Earlex Spray Station 5000

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Review by thewoodwhisperer posted 03-28-2008 06:59 AM 33862 views 8 times favorited 43 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Earlex Spray Station 5000 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

To sum up, I thought the Earlex did a darn good job spraying pretty much everything I put in it, including oil-based poly, water-based finishes, lacquer, and latex paint. I would probably recommend purchasing some of the smaller tip sets though, since they will increase performance on the water-based stuff. The 5000 does lack some of the spray controls typically found in higher-priced 3 and 4-stage units, but sometimes those extra features are just unnecessary. I found the simplicity of the unit to be refreshing. In fact, there were a few occasions where I needed to spray and I found myself gravitating to the Earlex primarily because of its simplicity. Now the unit has only been in my possession for about a month so I can’t comment on its longevity. But from what I’ve seen so far, I think the Earlex represents what many of you are looking for: a low-cost way of getting into the spraying game, without scarifying the quality of your finish.

Based purely on comparative performance, I would probably give this unit a solid 4 stars. But the fact that the Earlex costs significantly less than half the price of its 3-stage and 4-stage competitors means I absolutely have to give it a 5 star rating.

I also posted a video that covers my initial impressions and experience with the Earlex Spray Station 5000.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 5071 days

43 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4875 days

#1 posted 03-28-2008 07:27 AM

My concern about any type of sprayer is the cleanup. I would hate to spend 3 times longer cleaning it
up as it took me to spray something.

What is the cleanup time for this unit?

Great review and video BTW.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View gbear's profile


534 posts in 4986 days

#2 posted 03-28-2008 07:28 AM

Nice demo Marc. I’ve been waiting for you to review the Earlex to see what you thought about it. I have one and it seems to be ideal for a small shop. Great work as usual. Thanks

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 5071 days

#3 posted 03-28-2008 09:14 AM

Thanks guys. Gary, the cleanup on this unit is really no more/less that any other HVLP gun. Now compared to other types of finishing, you are certainly looking at a little more maintenance. But it just goes with the territory when spraying.

After spraying, I usually clean out the cup, and then fill the cup with the thinner for whatever finish I was spraying. I spray for a few seconds to clean the needle out and then disassemble. The included cleaning kit has a nice brush that cleans out the tube easily. For water-based products, I clean the gun if I don’t plan on using it for 4 or more hours. For standard lacquers, I clean it if I don’t plan on spraying again for a few days. The lacquer is more forgiving.

Hope that helps.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4752 days

#4 posted 03-28-2008 02:41 PM

Good review. I’m not quite up to the spray gun level yet in my finishing, but good to know there are some good choices out there.

-- He said wood...

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4955 days

#5 posted 03-28-2008 04:44 PM

I’ve been toying with getting a spraying setup. Got a few other higher priorities, but I’ll have to remember this when the time comes. Cleaning would be my issue as well. Knowing the abuse I give my brushes and such, I might need to develop a better cleaning ethic.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 5001 days

#6 posted 03-28-2008 04:45 PM

Thanks Marc! I just got on of these. It arrived on my doorstep this morning and I can’t wait to try it out. Just as a side note, Woodcraft includes a second needle (the 1.5 mil.) in their price. Thanks again for the excellent video.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4761 days

#7 posted 03-28-2008 05:03 PM

I have had this sprayer for almost a year, and have been very happy with it’s performance (I’ve been meaning to write a review … ). I used to use SATA sprayers, but when I decided to go HVLP, I had just seen a glowing review of this sprayer so I gave it a try and haven’t looked back.

-- -- --

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4875 days

#8 posted 03-28-2008 05:38 PM

Thanks for the information about cleanup.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4908 days

#9 posted 03-28-2008 06:06 PM

I wonder why the vacuum motors suddenly get called “turbines” when the get used for HVLP?

Apart from a suitable length of spiral tubing that fits a sprayer there is not much to separate the good the bad and the ugly except fit and finish on the guns.

It should be noted that HVLP guns move a ton of air and do not work well in enclosed (blind) areas like drawers and cupboards.
Aerosols and overspray although less are still present with most materials water based or VOCs.

Barring that they are quite useful.

The other mentionable is that they move a lot of material so runs, wrinkles and orange peal are constant threat for the uninitiated.



-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5048 days

#10 posted 03-28-2008 07:15 PM

Rick and I talked to the rep at one of the wood shows and he showed how he could spray some cupboards right there in the booth and the contents not cover everyone and everything in or around it – that was cool
And then we were told that he was asked if he could refinish a bathtub and he did. The Earlex worked wonderfully, so the story goes.

Rick and I were impressed with the demonstration.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 4599 days

#11 posted 03-28-2008 07:17 PM

This was a good time for me to join this forum, i’m currently trying to figure out what kind of spray system to go with. I’m trying to collect as much info as i can. One painter friend said you don’t want to go HVLP, too much overspray, just get a good gravity feed spray gun. I’m so confused.
Thanks for the review. i’ll look into it.

-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4655 days

#12 posted 03-28-2008 09:29 PM

thanks for the great review. I’ve been looking into one when i start to get some woodworking jobs. thanks for the review.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4761 days

#13 posted 03-29-2008 12:28 AM

One of the big selling points for HVLP is the low overspray. My understanding is that some countries are requiring that professionals use HVLP because less chemicals are introduced into the environment than with standard spray equipment.

Bob #2 mentioned a problem with spraying into drawers and cupboards because of the high volume of air. I usually spray cabinet components before assembly, but occasionally spray after assembly. I don’t notice any worse performance with HVLP than with compressor driven guns. Possibly the lower pressure allows the paint droplets to exit the airstream when the air bounces back?? I do spray all my my drawers (assembled) with HVLP with no problems.

-- -- --

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4953 days

#14 posted 03-29-2008 12:11 PM

Thanks for the review Marc and the confirmation Peter. I just bought one of the Earlex machines a few weeks ago, but have not used it yet. I am looking forward to trying it out. Good review.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4709 days

#15 posted 03-29-2008 02:20 PM

Thanks for the review Marc. I have seen these and have considered getting one. Right now I have a Wagner that, while it works, is ok but I would like to go to a better unit. I will have to put one of these on my wish list (along with a myriad of other tools as well).

thanks again.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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