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Paint gun questions.

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  • Paint gun questions.

    These are definitely questions from someone who has never used a paint gun before.

    Is it my imagination or do a lot of people incorrectly assume that if a paint gun is gravity fed it's an HVLP paint gun?

    Is HVLP relative? I see paint guns advertised that claim to be HVLP but seem to require little volume and lots of pressure. Is there an actual definition for HVLP?

    I need to repaint our patio furniture set. I also like Rustoleum's Hunter Green color. Will Rustoleum's paint shoot through a paint gun okay? Does it need to be thinned quite a bit?

    Which nozzle tips should I make sure to have for a paint gun? Or should I just be sure the paint gun I choose has additional tips available?

    I want to get a gun that has replacement parts so I can repair it if I need to. What are some medium priced brands that will do a good enough job for around the house projects?


  • #2
    I need to repaint our patio furniture set. I also like Rustoleum's Hunter Green color. Will Rustoleum's paint shoot through a paint gun okay? Does it need to be thinned quite a bit?
    That is what I painted all of the iron railings and furniture with. It will shoot unthinned but produces better results if thinned 5 to 10%. This is Hunter Green.

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    • #3
      That looks really nice Evan, did you build the rails?

      Regarding paint guns, unless you are doing fine finish work, the cheap ones work good enough. I bought mine at Northern Tool around thirty bucks on sale IIRC. It said HVLP (don't know if that really means anything) on the box and truly does not use much air.
      Last edited by dfw5914; 11-12-2009, 05:09 PM.


      • #4
        I agree with dfw, for patio furniture - and other similar around the estate items, one of the cheaper guns shud do fine. I've got a HF HVLP gravity feed and one of their Binks #7 clones and both do a pretty darn good job --- course If youre gonna take up custom auto paint, then might oughta get a better grade of gun

        And the HVLP's are a better choice around the house, they really do have a lot less overspray.
        If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


        • #5
          I've done a lot of paint with the HF Purple guns (the full-sized and the detail gun), and more recently with a real DeVilbiss Finishline 3 (about $250). There are two primary differences: the expensive, name-brand guns atomize a lot better/finer, and they're much less sensitive to the amount of paint in the cup. The cheap guns tend to spit in the bottom 1/3 of paint in the cup.

          If you're looking for a really fine surface finish, using a cheap HVLP means more hand-sanding, but if you're just painting machine tools and don't mind orange peel, the purple gun is fine.

          But the best price/performance I've seen is the new Harbor Freight copy of the Devilbiss Finishline 3:

          Sprays much nicer than the purple gun, and is $60 for a set with both the full-sized gun, the detail gun, and extra tips. Having the correct tip size (from the manufacturer's datasheet) makes a huge difference on how smooth it sprays.

          One thing that helps a lot on any HVLP gun is to spend some time getting the air/fluid adjustments set correctly. I tape-up those giant conference room scribble sheets in the paint booth, and keep test spraying until I get a nice fan. With the cheaper guns, keep checking the fan from time to time -- they can be finicky as the paint cup empties, and you'll start noticing drips and runs or spatter if you don't catch it...
          Last edited by lazlo; 11-12-2009, 06:00 PM.
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


          • #6
            Thanks everyone!

            Nice job Evan. I painted our set Hunter Green after the original color (pale yellow) started looking a little chalky. Painting that stuff with a brush is a miserable exercise in frustration.

            I know a guy that does sand blasting for a very reasonable price. When he gets finished I'll prime and paint using my soon-to-be new compressor next spring. The set should look brand new if I don't screw it up.

            Again, thanks everyone.


            • #7

              Yes, I built the rails and a lot more. More railing for the back door steps, the steps themselves and another set for this deck and a spiral staircase plus railing for it. I also built 6 ironwork gates including a special design of mine that has a gate within a gate.

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              • #8
                HVLP means High Volume Low Pressure, for thick paints conventional guns have seemed to work better for me as they seem to produce better finish with thick paints, and HVLP seem to work great with thin paints(such as car basecoat)


                • #9
                  You mentioned that you want to have parts available. If so, don't buy an HVLP gun from Harbor Freight since they studiously avoid stocking parts for anything they sell.

                  Binks and DeVilbiss used to be the Gold Standard in srpay guns. I know that parts used to be available for those since I have a Binks gun in my collection and have bought items for it at the local automotive paint store. I don't know if they are still any good or if they are now made in China, though.

                  I agree, it's nice to be able to get parts for items that you buy.
                  Last edited by gnm109; 11-12-2009, 09:38 PM.


                  • #10
                    My finishline gun (not sure which model, it's older) was marked Made in USA. It's part of why I bought it.

                    The guns work great with a wide variety of paints, but as has been mentioned, you need it to be the right viscosity or you'll have problems.

                    I've shot behr premium interior/exterior through a 1.2 tip with a good deal of added water to thin it out. 2 coats covered beautifully and have held up well exposed year round.

                    I also used it to spray thompson's water seal on my foundation and that worked just as well.

                    The problem with the high pressure pot guns is the over spray and that you're accelerating the drying process as you blast the parts. That's probably why they orange peel so bad.


                    • #11
                      There are 2 types of HVLP guns, the type that runs off a compressor converts the air from high pressure low volume inside the gun and the type that runs off a turbine. The latter type has less over-spray, the paint almost seems to come out as a fog and just sort of settles on the surface.
                      As for parts availability, good luck, I bought a De Vilbis gun that was over $300 and when I needed parts 2 years later, I was told it had been discontinued and was no longer supported.


                      • #12
                        I second the HF purple gun. I have 2 of them I got on sale for @20 bucks each. It is really a pretty good gun. Although it takes a while you can normally get parts for most HF products.

                        I have painted several machines with my guns. Just remember to thin the paint quite a bit. I use a 30 second run through a viscometer for Rustoleum and get excellent results.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by randyjaco
                          I second the HF purple gun. I have 2 of them I got on sale for @20 bucks each. ............yada yada yada ...

                          I use a 30 second run through a viscometer

                          Please explain this to us non-paint types. I'm curious of the procedure.
                          Bricolage anyone? of lifes fun games.