Spray guns were quite a luxurious commodity even a few years ago and the vast majority of the models that were on the market were expensive and usually not the best choice for the average Joe. However, thanks to the advancements in both modern technology and manufacturing process, we now have affordable spray guns that are capable of tackling pretty serious projects without breaking a sweat. There are a few different types, but the LVLP is the best one for DIY enthusiasts and sometimes even devoted professionals.
What is a LVLP spray gun?
LVLP stands for Low-Volume-Low-Pressure. LVLP spray guns can operate at pretty low pressure (less than 10 PSI at the nozzle) which makes them a great opportunity for people who don’t want to invest a fortune into a high-quality air compressor. Instead, one can utilize a LVLP gun with an affordable (sometimes even cheap) air compressor.
These units compensate for the lack of air by utilizing an air cap that acts like a shredder that cuts through the material. While this analogy seems pretty vague, it’s usually the best one to use. In general, LVLP units allow you to achieve a professional finish without using incredibly expensive equipment, and on top of that, the experience curve is much smaller meaning you don’t have to be a professional painter in order to tackle a serious painting project.
What are the requirements?
The first thing most people ask is – “What kind of equipment do I need in order to use a spray gun?”
While there is no correct or definitive answer, there are some guidelines one should follow. For example, even though LVLP guns don’t require a lot of air pressure, one should still check the specifications of their compressor in order to be sure that everything is going to work at a satisfactory level. In fact, quite a lot of people neglect this particular step and most of them end up disappointed in their new tool because it performs poorly.
However, more often than not, the predicament is tied to the compressor in lieu of being caused by a faulty gun (not that it can’t happen.) In that case, you either have to invest in a new compressor or return the spray gun and wait for a new one. Both of these scenarios are time-consuming and sometimes pretty expensive. Needless to say, you should always make sure that your equipment is compatible with things you’re planning on buying.
The advantages of LVLP spray guns
While there are countless advantages, some are more important than the others and deserve to be pointed out.
The first thing most people like about these tools is their simplicity. In other words, even if you never had the opportunity to paint something with a spray gun, it shouldn’t take long to get used to it. In fact, most users get the hang of it within an hour or two, especially if they refer to the user manual as well as some insightful videos.
The other major advantage is the fact that one can paint a significantly larger surface with an automated system in comparison to working with a roller and brush. It does not only save quite a bit of time, but it also saves paint thus saving you money in the long run. Speaking of money, the general price of these guns is also what attracts a lot of DIY enthusiasts.
Most popular units cost somewhere around $50 up to $150 which is not a massive investment by any means, especially if you consider all the perks that come with it. It’s important to remember that the price doesn’t always represent the quality of the product. In other words, if something is expensive, that doesn’t mean it’s proportionally better than the less expensive model. It usually comes down to various little things that determine the price such as complexity, design, versatility, etcetera.
The downsides of LVLP spray guns
There aren’t many disadvantages, but it wouldn’t be fair if we were to skip them entirely, as they definitely exist. However, there is no need to worry about that because most of these downsides aren’t a game-breaking thing in the first place.
One of the most common issues many people deal with is the inability to use thicker paints with these tools. Due to low-pressure requirements, LVLP spray guns tend to struggle with paints of high viscosity. Thinning sometimes solves the problem, but it’s definitely not a recipe for success. Therefore, if you’re planning on using particularly thick materials such as latex, you should either thin it down to reasonable levels or invest in a more powerful unit. Also, when it comes to professional purposes, it’s recommended that you use other products that are foreseen for particular applications which include the use of thick materials.
Should I buy one for myself?
This decision is entirely up to you, but if you have a reasonable budget and are considering a painting project in the near future, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a quality spray gun.
The mitigating circumstance here is that one doesn’t need a lot of previous experience in order to be able to operate a spray gun fairly well. That means you shouldn’t be discouraged by the fact that you haven’t used one yet because you’ll probably get the hang of it within a day. So, why would you waste time and nerves on tedious rollers and brushes when you can simply pull the trigger and get it done quicker and easier?
As you can tell, there’s nothing too special about spray guns. They are designed to make painting easier and more versatile at the same time. In other words, one can paint furniture, carpentry, walls, and even car parts without having to hire a professional. If you’re a DIY enthusiast and are not willing to call a professional painter for every single issue in your household, don’t hesitate to check some of the top-rated lvlp spray guns, it will turn out to be a good decision.