spray painting question

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Forum topic by Tim_456 posted 01-26-2010 06:04 AM 5701 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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170 posts in 3623 days

01-26-2010 06:04 AM

I finally have enough justification for buying a spray system and I’m going to go with the HVLP conversion system but can I put any paint in it? Can I get a gallon of latex paint from Home Depot, thin it with some water and pump it through the sprayer or do I need to go with some specialty enamel paint or something else? I’ve been able to get alot of information about the spray guns and systems but everyone just glosses over (no pun intended) the paint that’s used. maybe I’m overcomplicating this but I’m not feeling confident about the paint. Any help or resources would be great!

8 replies so far

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 02:24 PM

Tim, most HVLP guns won’t spray latex well. There are designed for spraying much thinner stuff, like lacquer, shellac or waterborne laquer. If your main goal is to spray latex, I wouldn’t get an HVLP, instead I would use a Wagner airless, even if you thinned it enough to spray ( using additives like Floetrol ) it is pretty abrasive on the gun. The main reason to buy HVLP is to spray clears liike waterbornes, lacquers, shellacs, etc. Most of the major manufactures offer tinted versions of there clear finishes and an HVLP willl do fine with those.

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3143 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 03:37 PM

Barry is correct… Latex and HVLP don’t play well together. The guns do spray reduced enamel very well, so when you can substitute enamel for latex, the spray gun will provide a great alternative.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3689 days

#3 posted 01-26-2010 07:09 PM

I have an Earlex HVLP 5000 and I’ve used it to spray latex paint before. Home Depot Behr Eggshell. Used the tip it came with, it was a larger one I think 2mm. But it does need to be thinned, if I remember correctly I used 5 part paint 2 part water about 1 part floetrol, so if you want to lay on a heavy coat you do need to spray several times. Doesn’t atomize too well but good enough for carpentry items eg doors & trims.

I’ve never used those $50 Wagner Airless guns before so I can’t comment on those. But I’ve used my father’s $300 airless sprayer before, and it is so much work to setup and clean, and waste quite a bit of paint in the process, that I wouldn’t consider using it unless I’m painting several rooms. Those thing can spray a lot of paint in a very short time. On the other hand, I wouldn’t use my HVLP to paint the house either since that would take a long time (I used it to paint some doors)

For a woodworking project needing a painted finish I would definitely used tinted lacquer over latex, if surface and budget allows. I didn’t know about the abrasive effect that Barry mentioned, thanks for pointing that out.

-- Ed

View Tim_456's profile


170 posts in 3623 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 06:14 AM

Thanks guys, sounds like latex is out, which in general is ok for me. Is the lacquer or enamel paint something that Sherwin-Williams would sell?

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 07:10 AM

Depending on the kind of sprayer you have you can buy a bigger tip for most guns that will allow you to spray latex ,if that’s what you really want to use. If your going to spray woodworking projects you might want to think about water base dyes of tinted lacquers depening on what your making .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3143 days

#6 posted 01-27-2010 12:28 PM

Tim, yes… I have used Sherwin-Williams enamel on some furniture I’ve painted with good results… Painting with the gun will take a little practise… it’s all about timing ….

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View Kade's profile


4 posts in 3069 days

#7 posted 01-27-2010 03:40 PM

Hi guys. Im new here. A friend of mine does some wood work and showed me this site. I have a little insight on this subject seeing that i work for Sherwin-Williams. There are other options besides an HVLP. I don’t know what your price range is but there is a system called air-assisted airless. It has the capabilities of spraying the thicker products such as latex, but also allows you to go into a fine finish mode for thinner products such as stains, sealers, lacquers, and varishes.

I can also tell you about products if you have any questions in general.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3574 days

#8 posted 01-28-2010 02:39 AM

Thanks Kade for your info. I also use Sherwin and I have loved their products so far. As far as spraying, I have really enjoyed spraying but there is a learning curve involved. I am still learning. Getting to know your equipment is what I have found to be very important. All parts of your set up must be clean and free of clogs. For example, this past weekend we kept getting “orange peel” in our lacquer finish from our gun. We played with the mixture, took the gun apart, cleaned and cleaned some more. What I was missing is there is ventilation that occures through the cap (it is a cup gun). The ventilation in the cap was clogged and did not allow proper air flow. We figured this out after almost the whole day past and we were then off and rockin. I even managed to still deliver and install the unit all in this same day.

Point is, just expect a learning curve to be involved. There is things to learn about the equipment and also the product you are using.

Also, we have an Earlex 5000 that I actually like a lot for the versitility and at 300.00 it is hard to beat. I have different needle sizes and have sprayed latex to stain to lacquers with it. I prefer to use our Kobalt gun with air compressor that we buy from Lowes. I prefer the kobalt because there is more adjustment available in the gun which gives me more personal control plus I don’t really like the weight of the larger gun provided with the Earlex which does not seem that heavy until you are spraying whole kitchens.

Also, some here might comment on spray pots and I have a friend who swears by his spray pot. I plan on investing in a spray pot down the road and might find that more preferrable in the future.

-- .

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