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post #1 of 22 Old 03-19-2017, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Spray painting advice

Hi DIY folks. Need some help deciding on spray painting equipment. I'm deciding between:

Wagner HVLP Flexio 890

Harbor Freight 10 gallon compressor
Harbor Freight HVLP gun
Water and Oil separator
Hoses, connectors, etc


Both will be about the same total cost. I'm sure both will do fine with stains and top coats. I'm wondering more about how well they handle household paints and primers. The first project I'd want to use this for is spraying a pair of 893's, but then other DIY stuff like dressers, end tables, fences, etc.

Any advice? Thanks!
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-19-2017, 01:51 PM
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Get a separate compressor rig. That way you'll have it to use for the dozens of things that you can't do without one.
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-19-2017, 10:59 PM
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Hi
If your in the US give these guys a call , they look like they could hook you up with the right gear .

In Australia a good place to try for one off projects were trade schools . The apprentices can get their modules ticked off and their work is checked by the trade teachers . Good prices on job's .

http://www.spraygunworld.com/

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post #4 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 06:28 AM
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How nice of a finish do you want? Spray painting with cheap stuff and small compressors is do-able but results in a poor finish.
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oval56 View Post
Hi
If your in the US give these guys a call , they look like they could hook you up with the right gear .

In Australia a good place to try for one off projects were trade schools . The apprentices can get their modules ticked off and their work is checked by the trade teachers . Good prices on job's .

http://www.spraygunworld.com/

Cheers
Mal
Oh my gosh, you've found a time machine to the late 90's!

Seriously though, their website is hard to navigate but I'll check em out.

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How nice of a finish do you want? Spray painting with cheap stuff and small compressors is do-able but results in a poor finish.
Hm, very? It's hard to quantify. I guess all that I can really say is that I don't want the quality of components to be the limiting factor. I'm new to spraying, but am patient and ready to learn on a lot of test pieces before diving in to the real projects. In what I am considering, what do you think the limiting piece would be?

With the compressor set-up, is it the quality of gun, power of the compressor, size of the tank, or all of the above that you think would be lacking?
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post
With the compressor set-up, is it the quality of gun, power of the compressor, size of the tank, or all of the above that you think would be lacking?
I've got four Harbor Freight guns, from airbrush to hopper, all work fine. The compressor size isn't much of an issue for painting. Where you need a lot of capacity is for high usage power tools, like impact wrenches and sanders.
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 12:40 PM
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The main thing is to not get water condensing in your paint when you're spraying so avoid the compressor running 100% and getting hot. And use a separator. The power of the compressor is probably the limiting thing. Go on painting forums and every guy there will swear that you literally can't paint with less than a 240V 6HP 30 gallon compressor.
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 01:23 PM
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Go on painting forums and every guy there will swear that you literally can't paint with less than a 240V 6HP 30 gallon compressor.
When they come here they will swear that you literally can't do HT with less than a dozen 18" subs.
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post #9 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 02:17 PM
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your limited to the cfm requirements of the gun and the output of the compressor.
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 03:46 PM
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Going to need a good regulator for HVLP. Also will need a tank bleed to remove excess moisture from the tank...something like:
https://www.amazon.com/Compressor-Va.../dp/B00BBZGWIC

After a few cycles of the compressor you'll have a solid 1/2 cup or more of water in the tank depending on RH and temp. I have tried a few of the 'inline water separators' and they havent really done much.
I ended up getting a big Rand digital dryer but before that I found just keeping the excess water out of the tank was more effective than the inline separators.


~JH
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post #11 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 04:51 PM
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I installed a compressor, refrigerated dryer , separators ,etc. for a dental lab--

clean dry air a must . .

replaced the drain valve with a unit that spit with every recharge cycle of the tank.

check with Grainger

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post #12 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 07:20 PM
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I found just keeping the excess water out of the tank was more effective than the inline separators.
You have to do both, not just one or the other. The act of compressing air causes a build up of moisture in the tank. While you're working you need to remove it from the air line with a separator. When you're done for the day you need to open the valve in the bottom of the tank to allow what's condensed in it to drain.

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post #13 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassment View Post
The main thing is to not get water condensing in your paint when you're spraying so avoid the compressor running 100% and getting hot. And use a separator. The power of the compressor is probably the limiting thing. Go on painting forums and every guy there will swear that you literally can't paint with less than a 240V 6HP 30 gallon compressor.
They are pretty much right, I spray every single day, 4-5 times a day. You never want your compressor starting in the middle of a job, unless you have a huge one (like huge shop compressor)because you'll loose pressure at the tip and it will change your finish. You could get away with a 20 gallon if your only doing small things but once you start spraying at 25lbs pressure, it takes a lot of air. Plus the price difference is worth getting the bigger ones.

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post #14 of 22 Old 03-20-2017, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Get a separate compressor rig. That way you'll have it to use for the dozens of things that you can't do without one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassment View Post
How nice of a finish do you want? Spray painting with cheap stuff and small compressors is do-able but results in a poor finish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
I've got four Harbor Freight guns, from airbrush to hopper, all work fine. The compressor size isn't much of an issue for painting. Where you need a lot of capacity is for high usage power tools, like impact wrenches and sanders.
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The main thing is to not get water condensing in your paint when you're spraying so avoid the compressor running 100% and getting hot. And use a separator. The power of the compressor is probably the limiting thing. Go on painting forums and every guy there will swear that you literally can't paint with less than a 240V 6HP 30 gallon compressor.

