How to choose the correct spray gun for your needs.
With so many variables to consider when purchasing a spray gun for your project, it can often be difficult to know where to start. Whether they are airless, gravity-fed, suction, or pressure fed, you need to understand which is the best one to choose for your job.
What Is A Spray Gun?
If you’re used to traditional painting and plastering, you may be wondering what a spray gun is. Spray guns are like air brushes, but they generally connected to larger equipment and are used to cover bigger surface areas with an even coating of liquid, saving painters and plasterers time and reducing waste. There are hand-held guns as well as automated spray guns with interchangeable heads that allows for different patterns of spray, as well as high-end guns for large commercial and industrial projects, which can be customised and completely rebuilt.
Every air gun has an air compressor, paint basin and nozzle. When you press the trigger, the compressed air and paint are mixed to break down the paint particles. This is then released from the spray gun in a fine spray to cover your surface.
If you are new to spraying paint or plaster or you would like to improve on previous jobs, speak to the Spray Plant UK team for advice.
HVLP, LVLP Or Conventional Spray Gun?
High volume low pressure (HVLP) guns allow a higher proportion of paint or coating to reach the target surface. Not only does this reduce the number of materials you are using, and wastage of materials, but it also helps to prevent unnecessary over-spray. These types of guns are often used for architectural coatings, interior decor, or furniture finishing.
Low volume low pressure (LVLP) guns are practically identical to HVLP guns but are among the best and the most efficient guns on the market. This is because they minimise paint wastage and operate at a lower pressure, using a lower volume of air than HVLP guns. This decreases the amount of air consumed whilst increasing the proportion of air that reaches your target surface.
Select the right Nozzle for the job
There are a wide range of different nozzle types to choose from, but the three most common are flat steam, hollow cone and full cone nozzles. The type you choose will depend on the project you are working on. For example, for a fine finish over a larger area, a full cone nozzle may be the best option, whist for a smaller area and a more precise result, selecting a flat stream nozzle could be better.
What is the CFM Rating of your spray gun?
The amount of air needed to complete a project is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM for short. This amount can vary greatly but all compressors will have a CFM rating, typically shown in the following way: 16CFM @ 90 PSI. This rating is the output level of the compressor tank, so the actual CFM at the gun can vary depending on the diameter and length of hose and fittings means you will get more CFM at the gun for more precise results. We can help you to understand this so please get in touch if you’re unsure.
Consider the viscosity of paint, plaster and other materials moving through your spray gun
Whilst viscosity is generally measured as low, medium or high you may want to check technical information for your paint as a specific spray gun may be recommended. Some guns are more suited to heavy viscosity coatings. Generally, the finish you are looking for will affect your choice of gun. Bear in mind that a conventional gun uses twice as much paint as an HVLP gun.
What are your production requirements?
In other words, how fast do you need your gun to spray? Using larger air caps and fluid nozzles can speed up your productivity. The higher the CFM of the air cap, the heavier the viscosity of coating it is able to atomise. For high volume painting projects, using a pressure pot to feed your spray gun is ideal, giving you greater air pressure control. To paint continuously, a diaphragm or fluid transfer pump may be best. Low viscosity paints and small-scale projects can use a gravity or syphon feed spray gun. In some cases, you may find an airless spray gun is the best option.
What variety of jobs do you require your Spray Gun to carry out?
How often you are going to use your gun and what type of projects you will be working on? When it comes to spray guns for sale, it is often worth investing more in a high-quality gun such as a Graco Spray Gun, as these generally have more choice of fluid nozzles and air caps and can usually be totally rebuilt. Lower cost guns suffer from limited setups and are often not rebuildable. Graco spray guns are really high quality and have a fantastic reputation.
What Spray gun do we recommend?
There are many guns on the market that all do a fantastic job for the cash. You need to consider what is important to you. For example, if you need to minimise wastage and paint a lot like a conveyor line then overall an electrostatic gun may be best for you. If however, you are looking for routine reliability, less chance of blockages which increase downtime and a great finish, then Iwata Spray guns really do take some beating! They have been designed to contain fewer parts. Fewer parts equal less to go wrong and less to get in the way of a good finish. The parts are built from high quality materials and would be easily comparable to Devilbiss and Wagner style products out on the market now. If you are just doing a little spraying such as small indoor furniture, then a cheap gun that can be cleaned out with thinners should work just fine.
For more information about which spray guns and accessories are right for your job, get in touch today.