What type of spray gun should be chosen for car painting? Such a question revolves in the minds of many. Don’t worry, read the article carefully to find the solution.
How do you choose a paint spray gun?
This article will help you understand which spray gun to choose for painting a car. Here we will look at the basic characteristics by which you can choose a spray gun, and also, I will tell you about some manufacturers of inexpensive paint sprayers and manufacturers of premium paint guns.
How often will you use the spray gun? If you plan to use the spray gun rarely, for small amounts of work, then it makes no sense to spend a lot of money and buy an expensive professional tool.
On the other hand, you need a paint gun that will do its job well. For these purposes, you can choose an inexpensive HVLP spray gun with the desired characteristics.
To choose a spray gun, you need to decide what tasks the paint gun will perform. There are paint sprayers that use different spray systems that have different characteristics.
It is necessary to familiarize yourself with the theory and understand all the variety of proposed types and characteristics of spray guns. After that, you can make a reasonable choice.
You can paint with any spray gun, but the better the tool, the better the paint coating will be and the more stable the result will be.
For novice painters, you can recommend buying a spray gun at a budget price, and in the future, with the accumulation of experience, buy a high-quality professional sprayer.
How many spray guns do you need to have?
You can purchase several paint guns for different purposes and materials. There are spray guns recommended specifically for varnish, for the ground and for the base.
If you can afford to have three spray guns, then this will be ideal. In this case, there will be no problems with getting into the varnish particles from the paint that was sprayed before. Of course, it is not necessary to purchase three different spray guns.
There are painters who have one paint gun with a 1.6 nozzle, with which they apply all materials from soil to varnish. This requires more time and effort to thoroughly wash the spray gun after spraying different materials, for further use.
You need to choose a spray gun that will fit the parameters of your compressor. Or after buying a spray gun, choose a compressor for the gun.
The compressor must give out a certain volume at the right pressure constantly, during the use of the spray gun. The rule is that the compressor must produce 1.5 times more cubic centimeters per minute than is required for the spray gun to operate at a given pressure.
If the compressor performance is not sufficient, you will not get a good spray.
The compressor can produce indicators above the desired pressure, but give an insufficient amount of air.
The hose and fittings are also important. If you use a hose with a diameter of ¼ inch, then such a hose will prevent the normal passage of air. It is necessary to use a hose with an internal diameter of 3/8 inches with couplings and fittings that allow a fast flow of air. This will greatly improve the passage of air.
Choosing the nozzle size
The nozzle (paint nozzle) has a certain size. The paint material flows through the nozzle, and the tip of the needle is inserted into it, regulating the flow of paint. The needle moves back and forth with the trigger.
When the trigger is fully released, the needle is pressed by a spring and hermetically closes the nozzle. For materials with different viscosities, nozzles of different diameters are used.
- 2-Local painting.
- 3-1.6 – applying the base and varnish. It is also suitable for applying water-soluble paints.
- 4 – 1.7 – application of varnish and acrylic.
- 5-3.0 – application of liquid putty.
These are general rules that do not have to be strictly followed. Some painters choose a single nozzle size and apply any materials perfectly.
Applying the primer requires a larger nozzle, otherwise you will have to dilute it very liquid, which is not desirable. For acrylic primer, its filling capacity is important, and with a large amount of diluents, it falls.
If you use water-soluble paints, it is better to use a separate spray gun for this purpose. Changing the water-soluble paint to paint with a solvent can cause the paint to curdle and spray in flakes.
Also, you need to be sure that when using water-soluble paints, the spray gun does not rust and does not deteriorate.
Paint and varnish spray systems
To understand the difference between the types of paint guns, consider, in a simplified way, the principle of spraying. Compressed air from the compressor under pressure enters the spray gun, through another channel comes the paint from the barrel, passing through the air head, air splits the paint coming out of the nozzle and forming a torch.
The pressure with which the spray gun sprays the paint material determines the type of spray gun. Below are the main spray systems that distinguish the spray guns.
- HP (High Pressure) – high pressure.
- HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) — high volume, low pressure.
- LVLP (Low Volume Low Pressure) — low volume, low pressure.
- HTE (High Transfer Efficiency) – High transfer efficiency.
HP system Spray Guns
This is an outdated spray system. Paint guns of this type have been used for a long time to paint cars in body repair shops.
For their operation, an inlet pressure of 3-4 atmospheres is required. Actually, at the time of spraying, the pressure is about the same. Such spray guns require a small volume of compressed air.
Their operation does not require an overly productive compressor. HP paint guns are able to form a wide torch and evenly apply the paint material. The main disadvantage of such spray guns is the low coefficient of transfer of sprayed materials to the surface.
Such spray guns, when sprayed, form a paint mist that does not fall on the surface to be painted. Thus, 30-45% of the sprayed paint forms a paint coating, and the remaining 55-70% settles outside the painted surface.
So, in summary, we will describe the advantages and disadvantages of spray guns with the HP spray system.
- No high-performance compressor required.
- A wide torch is formed, which facilitates the uniform application of the paint material.
- High speed of application of paint and varnish material.
- Low coefficient of transfer of sprayed materials to the surface to be painted.
- The high spray pressure raises the dust in the workshop, which then settles on the painted surface.
HVLP System Spray Guns
HVLP (High Volume Low Preassure – high volume, low pressure). Spray guns of this type are widely used and are now successfully used by painters when painting cars.
These paint guns use a large volume of air to work, and spray occurs at low pressure. HVLP spray guns at a sufficiently high inlet pressure (2.5 – 3 atmospheres) spray paint materials at a low pressure (less than 1 atmosphere).
Due to the low spray pressure, a large percentage of the sprayed paint material is transferred to the surface to be painted (about 75%).
