HVLP Gun and Compressor Help

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Forum topic by mc79 posted 08-12-2013 01:26 PM 2641 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 2095 days

08-12-2013 01:26 PM

I have a Vaper spray gun rated at 7.0-9.0 SCFM power consumption and 15-45psi air levels. (

I have Porter Cable 25 gallon compressor which pushes 7.7scfm at 40 psi and 5.4scfm at 90psi. (

So does that mean this should work as long as I run the compressor at 40 psi since that would put the output into the range of the gun’s requirements? Should I be able to get good results with this setup?

The reason I ask is because the 3 projects I have tried to spray just didn’t turn out well. I know alot of it is learning better technique and applying the settings on the gun correctly. But I’m starting to think maybe my equipment is playing a role as well. I have been spraying poly and shellac. If my equipment is holding me back, i may look into buying a Fuji self contained system and keeping the compressor for my air guns.

what do you think? Thanks!

9 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2713 days

#1 posted 08-12-2013 02:02 PM

Conversion setups are my least favorite way to spray. Still have all the problems of compressed air and none of the benefits of HVLP.

Get yourself a dedicated “true” HVLP system. It will save lots of aggravation and you won’t wear out your compressor.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 08-12-2013 03:10 PM

Your compressor is ok for some spraying; homestead finishing makes a nice gun (QS-600WB) that uses 4-6 cfm at 40psi, which is well within what you have. Getting the new gun will be cheaper than getting the new setup.
Jeff Jewitt’s Spray Finishing Made Simple is a great resource to learn from. The dvd is especially helpful.

That said, I was in a similar situation; I either had to upgrade my compressor or get a turbine unit. Since space is an issue in my shop I went for a turbine unit (fuji mini mite 4). If I had to do it again, I’d go for the turbine from the beginning.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View mc79's profile


23 posts in 2095 days

#3 posted 08-12-2013 03:34 PM

Another question I have is that on the box for my gun it says 15-45psi, but on the gun itself it says 20psi Max. So do I need to adjust the regulator on my gun input to 20 and keep my compressor output around 45psi? Unfortunately the instructions are almost non-existent with this gun and with no prior experience, it is all trial and error for me.

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2737 posts in 2599 days

#4 posted 08-12-2013 05:10 PM

If the gun has a regulator on it, keep that at 20; when I had my compressor setup, I kept the compressor at what I typically used my nail guns at (80-90psi). The regulator at the gun does what it’s supposed to.

Also, when setting the gun regulator pressure, do it with the trigger pulled so air is flowing.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4201 posts in 2331 days

#5 posted 08-12-2013 06:03 PM

What nitewalker said.

Jeff Jewitt’s Spray Finishing Made Simple is a great resource to learn from. The dvd is especially helpful.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View pintodeluxe's profile


5701 posts in 2835 days

#6 posted 08-12-2013 06:33 PM

I spray with a Porter Cable gravity feed gun that looks very similar to yours. My compressor is about that size too. With that setup you should be able to get professional results.

I have sprayed shellac and poly as well, but my real preference is pre-cat lacquer. You will find it at paint stores like Miller and Sherwin Williams. It sprays beautifully, and dries in 15 minutes. You can spray two coats easily in one day. I use a 1.5mm tip, and have had nothing but good luck. I spray with 35 psi at the gun. You may like to thin the lacquer 10% with lacquer thinner, which helps the finish lay out more smoothly.

Best of luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View dbhost's profile


5723 posts in 3254 days

#7 posted 08-12-2013 07:07 PM

Okay here is the rundown of my spraying setup…

Compressor, Central Pnuematic 2HP 29 gallon oil lubed compressor #68127. 7.3 SCFM 40PSI.
I spray with the HF purple HVLP gun. It's dirt cheap, once it is cleaned of all the Chinese shipping goo it is actually a decent spraying gun. Item #47016. Input pressure of 20-50PSI.
Central Pnuemantic #91011 siphon feed spray gun. 1.5 SCFM @30 PSI.
Husky siphon feed HVLP spray gun model # forgotten, and somewhat irrelevant, it's discontinued a couple of years anyway, but it uses 6.0 SCFM
40 PSI as well.

I use nothing but 3/8 poly hoses, and a regulator / filter in line prior to the gun line. I tried with 1/4” and it was a complete failure…

Each gun has its own purpose. The CP purple gun gets used with automotive type finishes (Been shooting Duplicolor Paint Shop System finishes with it).

Wood finishes such as stains, or more importantly, urethane get shot out of the Husky.

The CP siphon feed has been used to shoot reduced latex paints for home repair. And will again when I need to pre-paint panels prior to installing when I do my siding…

All in all my CP purple is my favorite gun. Relatively simple to keep clean, gives a smooth finish once dialed in. I am planning on looking for an inexpensive gun for spraying truck bed liner as I am planning on buying a custom utility / winch bumper for my truck, and I plan on using Monstaliner / Monstashades but sprayed smooth instead of textured on it prior to install. Plan on recoating the tool box, factory rear bumper, and step bars at the same time. I expect the product WILL destroy a gun so it has to be a cheapie…

If your willing to spend the time it takes to dial in a gun, not to mention your technique, I would not hesitate to pick up a couple of the HF guns and regulate your pressure down.

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Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1971 days

#8 posted 08-12-2013 11:29 PM

can you give a description or show pix of what it is doing? The gun and cfm rating are not the problem. all that means is that you can’t spray for a long period of time. you will have to spray and then let the compressor catch up. I have a feeling that you are getting orange peel at 20psi. I run the throw away HF guns that are $15. I usually use it between 45 and 60 psi. Whatever it takes to get a smooth even coat without a lot of overspray. leave the compressor set at whatever psi you like 90+ and make the adjustments on the gun. The gun you have is very similar to mine. I don’t use the regulator (just extra weight IMO). the knob in front of where the air fitting goes will adjust the air pressure. I have tried to follow the recommendations that came with the gun and it never worked for me. I learned to get the best results by playing with it. This is just my opinion and not fact, but it works great for me.

View mc79's profile


23 posts in 2095 days

#9 posted 08-13-2013 03:18 AM

Thanks for all of the replies! I have been setting my compressor output at 40 psi and the regulator input on my gun to 40 psi as well (i had not previously seen the 20 psi max barely visible on the gun handle). I have been getting a little of everything include what I think would be the “orange peel” where instead of a solid smooth finish you can see shiny finish bumps throughout the surface and it was a little rough feeling. then on certain areas like the sides (vertical pieces) i seemed to coat it better and in some places too much, and I got some runs from too much finish being applied. So I have had to sand it down a few times and start over. Shellac just seems to dry way too fast..

Based on the responses, I plan to increase my compressor output to around 90, set the input regulator on my gun to 20 with the trigger pulled, and better adjust my controls on the gun to get a better spray. Then practice and practice some more on some scraps before I feel confident spraying my work piece again. I also learned I need a water/oil filter in the line which I have not previously had. I am in Alabama and it is currently very hot and humid. I am spraying in my garage. Don’t know if moisture and/or heat are causing problems in my spray finish. Either way, I will experiment and practice some more before giving up on my current setup. I’ll also check out the Jeff Jewitt series.

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