What Bill said. I have used HF spray guns for years. I get the dual package big gun and mini gun. They will last a year or three depending on usage.

Compressor size is only an issue for how long you are spraying. You can spray a panel and wait for compressor to recharge.

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post #15 of 22 Old Yesterday, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
They are pretty much right, I spray every single day, 4-5 times a day. You never want your compressor starting in the middle of a job, unless you have a huge one (like huge shop compressor)because you'll loose pressure at the tip and it will change your finish. You could get away with a 20 gallon if your only doing small things but once you start spraying at 25lbs pressure, it takes a lot of air. Plus the price difference is worth getting the bigger ones.
Yes I tend to agree with that, but it is definitely "doable" with small stuff it just results in a crappy paint job.

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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
You have to do both, not just one or the other. The act of compressing air causes a build up of moisture in the tank. While you're working you need to remove it from the air line with a separator. When you're done for the day you need to open the valve in the bottom of the tank to allow what's condensed in it to drain.
Yeah draining the compressor won't get the all of the moisture out. That's the thing with small underpowered compressors. They heat up the air they are compressing so there is a significant amount of moisture stuck in the air when it's warm. Especially if it's warm and humid out. Atmospheric pressure is about 15 psi, and if your compressor is 150 psi then you're going to have 10 times as much water in your compressor as the outside air has. And when the compressed air is hot the dew point is really high so a ton of the moisture stays in the air. So you have to drain what's condensing and also separate the moisture from the lines as you spray it and it flashes out. That's also why some people will run like 100 ft of copper lines out of their compressor so the air cools and they can drain most of the moisture out before using a final separator to get the last tiny bit out.

If you have hot air coming right to your gun the water just flashes out as you spray the paint and it results in a terrible finish

So the way you can paint "fine" with a small compressor is to only be painting extremely small sections at a time so your compressor is only cycling a handful of times at max. And if you have a small compressor on a large tank, you can fill the tank up and let it sit for a while and then drain it, so the air can cool in the tank and you can paint a fair amount with a 30 gallon supply built up before it gets too warm.
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post #16 of 22 Old Yesterday, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help everyone!

From what I'm learning through this thread and various articles online, keeping the air dry and free from moisture and oil is the highest priority. It's an issue inherent to the way compressors function. Looking into ways of ensuring the air stays completely dry and making sure the compressor is large enough to keep the CFM I would need while not cycling all the time may drive the cost up higher than I'm wanting to go.

So then this brings me to the small HVLP turbine driven systems. Since they are powered by turbines, the moisture buildup is not a concern. Does anyone have any experience using a 2-stage turbine HVLP kit like this one here?
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I never liked the two stage turbines. I thought they were underpowered. You can move up to the three to five stage turbines. It will cost you some money. They are more mobile and easier to move around.

While these guys are discouraging you from buying anything under a $3k compressor, my guess is you aren't looking for a finish that will win a best in show at Pebble Beach. If you are, then I would say take it to a body shop and don't waste your money on equipment.

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post #18 of 22 Old Today, 01:41 AM
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What are some decent 2 stage and 3 stage HVLP setups that are good performers and yet won't break the bank? Perhaps something under $500?

I have heard good things about the Earlex 5500. From what I have read, it is the best HVLP system for the money it cost, so do you guys agree with that? What about Rocklers little $100+ dollar unit?
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post #19 of 22 Old Today, 06:08 AM
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I never liked the two stage turbines. I thought they were underpowered. You can move up to the three to five stage turbines. It will cost you some money. They are more mobile and easier to move around.

While these guys are discouraging you from buying anything under a $3k compressor, my guess is you aren't looking for a finish that will win a best in show at Pebble Beach. If you are, then I would say take it to a body shop and don't waste your money on equipment.
Not really, you can just buy two used 20 gallon compressors for like $100 each and connect them together. Or you can find a used 240V one for like $300 bucks. A drier is like $50 and a separator for the gun is less than $10.
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post #20 of 22 Old Today, 09:46 AM
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Figure in the right safety equipment for yourself, and anyone near you if you intend to go anywhere near LPU.
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post #21 of 22 Old Today, 10:10 AM
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While these guys are discouraging you from buying anything under a $3k compressor, my guess is you aren't looking for a finish that will win a best in show at Pebble Beach.
I'm not. I have one of these:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-8-G...813A/206470729

Over the course of twenty or so years I've used it to finish a few dozen speakers with DuraTex, build said cabinets using a brad shooter, shingle my house, garage and workshop using a nail gun, and paint a car, among other things. The only thing it won't handle is high CFM volume tools, in my case a sander and an impact wrench. For those you'd want at least 3HP, like this, and it's nowhere near $3k:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-60-...602H/205389936

What that can't handle you don't need to do.

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post #22 of 22 Old Today, 05:58 PM
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I'm not. I have one of these:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-8-G...813A/206470729

Over the course of twenty or so years I've used it to finish a few dozen speakers with DuraTex, build said cabinets using a brad shooter, shingle my house, garage and workshop using a nail gun, and paint a car, among other things. The only thing it won't handle is high CFM volume tools, in my case a sander and an impact wrench. For those you'd want at least 3HP, like this, and it's nowhere near $3k:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-60-...602H/205389936

What that can't handle you don't need to do.
I am right there with you. I bought this one last year to replace my old 20 gal compressor. Runs like a champ.


http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-20-...201H/206189626

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