Spray gun

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Forum topic by Mark posted 11-10-2013 04:52 PM 2790 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


912 posts in 1971 days

11-10-2013 04:52 PM

Morning all. I’m thinking of using a spray gun with my 4 gal compressor but I’m not sure which way to go. The self contained units (Earlex 5000) are kinda out as I’m very cost conscience (cheap). I would be spraying water born varathane for the most part as I getting tiered of the damned brush stokes on my finish. I”m thinking a HVLP type gun is what I’m looking for. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

-- Mark

12 replies so far

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2107 days

#1 posted 11-10-2013 05:43 PM

There are conversion guns that convert the high pressure from an air compressor to the low pressure and higher volume that is used in a HVLP unit. I doubt that the 4 gallon compressor would be able to keep up with a large spray job and I would not want to be limited to having to stop spraying to allow the compressor to catch up. Pauses would work if each object to be sprayed was small, but to stop in the middle of spraying a large table top would be bad.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View bold1's profile


293 posts in 1844 days

#2 posted 11-10-2013 09:08 PM

My cheap low pressure gun from Harbor Freight has much less overspray with most finishes than my high pressure Brinks gun. It does take more adjusting to fine tune the spray. Doing over I wouldn’t have bought the Brinks for the ease of adjusting. Just my 2 cents.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 11-10-2013 09:32 PM

I use a air $12 HF hvlp gun it does fine job. I’ve been spraying for 35years and I find that you don’t need an expensive gun to get good results,you just need practice.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 11-11-2013 02:10 AM

I bought this spray gun from Woodcraft on sale over the summer for $30. Works great as long as you clean it well. I’ve only ever sprayed latex because I don’t think I could clean it well enough with an oil finish.

My bigger concern for you is the compressor. I have an older 3HP 20 gal craftsman compressor, but can do much more thann a single cabinet door without it cycling. I think with a 4 gallon compressor its going to be constantly trying to refill. The sound will be annoying and the little compressor is going to burn out from working so hard.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2358 days

#5 posted 11-11-2013 02:37 AM

Buy the most expensive conventional gravity feed gun you can afford… least $250….Devilbiss or Sata. Try it with your compressor. If the compressor is too weenie, what you’ve already spent gives you an excuse to go out and buy an 80 Gal 5 HP two stage stationary Ingersoll Rand compressor. You’ll never regret it. Nyuk nyuk

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View skipj's profile


97 posts in 2269 days

#6 posted 11-11-2013 01:53 PM

+1 with the Viking. I use Targets WB finishes and the spray gun is great. I have a 600$ sata gun that I haven’t used sense getting the woodcraft one a year ago. Also I don’t think the compressor is going to keep up.
C. Neil did a revue on the woodcraft gun.

View SuperCubber's profile


1026 posts in 2281 days

#7 posted 11-14-2013 04:35 AM

I have the Wagner Control Spray Max , and I love it. I’ve only sprayed water-based dye and poly with it. It gives a very smooth, and consistent finish. You can’t beat $115 for a hobbiest’s spray gun.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3739 days

#8 posted 11-14-2013 09:54 PM

Central Pneumatic – item#69705 at Harbor Freight.

Even Michael Fortune uses the same gun to spray with.
I sprayed a lot of DEFT brushing lacquer thinned by~30% with thinner through it when doing keepsake boxes for the football team.
Worked like a dream, and I think I only spent ~24 bucks 2 years ago.

Get the one with the regulator on the gun.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View jmartel's profile (online now)


7887 posts in 2147 days

#9 posted 11-14-2013 10:38 PM

Your little compressor will cycle a lot, but as long as you aren’t painting a house or a full set of kitchen cabinets, you should be fine. If you have to, spray one side, let it refill, and then continue on to the next side. Spray full panels all at once.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3739 days

#10 posted 11-14-2013 11:06 PM

Maybe get an air tank? You are still limited by the capacity that teh motor is refilling at, but perhaps it gives enough air between refills to break the job into doable pieces like jmartel says.

A little compressor + spray gun is going to be a lot of little compromises to get the job done.

The small earlex (not 5500) from Rockler is ~150 dollars.

The HF version of the basic Earlex – is 119
High Volume, Low Pressure Spray Gun Kit
Chicago Electric Power Tools – item#44677

I have no experience with that gun+turbine system, but it gets good reviews.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View JAAune's profile


1798 posts in 2314 days

#11 posted 11-15-2013 03:27 AM

For use at my small home shop where I only have a portable compressor, I purchased an LVLP gun. It’s like HVLP but requires much less CFM.

-- See my work at and

View pintodeluxe's profile


5657 posts in 2810 days

#12 posted 11-15-2013 06:04 AM

I recommend a gravity feed HVLP gun. They are cheap and usually come with a 1.4 or 1.5mm tip, which is perfect for spraying poly, lacquer, shellac etc.
I use Woodcraft and Porter Cable guns. They are virtually identical except the P.C. came with a regulator.
They both spray a flawless finish.

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

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