Great Stuff About the PaintREADY
First, it allows you to screw on the paint cup with ease. With the bulky back end (consisting of a handle, trigger, and cord) removed, it's a cinch to screw on the front end to the cup.
This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. I've tried to screw on the cup to integrated units, and it's quite a balancing act. One hand holds the sprayer firmly in place, while with the other hand you screw in the cup. It's not very easy. And if you like to use plastic paint cup liners, you've got another source of irritation to make the job harder.
Secondly, this two-piece system makes the sprayer easier to clean. The back half is simply an air blower. Detach and set it aside. Then, wash off the front end, cup, and siphon. Disassembled, this front end was small and easy to handle in my sink.
The PaintREADY is light-weight, a serious plus when using these cup-style sprayers. Because you are holding 1.5 quarts of paint and the sprayer and and supporting a length of extension cord with just one hand, every ounce counts. A majority of the PaintREADY appeared to be made of plastic, not metal, and I consider this a benefit.
Type of Finish
I was using Valspar Duramax satin exterior latex paint, self-priming paint that is thicker than conventional exterior latex or interior latex. The PaintREADY instructions say that "the material being used may need to be thinned with the proper solvent as specified by the material manufacturer."
What does that mean? Valspar doesn't recommend thinning Duramax, and Wagner does not expressly exclude this type of paint.
Arti Lyde, Wagner's Director of Product Management, clarified a number of points for me recently. First, it's imperative that the user let the turbine run for a few seconds to get up to speed before releasing the paint. That's the nature of these turbine-based paint sprayers. Most of the splatter I experienced was in the initial release.
More importantly, the PaintREADY isn't meant to mist your surface; it's meant to lay down more of a roller-type, stippled finish. Though Lyde didn't mention it, the highly atomized "misty" sprayers create havoc with your house interior, infiltrating and coating every conceivable surface.
Second, it's ultimately up to the paint manufacturers to communicate thinning instructions. However, the Wagner PaintREADY is designed to be a "no thin" paint sprayer. Many sprayers do cost less than the PaintREADY, but the price the consumer pays is in the form of thinning out the paint. Paint sprayers striving for "no thin" status will cost a bit more--any sprayer, any company.
Locking Mechanism Failure
I discovered this the hard way. When spraying out clean water, I gently rocked the sprayer from side to side. That motion caused the two pieces to loosen and the front end to fall off.
However, the PaintREADY's two-part design meant that it fell apart with little mess. Only air passes between the back and front ends, no paint. Compared to horrifyingly messy hose-separations I've experienced with airless sprayers, this was a piece of cake.
Ms. Lyde of Wagner said that I may have received a first-run sample model, before locking mechanism issues were ironed out.