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How long can paint sit in a hand-held airless sprayer?

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Forum topic by GregD posted 08-19-2014 03:14 PM 6674 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GregD

783 posts in 2599 days


08-19-2014 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question spray gun finishing

I have a hand-held airless sprayer (Graco TrueCoat Pro 2) that I’m trying to learn how to use. At the moment I am painting rather small areas and completely clean the sprayer at the end of each spray session. Is it possible to leave the sprayer full of latex paint for 1 to 4 hours between coats without causing problems?

-- Greg D.


8 replies so far

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2153 days


#1 posted 08-19-2014 03:19 PM

Yes – you may find a dried “booger” of paint on the tip. Scrape it off with your fingernail and spray again. Clean well at the end of the day.

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

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Rob

704 posts in 2534 days


#2 posted 08-19-2014 03:26 PM

I have a similar Graco sprayer, but with an external turbine. I don’t remember what the instructions say, but personally if I was leaving it for a few hours I’d probably remove the can from the gun and pump any residual paint back into the can, then pump some water through the gun to clean out the nozzle.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View Mike's profile

Mike

406 posts in 2150 days


#3 posted 08-19-2014 03:43 PM

Greg,

It is my experience with my Graco sprayer that you can leave the paint in the reservoir container for as long as you want with the understanding that it will eventually dry. I highly would recommend that you do clean the sprayer itself once you are done spraying. Break it down and at minimum dump the parts into a container of mineral spirits. Once the gun is clogged it will be a big pain to clean it up again. Remember that you are “atomizing” the paint when it goes through the gun. This decreases the time it takes the paint or finish to dry.

I’d rather be safe than sorry. They aren’t cheap and they are a decent quality sprayer too.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.lepelstatcrafts.etsy.com - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCppWfrYGXCr5lm9uW-Fpqqw

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GregD

783 posts in 2599 days


#4 posted 08-19-2014 04:51 PM

I always do a thorough cleaning at the end of the day. I just want to minimize the cleaning during the day on those days where I’d like to do several small spraying sessions.

With my turbine-driven HVLP sprayer (Earlex) I only clean the gun at the end of the day. Between coats I wipe off the tip, remove the hose, and plug the hole with a wet rag. At that point the gun is sealed up nearly as well as the finish in the can; the tip and the air hose coupling are the only 2 openings into the gun. And should anything get gummed up, pretty much all of the internal surfaces can be accessed for cleaning.

I am hoping to do the same sort of thing with the airless sprayer. I’m expecting a “booger” at the tip and can manage that. But I haven’t figured out how the gun allows air into the material cup as the material level drops, and the internal surfaces seem less accessible for cleaning. Still, I’m inclined to give it a try and see how it works.

Another idea would be to buy a second cup and pick-up tube. During the day between spray sessions I could drop the pick-up tube into the material cup and put a lid on, then use the second cup and pick-up tube to run some water through the gun. I’m just not sure whether this is really that necessary.

-- Greg D.

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Bill1974

110 posts in 2448 days


#5 posted 08-28-2014 05:44 PM

I have used airless sprayers with latex, the one with the hose from the pump to the gun. And you can leave them overnight, just relieve the pressure in the hose and gun and put the gun in a plastic bags with some damp/wet paper towels. I try to clean the gun a little to make sure there is as little paint on the tip.

When you start it up again, hours or next day, do a couple of test sprays and clear the nozzle if needed.

On a handhelp unit I would guess the same could be done, the paint in the gun and in the jar should not dry much if at all. The paint on the exterior will so try to clean that as best as you can

I have a Graco TrueCoat Pro 2 too i think, (not 100% sure which model i have, I haven’t used it yet). The manuals makes it sound pretty easy to clean. How is it to clean if you use the jar liners?

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GregD

783 posts in 2599 days


#6 posted 08-28-2014 06:39 PM

This past weekend I did leave the spray gun filled with paint between coats – about 4 hours. I wiped off the nozzle very well and did a once-over wipe down of the outside of the gun. Just to make myself feel better about it I draped a damp rag over the whole thing.

I had no problems at all. When I went back for the second coat I just sprayed a bit on some paper to be sure the tip was clear and then went after the wall. Final cleanup at the end of the day was normal.

Cleaning the gun after latex paint is no big deal. It takes a bit of time but that gets better after you get the hang of it. Cleaning out a paint roller takes me longer. I don’t use cup liners – I scrape out the cup with a silicone kitchen spatula. When cleaning I plug it into a GFCI outlet as there is a bit of water splashing around.

-- Greg D.

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Blackcatbone

32 posts in 814 days


#7 posted 11-05-2014 02:28 PM

I’m reviving this as I’m considering buying the same unit and am wondering how you like it after having it for a while. It occurred to me that now would be a good time to buy one as we’re building an apartment and I’d prefer spraying the cabinets over rolling/brushing. I also spray a lot of furniture so it wouldn’t be just for this one job. What’s the learning curve? I’ve done tons of brushing and rattle can spraying but never used a gun. It was recommended to me by someone at HD and I’m going to swing by Sherwin Williams in the near future to look at paint chips so may corner one of them as well.

-- . . . it's cheaper than therapy.

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GregD

783 posts in 2599 days


#8 posted 11-05-2014 04:01 PM



I m reviving this as I m considering buying the same unit and am wondering how you like it after having it for a while. It occurred to me that now would be a good time to buy one as we re building an apartment and I d prefer spraying the cabinets over rolling/brushing. I also spray a lot of furniture so it wouldn t be just for this one job. What s the learning curve? I ve done tons of brushing and rattle can spraying but never used a gun. It was recommended to me by someone at HD and I m going to swing by Sherwin Williams in the near future to look at paint chips so may corner one of them as well.

- Blackcatbone

I have used the Graco TrueCoat Pro 2 to paint a very small room (3’x6’), and also a large kitchen that was under renovation.

The first paint session I used the tip that came with the sprayer. Way too much paint coming way too fast. I went with the small orifice tip for all other painting. The gun gets heavy, and often I was holding it with both hands. Small spaces (the small room and the kitchen pantry) were relatively difficult to spray. I used the 12” extension with the tip pointed up to paint the kitchen ceiling – that worked far better than using a roller. While I used the sprayer to prime the kitchen ceiling and walls I went back to using a roller for the walls; that seemed easier.

I have no gripes about this particular gun. It works as well as could be expected. I don’t love using it, however; it feels like a lot of work. It is certainly the way to go when you have large flat areas to cover, but not so much fun to use otherwise. I returned the 12” extension for replacement; it was assembled with the wrong type of washer in one spot and leaked. Unfortunately it looks like the replacement has this wrong type of washer in several spots, but I haven’t tested for leaks nor disassembled it to check.

-- Greg D.

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