HVLP Spraying

Ralrick

Rick
Corporate Member
Decided I want to learn to use a sprayer and thought it was time to invest in an HVLP system. Hobbyist usage but would like to occasionally spray a white latex or acrylic paint if possible. From my research, spraying a paint/primer seems to indicate a 3 stage unit is required but I have read reviews of people being successful with the Fuji 2 with slightly thinned viscosity as well. Lastly, I've read a few reviews on the differences for a gravity gun vs. bottom suction fed spray gun. Anyone have experience with both that can describe your preferences on the systems listed below and the choice of spray gun type?

I'm trying to decide between:
Fuji Semi-Pro 2 - $439
Fuji Mini-mite 3 - 3 stage - $675
Earlex 6003 - 3 stage - $429
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I have a Sprayport 6002.... Two stage with pressure cup gun. I have zero complaints.

It's sprayed oil based enamel, poly and Nason urethane primer among others with no issues. I'm currently spraying the Sheldon lathe I'm restoring with Rust-Oleum enamel tractor paint thinned with MS and it's shooting it like a champ.
 

FlyingRon

Board of Directors, Webmaster
Ron
Staff member
Corporate Member
If you're going to shoot small amounts and/or change the colors/material a lot, you want the gravity gun. The suctions take longer to clean but are usually larger and their guns are easier to hold for large projects.
 

BSevier

New User
Bryan
I have the Fuji Minimite3 with a gravity feed gun (G-XPC) - absolutely love it and the results I've gotten. I've had it for about 10 years now. I have bought another gun - a suction (Aerojet RS1) from HVLP Paint Sprayer at Paint Sprayers Plus for less than 1/2 the cost of getting another Fuji. I use the 2nd cup for anything that has color and my gravity feed gun for all the clear coat. Its not needed if you do a good job of cleaning, and if I hadn't found the inexpensive Aerojet gun, I wouldnt have bought another. The Aerojet is a copy of the Fuji gun and it works great.

I could not recommend the Fuji more. I spray mostly clear, but have sprayed both latex and GF's Milk paint with it. They both require quite a bit of thinning, even with a 2.0+ tip. But, it does a fabulous job. It took my projects to another level.
 

Ed Fasano

Ed
Senior User
I opted for a Fuji Spray Mini-Mite 3 several years ago. I ended up with the gravity feed gun option but can see pros and cons for both gravity and siphon feed. The optional whip hose is a must-have accessory. They should include it with the system, but I suppose that they want to keep the base price point lower. I have sprayed only waterborne coatings. I have had success with General Finishes Milk Paint, which is faux milk paint, but sprays well and looks good. The only top coats I’ve sprayed are General Finishes Enduro-Var and Target Coatings EMTECH EM6000 Production Lacquer. Both worked well. The Target product laid smoother for me. Bear in mind though that I’m as far from an HVLP finishing expert as one can get. I am preparing to try General Finishes Exterior 450 for some weather-worn rocking chairs. I’m happy with the Fuji system. If mine grew legs and walked away, I’d just get another one.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I own An Apolo 5000, with shop made three stage blower. FYI, blower in HVLP kits are actually Ametek vacuum cleaner motors, available from Grainger and other sources. I spray water based varnish (Varathane Diamond Floor finish.) For oil based products (paint) I use a HF purple $9.99 special HVLP air operated gun. Woodcraft used to sell, the same gun in green, and they had a couple of different tips available. Own several of the HF guns, one for each color (primer, black, and gray) that I was spraying. It's hard to justify spending 30 minutes, and a couple dollars worth of solvent cleaning a gun that costs less than ten bucks. Rust-Oleum used to recommend Acetone for thinning paint. You can buy hardener for paint from Tractor Supply.
 
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JimD

Jim
Senior User
I also have the 3 stage Fuji with a suction cup. I also spray only water borne finishes, usually Resisthane, clear or white tinted or their primer. I keep an extra cup of water standing by when spraying and do not clean between coats. I just spray some water through the gun, put caps over the cup of finish and water and hang the gun up for a few minutes. It's easy to do three coats in a day doing this, even if you have to sand out runs between coats.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I have never had good success with any of those mentioned above, but perhaps my needs are different.

