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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading for hours! Reviews of hvlp, turbine, airless, etc sprayers. Can anyone with experience please advise me what would work best for me. What I do is restore vintage furniture. Yes I use paint. Please don't throw stuff at me,,,,I don't paint over beautiful wood antiques. I refinish the wood in that case. Think 1960-70's big chunky wood (sometimes fake wood) dressers. Now imagine them in brightly colored enamel (cant use lacquer here). I like to use SW enamel or BM Advance or Aura paint , usually in a semi-gloss. Sometimes I use Behr latex ( I know,,stop throwing stuff at me:icon_cheesygrin:) I also use Deft acrylic top coats.
So, question is,,,"What would be the best sprayer for me without spending tons? Up until now I have been brushing everything, but these big dressers (I also do mid century furniture. Usually two-tone where I paint half and refinish the wood on half) take a lot of time to brush. I'm good at it, but it's time consuming. Also, brushing on the top coat just isn't working anymore. I want to start spraying my top coats.

So,,,,a sprayer that works for top coat acrylic finishes and one that works for paint. I do have a compressor but I would rather use a turbine over that. I know that airless is better for the latex. Just wondering what you guys would recommend based on what I do.
I work out of my garage that is full of projects waiting to be finished.

to give you an idea, here are some of the projects I do for customers: All of these were brushed and took forever!
 

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First thing, those really do look nice! Well done. As for sprayers: often folks ask about something keeping cost in mind. But "tons" isn't a very useful description of what you expect to spend so I'll offer this. Your gun should at least have different available tips sets (cap sets, needle sets, projector sets, they have several names). A lot of paints will require the larger set, say a 2.4MM orifice.....but some may spray well with a smaller set, in the 1.5MM-1.7MM range. I've sprayed acrylics with a 1.4MM tip. Generally a turbine that will spray the thicker paints will need to be a 4 stage, though I suppose a 3 stage may work. Best to pick a unit or 2 and then ask specific questions about spraying the particular paint. A conversion gun will cost a lot less, and work very well. You might even consider starting with one, and go to a turbine later. As for the turbine, the cost goes up with the number of stages. As far as I know, they are generally sold with a gun, so while you may be able to reapply a gun you have it might not be necessary. The turbines blow really warm air, which may effect the finish; it can be a little problematic with shellacs and lacquers, but most of stuff works fine. I started with the Wagner conversion gun, and now have a Fuji 4 stage turbine. I still use both (hobby use only). One other thing, you might want to pick up a book...I like Jeff Jewitt's Spray Finishing Made Simple, but I'm sure there are others that are good as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have that conversion gun set up. I spayed a top coat with that. Have only used it once. Guess I'll have to play around with it to see if I like it.
Thanks!!
 

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I think unless you have quite a bit of experience with spraying paint you will would have a lot of trouble with an airless. They put out so much volume of paint it's easy to get runs in it. Since you like Sherwin Williams enamels I would suggest you look into using quick dry enamel. It would spray a lot better for you and dries to touch a lot quicker. It's closer to rattle can enamel. If you are just getting acquainted with spraying paint either a hvlp with the cup on the bottom or siphon sprayer would probably be easier for you. The gravity feed hvlp sprayers are fine for spraying something out in the open like a car but get cumbersome spraying inside of cabinets.
 

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With latex paint prefer my airless, I have always had a hard time getting latex to atomize well with an air gun. Next time youare at sherwin williams ask them what gun and tip to use. I usually use proclassic and I think its a .313 fine finish tip. Just remember to go light coats to build it up and a good even top coat
 

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I just picked up the Earlex 5500. Going to lose its virginity tomorrow. I tried to get a conversation going on tip sizes but no one posted.

I have an HVLP gun that works off my compressor but with the small size of the compressor it worked pretty hard trying to keep up. But it worked quite well spraying white lacquer. I'm not an expert by any means, but I may become one by default.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thats one of the ones I was considering. The Earlex 5500. Let me know what you think after you "break her in" . :laughing:

I had a cheapy Command Max that I used once. It was ok. But it fell off the shelf and shattered the top part. I taped it back together but then suddenly it would spray.Seemed like it kept getting clogged. I probably didn't thin the paint enough.
 

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I have a graco airless for the house paint. I am told you can get a fine finish tip for it. Have not tried it. As it takes a half a gallon of paint from intake to tip I am looking for smaller sprayers as well. As I understand it the paints need to be thinned quite a bit and the labels all say do not thin. Perhaps some one here can shed some light on the subject.

The Earlex says it will spray paint well but I am skeptical. The guys at Woodsmith Store like it. Fuji is supposed to be good.

You paint jobs look great.
 

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Critter

I'm not sure how it would work on paint but I bagged all my complicated sprayers in favor of a Canadian-made "Critter". For my uses it fills the bill. I love the fact it is a venturi-action feed so doesn't need the constant cleaning. I can mix up lacquer/thinner mixes or whatever ahead of time in pint jars and keep loading them as they empty. If I only use a portion of the pint I can spray the rest in a day or two. I clean the draw tube maybe every fifth pint.

