HVLP Spray Gun

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Forum topic by quartrsawn posted 03-31-2010 04:21 PM 5313 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View quartrsawn's profile


146 posts in 3176 days

03-31-2010 04:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing cedar spray gun

Hello all, I would like to purchase a HVLP spray gun to spray solid body stain and acrylic paints for outdoor furniture projects. I already have a 4hp / 18 gallon compressor, any suggestions???? Thanx, Nat

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

7 replies so far

View Chuck Shellem's profile

Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 2957 days

#1 posted 04-01-2010 05:12 AM

I was watching this to see what folks might say ‘cause I’m looking into spray guns myself. Did you see this review on LJ:

I’m thinking about going to get one this weekend. There are a few others reviews here. Hopefully you’ll get some input.

-- -- Chuck S.

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 04-02-2010 02:44 AM

IMHO, HVLP conversion guns are great for thin finishes- like clear top coats – shellac, lacquer, and even waterborne clears. They usually aren’t designed for thicker materials like latex or exterior painting – The Wagner and Graco sprayers sold by the big box do a better job on exterior products. I am not sure what you mean by solid body stain – if you mean exterior stains like semitransparent and solid stains, then again, HVLP is not ideal , you would move more volume and get better results with a Graco sprayer like this I haven’t used that model, but have used similar equipment. If you have a HD or Lowes rental near you, try renting one and see what you think.

View Tim_456's profile


170 posts in 3559 days

#3 posted 04-02-2010 02:52 AM

I just picked one of these up a week or two ago and it works pretty well. This is the only gun I’ve ever owned so my opinion is not that educated but i bought some latex paint, thinned it down, and started spraying. I’m mainly interested in spraying paint rather than finishes and it seems like it’ll work well. I might have my settings incorrect but my 15 gal compressor struggled to keep up but maybe on finishes where I don’t need to lay down as much material a small compressor would work well. It’s workable, just slow as the tank recharges.

The only problem I’m having is figuring out what the settings do and how that effects the results. the instructions are pretty poor so it seems like it’ll be trial and error for a bit but it does seem to be a good buy. I bought the gun, the stainless tank, and the 2mm tip for latex and I think I got it all for about $60 at the local woodcraft.

Hope this helps.

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3750 days

#4 posted 04-02-2010 03:29 AM

The major problem that people have spraying paint is the compressor, not the spray gun. Many cheap spray guns are knock-offs of Binks/Devilbiss designs that will do a decent job but critical replacement parts are non-existent (seals, etc)

However, most of them, including the brand name tools, require 8 – 10 cfm at 50 – 70 psi, and that is for oil based paints thinned to the proper spray viscosity (i.e. lacquer, enamel and varnish). Water based (which includes acrylics) takes a lot more cfm, because water does not like to atomize, and the molecules are very big. For water based paints, and especially for latex, it takes over 12 cfm, or an airless (3000 psi through a machined nozzle).

Most 120v air compressors will not operate a regular spray gun, much less an HVLP. They will push an airless (expensive piece of equipment) so for acrylic or latex, it may be best to rent the sprayer. However, an airless gun is not something a novice can usually operate without cascade runs. The top max will be about 6.5 cfm at 50 psi with a 120v compressor.

A pressurized cup or tank, will reduce the cfm needed to properly atomize the paint, because the air cfm needed to siphon the paint up the tube is eliminated. If spraying acrylic or heavy paint, a 2 qt pressure pot (HF sells them relatively inexpensively) will greatly increase your chances of getting a decent coating if using a 120v compressor. It won’t be great, but may work for small projects. Add this to the low price gun, and you may have a combo that will work.

One thing to watch for in thinning latex. If you thin it too much, you may get a good looking coating to start with, but there will not be enough binder (i.e. latex) in the finish to give it any durability. Your “life-time” paint just became a 6-month coating.


-- Go

View quartrsawn's profile


146 posts in 3176 days

#5 posted 04-07-2010 02:24 AM

Thanx for all the input,stiil looking and more confused.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View bench_dogg's profile


63 posts in 3100 days

#6 posted 04-07-2010 03:44 AM

I have an Asturo ECO SX, the primary reason I bought it was it requires less air than a lot of the other guns so I am able to run it off my smallish compressor. I got a kit with 3 tip/needles – a 1.1mm, 1.4mm and 1.7mm. They have a 2.2mm for latex, but I haven’t had the need yet. I have only really used the 1.4 tip and sprayed shellac, lacquer and some water based product from target coatings. The 1.1 would be good for water based dyes and probably some stains.

I am running it off a 20 gal/1.5 hp compressor. So far it has been ok for my small to med sized projects but I wouldn’t want to run it all day.

You might also think about getting a filter, I added one and it made a big difference in the finish quality. I am running a 2 stage, the first is a oil/water separator the second stage is more of a cleaning stage. Good air is really important so your finish doesn’t get contaminated before the material hits the wood. Oil or water in the mix will make it impossible to get a good result with most product.

With guns I think there is a bit of a learning curve, but I think it is time well spent.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4051 days

#7 posted 04-07-2010 04:17 AM

I’ve had an Apollo for years. With 4hp you might get away with a conversion gun. My old Craftsman did not have enough umph (that’s a technical term) to power a conversion gun.

If you can handle the price you can’t beat the Apollo or one of the other (not Wagner) HVLP guns.

My $.03


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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