How To Use An HVLP Paint Sprayer

You’ve brought home an HVLP gun. You did your research on what it is, how it works, and now you’ve got to use it correctly. Learning the controls and right painting technique is easy as the high-volume low-pressure nature of the sprayer delivers good, consistent coverage. Follow this HVLP paint sprayer how to use guide to come up with an outstanding paint job.

Switch on The Compressor And Set Air Supply Output: How To Use An HVLP Paint Sprayer

HVLP guns, as its name suggests, entails a high volume of air during operation. The manual that came with your sprayer will indicate the minimum cfm (cubic feet per minute) it requires. There must be constant build-up of pressure in the air compressor, which is ideally set to put out 90 psi at the hose. The gun has its own small regulator where air enters. Consult the manual again for the recommended range.

Determine the Right Tip For The Job

HVLP spray guns typically arrive with a few tips. What you’d want is the smallest Fluid Tip that fits the project. The rule of thumb is a 1.0 tip for small jobs such as when painting a single panel, and a 1.3 or 1.4 tip when painting the body of a car (if you need to know how to remove spray paint from your car, read here to find out more). The tips are also suitable for applying epoxy, etching primers or sealers. Read the tech sheets to find the best tip size to use.

Secure the HVLP Canister And Connections

The air regulator would have gauges attached towards the sprayer’s base. Once the compressor is on, secure the HVLP sprayer to the hose then press the gun’s trigger. Keep holding it down until the fluctuation around the base stops.

You can now fill the canister with your coating material. See to it that you prepare the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions, strain it, then pour in the right amounts. Hook the loaded canister into the spray gun.

Set the Sprayer’s Air Pressure And Volume

Setting up your HVLP spray gun is a pre-requisite for every use, whereas external factors like humidity and temperature can affect the way it shoots. Set the air pressure at your HVLP gun’s inlet using the regulator you initially attached. A good starting point would be 50 psi, then adjust accordingly.

While spray guns have a maximum psi, they often arrive on the low setting. Many people prefer running their HVLP sprayer between 40 – 60 psi. Shut off the air volume control knob, which is usually located right beside the gun’s regulator. With the trigger pulled, slowly open and listen to the hiss until you reach the point where air volume is maintained.

Get Your HVLP Sprayer Ready for Testing

Test your gun out on a piece of scrap plywood or masking paper taped on the wall.

Open the fan control knob, which is usually located at the back of the gun towards the top, to the maximum level. Hold your HVLP gun around 6 inches away from the surface. You are aiming for a fan yield of 6 inches tall.

Pull the trigger and go all the way for a split second, then quickly release. That would be enough to produce a cigar shaped pattern on the plywood or paper. Work on adjusting the fan control knob to get the ideal 6-inch height from a 6-inch distance, turning it down a little as needed on every test spray.

Tuning Your HVLP Gun for Full Coverage

To tune your sprayer, hold it perpendicular to the surface of what you’ll be painting. Maintain about 6-to-8 inches away, which would create a longer cigar shaped pattern of about the same size. What you can expect is a pattern with full coverage sans any runs.

If there are runs, it means you are spraying too close or keeping the trigger down too long. A pattern with too much material at either end with gaps in the middle means there is too much air flow. Too much material in the middle without much at either end means too little air flow.

Try screwing the material knob in just a bit. If this doesn’t help, put it back the way it was. Try turning down the air pressure from the gun’s regulator, again for just a small bit. Any of these adjustments should get it right and give you the ideal HVLP mist coverage.

See fine drops with full coverage? Congratulations! You’ve got your HVLP gun working right.

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