This is my review and complete tutorial on the Wagner Flexio 2000.
I’m Ryan Cunningham and I have been painting for 20+ years. I have used the Wagner Flexio as well as many other HVLP sprayers for all types of projects. I have spent thousands of hours spraying and know these sprayers inside and out.
This is an honest review where I will share my thoughts on who should buy this sprayer (hint: it’s a good sprayer for the price). I am going to go over exactly how to use the Wagner Flexio 2000 for the best results possible.Ã‚
What Is The Wagner Flexio 2000
The Wagner Flexio 2000 is an HVLP paint sprayer with an onboard wind turbine.
Let’s break that down a bit further.
First off an HVLP paint sprayer is a High Volume Low Pressure sprayer. What does that mean for you? It means that there is a high volume of air coming through the sprayer, but the air is coming out at a very low pressure. A typical airless sprayer will spray out paint at a pressure of roughly 2500 psi while an HVLP will spray out paint at roughly 10 psi.
Essentially, this low pressure and high volume of air allows for a finer finish and less overspray. If you want to know more about the differences between airless paint sprayers and HVLP paint sprayers, check out this article.
Second, the Wagner Flexio 2000 has an onboard air turbine. That means it produces its own air source. You don’t have to lug around a heavy air compressor to get the benefits of this HVLP paint sprayer. Everything you need is built right into the sprayer.
Wagner Flexio 2000 Pros and Cons
As with most products, there are definitely advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the Wagner Flexio 2000.
Low Price Point: The Flexio comes in typically around $150. This makes it extremely affordable for most DIY painters and a worthy investment to speed up even small projects.
Versatile Sprayer: The Flexio can be used on cabinets, furniture, doors, windows, trim, interior walls, ceilings, exteriors, fences, and decks. It can spray enamels, stains, clear coats, wall paint, and exterior paint. I wouldnt’ recommended it for all of these (see my recommended projects down below), but it is versatile if needed!
Easy To Use, Setup, & Clean: The Wagner Flexio 2000 can be set up in just a couple of minutes. Learning to use the sprayer is quick and intuitive. Cleanup takes roughly 5-10 minutes.
Not Good For Exterior Paints and Wall Paints: Exterior paints are thick and do not spray well out of the Flexio. Wagner says it can spray them, but there are much better options for exterior paints. The same goes for interior wall paint.
Very Slow Paint Application: HVLP sprayers are slow in general, but I don’t consider this a negative. However, Wagner promotes the Flexio 2000 as a spayer you would want to use to paint the exterior of your house! That would be awful. There are much better sprayers for exterior painting. Keep the Flexio for smaller projects like furniture, doors, cabinets, a small deck, etc.
It’s Kind of Loud: While I wouldn’t say that the Flexio 2000 is excessively loud, the air turbine is held close to your face and does become irritating and loud to me after a while. I recommend wearing ear plugs to avoid a headache.
It’s Heavy: You may not feel it right away, but spray cabinets above your head for 10+ minutes and your arm will be rubber. Nothing you can do about this unless you want to upgrade and buy a more expensive sprayer where the air turbine is not attached to the gun. Plan on taking breaks to rest your arm.
Best Uses For The Wagner Flexio 2000
I’ll go over these in a bit more detail later in this post, but quickly, here my picks for the best uses for the Wagner Flexio 2000:
- Painting Kitchen Cabinets
- Painting Furniture
- Painting Doors, Windows, Trim, and Molding
- Spraying Stains and Clear Coats
The Flexio Will Also Work Well For The Following Projects:
I do not recommend the Flexio 2000 for these projects:
- Exterior House Painting
- Large Interior Painting Projects
- Whole Houses
- Any Commercial Painting
The reason I don’t recommend using the Flexio 2000 on these projects is they are too big and they use thicker paints. There are other sprayers that are much better suited for these projects. Also, these thicker paints will likely not spray well at all with the Flexio.
My Personal Experience and Opinion
I want to be 100% honest here. I am a professional painter and I have been in the industry for roughly 20 years now. The Wagner Flexio 2000 is not a sprayer I use on my clients projects.
I typically use sprayers that cost from $1000 – $4000. Professional sprayers aren’t what DIY Painters are going to purchase for small projects.
