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advise on spray paint system please

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Anonymous

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Hi all woodworkers

I need to spray paint among other things, radiator covers, internal plantation shutters, some mdf panels and so on.

I would like versalitity, but don't want to compromise on finish quality, I would like it to be reasonible priced but not cheap rubbish

I have read about airless systems, hvlp systems, compressor systems and am now all confused. I could get a compressor and use if for a nail gun as well, or just geta little hvlp system and save the money for now. I need some direction from you guys as for what to buy - whats' your experience, your recommendation, what did you buy and whish you hadn't and so on ?

Help much appreciated.

Cheers
Lars
 

ike

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Hello Lars,

First, I don't know what you already know, but please forgive me if I'm mentioning things you already know.

I considered the same questions last year when starting to rebuild my Series One Landrover. Whether to go for HVLP or conventional compressor system. I don't think airless systems can give the highest quality finish and I discounted getting an electric sprayer straight away. I reckon the're fine for spraying a fence or some job like that, but that's only my opinion.

For high quality either a HVLP or HP system, but which?. HVLP systems as I'm sure you have found are not cheap. You generally have to thin down liquids more with HVLP systems than with HP, although the better quality kit e.g. Fuji 4-stage, can handle higher viscosity paint. And you can only spray paint with them, nothing else. For my money I would recommend the largest compressor you can afford on your budget with a conventional spraygun. I don't think you need a top quality gun such as Devilbiss unless you need v.high quality finish such as car body work. A mid priced gun around £40 from e.g. Machine Mart will do a fine job. Air requirement will range from around 6CFM (FAD) for a gun with a 1.2 - 1.4mm nozzle to 10-12cfm for a 1.6-1.8mm nozzle. A larger nozzle allows you apply more paint and maintain a 'wet edge', important when spraying a large area.

I eventually settled for the Axminster Extreme compressor. It is very good value for it's output, but, it's NOT industrially rated. That of course is again, just my own humble opinion, but it does gives a healthly 9cfm FAD and has a 25 litre tank - about as small as you should have for continuous spraying, and most usefully doesn't require a 16Amp supply. The bigger the receiver the better depending of course on the space you have available. The great advantage also is you've got your power supply for nailing and stuff.

I hope this is of some help. I can only speak from my own experience, and not as a professional sprayer. However, if you can find a local automotive paint supplier in your Yellow pages, these guys are the experts and are always happy to give you any advice.

Good luck hunting,

Ike :)
 

Terry Smart

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I'd agree with the above and can add the following...

Airless is what painting contractor use for putting (usually) emulsion paint on as big an area as possible and the quality isn't really good enough for wood finishing (air-assisted airless spray systems are the woodfinishing variation for this) and the areas they are designed for probably aren't what is needed here.

A consideration with HVLP systems is that their is an electric motor in the unit and this needs to be kept away from an flammable materials, bearing in mind that the vapours from some finishes fall in this category.
A big advantage with HVLP over conventional (ie compressor) systems is that there is much less overspray or clouds of paint mist, as there is not a lot of pressure (obviously!) to drive the paint everywhere.

As for guns, where you have a choice, I'd buy the best I could afford. DeVilbiss guns come in a range of prices (starting high and going higher!) but they are the best and last the longest. That's not to say that other guns aren't good, but I'd rather buy it once and have it last!

Hope this sheds more light on this difficult topic.
 

ike

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Terry,

I'd agree 100% about Devilbiss. If it's a continuous, professional application, I too, wouldn't consider any other make of gun. But for less intensive use / lower budgets, I still think the cheaper guns can give v.good results in practised hands. If one is new to spraying, one won't necessarily notice a huge difference between sprayguns - a lot of it comes from technique.

Ike
 
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