Spray painting - which paint


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Established Member
12 Sep 2016
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Hello all

I have a question please, I have a compressor and a spray gun but have never used the spray gun, I have just made some Dog planters and I was thinking about using the spray gun instead of hand painting all the time, The planters will be outdoors so I need some external White and Gray paint to suit, What type of paint should I use for this please and also how would I use the paint, would it need to be thinned down before using.
Use a solvent based paint if its going to be outdoors. I really hate bare paint if theres going to be any standing water on any surfaces. Strongly recommend some type of topcoat. Other than automotive finish (aliphatic polyurethane) a topcoat will yellow or amber which might alter the appearance of the white. I recently used Zinsser Allcoat Satin on some fascia boards (Won't have any standing water). It could use some thinning, but because its solvent based it wet out into the wood regardless of the droplet size. Water based paints don't always wet out well depending on how you prepped the surface. I used my Graco HVLP rig. no. 3 needle on Graco Edge II gun. 3 coats. For solvent based paints on each coat I prefer several quick passes as opposed to one slow pass to achieve desired coverage. Have some spare cardboard to work out settings for your gun. Rule of thumb is you want as small as drops as possible, but at least no runs or pooling. When in doubt just be patient do several thin coats. Most guns have at least two valves. Some type of aperture for the paint feed and an air flow valve. I had both my paint feed and air pretty wide open for the unthinned zinsser. I have fan adjustment on my gun (width of the spray). If your gun does as well I'd go fairly narrow depending on how well your rig atomises the paint. If you can't get a decent spray pattern you can thin with white spirits. Unlike water based paints where I thin 4:1 or 3:1... with solvent a little thinner goes a long way aim for 10:1.
I've had good results spraying Cuprinol garden shades with a Fuji mini mite 4 and a 1.8mm tip, didn't need thinning at all. Not sure about constant water contact but then I would think a planter has some kind of lining anyway.