I purchased the Flexio 2000 to test it out at home and have run wall paints, interior enamels, and exterior paints through it. I know what an expensive HVLP sprayer works like, and honestly, I am very impressed with the Wagner Flexio 2000. Wagner’s homeowner line of sprayers and tools are usually great, and the Flexio is no exception.
The Flexio 2000 works extremely well and I think that it is perfect for the homeowner who only needs it for a couple of projects a year.
The small amount you spend on this sprayer will drastically increase the quality of any enameling you do in your home and save you many hours. I would guess that if you were painting an average size set of kitchen cabinets, it could save you 10-20 hours and eliminate those brush and roller marks.
Want to see exactly how long your painting project should take you? Check out my Paint Project Calculator. This calculator is the most extensive painting calculator on the net! Find out how long your painting project should take you, how much it will cost, and even how much a contractor would charge for the same project. The Calculator works with interiors, exteriors, and kitchen cabinets.
How To Use The Wagner Flexio 2000
I have come across many painters over the years who refuse to use HVLP sprayers of any kind. This is always because they don’t understand how HVLP sprayers work and how to get the best results possible from them.
Only after you fully understand your sprayer will you achieve the best results possible.
Learning The Parts Of The Wagner Flexio 2000
When you first open your Flexio 2000 you’ll notice it comes in two main parts, the rear turbine, and the front assembly.
The Air Turbine
The air turbine is the larger portion of the sprayer with the handle attached to it. This piece produces the high value of air needed to properly atomize the paint for the HVLP sprayer.
X Boost Power Dial
This knob allows you to turn the X Boost turbine to either high power or low power. High power equals more airflow. You will typically use high for most enamels, paints, and clear coats, while low power is more suitable for stains.
Material Flow Control
The material flow knob controls how much paint or stain will flow out of your nozzle while spraying. Thicker materials will require you to turn up the dial more (usually 8-12), while thinner materials spray better at a lower flow rate. Note that the more fluid coming through the sprayer, the harder it is to properly atomize and achieve a smooth finish.
Spray Fan Width Switch
The red switch right behind the air cap controls the width of the spray fan. You will want the wide spray fan for 99% of your projects.
Air Cap / Nozzle / Spray Tip
The air cap is where the air meets the paint on the Wagner Flexio 2000. The air hits the paint from both sides, the top, bottom, and even at two angles. All this air hits the paint in the perfect pattern to it atomize and shape it into a perfect spray fan. Twist the air cap to spray a horizontal fan, a vertical fan, or a circle, which can be handy depending on which direction you are spraying.
1.5 Qt Paint Cup
The 1.5 Qt cup is great, but the more you fill it, the heavier it will be and more likely you are to get paint into the check valve. This is bad because the paint can dry inside this valve and restrict the air flowing to the cup and not allow the cup to pressurize and deliver paint to the spray tip.
I recommend filling it only roughly 1/2 – 2/3 way full at a time. This will leave some weight off your arm and keep the check valve clean.
2 Stage Trigger
When you partially depress the two-stage trigger, it will activate the air turbine. Pull the trigger further and it will pull the pin back from the nozzle and allow the paint to start flowing.
Paint Suction Tube
The paint suction tube sucks paint up the tube and to the air cap/nozzle. The suction tube can be positioned to angle towards the front, rear, or side of the cup. If you are painting at a downward angle, the paint will settle towards the front of the cup so you should angle the tube towards the front of the cup. If you are painting at an upward angle, point it to the back of the cup.
The Air Valve Tube
The 1-way air valve (check valve) siphons off-air flowing from the turbine and sends a small stream of air down into the paint cup. This then pressurizes the air cup and send paint up the paint suction tube and to the spray tip.
How To Spray Latex Enamel Paint: Kitchen Cabinets & Furniture
The most common (and best) use for the Wanger Flexio 2000 is spraying your kitchen cabinets, furniture, doors, windows, and trim.
While the Wagner Flexio 2000 is a great sprayer for these projects, it can also be difficult to get the Felxio 2000 to spray enamels properly if you don’t know how to set up the sprayer for enamel paint.
