How To Pick The Perfect HVLP Paint Sprayer for Professionals and DIYers

How to Pick the Perfect HVLP Paint Sprayer

Choosing the right HVLP paint sprayer machine can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your projects. Whether you’re a professional contractor or simply an avid DIYer, a paint machine is a must tool to keep in your toolbox. Rollers and brushes will get the job done, but the precious time a paint sprayer can save you is invaluable and the high-quality finish you can achieve is incomparable.

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But not every HVLP paint sprayer is built the same. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses and when choosing one, you should consider what your project entails.

Things to think about when choosing the right HVLP Paint Sprayer

First off, it’s always important to understand the dynamics of the job. What are you painting and what type of paint will the job call for?

Once we get an understand of what the project entails, we can then start to research HVLP paint sprayers. Think about the kind of pump the unit has and the sort of output you need. This is important because you want a unit that can stand up to the job. Does the project warrant different tips to access those tough angles and corners? How heavy is the machine? How much coverage can you get? Can you adjust the tip for an appropriate spray shape? These are the features you need to be thinking of when picking the right HVLP paint sprayer for your job.

Paint sprayers in general, use an air-powered high-volume, low air pressure system to spray paint. High-pressure paint machines are extremely fast, but also extremely wasteful. No doubt, there is no better way to paint industrial volumes of work, but with overspray, they do waste a huge amount of paint. It’s a consequence of the very high pressure at which they operate. You want to choose an HVLP Sprayer that has controllable pressure flow, so you can work at much lower pressures, and significantly reduce any incidence of overspray and cause less waste.

But there are all kinds of HVLP paint sprayers out there. Some are fit for light DIY projects, and others go all the way up to professional level. If you’re unsure of which HVLP paint machine you should buy, a good place to start is to think about exactly what combination of pump, gun, hose, and tip you’ll need.

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Horsepower is also important and it’s something you should think about prior to purchasing your unit. More horsepower means a higher flow rate and faster project times. However, there is such a thing as too much power. Large projects need broad sprays and higher pressure to handle them. The higher pressure provided by machines with more horsepower also comes in handy in other ways. Units are rated by pressure and maximum tip size. The more horsepower, the larger the nozzle tips they can handle. Larger nozzle tips let you work with much thicker coatings without clogging.

A quick lesson on spray tip sizes. I hope you’re taking notes…

The next criteria to take into account is tip size and spray pattern. The tip size can be given as an opening size in inches, such as 0.015” tips. Some products are advertised with both opening size and fan size. A popular size is 515. In a 515, the first number indicates a 5” spray pattern cover, and a .015 tip opening.

Spray patterns don’t just cover areas of a certain size. They also come in different shapes, such as round, horizontal and vertical patterns. You can usually switch between patterns with a knob on your nozzle. This is much easier than having to move the spray gun sideways, or in circles. Spray patterns have width, ranging from 6 to 14 inches. Smaller patterns are ideal for cabinets, fence rails, or furniture. Ceilings and walls require larger pattern widths.

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Other considerations to keep in mind are the maximum hose length, ease of cleaning and ease of transport. If you plan on moving the unit around a lot, a wheeled unit is probably best. Be sure to check manuals in the manufacturer’s websites before making your choice. Some units have a very simple and intuitive cleaning process. Others need more elaborate care. Hose length determines how easily you can get to hard-to-reach corners without moving your unit. Check the distances you need to cover and whether there’s extension cords or hoses to cover them.

Finally, keep an eye on prices. Most HVLP paint sprayers aimed at the DIY market cost under $200. If you only have one job in mind, renting may be a smarter choice (about $90 a day) or check out one of the Harbor Freight HVLP paint sprayers. Professional units run anywhere from $250 to $500. They tend to require extensive care to live out the full term of their service life.

Hope you learned a thing or two about HVLP paint sprayers. Let us know which one you end up purchasing.

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