HVLP (High-Volume, Low-Pressure) paint spray guns are incredibly popular spray guns that, because of their high volume and low pressure, enable more paint to hit the desired surface with less bounce back and overspray in the process. But with so many on the market to choose from it can be a little daunting to pick one that’s right for your painting projects. In the article below, we’ll outline some hints and tips that can help you pick the spray gun that’s right for you. If you already know about HVLP’s but are looking for a quick answer to a question, why not check out the FAQ’s at the end of this article where you might find a quick answer.
How to Choose?
When looking for an HVLP, there are some key things to look into before making your purchase. Remembering these will make your choice easier and ensure the product meets your needs.
Types of HVLP sprayers
This is the first and foremost thing you should be considering when purchasing a spray gun. All HVLP sprayers are handheld but there are still many different types depending on the task at hand and the location of the surface that needs painting. In this article, we will only make mention of a few types of sprayers, although more are available on the market. The models in this article are:
The standard air compressor sprayer – around 6 to 8 inches
The airless sprayer which makes use of a suction tube – around 8 to 10 inches
The handheld sprayer, which is powered by either mains electricity through a power cord or a battery – around 5 inches
The HVLP turbine system – around 14 inches
As you can see above, the main differences in these models is their size, with some being better suited to professionals than those commencing their own DIY projects. The small handheld sprayer is better suited to work in small spaces and those works being completed by people at home, whereas the largest is better suited to large scale works. Where the HVLP sprayer is concerned, it’s important to remember that each spray gun comes with a different sized tip, which will ultimately affect how large an area you can work on at once and where you can apply the paint. Below, we will briefly go into some small detail around the tip sizes for you to consider.
0.5mm – 1.0mm
This tip size is supplied with the majority of paint sprayers, making it almost the standard size used. This small tip is perfect for those needing to be more precise as it only sprays a small amount of paint at a time.
1.2mm – 1.3mm
This tip is best used when applying a base coat with your spray gun. Again, only a small amount of paint is let through the small hole in these size tips, but its slightly larger size makes it ideal for applying thin or see-through coats of paint whilst also making it easy for you to apply coats quickly.
Moving on to one of the more medium-sized tips, this one is ideal for those who wish to work on bigger projects such as large pieces of furniture. The types of work carried out with this tip tend to be completed in stages where thick coats are required for each and the 1.4mm tip is perfect for this.
1.5mm – 1.6mm
Used when applying a base coat or primer or when a single coat of paint is needed, these tips are the perfect size to use.
1.7mm – 1.8mm
Purchased from Home Depot, the HVLP Spray Gun Kit is the best choice whether you need interior or exterior painting completing. The larger holes in these tips make them the first choice for these types of painting as well as applying base coats and primers.
How adaptable is your new paint sprayer?
Now that you have a better idea of the different models and tip sizes and what they’re best used for, you should be able to make a better-informed decision around the adaptability you need from your new spray gun. We’ve already discussed the benefits of the tip sizes for the different types of jobs you need to complete, but you also need to be aware of the location of your work, as external work may require paints of different thicknesses from that of internal works. It’s important to take this into account as purchasing a model that can operate with different paint thicknesses without them needing to be thinned first is advantageous and time-saving for you.
As we have mentioned outdoor use, as a side note it really is important to check reviews before using outdoor paint or stains to ensure you don’t waste your money by buying the wrong product for your job!
How versatile is your new paint sprayer?
Versatility is key for the longevity of your new paint spray gun. Make sure it has an adjustable spray rate as well as the facilities to use different tip sizes. This combination of adaptability will ensure you’re able to get different finishes without having to buy more than one gun!
Is the hose length right for you?
Before discussing the hose length of your new spray gun, it is also essential that you check the length of the power cable should your HVLP be mains powered! It goes without saying that the longer the cable, the further you can move from the power outlet.
Now, does the spray gun you’ve chosen have a remote reservoir with a hose? If so, the best practice is to make sure the hose is at least 25 feet in length. This should be more than adequate to help you paint those hard to reach places.
How much paint can your spray gun hold?
The capacity of your new spray gun is incredibly important to take into consideration before making a purchase. Always check how much paint it can hold before you buy, as smaller capacities just mean more wasted time for you as you continually have to stop and refill your gun with more paint.
There are more factors to consider when looking at HVLP paint sprayer guns than those that we can cover in this article but these are some of the key things to remember. In this next part of our article, we will do our best to address some of the pros and cons of HVLP paint sprayer guns to help you decide if this is the right piece of equipment for you.
What are the pros of the HVLP spray paint guns?
