the multiple steps in cleaning. This model required cleaning and priming before even using it for the day!  Then it required breakdown and a lot of cleaning after the job and also needed to be stored in cleaner. The cleaner was toxic, to boot. I also was a bit spooked by all the warnings on the sprayer about accidentally spraying yourself with the painter. Sounds kind of funny till your realize that at that pressure, serious injury is involved. If you doubt me, look up paint sprayer injuries on google. It’s horrible!  

I decided to check out the Wagner line of paint sprayers after talking with friends who have remodeled many houses and had very good words about the ease and good performance of their Wagner. I found this one on Amazon (and the price has come down $15 since I bought it, grrrr!) : 

It’s called the Wagner 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP. Not a name that clings to your memory so my thanks for the copy and paste function on the computer! 

Here’s what I like about the machine.


It looks like a baby vacuum cleaner and makes about as much noise. The air compressor has a really long hose attached to it, which is wonderful because you can get around with it.


It’s good for several different kinds of paints AND stains. You can thin the paint/primer to the specifications of the manufacturer, but I found that with freshly opened water based paint, this wasn’t necessary. If you strain your paint or use fresh paint you will likely have no issues with clogging, even when using for a long time.  


There is very little overspray. I was concerned that with the paint being aerated, it would spray all through the air and end up on cars and other things I didn’t want it on. It didn’t end up anywhere but on the wood, and a little bit on my work shoes and the gravel of the driveway when I was spraying between boards. So Control Spray in the title seems to be well earned.


You can adjust the rate and pattern of spray easily by turning the knob where the paint comes out. Don’t do that while the paint is spraying, but one more benefit of this sprayer is that it isn’t super high pressure, so not dangerous. Yet, it worked very efficiently. imple safety equipment is all you need to operate. I found it noisy so wore ear plugs and obviously used eye protection and wore a respirator.


Perfect for home use. The sprayer comes with two size paint containers, one plastic and a bit larger, one metal and a bit smaller. The plastic one was perfect for my needs, as I was doing dozens and dozens of boards. I used the smaller vessel to keep some soapy water in in case I ran into clogs. Then I could just swap out the containers and clear out my blocks. If you are doing a lot of painting, you’ll have to refill your container pretty regularly, but it’s a nice change of pace, really.


The paint goes on smoothly and while it sometimes looks beady when being applied, it dries to a smooth, even surface, almost magically.


Lastly, clean up is a dream. The instruction manual gives clear guidance on how to break the machine down.

There aren’t very many parts and there are no microscopic parts to fall, a la Murphy’s Law, into the gravel or down the sink thus rendering your machine useless. I do recommend getting a small bristle brush for some of the cleaning. We had one on hand (for cleaning metal drinking straws) and it was just the right size for getting into little parts without having to use a ton of water. 


The machine is simple, low tech, works as promised, has minimal hitches and they can be remedied by simple methods. Clean up is easy and requires only soap and water if you are using non oil based paints. It is so easy for a complete (and nervous) beginner to use. I have nothing but good words for this little sprayer and highly recommend it.