I think they run about $40.

TonyM
 

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Hackberry said:
I have a graco airless for the house paint. I am told you can get a fine finish tip for it. Have not tried it. As it takes a half a gallon of paint from intake to tip I am looking for smaller sprayers as well. As I understand it the paints need to be thinned quite a bit and the labels all say do not thin. Perhaps some one here can shed some light on the subject.

The Earlex says it will spray paint well but I am skeptical. The guys at Woodsmith Store like it. Fuji is supposed to be good.

You paint jobs look great.
I have just used my 5500 once. Today. It's powerful and easy to use. I'm sure it will spray paint well. I'm spraying lacquer with a 1.5 tip. Could have gone with a 1.0 because I'm not that good at spraying and I like to thin it down.

All the cans of paint and varnish say "Do not thin". It just the stupid government trying to make their regs work out on the low VOC bull pucky. Not too long ago I took home a can and thinned it down then went out and sprayed it over an old Obama Hope and Change sign.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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I have a graco airless for the house paint. I am told you can get a fine finish tip for it. Have not tried it. As it takes a half a gallon of paint from intake to tip I am looking for smaller sprayers as well. As I understand it the paints need to be thinned quite a bit and the labels all say do not thin. Perhaps some one here can shed some light on the subject.

The Earlex says it will spray paint well but I am skeptical. The guys at Woodsmith Store like it. Fuji is supposed to be good.

You paint jobs look great.
This topic (latex through an Earlex 5500) is being discussed at length on another forum. A poster named Earlextech (apparently an Earlex employee) answered that very question with this response (copy and paste):

"The first thing is that the 5500 is rated at 160 seconds. Meaning that anything thicker than that is not sprayable by the tool. We do not suggest a perfect viscosity for latex because they vary so much and there are so many different kinds. So here’s what I want you to do. Put your finger over the hole in the viscosity cup. Fill the cup with water, dump that into the gun, then fill with paint. Stir with the paddle mixer for two full minutes (will seem eternal). No Floetrol for wall painting, only for fine finish on wood (trim). Now if you are painting a wall (there are better ways) and you want a roller texture, stick with the 2.0mm needle. If you don’t want a roller texture put the 1.5mm needle in the gun. If the wall already has a roller texture, that is never going away.
10” is the farthest you will ever hold an HVLP gun from the project. You were there the entire time you were spraying. I would only be that far away if I were spraying a stucco wall or a rough sawn fence. For drywall I would be about 7”-8” max and for a finer finish be at 6”. “Unless I got closer” – you’re exactly right.
Also, of course, Charles is right, you had the fluid flow knob open too far. The air flow is a constant and if overloaded with fluid it can’t atomize it all. It will atomize what it can and then spit the rest. When you’re getting spit, cut down on the fluid flow.
You bought the 5500 for the right reasons (to paint trim) and then you did the worst project you can do with an HVLP. Painted a wall. Now, I’ve painted my entire house with the 5500, but just to prove it could be done. Not because it’s what HVLP was meant for. I would roll my walls but do the cutting in with the 5500 using a shield. This way you match the stipples of the roller, instead of using a brush and creating lines that you then have to overwork to get rid of. A bedroom that would take me 45 minutes to cut in with a brush I can do in about 15 with the sprayer, perfectly.
There is no “ideal” viscosity for anything because there are too many variations. Temperature, humidity, different thinners, different sprayers, different people spraying, all of these things and more contribute to the “ideal”. You can only find “ideal” for you, with that sprayer, with that particular coating and thinning, on that day. That is why I always say, find a finish and a supplier you like and stick with it. Don’t mix different companies materials."

The "160 seconds" reference is referring to a # 4 viscosity cup, if that isn't clear.
 

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I've been spraying with my 5500 for two days now. I believe it would spray Crisco if you put it in it. Lots of power. For me I have been spraying lacquer. Can't say it's any better than my HVLP conversion gun.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not too long ago I took home a can and thinned it down then went out and sprayed it over an old Obama Hope and Change sign.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.[/QUOTE]


LMFAO. That's the best thing I've read on here!:notworthy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Talespin: Thank you. Maybe you can appreciate this one after I show you the before shot of this classic midcentury piece. A lot of times this is what I work with. I tried saving the top, but it was too bowed from getting wet (the owner had used it as an ironing center for decades)
I replaced it with pine. Tried to match the wood but neither I nor the guy at the lumberyard could figure out what it was. Anyone else??
I used SW proclassic enamel for the first time on this one. I brushed it.
I used a spray gloss white enamel for the legs and rail on the bottom.
However, I just discovered General Finishes oil base wipe on top coat. OMG. Where has that been all my life??! Amazing. Does anyone know if I could use that over acrylic or enamel paint?? Maybe I won't need the sprayer.
 

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