HVLP -- Trying to decide on a system

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Forum topic by PaulRussell posted 04-24-2014 01:45 PM 1371 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PaulRussell's profile


2 posts in 2310 days

04-24-2014 01:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hvlp water-based finishing spray system

I have decided it is time to move up to spraying finishes in my home woodshop.

Most of my projects to date have been small, the largest being dresser sized, most much smaller. I don’t ever expect to do large jobs, with one exception: I am helping justify the cost of a spray system by using it to stain my deck every third year or so. I don’t do a lot of finishing, but when I do I want the best possible results with the widest range of finishes.

Because of health, environment, and the direction the finish industry is moving, I want a system that is good with low VOC / waterbased finishes. My compressor is a 5 gallon 5.2CFM at 40 unit.

I had been tormenting myself over Fuji Mini-Mite 3 vs 4, and gravity cup vs bottom cup. I wrote to “” and explained my interests, and they recommended a low-pressure gun instead. the Asturo ECO . I was not aware such critters existed, and now have yet another option with which to torment myself. This is an Italian made gun, and the few reviews of it I have found are very good.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to struggle down this road. I hate to spend dollars needlessly, but would rather buy quality once than go cheap and have to lay down more in the future.

Advise and comments much appreciated.

7 replies so far

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 2451 days

#1 posted 04-24-2014 02:16 PM

The Earlex 5500 is fantastic! I own and use extensively. Has not let me down yet. I’ve sprayed everything from paint to water-based finishes and it’s a great bang for the buck. Projects range from boxes, to cabinets to fine furniture. Hope this helps.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1994 days

#2 posted 04-24-2014 02:22 PM

First of all, definitely go for a gravity cup design. Much easier to clean than a bottom feed cup. Plus they fit in tighter spaces.

When I switched from a compressor setup to a turbine, I decided to go for a 4 stage over the 3 stage since it was a one time cost and it would allow for ticket finishes to be sprayed with less thinning. I switched to a turbine since it’s portable and no in line filters are needed.

I bought the fuji mini mite 4. It’s a great sprayer.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3839 posts in 1910 days

#3 posted 04-24-2014 04:45 PM

I used a conversion gun for several years and got by just fine. About 2 years ago I bought a Fuji 4 stage with a gravity cup and the conversion gun hasn’t been used since. Even with a fairly large compressor I was waiting for it to catch up from time to time. No such problems with the turbine. The mini mite would be a great system, and I’d suggest you go ahead and get the 4 stage.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4824 posts in 2230 days

#4 posted 04-24-2014 05:01 PM

For staining the deck, I like airless sprayers best. Or you could use a $10 Harbor Freight gravity feed gun for the occasional jobs. I use the Porter Cable PSH-1 gravity feed conversion gun with pressure regulator, and have been totally satisfied for spraying lacquer and poly on furniture. I have an inexpensive Wood River gravity feed gun that looks nearly identical, minus the regulator. I spray them at 35 psi (at the gun).

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

View PaulRussell's profile


2 posts in 2310 days

#5 posted 04-24-2014 10:08 PM

I bit the bullet and ordered a Mini Mite 4 with gravity gun. As NiteWalker wrote in his review, “Buy once, cry once” pushed me over the edge. Rarely do I regret having bought quality.

View roofner's profile


111 posts in 1700 days

#6 posted 04-24-2014 11:19 PM

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1994 days

#7 posted 04-25-2014 02:44 AM

You did good. :-)
It’s a great sprayer and fuji is a great company.
I might upgrade to the newer gravity gun later this year; mine came with the older xpc bottom feed gun. It works great, but I really miss having a gravity gun.

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

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