I use a mid range HVLP gun with a 60 gal air compressor and disposable cups for fast cleanup. I have done a lot of automotive spraying though and expect the same quality finish and ease of application on furniture. Fast drying finishes, allowing touch within 15 minutes and sanding the first coat within 30 minutes.
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
I never had any good results with an HVLP system. I purchased a SPRAYIT SP-33500K LVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun Kit ($90) and absolutely love the thing. I find it extremely easy to get great results consistently. This was a recommended system from someone on here back sometime last year.

Red
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
I never had any good results with an HVLP system. I purchased a SPRAYIT SP-33500K LVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun Kit ($90) and absolutely love the thing. I find it extremely easy to get great results consistently. This was a recommended system from someone on here back sometime last year.

Red
It might have been me but not sure. The LVLP is not the same as the HVLP guns. The guns listed above are part of a system. The gun you mention can work with a large compressor Tank with good results. What most users don't get is the difference in the tips and the viscosity of what they are shooting. My son has a Fuji and he loves it but really he doesn't want to fool with learning how to use the Low Volume gun.
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
Sprayit guns are very good Dan. He should try one and they wont break the bank. He could try mine if he wants
 

Ralrick

Rick
Corporate Member
So what is the minimum size compressor for using these sprayers if you're spraying a cabinet? Why would the low volume sprayers produce better results than high volume?

I have to admit, I've found learning the finishing aspect of woodworking the most confusing aspect as related to creating 'professional' results.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
So what is the minimum size compressor for using these sprayers if you're spraying a cabinet? Why would the low volume sprayers produce better results than high volume?

I have to admit, I've found learning the finishing aspect of woodworking the most confusing aspect as related to creating 'professional' results.
Well, you aren't a professional and most of us aren't either. Frankly, I don't know what a "professional"finish" is or how to define it.

I have an Earlex HVLP with a vacuum feed gun and it has worked fine for my few spray finish projects using traditional finishes (shellac, tung oil, Waterlox). I haven't tried any paint though.

I never had any good results with an HVLP system
What does that mean Red? What were you expecting for good results?

A lot of spray finishing is the technique of the user, not the type of system used.
 

BSevier

New User
Bryan
One other point on the HVLP systems - if you're going to be spraying paint, I wouldn't go less than a 3-stage system. Some even say 4-stage, but with proper thinning, I haven't had any issues with my Mini-mite 3.

I used to dread finishing. Once I started spraying, I started looking forward to it.

I first started with a cheap conversion gun for my compressor and was pretty happy. Then, after a few years, moved to a turbine. I still have some of the cheap guns and will break one out when I need to spray paint on something that isn't 'fine woodworking' - ie an outside project. I then find myself wondering why I even keep the cheap guns around because the results are not nearly as good as with the turbine guns. You just cant get the coverage or spray pattern dialed in as good as you can with a good gun. It's tough to describe, but there's just a way the finish goes on that is very satisfying when you have a good setup.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I have the Earlex Sprayport 6003. You're still going to have to thin latex down to 30-40second in a Ford cup, so choose the brand carefully. Don't even bother trying Behr paint you'll have to thin it almost 50%. I like SW Pro Classic alkyd.

I think its a good idea to have a few different guns for oil vs latex vs varnishes.

I have a siphon feed with a 2.0 tip I use for primer.

HVLP w/ 1.3 tip works well for top coats.

But truthfully, the Earlex will do all of it well.
 

PhilCK

Phil
Corporate Member
I constructed an HVLP blower from a Grainger purchased Ametek in a plywood box and filters bolted on. Not pretty but it blows a low of air for a reasonable amount of money.

- Phil
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
Jeff what I mean is what I said. I could not get a good finish for the life of me using my HVLP system but changed to a LVLP system and I am extremely happy. Is it me, could be. But I don't hesitate to spray lacquer at all anymore. I actually enjoy it. In my 40 year love of woodworking that was the best $90 I ever spent.

Red
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Jeff what I mean is what I said. I could not get a good finish for the life of me using my HVLP system but changed to a LVLP system and I am extremely happy. Is it me, could be. But I don't hesitate to spray lacquer at all anymore. I actually enjoy it. In my 40 year love of woodworking that was the best $90 I ever spent.

Red
A compressed air HVLP system needs a bit more precision, but once you have it figured out, the advantages are very little overspray, and precision of the target area with adjustment of fan width. For the non-professional booth folks like me, there are also the advantages of blowing dust away by pulling the trigger half way and doing a pass without depositing material and then follow up with a coat. If spraying outside, wind has no influence and it also seems to keep the bugs and dust away.
 

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