Need advice on spray gun/compressor - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 12-22-09, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
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Need advice on spray gun/compressor

I hope this is the right forum to post this.

I'm thinking of buying a spray gun/compressor for finishing my DIY projects. I've been dissatisfied with the brush-on method and had positive results with spray-cans so a spray gun seems as a natural progression. The problem is I don't know much about spray guns and pneumatic tools in general. After reading various articles on the nets it seems that a HVLP gravity fed gun is the one for me. Besides that, I still have no idea what to get. Are there any particular models that are better suited for speaker/sub finishing? Do certain guns work better with certain finishes? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-22-09, 09:56 PM
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Re: Need advice on spray gun/compressor

you will not go wrong stepping up to a spray finish, Good results are generally not to hard to obtain and are far superior to brushed finishes. the only way to go IMO.

I was at home depot the other day and they had a large selection of spray guns for cheap that would suit your needs. They all basically do the same thing, break up paint in tiny droplets, the smaller the droplets the finer the finish will be, and the less need for polishing. Polishing is only nessasary for poorly sprayed finishes ( orange peel texture or dust particles in the finish). I dont recall the last time I saw a orange peel free finish using an HVLP.

High Volume Low Pressure guns were designed for one reason, polution. By lowering the atomizing pressure you send less product into the air and more on the surface. the problem with them is they most always leave a finish that is not as nice as a conventional unless sprayed by an experienced painter with an expensive gun. Nicer finishes are easier to obtain with more air pressure to break the paint up better. I still use conventional personally. But with my higher end gun, this only translates to 10 more psi than HVLP, not 20-40 like the cheaper ones.

I use devilbis gravity feed guns. ($750.00) and several air brushes of various makes. the gravity feed guns are always best. Simply, you are not using any air for sucking paint, just atomizing. Kinda like towing a boat with a pinto You want a compressor with as large of a storage tank as you can afford. I suppose if you are just spraying speaker enclosures a smaller size would work but bigger is better here. there is nothing worse for a quality finish than not having enough air on demand.

Solvent products offer a better looking finish than water borne products when sprayed. The reason for this is simply it is easier for air to break up a thin solvent mixture than a thick water borne emulsion. Solvent finishes will also produce a superior finish to all waterbornes. Many manufacturers claim the opposite but it is simply not true. there has been a big push to sell the consumer waterborne products claiming that they are better for the enviroment and our health. This is mostly true but not always. I have used many, many water borne emulsions that are worse enviromentally and for your health than solvents. I still use solvent for high end finishes.

There are several products available, all with good results, it just comes down to what is more important to you, finish quality, working time, health etc. for wood furniture I use a pre cat lacquer. I use it for several reasons, it offers a very high quality finish as far as looks, it dries very quickly thus not allowing any dust to settle on your finish and eliminating the need for polishing. This is the biggest plus in a dusty shop enviroment without a spray booth. There are many nay sayers to the word lacquer, they simply dont understand its limitations or applications. I still like it. It can be hard to spray if not reduced correctly. There are also urethanes of many types that work wonderfully, they to have there limitations but are easier to brush with good flow out properties, thus they are often popular with the DIY. The choices here are really endless.

hope this helps.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-26-09, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
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Re: Need advice on spray gun/compressor

Thank you for an extensive explanation, Johnny. I see your point on the conventional guns, but unfortunately I'm far from an "experienced painter with an expensive gun". I was thinking of spending $100-$150 on the gun, plus a bit more than that on the compressor. The problem is HVLP guns require compressors with high CFM rating and those get fairly expensive. Turbines are also not cheap and can't be used with other tools. I understand that I probably want too much for too little, but it's just a hobby and the budget is limited. On the other hand I'm quite willing to compromise since as I already said, it's just a hobby.

I was thinking lacquer or polyurethane. I had better results with poly, but that's probably because I used a brush. Also, what nozzle size do you recommend?
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-26-09, 06:37 PM
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Re: Need advice on spray gun/compressor

Get a Wagner Control Spray HVLP gun. It's what we recommend in the projection screen painting side of things. And we require a very uniform, smooth as possible surface! I have both a HVLP gun and a Wagner. Whenever I'm spraying something, I always reach for the Wagner. No compressor, easy setup, easy cleanup, easily adjusted, etc are the reasons why. I've owned several Wagners spray guns before buying this one and I hated them all. But the Control Spray seems to work as advertised.
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