Thinning Your Paint
I find that most enamels such as Benjamin Moore Advance, Satin Impervo, Sherwin Williams Emerald, and INSL-X Cabinet, need to be thinned roughly 20% in order to get the best atomization when spraying and in turn the smoothest finish when spraying with the Flexio 2000. This is because it is easier to atomize thinner paint than it is to atomize thicker paint and the Flexio isn’t the most powerful HVLP.
I have also found the same to be true with most primers such as Zinsser Smart Prime, INSL-X Primer, Benjamin Moore Advance Primer, Kilz 2, and Others.
X Boost Dial
For latex paints/enamels, set the X Boost dial on your Wagner Flexio 2000 to High Power. This will cause more air to flow out of the turbine to better atomize thicker materials.
Set your fluid control down to 1. This will allow the least amount of fluid to flow out of your gun. Do a quick test spray on a large piece of cardboard. Turn the fluid knob up one number at a time until you feel comfortable with the speed of the fluid coming out of the Flexio 200. Make sure your spray fan and atomization look good. You will likely have the fluid set between 8-12 when spraying latex enamels.
Note: The more fluid, the harder it will be to atomize. If you start to get an orange peel textured finish in your enamel, turn the fluid knob down.
The Wagner Flexio 2000 has two fan pattern settings. The fan pattern setting is a red ring/knob right before the spray tip. The settings will control a wide spray pattern vs a more narrow spray pattern. For spaying enamels on kitchen cabinets, furniture, doors, etc, you’ll want the wide spray pattern. You’ll have trouble with runs more often with the narrow spray fan vs the wide fan.
Before you start spraying your surface, test out your spray fan on a large piece of cardboard. Is the spray pattern even, is it atomizing well, is there too much or too little fluid coming out?
When spraying there are few main things to remember.
First, spraying takes practice. There is a happy place between too light and too thick that you will find through practice.
Constantly check over your work. When I am spraying, I am constantly looking at my work and adjusting. Look at what you just sprayed and look at it from different angles. Is it too light, is it starting to form runs? When you look over your work, you can see what you’re doing right or wrong as you paint and adjust. By the end of your first coat, you should have a rhythm down, but don’t stop looking at your work!
Always overlap your spray by 50% on each pass. Steady, even passes that overlap by 50% will produce the best results because the paint feathers off at the ends of the spray fan. By over-lapping, you will get a uniform coat of paint everywhere rather than light spots in between your strokes.
Use horizontal or vertical passes depending on the area you are painting and the access you have to it.
Never hold an HVLP sprayer upside down. Paint will get into the air pressure tube going from the gun to the paint reservoir and cause you a headache!
How To Spray Stains With The Wagner Flexio 2000
The Wagner Flexio 2000 is great for spraying stains. Spraying an interior stain on kitchen cabinets, doors, windows, or trim allows you to apply the stain much faster and more evenly than with a brush.
Exterior stains such as deck stains and fence stains also work great with the Flexio 2000 as both of these products are thin and spray fantastically.
When spraying a deck or fence stain, make sure to take extra precautions to prevent overspray from hitting cars, windows, and siding as this is one of the biggest mistakes I hear and see from homeowners.
Thinning Your Stain
Stains do not need to be thinned to spray with the Flexio 2000. Both are typically plenty thin right out of the can to spray.
X Boost Dial
Set the X Boost Power Dial on your Wagner Flexio 2000 to low for less airflow from the air turbine. While you can set this too high, it is not necessary for spraying stains.
Start with your fluid control on the lowest settings. Do a test spray and then move the dial-up one number at a time until the spray fan and speed of fluid suit you. You will likely have the fluid flow rate lower than with paints and enamels since stain is thinner and will flow out faster.
Set the fan pattern to a wide spray fan. There is no need for a narrow fan while spraying stains.
Stain Spraying Tips
If you are spraying interior stains on cabinets, or other wood, don’t get too far ahead of yourself before wiping the stain off. If you are staining cabinet doors, I like to spray one door, then wipe it completely before moving on to the next door. If you wait too long, the stain can start drying and leave your wood blotchy.