The primary and most obvious benefit of these spray guns is that you do not need to have high pressure to produce adequate spray and achieve the desired results. This lack of pressure means that over-spray is greatly reduced, resulting in less waste paint and your paint going further! This is in direct contrast to conventional air compressor paint sprayers as most HVLP paint sprayers have the advantage of adjustable spray levels, giving you a fine and even finish each time. Below, we’ll examine some of these benefits and advantages in a little more detail.
We’ve previously mentioned the advantages of this low-pressure system, but it’s worth mentioning again here separately. With lower pressure, you can guarantee your paintwork will have a consistently smooth finish due to the reasonable and manageable stream that is produced. Less bounce back. Less overspill. Less waste. Three hugely important takeaways to keep in mind.
Low maintenance upkeep for your new tool
These days, all modern paint sprayers need minimum levels of maintenance due to the relatively small number of parts that make up the paint sprayers as a whole. The reliability of them is well documented; you just have to read through the numerous reviews that are available to see why they have the promising reputations that they do. Many also contain a flush system that makes the paint sprayer unit much easier to clean as well as making the process of changing colours while spray painting much easier and relatively hassle-free.
Easy To Control How You Want To Paint
HVLP paint sprayers come fitted with a dial that helps to regulate the paint spray down to anything as thin as a fine mist. By using this regulator, you have complete control over not only the amount of paint that you choose to use at any given time but also what kind of finish you want to have on your work. Not only will this give you results you can be happy with, but also saves you money in the long term by not wasting paint that you didn’t want to use. Taking time to browse reviews of the various makes and models of HVLP paint sprayers available on the market is essential to you being able to find one that regulates in the way you want, giving you much greater adaptability in the work you can carry out.
Better For Your Health
HVLP paint sprayers are much better for the user’s health than conventional sprayers that use air compressors due to their lack of overspray. This reduced overspray means a much smaller cloud of excess paint in the air as spray and a much-reduced chance of inhalation by the user or anyone in the vicinity who may not be taking adequate safety precautions.
HVLP spray guns also require less power to run, so this combined with the smaller spray clouds also make for a more environmentally friendly product. This can be seen in the green eco-certification, of which a large amount of these guns score very highly. Again, the best way to be sure the spray gun you wish to purchase meets your needs in this respect is to check reviews and information about the products beforehand.
HVLP paint spray guns have an advantage over the competition when it comes to safety because of their low pressure. Spray guns powered by air compressors run the risk of accidents occurring because of the pressure running throughout. The lack of pressure pushing the paint through the nozzle means fewer accidents and breakages are likely to happen, unlike if there was a faulty air compressor. All of this means you can use your new HVLP paint spray gun with confidence and ease, no matter your level of skill.
What Are the Cons of HVLP Paint Spray Guns?
Despite all of the advantages and benefits that are provided by these spray guns, there are of course cons to be considered when purchasing this equipment, which we will begin to examine here for your benefit.
While this may be seen as a con to some people, the lack of speed can definitely also be considered to be offset by the sheer number of positives. The lack of speed also provides a nice, even finish to all work carried out with one of these spray guns.
Some HVLP paint sprayers may have trouble spraying high viscosity paints, but this can be easily remedied by watering down the paint before use. As with everything else on this list, please check product information and reviews before purchasing to ensure the product is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an HVLP spray gun?
HVLP stands for “High Velocity, Low Pressure”, meaning these devices provide a a consistent, even coat of paint whilst using low pressure, resulting in less overspray and less waste.
Is there a difference between HVLP and regular spray guns?
Conventional spray guns use a lot more pressue than HVLP spray guns. The result of this is that due to the pressure, the finished product makes the paint look a lot thinner as opposed to HVLP guns that typically provide thicker coats of paint to surfaces. This is caused by bigger drops of paint due to the noticeable lack of pressure.
Are HVLP better than LVLP spray guns?
Trying to decide between these two is not necessary for most users as the difference is negligible and only really noticeable if you work in a specialist industry. HVLP spray guns work at a slightly higher pressure than LVLP.
Are HVLP spray guns actually any good?
There are many makes and models of HVLP spray guns on the market with numerous overwhelming positive reviews. Obviously it is down to personal preference but these positive reviews show faith and dependability in brands.
Can you spray polyurethane with HVLP guns?
In short, yes you can! Doing it with HVLP spray ghuns may even minimise how much paint you use.
What is the best HVLP spray gun on a budget?
There are numerous budget-friendly options for HVLP spray guns on the market that are known for their good quality. Highly recommended is the HomeRight C800971 Paint Sprayer.