The Product I’ve Recommended More Than Any Other. The Wagner Paint Sprayer.

Paint a shed in less time than it takes to make a batch of cookies.  Paint a section of fence in seconds.  Chairs in minutes.  Nope, it’s not a dream world, or delusional. It’s my prized tool.  A Wagner paint sprayer.

Two white wicker chairs sitting on lawn with forest of maple trees in background.

This post is sponsored by Wagner SprayTech.  A product I love and have used for YEARS.

I am on my third paint sprayer. Not because they keep breaking. Not because they don’t work as well as I would like so I keep trying new ones.  Nope.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I’m on my third paint sprayer from Wagner because I keep letting them know how much I like them and they keep sending me new ones.

It all started a few years ago when I bought a Wagner paint sprayer from Home Depot to paint my picket fence. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to paint a picket fence but it isn’t easy. There are approximately 742 sides to a picket fence.  Just when you think you’ve got them all covered, you discover another side to it.  It’s like painting a rhombicosidodecahedron.  Google it.

So I bought a paint sprayer thinking it would make the job faster and it did.  Faster and easier.  The model I bought was whichever Wagner was the cheapest. I think it was around $70 or $80. It was powered by a garden hose which still doesn’t make sense to me but it worked.

In fact I liked it so much I contacted the company to tell them how much I liked it. That’s something people don’t do enough of.  Everyone is quick to call a company to complain about products they don’t like but people rarely make the same sort of call when they are impressed with something.

They were so happy I liked their sprayer they said WAIT’LL YOU TRY THIS ONE. And they promptly sent me the Wagner FLEXiO 890.  A sprayer that comes with a compressor so there’s no garden hose.

In the past 3 years I have used that sprayer to paint the interior shutters I made (you can click here to see them and learn how to make the yourself), my potting shed, my front porch, my picket fence (again), my wicker chairs and a very small portion of my cat.

Again, this summer I told them how much I loved it and how many times I used it.  Again – they sent me a new one. ( I should probably consider letting Volvo know how much I like my S60.  )

Allow me to introduce all you painting geeks to – The Wagner FLEXiO 3000.

Wagner Flexio 3000 in box sitting on lawn with white wicker chairs in background.

O.K.  the last machine they sent me got rid of the garden hose.  THIS machine gets rid of the compressor. I don’t have any idea how they do it but basically it’s the size of a hair dryer.  There’s no garden hose, no compressor, no nothing.

Just a hand nozzle and a power cord.  It really is like a hairdryer that spews out paint.

Since I’ve sprayed pretty much everything in my house already I carried it over to my mother’s house to spray her two wicker chairs for her.


It took 1 quart of paint to do 2 coats on 2 wicker chairs, with paint left over.

Two white wicker chairs sitting on grass beyond pool.

They’re plain white wicker chairs and Betty isn’t a plain white person. She’s a colour person.  We’re very different Betty and I.

Unpacking of Wagner Flexio 3000 on lawn.

This is a picture of me pretending to carefully read the instructions.  I did glance at them.

Pouring paint into paint container of Wagner Flexio 3000.


It’s pretty easy. In fact it’s way easier than painting with a brush or roller.  You fill the container with paint, screw it onto the spraying handle and point it at whatever it is you’re painting.

The FLEXiO 3000 comes with 2 nozzles. One for finer, detail work and one for bigger work.  For these outdoor chairs the bigger nozzle is the one I chose.



There are 3 settings to pay attention to. The air flow, the paint flow and the paint width.

Wagner Flexio 3000 air flow adjustment.

  1.  Set the red dial on top to between 1 and 8.   Setting it to 1 provides the least amount of air flow, setting it to 8 provides the strongest air flow.  There’s a handy chart with a picture of a chair on it right on the gun, so I decided that was probably the right setting to choose. Between 3 and 4.

Wagner Flexio 3000 material flow adjustment.

2. Adjust your material flow rate on the red dial around the neck of the spray gun.  1 for the least amount of paint to come out, higher for more.  (so 1 gives a very thin coating of paint, 10 would give a mammoth amount of paint and you’d run out of paint faster)

Wagner Flexio 3000 width adjustment.

3. Adjust how wide you want the spray to be.  If you’re doing the side of a house you’d want a side spray. If you’re doing a table, you’d want it to be less wide.

That’s it. Now that the 3 adjustments are made you just need to plug it in and start spraying.

There is NO ON BUTTON on this thing.  When you squeeze the spray handle to start spraying, it automatically engages and turns on. 

Plugging in Wagner Flexio 3000 spray gun.

To make things fun and interesting I made it a race.  I wanted to time exactly how long it took to paint 2 coats on 2 wicker chairs.

Set your timer …

iPhone with stopwatch function about to start.


Spraying 2 wicker chairs first coat with green paint on lawn. Cardboard under chairs.

Every once in a while, while you’re spraying you need to check the nozzle of the machine to make sure it isn’t getting clogged up.  Just keep a paper towel or rag with you and wipe it off.

