Well, it's like this.
I used the original CS for some time, and thinned the paint considerably to do so. I achieved almost glass smooth finishes....but I also managed to encounter a few instances of Runs and sagging in the process. Over a short time I realized I had to use a technique with widely overlapping Finish coats applied at a reasonably quick speed to avoid such torment.
Then Came the "Plus"...or rather a even more robust version sold in Australia. I found that one waiting for me there, pre-purchased by a New A/V Dealer. I did cart my own CS with me, but the New Dealer was going to have to make due with the bigger Wagner anyway, so I tried it.
It delivered so much pressure the Gun actually had a degree of recoil when the trigger was depressed. The spray pattern was at least 14" tall! I was overjoyed at how quickly it got the first coat on a 110" Light Fusion Mirror screen done. Say, like well under a minute!
Yes, I was tickled pink.......until I came back 10 minutes later and saw a veritable waterfall of 12" long runs cascading down the entire length of the Screen.
In fact, several layers of them, each representing an individually painted horizontal row.
I felt first like a complete idjit...then I got depressed because I had traveled almost 9000 miles and it looked pretty hopeless to get much of anything worthwhile accomplished. Australian Beer is good...but it's no compensation when one is considering slashing one's own wrists!
But I settled down and reasoned it out. I "washed" the paint Mirror off, and went at it again, this time increasing my distance out to 14"-16" and moving at 3' sec.
The "Duster" coat was born!
Then I thought..."Hey...why is this thing such a "Dump Gun" of a HVLP? I then noticed that the size of the needle tip was MUCH larger. Where the original CS came almost to a barely blunted point, the CS-Fine Spray looked like the end of a slightly used Crayon !
I noted that the Front End connected just the same way as my own CS, so I exchanged them...and what a difference!
But even then I had to still allow for the extra pressure...and not go nearly as slowly as I had to with the original CS.
I came home, bought a CS-Plus, another CS Front End Kit (...I left my other one in AU for the Dealer to use....) and from that point on counseled anyone interested in purchasing a "Plus" to also get the older Front End Kit.
That worked out well until the Double Duty came out, then Wagner discontinued the original FIK, and started phasing out the original CS as well.
So there it is...the History of the Wagner CS as lived by MississippiMan.
Now back to the present.
- Using the original CS, you must add water until you approach almost 30% water to Paint mix volume. That's a lot...but required to get the pattern up to 12" from 14" away.
- At that viscosity, it becomes required to move no slower than 2' per second when applying a "Finish Coat".
- With the CS-Plus, water content can be less by about 25% (24 0z max)
- You must "Duster" any surface first...preferably at least 2x before trying to apply a "Finish level" coating. And "Finish Level" coatings still need to be applied at 2' per second from 12" -14", or 1' per second from 16"
- When you are getting a 12" tall pattern, a 60%-70% overlap means you only drop the Gun down 4" to start another row.
- Using the Original FIK on a CS-Plus only means you will have a smoother finish, more Glassy-like...rather than it looking like a Finish Foam Roller applied coat.
- The Graco (No Name) only requires that you apply the paint with the same procedure as you do using a CS-Plus or DD. Only with the Graco, you can get/exchange needle sizes.
The CS-Double Duty can do an excellent job used under the aforementioned parameters.
If you get the Original CS...you must instead thin the paint almost more than you think reasonable, and then practice to see how much and how well it's laying down. That is the only safe way to go about it. But without a doubt, the original CS is a good choice to use...so if that is your choice, you'll get a fine screen for the effort.
All in all, using any version of the Electric HVLP Guns represents a far less expensive proposition than standard HVLP rigs. And in any case, with the conventional Rigs, you still must thin the paints, and use 1.5mm needles if at all possible. I started out using 2.2mm needles with my big rig, and 45 psi at the Gun. I DID NOT thin the paint at all. So my first screens had a very "Sand Papery" texture.
If you spray from too far away, and/or move too fast, that is what kind of finish you will wind up with as well. It's not really desirable even if it looks perfect, mostly because the surface will not suffer any cleaning well. Wiping or rubbing can and will smooth out the texture and leave you with a "shiny spot" that while not noticeable when projecting an image, is quite apparent when the Screen is viewed under room lighting.
No matter what Gun you use, there exists a method in which to use it properly for the application. And practice does help to make perfect.