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Educate me about paint sprayers please.

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  • Educate me about paint sprayers please.

    I have only ever used brushes, rollers, and rattle cans. I'm thinking a spray gun would be useful, not for large things like the side of a house, but small and possibly complex things where it would be awkward to get at all the nooks and crannies with a brush.

    I'm thinking about getting a siphon or maybe gravity feed sprayer. Since I don't know what I'm doing yet I don't want to invest a lot, just to get my feet wet as it were. After I see what I like or don't like I can think about upgrading. For now I'm thinking home handyman quality and price, not professional quality.

    I have only a smallish compressor available at the moment. It claims to handle 4 CFM at 40 PSI, or 2.9 CFM at 90 PSI with a duty cycle of 50% over an hour.

    1) My impression is the siphon feed is less awkward than potentially top heavy gravity feed. Opinions? Pros? Cons?

    2) Many of the low cost spray guns I see don't spell out the air requirements. Is my compressor liable to be up to the task, or will I be cursing?

    3) What about "airless" sprayers? Noisy? Other considerations?

    4) Particular brands, makes, models that people have had good or bad luck with?

    Thanks!
    "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

  • #2
    Avoid any sprayer (they do exist) that has the air flow all the time, and just controls the paint flow. If you have a smaller compressor, those can run you out of air fast.
    CNC machines only go through the motions.

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    • #3
      A small gravity feed gun, commonly called high volume low pressure, or HVLP, falls in line with your air compressors abilities. Chose an HVLP gun that fits your budget and experiment with it. They're simple to use. Pretty straight forward.

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      • #4
        When the gravity spray guns came about, they made siphon guns obsolete. They use less air, dont drip as much, less overspray, and less expensive. Your smallish compressor won't keep up with a full sized (quart) gun either type, you better with the smaller, pint sized gun. I have used a couple different cheap gravity guns, and all of them outclass the expensive siphon ones.
        My only disgust with the gravity guns is that they wont stand up on their own, you gotta have a stand, or, place to hang it.
        Get a small one to size with your compressor.

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        • #5
          If you get a good quality (not HF) gun it doesn't matter what size the cup is. You can select whatever air/paint ratio and volume you want. If you ever want to paint bigger things like a garage door or trailer frame, etc., I'd get the quart/liter size if I were you. Unless you're using catalyzed paint you just dump whatever you don't use back in the can, and you don't have to put more in the cup than you intend to use anyway. The older stuff lasts forever (my DeVilbiss FL3 is 20 years old, I think) since all the parts are metal and easily cleaned. Newer stuff is often plastic/throwaway as far as nozzles and such. If you can find a used one that looks clean it would be a good choice. Below is a new one for about the same price I paid all those years ago.

          Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for DeVilbiss Finishline Flg3 Twin Gun Kit Devflg 670 at the best online prices at eBay! Free shipping for many products!
          Last edited by chipmaker4130; 03-20-2021, 06:26 PM.
          Southwest Utah

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          • #6
            Harbor Freight has a purple HVLP gun, runs about $20, excellent place to start messing with paint sprayers. Works fantastically for thinner stuff, think clear woodworking finishes, lacquer paint and the like, but thicker stuff doesnt work quite as well. Dont even try spraying latex through it, for example. I wouldnt stress about what style of sprayer you want until youve used a sprayer. If later on down the line you decide that you actually need something you can dump 3 gallons of latex paint in and repaint all the walls in your house, you can invest in a pressure pot setup then, in the meantime $20 is a pretty cheap experiment

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            • #7
              The problem with starting 'cheap' is that some of them just don't work well at all, and you're left wondering whether its the gun or the guy at fault. I know because I did it! This is one of those things where the equipment does make a difference.
              Southwest Utah

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              • #8
                of course it depends on what you are painting.....but what I go to 99% of time is an air brush because 99% of the time what I'm painting fits on a bench and that's best tool for that job imo. Great paint jobs, far less spray everywhere, minimal masking/covering surrounding items, less clean up, more control/less spray = almost never a run, etc. As per chipmakers post, cheap stuff is not fun, and with airbrush a high quality set up is a fraction of what it is for a paint gun

                It might not seem the first choice for machine tools....but airbrushing them works well...cripes, even did the 10ee with an airbrush









                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  What kind of paint? House paint, use an airless, solvent borne paints, urethane, and some newer water based car paints, use a spray gun. Touch up guns are great for smaller stuff. 4cfm is going to power an airbrush, or a small touch up gun. This HF gun would work, and it is cheap. But you would be choking out on a large area with a 50% duty cycle going wide open on the gun. Would be great for small stuff.

                  https://www.harborfreight.com/120-cc...gun-61473.html

                  I have painted a crap load of things from cars to machinery, and a spray gun is the way to go. Much better atomization than a rattle can, and complete air and material control. Once you start using a gun, you will wonder why you did it any other way.
                  Last edited by junkaddict; 03-20-2021, 08:49 PM.

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