Decks / Fences
If you are spraying on your deck or fence stain, I always use a large 4Ã¢â‚¬ or 5Ã¢â‚¬ deck brush and Ã¢â‚¬Å“back brushÃ¢â‚¬ the stain into the wood after spraying it on. By back brushing, you are evening out the stain for a better looking finish and forcing the stain into the cracks and grain of the wood (which can be very deep on exterior woods). You still save a ton of time over regular brush application with this method.
How To Clean The Wagner Flexio 2000
Cleaning the Wagner Flexio 2000 is amazingly easy – one of the reasons I really like this HVLP sprayer.
Start by detaching the air turbine from the front part of the sprayer.
You can then place the entire front portion of the sprayer into your tub, or laundry sink since there are no electronics in this part of the sprayer.
Detach the paint cup and wash the cup and suction tube thoroughly.
Next, remove the spray tip from the front of the gun and wash It using a brush (toothbrush, dish brush, etc) to really clean the spray tip as well as possible.
Once you have washed everything you can in the sink, fill up the paint cup halfway with water and re-assemble the air turbine with the rest of the Flexio sprayer.
Turn the X Boost to low and set the material flow rate to 11. This will keep the air low but push as much water through the sprayer as possible.
Spray all of the water through the sprayer.
Repeat this process 2-3 times until the water comes through completely clear.
Next, take the gun apart one last time and check that the suction tube is clean going the whole way up. Check that the spray tip is clean and free from all paint.
Finally, always check the air tube on the side of the gun. If you kept the sprayer upright during spraying, it should be clean. But if the gun tilted too far or went upside down, the air tube can get paint in it. Pull the air tube off the side of the gun and make sure it is clear. Check the one-way valve and make sure that the valve seal is clean. Reassemble the sprayer. You’re done!
For more details on cleaning out the Wagner Flexio 2000, make sure to check out the user’s manual which is pretty thorough.
Cleaning Out Oil Based Products
I am not going to address cleaning the Flexio 2000 from oil-based products in this post. I am leaning more and more towards the opinion that oil-based products don’t have a home in DIY Painting these days. The water-based counterparts are just as good (if not better) and so much better for our environment and health.
Troubleshooting The Wagner Flexio 2000
How To Correct Orange Peel Texture
Orange peel texture is typically created when the paint from your HVLP sprayer isn’t getting properly atomized. The paint droplets remain too big and spread out, leading to the orange peel texture that you see.
There are two main ways to fix this issue. First, try thinning your paint. I recommend thinning your paint 5% and then try spraying again. If needed, repeat thinning 5% every time. Second, you may need to increase your airflow and decrease your paint flow, this will help with paint atomization.
Paint Isn’t Coming Out Of The Sprayer
If paint isn’t coming out of your Flexio sprayer, the culprit is oftentimes a dirty sprayer. Make sure to thoroughly clean the sprayer with the included pipe cleaner style brush. Chunky paint can also clog your sprayer, so make sure to strain your paint before spraying.
Runs In Your Finish
Runs happen when you’ve applied too much or too thick of paint and they are not fun to fix. I take a brush and try to smooth the runs out while they are still wet. Then, once the paint is dry, sand the brush marks out of the finish and re-spray. Make sure to use lighter coats on your next spray pass.
Wagner Flexio 2000 Alternatives
Maybe the Wagner Flexio 2000 isn’t quite the perfect sprayer for you and your needs. Here are a few alternatives I highly recommend.
The Wagner Flexio 5000 is a step up from the 2000 and 3000. The main difference is a more powerful turbine that is separate from your paint gun. This allows you to spray thicker materials, move faster, and have less weight on your arm.
The Fuji Semi-Pro 2 is a big step up in HVLP sprayers. Semi-Pro is literally the perfect name for this sprayer. It is perfect for the homeowner who has multiple projects, or the handyman who needs it a bit more often than a homeowner.
The Graco Magnum ProX17 is a better choice for exterior house painting, remodel projects and overall large painting jobs. It is not a good choice for cabinets and furniture. Read my review here.
Wrapping Up My Review of the Wagner Flexio 2000
The Wagner Flexio 2000 is a great DIY sprayer for a low price. If you are a DIY Painter and want a great finish on small projects, I recommend the Wagner Flexio 2000. I have found it perfect for cabinets, furniture, and other small DIY projects.
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