- How to set up an HVLP spray gun.
- How to adjust an HVLP spray gun.
- HVLP spray techniques.
What Is an HVLP Spray Gun?
HVLP spray guns expel finely atomized coatings at a high-volume yet low-pressure. This technology results in a reduction in overspray — making them an ideal solution for home improvers planning to complete indoor projects (where minimum mess is crucial) and also for adding intricate finishing touches. That said, these machines can also be used on exterior projects.
And, when compared to an airless spray gun, HVLP units are far more efficient in terms of transfer efficiency. In that, using the former, as little as only 25 percent of your paint will end up on your actual project. If you want to know more about the differences between the two formats, check out my Airless Sprayer vs HVLP comparison.
There are two types of HVLP paint sprayers — turbine-driven and compressor-powered (also referred to as pneumatic). The former provides a compact all-in-one device that’s easy to transport, while the latter tends to carry a lower price point but does require an external compressor. Admittedly, if you own plenty of air-powered tools, this may not be an issue for you. Although, if you need to buy one especially, it can ramp up the cost of your project.
However, as HVLP machines operate at a low PSI, smaller units such as the DeWalt 6 gallon air compressor should be more than adequate for the job.
But owning all the gear with no idea on how to use an HVLP paint sprayer will not get you very far — so let’s move swiftly on.
What You Need To Follow This Tutorial
For the best preparation possible, make sure you have everything to hand before you start.
- Paint sprayer and manual.
- Compressor (if required).
- Fluid nozzle.
- Chosen coating.
- Scrap cardboard or paper.
- Personal protective gear (including goggles, face mask or respirator, gloves, and coveralls).
How To Set Up an Hvlp Spray Gun — Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 — Prepare Your Sprayer
How To Adjust an Hvlp Spray Gun — Step by Step Instructions
Step 2 – Test Spray and Adjustment
HVLP Spraying Techniques
1. Elevate Your Project
2. Straighten Your Spraying Arm
3. Aim for Thin Coats
The key to a professional-looking finish is to use thin coats. Applying thicker layers will cause paint drips and all kinds of undesirable issues.
Build the even layers by laying one pass of thin coating, then overlap it with another pass by at least 50 percent. Continue this process until you’ve completely covered your entire surface. If subsequent coats are required, repeat the process.
4. Go With The Grain
5. Spray Beyond Your Project
Although it’s not always possible, for instance, when painting a wall or ceiling, ensure you start spraying just before your target surface and just after it finishes. This will prevent any stop-and-start markings or paint pools. Additionally, try to work in one fluid pass across the length of the project for the same reason.
6. Use The Correct Orientation
7. Be Aware of Environmental Conditions
8. Personal Protection
How To Use an HVLP Spray Gun FAQs
Q: How Do You Set Up an HVLP Spray Gun?If you’re unsure where to begin, check out my helpful guide above.
Q: Do You Have To Thin Paint for an HVLP Sprayer?This depends on the individual paint sprayer’s output capabilities and how thick the medium is you intend to apply. Some HVLP machines such as the Central Pneumatic Gravity-fed sprayer don’t shy away when working with denser coatings.
Q: Should an HVLP Gun Be Cleaned Between Coats?If you need to allow the paint to dry overnight (or for a considerable length of time) before applying the next coat, you should clean the unit.
Q: How Do I Get a Smooth Finish With an HVLP Sprayer?Make sure that your settings are appropriate for your base medium and paint combination — plus, follow my eight helpful hints above for blemish-free finishes.
Q: Can I Leave Paint in My HVLP Sprayer Overnight?You shouldn’t leave a coating in the sprayer any longer than is necessary — and certainly not overnight. This could cause irreparable damage to the unit.
Q: Can You Clean a Paint Gun With Acetone?
As a general rule, water-based coatings need to be cleaned with water and oil-based mediums with thinner or mineral spirits. Acetone can be used if you have a particularly stubborn paint. For more handy hints, take a look at my How To Clean a Paint Sprayer guide.