Clogged nozzle of Wagner 3000 paint spray gun.

This, much like not doing laundry until literally everyone in your house is out of underwear,  is totally normal.

The paint builds up around the nozzle as you spray. Just wipe it every once in a while.

Nozzle of Wagner 3000 paint spray gun.

The time it took you to read this post so far is approximately how long it took to spray my mother’s wicker chairs 2 coats.  Depending on how fast a reader you are of course and whether you were interrupted by a husband, child or dog.

2 Chairs, 2 Coats in 15 Minutes.


iPhone stopwatch in foreground with almost completed painting project in background.

In 15 minutes both chairs were done 2 coats.  That includes the extra dry time in between coats.

Green wicker chair sitting on lush lawn.

If you’ve ever painted wicker you know it’s a PAIN.  It’s almost impossible to get into each crack and crevice. With a spray gun nothing goes untouched.  Every bit is painted.

Close up shot of intricate wicker weaving, painted green.

It makes painting fun.  I mean, the kind of fun that an adult has. Adult fun.  Like waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you still have 5 hours to sleep.

Green painted wicker chair on lawn with red cushion.

I do have a few tips that I’ve learned through years of using  various models of these sprayers.

Wagner paint sprayer tube with small air hole that needs to be cleaned out.

Wagner Paint Sprayer Tips


  1. The hole.

Last spring I was trying to spray something and it just WOULD not spray.  I checked everything and couldn’t figure it out.  Finally I discovered this tiny air hole on the underside of the spray tube.  It was clogged with a bit of dry paint.  And that was all it took to stop the sprayer from working.

If your Wagner spray gun stops spraying check to make sure this air hole isn’t blocked.

(it’s entirely possible there are entire write ups about this in the instructions but … )

2. Paint straining.

The instructions DO say you need to strain your paint to make sure nothing clogs the nozzle.  I don’t do this. I shouldn’t tell you I don’t do this, but I don’t. I NEVER strain my paint.  I haven’t had the nozzle clog up once, but I’m also probably always using brand new paint that isn’t likely to have any contaminants or bits of guck in it.  This is not an endorsement and Wagner advises you absolutely DO strain your paint before pouring it into the paint container.  I just don’t.

3.  Thinning paint.

If your paint is too thick it can also clog the nozzle, but for this project I used Benjamin Moore’s Aura line of paint which is thicker than most paints and it sprayed perfectly without thinning.

4.  Clean your sprayer as soon as you’re finished using it.  It’s a much faster cleanup job to spray out wet paint than scrape out dried paint.

Wanna see it in action?


Green wicker chairs sitting on lawn beyond blue pool.

The things I noticed that were improved on this, the FLEXiO 3000 model over my last model, the FLEXiO 890.

  • The “big nozzle” of the FLEXiO 3000 has a finer spray that’s less splattery than that of the FLEXiO 890.
  • It’s easier to move around and maneuver since there’s no exterior compressor or hose.
  • It packs back into its case PERFECTLY.  The FLEXiO 890 is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to get back into its case.

You don’t have to believe me about how great these sprayers are.  You can ask my neighbour who bought one 3 days after seeing me paint my picket fence with one this spring.  You can ask my friend Stephanie who bought one a day after seeing me paint my porch with it this spring.  Or my niece who borrowed mine to paint her shed.  Or my mother’s neighbour who saw me painting these chairs and couldn’t believe it.  Really.  Ask any of them.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t do a lot of sponsored posts and when I do I make sure they’re for products I genuinely love and use.

I genuinely love and use Wagner spray guns.

And Volvos. ;)


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The Product I\'ve Recommended More Than Any Other. The Wagner Paint Sprayer.


  1. Painting of Midland says:

    Great write up. Love how the chairs came out! We use these little hand held babies all the time. Really makes projects fun!

  2. Tracy K says:

    Have you ever used it to paint walls inside a house? Just wondering, I have a whole house to paint. Inside, that is. I have a little one that I got off of Amazon, but the thing put more aerosolized paint in the air than on the wall. :{

    If this works well on walls, you’ve got yourself another convert.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy! I’ve never tried it on walls indoors. I’m too afraid, lol. I know they say it can be done though. You try and let me know. ;) ~ karen!

