How to Make Your Most Difficult Painting Projects Easy by Using This One Tool

"The Critter" Spray Gun


As promised, it is time to release our review of our recent purchase, The Critter.  We purchased The Critter Siphon Spray Gun to use on our most difficult painting projects and it just so happened that one of the projects was on our project to do list for this year.

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Painting tool for your painting projects

Have you ever painted something and thought, I never want to do this again?! Our home has a forty-five-foot front porch with railings and spindles and painting it happens to be the worst painting experience of my life, to date.

So, you can imagine my excitement when we had to put repair and painting of the porch on the Project To-Do List for this year.  Terry listened to me express my dissatisfaction over this project and it must have kicked his problem-solving skill into action.  Because, before I knew it there it was an amazon package that on the porch with The Critter Spray Gun in it; just waiting to be put to use.

So here goes, we are going to do our best to give you all of the information you will need on  “The Critter” Siphon Spray Gun including the cost, pro’s and con’s and our personal preference on settings and finishing product mixing for the best performance.  That you can use to make your next difficult painting project a breeze!



The Critter Siphon Spray Gun is light, compact and easy to use for both men and women.  It comes with a 16 oz standard mason jar that is used to hold the finishing liquid but the spray gun can be used with any size mason jar. We suggest using the 16 oz jar as it would be pretty heavy if you put a large one on and painted for a long period of time and believe it or not the 16 oz of product goes a long way using the spray gun.


This spray gun is meant to be used on small to medium household jobs.  It can be used with lacquers, stains, paints (including Chalk Paint), primers and adhesives.  One of the major benefits is that you can operate this gun off a portable air compressor.

If you are using Chalk Paint you may want to check out my recent blog 3 Paints I Like to Use for my DIY Paint Projects.


You will need:


Assembly is a snap if you just follow the directions given. Set-up takes a little bit more time.  Honestly, it is not difficult you just need to play with air pressure on compressor and nozzle settings on the spray gun until you find the sweet spot.  You simply raise or lower the spring-loaded nozzle to add more or less finishing liquid to the spray stream.  The spray pattern can be set from 1/4″ to 4″  in diameter by making this simple adjustment.  It can cover 10 square feet in less than 2 minutes.

Tip: We found the gun worked the best when we ran the pressure at about 60-65 psi and the suction nozzle at mid-point of the air stream.  But remember every finishing product will be different. You will just have to make the necessary adjustments until you find what works best.


Clean-up is made easy by attaching a 16 oz mason jar filled with soapy water or mineral spirits and spraying it through the spray gun. Tip: If you use soapy water you spray it right on lawn and plants.  They love it but the bugs hate it. If you use mineral spirits you can spray it inside a cardboard box hitting trigger 6-7 times until it is clean. Followed by handwashing the gun and mason jar.


Hands down the $40 dollars we paid for this tool is worth every penny.  This tool is unbeatable for any small to medium jobs.

When we took it out of the box we were impressed with the quality of the product for the price.


We recognize this tool is not for professional use but gives you professional spray results at a fraction of the cost of expensive spray systems.  For DIY Home projects The Critter Spray Gun is at the top of the list because of its simplicity, effectiveness, and reliability.

We seriously thought we would have an epic fail with the first run on the gun but quickly found out that we just did not have it set properly.  Once it was set correctly it worked amazingly!  Honestly, in discussing the pro’s and con’s for this post we had a difficult time finding anything negative to say about the product, but we did find one.  You will find it below.

  • Quick clean up
  • High-quality finish with low cost
  • Sprays many different Finishes
  • Can be used with a small portable compressor
  • Mason Jar use makes storing paints and stains easy for future use
  • Makes your hardest painting projects simple
  • Lack of Set-up instructions

We found that most of our initial set-up problem was paint that was not thinned down. It is not difficult to do, but they do not tell you to do it in the instructions.  We found after doing our research that other people like ourselves had the same problem.  So here is what we discovered, THIN YOUR FINISHING PRODUCT.

Latex Based Paint

We used a Leveling Additive for latex paint called X-tender but you can also thin your finishing product with mineral spirits.  We used about 10 tablespoons or 5 ounces of the X-tender to 16 oz of finishing product.  If you want to be more precise you can use a viscosity funnel.

Oil Based Paint

For spraying oil based paint:
– Adjust the spray tip as per the instruction manual
– Thin your paint by about 10% using mineral spirits. We also generally add a couple drops of Japan Dryer
– pour your paint through a paint strainer into the mason jar
– Set your compressor to deliver about 25 lbs pressure as a starting point (this gun doesn’t take much)
– Put on your breathing gear (seriously, don’t spray paint without a proper mask on)
– Start spraying onto a scrap piece of wood or cardboard to make fine adjustments

This set-up was used by someone that sprayed their kitchen cabinets and gave “The Critter” a 5-Star rating and that is what we give this product!  This is a 5-star product if you take a little extra time at the beginning to thin your finishing product and set your compressor and nozzle correctly. It took our worst painting job on our Project To-Do List for this year and made it simple.



In conclusion, we hope this review helps you to decide whether The Critter Spray Gun will be right for your project too.  Check out our YouTube demo video of the Critter Spray Gun here. If you need more help managing your next upcoming project check out our recent blog Conquer and Crush all Your DIY Projects Using our Home Improvement Binder.  Where you can grab your (free) Home Improvement Binder download.

Blessings from our home to yours



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