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Frequent Contributor
indiana woodman
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎12-11-2009
0

Varnish Spray Gun

I have been contemplating purchasing a new spray gun for stain, varnish and poly finishes.  I have a good compressor so air volume will not be a problem.  It seems there are lot’s of options, a gravity feed, suction feeds, HVLP, self contained HVLP’s, and on and on.  Are there good HVLP’s that I can use with my exiting compressor?  

 

I have a cheap $20 bargain bin High Pressure gun that does OK….well at least the material shoots at the wood.  I had one of the original Wagner HVLP units that sort of worked OK but I stepped on and crushed the plastic hose one to many times….and the little plastic cup was difficult to clean, and it was very loud.  Lots of times it just seams easier to get out my brush.  (And in the winter spraying with the doors all shut is impossible.)

 

I don’t spray a lot so I cannot justify spending a lot of cash. I have noticed guns at the local Big Box Stores from $30 to $60…..well in my price range of around $100.  

 

What is everyone’s experience with various types of spray guns?  How about cleanup?  Are any of the guns made to allow one to let the vanish stay in the gun so you can recoat the next day without doing all the clean up again?

 

Thanks for your comments!

Steve

Advisor
tomsteve1967
Posts: 811
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Varnish Spray Gun

[ Edited ]

i use a gravity feed HVLP for a variety of finishes, got them mainly for automotive finishes, but have used them for all finishes you have stated. i spent a bit more than that on my guns ( a devilbiss finish line set and a devilbiss GTI clearcoat gun), but i have heard good things about one of the guns harbor freight sells. an important part of the guns is tip size. i use a 1.3 mm tip for the finishes i spray on wood and have excellent results. it took a bit of learning( not much reall, surfed the web and youtube and got a lot of good info)to get there, but love it.

you can go to www.TCPglobal.com and check out the guns they sell. for $80 pkus shipping they have a 3 gun house brand set i would suggest to you to get started.

no matter what i build or how many times i build it, it's all practice.
Honored Advisor
ynoT
Posts: 10,532
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Varnish Spray Gun

In Finishing Forum, one of the gents suggested not spraying varnish due to clean up issues....

 

Might want to address this question there for more details.

 

Tony

 

"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."
Community Manager
MSWOODcraft
Posts: 5,292
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Varnish Spray Gun

Definitely post this question in the Finishing forum.   You'll get some real-world views from some professional finishing guys on the ups, downs and neutrals on each of the applications you mentioned.

Best,

Matt Seiler
Wood Online Moderator

Frequent Contributor
indiana woodman
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎12-11-2009
0

Re: Varnish Spray Gun

Thanks for the input.  I'll report this in the finishing forum and see what they recommend.

 

Steve

Veteran Contributor
LibertyWW
Posts: 147
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
0

Re: Varnish Spray Gun

I switched to an HVLP conversion gun about 3 years ago when I refaced the kitchen cabinets at my old house.  I bought a Wagner HVLP gun and spray General Finishes PreCat 181 urethane with it.  I loved using that gun.  That original gun got more and more corroded inside, it is aluminum and doesn't play well with water based finishes.  It was a hundred bucks so I didn't have a lot invested and it produced what I thought were good results.  Eventually the casting by the needle broke on that gun and bought a second one.  After I built my new house and used that gun for all the wood in the new house, it too was getting corroded and wasn't giving the same results as when it was new. 

 

Instead of buying a 3rd gun, I reached out to Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing Products and he pointed me to a better HVLP gun and it uses the 3M PPS system with a bladder that fits inside the cup on the bottom of the gun.  The new gun I have is all stainless, all I have to do is run some water through it and a little denatured alcohol and it is clean.  There aren't springs or any other tricky parts to clean and its stainless so it doesn't corrode like the aluminum.  As far as finish quality, it is night and day.  The cheap Wagner gun might as well have been a garden sprayer.  The new gun lays finish so much smoother I can't find words to describe it.  I also have sprayed shellac with this gun and have had amazing results.  This gun has exponentially increased my finishing skills.  I only wish I had upgraded before I built my new house.


My advice is to avoid the cheap guns and buy 1 gun that is a professional quality gun.  It will make your life easier and make it much easier to learn how to spray and acheive good results.  I invested 200 bucks in both of my cheap Wagner guns and thought I got good results but I really didn't know any better.  I wish somebody had clued me in and steered me to a better gun to start with.  There is a difference and like so many other things, you get what you pay for.

 

Jeff has given me an incredible amount of help over the last few years.  There is nowhere else I would go for any advice or supplies.  I encourage you to reach out to him for advice and at least get his books and new DVD on spraying, they are excellent.

 

Fred

 

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