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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default LVLP versus HVLP spray guns?

    Recently, all the trim in our home was stripped, and now it all needs to be repainted. To speed up this step, we have decided to spray them. This will take a lot of masking, yes, but we feel it will be less time than hand painting primer and finish coat on everything with (hopefully) a better result.

    A conversion gun seems to make the most sense to us, so that we can use the compressor for other projects as well. It is unlikely we will have need for a super powerful compressor in the future, so we were considering a lvlp spray gun (since it is compatible with smaller compressors).

    We are experienced diy-ers, but spraying is relatively new to us, so if there are suggestions for the easiest to use gun, they would be much appreciated! (For further info, we plan to also spray cabinets and doors in the future, but are just going to roll ceilings and walls).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: LVLP versus HVLP spray guns?

    I would recommend saving yourself the hassles of all that masking for zero gain. In the time it will take you to mask of the room, you can have it brushed out, probably several coats. Masking materials to cover an entire room would also be expensive.

    Using a brush is easy, especially once you've mastered the technique of cutting in.

    Additional food for thought. If you hadn't planned on protecting the walls above base and around doors and window trim, this would be a mistake, as the over spray would affect the sheen on the walls once they get painted too.
    - If using semi-gloss on trim, which is typical, the sheen will shine through flat paint that is typically used on walls.
    - Additional layers of paint on the walls around the trim will seal the wall in these area, while the main body remains porous, again affecting the overall sheen of the paint.

    Spraying your doors I can agree with, and I would recommend tenting one room or an area in the garage to spray them in. I have always used an airless sprayer for this, so I can't answer your questions about HVLP or LVLP systems. The one thing that I would caution is that the system you choose can shoot the paint you intend. I believe that these systems are primarily for light bodied finishes like a polyurethane, lacquer, and such. Latex and alkyd paints are heavy bodied and are better applied by a pressure system than a siphon system.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: LVLP versus HVLP spray guns?

    I agree with Spruce, I like a brush and a roller better, for many reasons. The biggest ones are time and money. Not to mention overspray and breathing.

    But to answer your question: the biggest difference here is that LVLP uses a much lower pressure, works well with small compressors. Get some literature on the subject and read all about it.

    Why won't you rent one to try before you do the job?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Houston Texas

    Default Re: LVLP versus HVLP spray guns?

    one more vote for brushing the trim and spraing the doors with an airless sprayer. A pneumatic sprayer will not work with the thick bodied latex paints available today. Thinning oil based thin enough to go through a pneumatic sprayer isn't a good idea unless you are a real glutton for punishment.

    Spraying the doors is easier if you place the doors over strip lumber (usually 1 by's) then arrange the doors in an accodrian shape with a strip of lumber screwed in along the tops of the doors to hold them upright and in place. This way you can spray all 4 sides of each door at the same time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: LVLP versus HVLP spray guns?

    Spraying is worth it in an unoccupied house where the floor coverings are not yet installed. Otherwise, as the others have stated, it is not worth all the masking and cover-up work.

    I personally used a professional quality HVLP for shooting Moore's Satin impervo oil enamel. It did a beautiful job, especially where ornate crown moldings were encountered. I did a lot of work in conjunction with a company which specialized in ornate, high density urethane moldings and trim. It was a symbiotic relationship. We kept admiring each others work and kept referring new customers to one another.

    One of the advantages of a true HVLP is that they use a light weight, portable turbine, rather than an air-compressor. They are easy to move around and don't require a dedicated high amperage power outlet. The air supply hose is like a vacumn cleaner hose. It actually gets quite warm from all the air rushing through it.

    One thing for sure, no brush will equal the surface quality obtained with spraying. I say this as one who primarily brushed oil enamel, as my work was largely existing, occupied residential homes. Most of the time, spraying was not a good choice. Brushing oil paints is smelly enough, spraying oil will gas out the whole family!

    I once had a customer question if spraying were as good as brushing. I replied that I had just heard that Mercedes had recently decided to start brushing their cars! I guess I didn't get any bonus points for being a smart ass!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: LVLP versus HVLP spray guns?

    My vote is for spraying if you want a quality smooth finish.

    In my younger foolish days before the internet and since I had no one to ask, I did a latex spray job on a bathroom I had just gutted and installed.

    It was an older colonial and my wife and I decided we wanted wainscotting on the walls.

    Of course I was planning on painting it from the start and was worried that I wouldn't be able to get a good finish especially in all the grooves.

    So I decided to spray it. It was latex, semi-gloss. I think it was some off-white color. But the upshot is that I did spray it and it came out fantastic. It was a bit of a job masking everything though.

    The key is that I had to thin it which I did with a little distilled water and just a drop or two of "Dawn" dish washing detergent.

    I worked. That's all I can say. I've used "Dawn" to keep my brushes clean also.

    BTW, this was done with a conventional siphon gun.

    I used a viscosity cup to get the right consistency.

    Go and tell me all the things I did wrong but it worked and looked great and I used so little paint that I was impressed.

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