The Stumpy Nubs Workshop #39: Spray finishing: Cheap, less cheap, and a little pricey

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Blog entry by StumpyNubs posted 423 days ago 2017 reads 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 38: Upgrade your budget dust collection! Part 39 of The Stumpy Nubs Workshop series Part 40: Stone, paper, daimonds... Sharpening made simple! »

A special tool review episode takes a look at sprayers that are good for a small shop. First we look at the Harbor Freight HVLP spray gun, then the Earlex 5500 Spray Station, and finally the Graco cordless sprayer. PLUS: What size of compressor do you need for HVLP? And a look at Charles Neil’s new online finishing course… that and more on the latest episode of Blue Collar Woodworking!

After you watch this one, visit for more woodworking goodness!

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-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

13 comments so far

View steliart's profile


1807 posts in 1313 days

#1 posted 423 days ago

Always having a good time watching your show, thanks.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

611 posts in 1406 days

#2 posted 423 days ago

Viola? – you do sneak ‘em in! LOL

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View DamnYankee's profile


3233 posts in 1187 days

#3 posted 423 days ago

Very timely video for me.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View StumpyNubs's profile


6163 posts in 1426 days

#4 posted 423 days ago

Yah, Don. I like to see if people are paying attention.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View CharlesNeil's profile


1127 posts in 2496 days

#5 posted 423 days ago

Gee thanks Stumpy for the finishing class plug’

The harbor freight gun does have a issue with the little washer where the cup attaches to the gun, many of the gravity feds do, if you use some teflon tape and tape it well it will seal it with no issue .HOWEVER get some of these

The seal well and are better than the smaller nylon cup, they fit all my gravity feds, and because they have more fluid and add more pressure to the fluid, they help some on atomization , We use them all the time.

View DIYaholic's profile


13259 posts in 1300 days

#6 posted 423 days ago

Great show Stumps!
I’ll be extra polite today, as there is a celebrity in the house (NOT you DYankee! I’m talking about Mr, Neil)!!!

I’ve yet to use my HF HVLP….
Guess I need to complete a project more worthy of a quality finish, than the utilitarian stuff I’ve been making!!!

Mr. Neil,
Thanks for the “HF disposable cup” tip.

Looking forward to more great infotainment!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View StumpyNubs's profile


6163 posts in 1426 days

#7 posted 423 days ago

Don’t forget the filter cones and the spray gun stand Harbor Freight has too!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View luv2learn's profile


1673 posts in 928 days

#8 posted 422 days ago

Hey Stumpy, I used the Harbor Freight HVLP spray gun to spray all the high gloss latex paint on the interior trim of our house when we built it. I did have to thin it down quite a bit but after applying two coats the finish was like glass. I recommend it as a great little sprayer for guys like me who are on a budget.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View boxcarmarty's profile


9125 posts in 985 days

#9 posted 422 days ago

That reminds me, I need to go to Walmart…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View eddie's profile


7202 posts in 1239 days

#10 posted 422 days ago

great video stumpy , i got the harbor freight gun and it ok but first chance im going to up grade thanks , ,

and have charle s finishing classes on the list too ,hes a great teacher of this craft

wood craft has the erlaxer on sale also for 299 with a extre tip

Earlex Spray Station HV5500 HVLP
Item #152797
Save $40 and Receive a BONUS 1.5mm Fine Finish Needle Kit Now Through June 28, 2013
$339.99 Sale! $299.99
- See more at:

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View doubleDD's profile


2385 posts in 668 days

#11 posted 422 days ago

Great video Stumpy, always willing to learn something, and I did. Thanks.

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View DS's profile


2131 posts in 1046 days

#12 posted 421 days ago

Yup, I have the HF gun too. The stand is invaluable and so are the disposible cups. I tend to make a mess of them and have gone through about a dozen since I started. (I dropped the sprayer once before I had the stand and the cup shattered. That’s when I discovered both the stand and the disposible cups)

I had two issues with the gun at first which I overcame easily enough.

The first was that they coated it with a protectant from the manufacturer that you have to completely break down the gun and clean it out before your first use. I thought I could just run some lacquer thinner through it and it’d be okay. Nope. Fish-eyed like a river trout. Even after I stripped it I was getting fish-eyes. By the third cleaning I started getting good results. (The first one didn’t count as I didn’t break it down)

Second issue was that the pivot screw for the handle came apart on me whilst spraying. It made a huge mess that took a while to clean up. Once I re-assembled it and used some locktite on the threads it stayed together well enough.

For the money, it has been a very very productive sprayer for me. I used to use the automotive cup guns and I still keep those around.

If I could afford an airless sprayer, I’d probably go that route. Until then, the HF HVLP unit is good to go.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View ScottKaye's profile


275 posts in 578 days

#13 posted 420 days ago

Hey Mr. Stumpy.. Which model HF gun did you review? Im on their site now and and I see two guns that look a like but have different stock numbers.. (prices are the same as well) The only diifference I see is one is labled “professional” and the other is not. I guess if I bought the professional gun, it would automatically bring my skill set and workmanship up to the level of say ah, oh I dont know… maybe um – a Charles Neil! Well that and probably many years of expert tutalage by Charles.

HVLP sprayer one labeled professional

HVLP sprayer two

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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