  3. canadamsel says:

    Lol. It will arrive sooner or later. Looking forward to painting with wild abandon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. canadamsel says:

    I’d told myself I didn’t need a paint sprayer. And anything I’d read about them was that they were messy, and over-sprayed, and were more trouble than they were worth. (Mind you, the last time I read anything about them was decades ago.) But given the copious amount of painting I realized is needed in my house – and given how much I hate painting – I came to the conclusion this fall that maybe yes, I DO need a paint sprayed. And didn’t Karen recommend something? Why yes, I believe she did.
    So I looked into some back issues of “The Art…” and found your thumbs up article on the Flexio 3000. Then I proceeded to shop for one. Not. One. Available. Anywhere in Canada. Not at Amazon, or Home Depot, or Lowes, or Home Hardware. Kijiji. Nada. So I called Wagner. The nice lady I spoke to said she was SURE they’d sent some up here. Nope. Not anyplace I’d checked. She offered to send one to me but between currency exchange, shipping, customs, and usurious brokerage fees, it could get pretty expensive. Definitely more than the $149.99 US advertised price. So I turned to eBay. Voila! I found a brand new one for $124 (US) and ordered it. With all the extra costs, it ends up around $215 CDN.
    It was shipped November 6 and I’ve been following its progress, from the vendor in Philadelphia PA > Horsham PA > Lexington KY > Cincinnati OH > Erlanger KY where – 2 days ago – it was being labeled for Customs. Not sure why it made 2 stops in Kentucky. And I guess somebody realized the original delivery date of November 16 was optimistic. The forecast now is November 23. I am not holding my breath. But maybe it will be here in time for Christmas. Or Valentine’s Day. As long as it’s before I put my house on the market, come spring.
    Thanks for the recommendation, though, Karen. I’m sure it will take hours off the unappealing paint process.

    • Karen says:

      Wow, lol. That sounds like quite an ordeal! I know when I talked to Wagner they said that once the Home Depots etc were sold out of the old version of the Wagner they’d have the new ones in stock. But – things don’t always go as planned. I’ve been waiting for Lowes to get a very specific Craftsman saw in stock for about a year now. :/ I have my fingers crossed that one day you will receive your sprayer. ~ karen!

  5. Angela Eaton says:

    Hi – so Im dying to buy this wagner 3000 – do you have any suggestions within Canada where I can order it? I have looked at HD, Amazon, Cdn tire and it doesn’t appear to be available:(
    thanks for your help!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angela. It’s isn’t here yet. Home Depot will carry it (and Amazon too I believe) once Home Depot sells out of their old Wagners. :/ I *think* it should be available by the fall. ~ karen!

  6. Alicia says:

    Just bought my first house and this will probably be the first house thing i buy for it!!

    Thank you for sharing!

    (If Wagner wants to throw one my way as a housewarming present i would NOT be opposed)

  7. Shannon says:

    I’m so glad you review products that you actually like and use. Let me ask you this: How would the finish be for furniture (think a table or something smoother than wicker) or cabinets? I have heard that some paint sprayers leave a stippled (orange peel) finish rather than a very smooth finish. What’s your opinion on this one?

    • Karen says:

      It’s a nice finish, but I wouldn’t say it’s like the super smooth finish you get if you were buying brand new kitchen cabinets from Ikea or something like that. Although, that’s with the Wagner FLEXiO 890. I haven’t tried the 3000 on cabinets. The 890 I did use to paint all the interior shutters that I made for my house. If you click on that link you can see them and the finish although I’m not sure how much the finish shows in the photos. ~ karen!

  8. Patricia says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’m sold. We have some metal seating on the south side of our house that get painted “Firefly” every year or they fade to more like “Vanilla Ice Cream”. Definitely going to try the sprayer.

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen,

    I read your blog all the time and was inspired reading your review of the paint sprayer because you know what you are talking about. So, I went to the Wagner website and looked at all the different models. All are well priced so the first thing I thought was that this was a base model and a more expensive one would be even better but how do you know which one is best? I would like to paint furniture (outside), cabinetry (inside), and maybe interior walls. I read some comments that this model was heavy to operate when filled with paint. I have never used a paint sprayer so it is a bit intimidating. What made Wagner send this particular model?

  10. Louise says:

    I have been wanting one for years. I am sold. Thank you for all your input and insight. always read the comments and yours was perfect.

  11. Alena says:

    I have been wanting one sinceyou painted your garden shed.

  12. Jill Farmar says:

    Wow! The chairs and pool look great! I’ve wanted one of these sprayers for a while. I just need a sprayer and a small chainsaw. I keep asking for them for my birthday, anniversary, etc but apparently family thinks I may be dangerous with both! Will have to buy them myself…

  13. Lin N says:

    I have an old Wagner. I have used it once. There was some issue with consistency, dripping, etc. Being an older one, it had all sorts of pieces to clean after use, so cleaning became a royal pain. I think I’ll revist it as I think spraying the stain on my deck will be much easier and it might be this old sprayers last job and then maybe a 3000 will find it’s way into my workshop.

  14. Sharon says:

    I bought the last Wagner spray gun that you recommended, took down five doors and quickly had them all painted, both sides. Here’s my problem. Maybe you can give me advice. I held the sprayer the recommended distance from the doors, held it straight, and sprayed with a smooth back and forth (or up and down on some doors). But I always ended up with a “stripe” look. Not from color, or the previous color showing through, but from what I can only guess is the fine spray on the edges of the middle of the spray. What happened, and how can I do better next time? I want to do my kitchen cabinets.
    And me too. I love your writing and your wit.

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