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Just bought the Rockler system and have no experience with a HPLV system. I will attempt to spray on a General Finishes high performance water based top coat. My big question: if I wait about an hour between coats is it necessary to clean the spray gun after each use? If the temp is in the 70's but I keep the gun in the shade would I be ok letting it sit for an hour or so without cleaning?

Any other advise on using the gun will be much appreciated.
 

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You would be alright with an hour. Keep in mind that any finish will start to seperate as soon as you sit the gun down. It would be trivial at best in a hour but if you let it sit longer the finish would need to be stirred. If it is a gravity feed HVLP then the solids will go into the nozzle so you might loosely put your finger over the nozzle and pull the trigger blowing some air into the cup. This will serve to agitate it however don't do it if the cup is nearly full or it might blow finish on you. Just clean the gun as soon as possible when you get done and once in a while take the gun apart and soak the parts in lacquer thinner and clean them with a brush. I don't like to use a gun for paint and also for clear finishes. Once you put paint in a sprayer it seems like no matter how well you clean it some paint hides in the gun and comes out when you are spraying a clear finish on a piece of furniture. I had a gun I used for paint job I was doing on a regular basis and when the job was over I thoroughly cleaned the gun inside and out with paint and varnish remover. Then for the next several months I used the gun for clear finishes that were not important and thought I had it clean. Then ten years later I was using the gun to spray a table top and it spit out a speck of the green paint I had used in the gun so now I consider a gun ruined for clear finishes if paint is put in it. I use harbor freight sprayers and they are so cheap I keep one for sealer, one for topcoat, one for stain and another for paint.
 

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If the gun doesn't leak, it can sit for a while. I will clean the needle, tip, and cap before spraying again. The contents should be agitated, as it can separate.

If you don't have the budget for multiple guns, or only use one now and then, learn how to clean it. There are wrenches with multiple sizes that will fit any part of all guns. They are inexpensive, and available at most box stores, hardware and paint stores. If you can't find them, try an automotive paint and body type store.

Likewise, there are various size brushes and reams that can be used to clean the gun. If inordinate particles come out of your gun years later, the gun hasn't been cleaned or maintained properly.






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