Spray guns of this type have proven themselves well when applying paints with the effect of “metallic” and “mother of pearl”.
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of HVLP paint guns.
- A high percentage of the transfer of paint and varnish material to the surface to be painted during spraying.
- Low misting during spraying.
- The low spray pressure does not raise a lot of dust, which is located in the room where the paint is being painted.
- High performance.
- A high-performance compressor is required to constantly produce a large volume of air for the operation of the spray gun.
- It is required to use a hose to connect the compressor to the spray gun with an increased diameter.
- It is required to apply paint and varnish materials at a small distance from the surface. It requires a certain professionalism from the painter to paint without smudges.
LVLP Low Pressure Paint Guns
LVLP (Low Volume Low Pressure — low volume, low pressure). Spray guns of such a spray system were invented in order to remove the disadvantages of HP and HVLP sprayers. Paint guns with a similar spray system may have different abbreviations from different manufacturers.
For example, the company SATA has a similar technology called RP (Reduced Pressure), the company DeVilbiss – GTI PRO, Walcom — GEO and HTE (High Transfer Efficiency). The purpose of these spray guns is to combine low air consumption with a high coefficient of transfer of paint and varnish material.
These sprayers operate at an inlet pressure of 1.6-2 atmospheres, and spraying is carried out at a pressure of 0.7 – 1.2 atmospheres. LVLP spray guns have a reduced air consumption compared to HVLP spray guns.
This reduces the performance requirements of the compressor. At the same time, the percentage of transfer of paint materials to the painted surface during spraying is about 70%.
LVLP paint guns have proven themselves well when applying all types of paint materials.
So, let’s list the advantages and disadvantages of sprayers with the LVLP spray system.
- It does not require too much air when the spray gun is running (about 200 l/m is required).
- A high percentage of the transfer of paint and varnish material to the surface to be painted.
- Due to the low spray pressure, it does not raise a lot of dust in the room where the paint is being painted.
- Low misting during spraying.
- High performance.
- There is no dependence on the pressure drop.
- Low spray rate
- Form a torch of a smaller size than HVLP spray guns
Spray guns with a lower tank arrangement
Such models have a large tank capacity for paint and varnish materials. They are inconvenient when painting horizontal surfaces.
Spray Gun Manufacturers
Spray guns from Italy
Cheap spray guns. It can be recommended at the initial stages of mastering the painting business. Mainly for training the application of base and acrylic. Models with large-diameter nozzles can be used as separate guns for applying soil and liquid putty. For example, the Record 2200 model.
The Walcom trademark belongs to the production company Walmec, which has been operating in the market of professional painting equipment since 1945. It has available various models of spray guns, recommended for various paint and varnish materials. You can choose a sufficiently high-quality model for use in the workshop for body repair.
Spray Guns from China
Many Chinese manufacturers make non-certified copies of spray guns from well-known manufacturers. Most often, they are similar in appearance, but not in quality and characteristics. Some Chinese paint guns can be painted more or less normally, but they are characterized by instability in operation. As you can imagine, many Chinese manufacturers reduce the cost of production technologies for paint sprayers.
Among the budget spray guns of Chinese production, you can note the products of the company VOYLET.
They produce paint sprayers of various models, designed for both industrial enterprises and car service stations. They have an acceptable product quality. VOYLET spray guns meet the requirements of modern standards for applying various paint and varnish materials.
You can also mention the Auarita paint guns, which have positive reviews, given their inexpensive cost and Taiwanese STAR paint sprayers.
High-end spray guns
The manufacturers of professional paint guns that are leaders and occupy the market segment of expensive premium paint sprayers are described below. These are not the only brands of expensive professional spray guns, but the most well-known.
DeVilbiss is a British company that has been producing spray guns for over 100 years. In many countries, professional painters use this company’s paint sprayers. DeVilbiss spray guns are lightweight and ergonomically designed.
DeVilbiss recently has its own representative office in Russia and you can easily purchase any model of spray gun and accessories.
The spray guns of this company are developed by German engineers. They have high quality, own developments. Paint sprayers of this company are characterized by high wear resistance, which is important for in-line use in workshops.
Anest Iwata is a Japanese company that has been around for over 80 years. Produces very high-quality spray guns. It has its own innovative developments. In the model range there are paint sprayers with a side-mounted tank that can be rotated.
Changing the angle of the barrel, it is very convenient to paint hard-to-reach places, as well as horizontal surfaces, and do not be afraid that the paint material will spill out or stop being sprayed due to the unstable supply of paint from the barrel.
Having personal experience of using the spray gun of this company, I can say that the gun is easy to set up, perfectly applies any paint materials and perfectly copes with painting with a “transition”.
What is the result? What kind of spray gun to choose for painting a car?
If you plan to paint cars on a permanent basis and have the necessary budget to purchase a premium spray gun, then take a good expensive paint gun. For example, you can choose one of the above brands of the expensive segment.
I did just that in my time and did not regret buying an IWATA spray gun, which served me for a long time. In the future, I changed it to another IWATA model, forming a wider torch. I have an HVLP spray gun, with a nozzle size of 1.4 mm.
It copes well with the application of all types of paint products. For the primer, I use a GAV RECORD 220 sprayer with a 2.2 mm nozzle. Such a nozzle is enough even for applying liquid putty.
Another option is to buy an inexpensive paint gun of acceptable quality, with a nozzle size suitable for paint, varnish and primer. They can learn how to paint and, in the future, knowingly decide which spray gun to choose for painting cars and buy a more expensive spray gun, and leave the old one as a primer.
Do not forget to count on the compressor to match the performance of the purchased paint gun. This is an important point.
Also, it is important to set up the spray gun correctly, so that the sprayed material spreads well on the surface, but does not give smudges.