Lvlp sprayer

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14 Aug 2017
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Hi I have a cheap 24lt compressor and want to start spraying, just a couple of doors and some end panels currently, but may do more in the future, I wondered if any one has used a lvlp sprayer with a small compressor? If I get more spraying work I'll look at a bigger compressor and hvlp set up but for now any info on lvlps would be appreciated
Thanks Josh
Ps (my other thought was to try a very cheap electric hvlp but I'd prefer a better quality lvlp gun for compressor if that'll work)
My understanding is that in sprayer circles LVLP is now largely superseded. Technology has come a long way and the airless and HVLP systems don't suffer from the issues of water droplet contamination the LVLP is apparently prone to. I have zero expertise with LVLP as all I have used is airless. I suspect a lot will depend on the paints you are spraying and the finish quality you expect.

For large areas airless seems favourite.

For very best quality airless will do it if you have good enough kit, but HVLP with at least 3 turbines seems well rated.

My uncle operates a painting and decorating business. For schools and warehouses, they use airless with big hoppers. For detail work, as he calls it, including kitchens, they use HVLP. I remember him using compressors 20 years ago. Not at all now.
I spent a fair bit of time today at the Harrogate show talking with Iwata spray guns as I have a HVLP and I’m looking at what would be the best system to use going forward. They claim to have invented LVLP which came after HVLP and claim that the atomisation and bounce back is far better than HVLP. As a general purpose gun for spraying oil and water based paints as well as machine enamel they recommended Classic Plus BellAria. It needs a compressor capable of circa 15CFM FAD at 2 Bar.

I was very impressed by the chaps, and they didn’t recommend their most expensive gun, nor the cheapest.

I intend to go on a days Training with them on their products to see what it can achieve before committing to a new gun setup.
I use an Iwata AZ3 gun, which is HVLP. I think the air demand is about 9CFM at 2bar. It gives a great finish - I've painted my kitchen with Morrell's water based lacquer and water based poly varnish. My compressor is a 3HP 14CFM, but it cycles relatively infrequently when I'm spraying - I would say maybe it's on for 10-15% of the time. I've seen my Dad spray with a similar gun from a 1.5HP 24ltr compressor no problem. Unless you're spraying really large objects or using an air-fed mask I think you'll get away with a smaller compressor just fine.

For those who don't have need for a compressor for other tasks or need something that can be taken to different sites, I completely understand the move to turbine units. If you already have a compressor and want to spray in a workshop environment though, I don't see the justification in the investment. If turbine units had genuinely moved spraying on to better levels of finish and transfer efficiency over compressor guns, then why do most/all automotive body shops still use them?
Thanks for all the points guys
My thinking was I don't want to lay out a big investment in a good hvlp turbine or airless system as I'm only doing a few bits and although I think I'll be doing more in the future I'm not sure yet and I'm happy to upgrade at a later date. So I was basically working out whether a really cheap (sub £50) electric hvlp system or a cheapish gun/ compressor system would give me a better finish?
siggy_7 said:
I've seen my Dad spray with a similar gun from a 1.5HP 24ltr compressor no problem. Unless you're spraying really large objects or using an air-fed mask I think you'll get away with a smaller compressor just fine.
Interesting I've been looking purely at lvlp guns that work off a smaller CFM but you think a regular gun would work fine
Also how hard-wearing do you find the morrells water based lacquer?
Thanks again for all your input
I presume your compressor is about 6-7CFM, I reckon you'd be fine with the gun I have. The Morrells paint is great, not had any wear and tear issues at all yet a year in.

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