All Replies on Need help choosing a spay gun

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View Carya's profile

Need help choosing a spay gun

by Carya
posted 05-28-2016 12:35 AM

18 replies so far

View Kirk650's profile


709 posts in 1718 days

#1 posted 05-28-2016 01:03 AM

The purists may scream, but I’ve gotten good use from my assortment of Harbor Freight spray guns – siphon and gravity type. I have one for each type finish, since I don’t want to mess with settings that work. Took me a while to find good settings for each liquid,

And yes, I’d love to have some really nice spray gear, for even better finishes, but truth is that I’m doing Ok.

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

337 posts in 3018 days

#2 posted 05-28-2016 09:03 AM

+1 on the Harbor Freight spray guns. They also have a variety of sizes and for the the money you say you’re willing to spend, you could get every single one and have money leftover to buy the whole lineup again if it breaks. I like the automotive detail gun they sell. I don’t find them flimsy at all.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View Tennessee's profile


2922 posts in 3484 days

#3 posted 05-28-2016 11:20 AM

+2 on the Harbor Freight guns, especially the gravity fed purple one that can be had with a coupon for about $9.99. I own three of them, and have pushed everything from thinned lacquer to water based heavy colored stain for outdoor flower boxes a customer ordered.
I also have the detail gun they have, and it is every bit as good as the Husky that is sold for about $50.

Best thing…if it goofs up or you drop it, you are only out $9.99, not $150.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 2106 days

#4 posted 05-28-2016 04:35 PM

I wouldn’t spray waterlox, it’s a slow drying finish and the first coat should be absorbed into the wood.
You’re better off brushing it on. If you insist on spraying, then spray shellac as the first coat to seal it, then apply the WL Marine on top.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2977 days

#5 posted 05-28-2016 05:29 PM

I had to chuckle at the title. My first thought was “Why shoot the dog? Just have her fixed!”

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Kirk650's profile


709 posts in 1718 days

#6 posted 05-28-2016 06:45 PM

Just for info, I’ve found that a foam brush works great with Waterlox. That has become my favored application method. I have heard of folks spraying it,,but I haven’t tried.

View OSU55's profile


2713 posts in 2959 days

#7 posted 05-28-2016 07:04 PM

Have to agree a foam brush, or just a sponge, is the best way to apply something like waterlox. It’s design to be a very thin film finish. The 1st coat is wiped fairly dry after being allowed to absorb into the wood.

View kroginold's profile


64 posts in 2018 days

#8 posted 05-29-2016 03:28 AM

I would recommend the Critter spray gun. It is good for most finishes, though not so good for thicker materials. It uses regular mason jars that you can just cap off and store the finish in. You can buy a third party tube set on Amazon to use smaller jars for small projects. You can buy it from Highland Woodworking or on Amazon. There is a cheaper knock off brand on Amazon that may not work with standard mason jars so beware of this

View Wondermutt's profile


69 posts in 1826 days

#9 posted 05-29-2016 05:03 AM

Finex 1000. Have a few of the these and never had any issues.

I also have the HF guns mentioned and they work ok. Good guns if you are not up to through cleanings.

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3594 days

#10 posted 05-29-2016 05:28 AM

+1 with kroginold. Love my critter. I mostly spray brushing lacquer. The critter excels with lacquer.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View ChefHDAN's profile


1792 posts in 3819 days

#11 posted 05-29-2016 10:49 AM

+3 for HF, have had the little $20 gun & 11 gallon compressor for the past 8 years or so and once dialed in on scrap I have gotten very good results. I’m about to build new doors and drawer fronts for the kitchen & baths, looked at the Earlex and Fuji systems an decided to do a topic search here in LJ. Best advice was from A1Jim who pointed out that a decent gun with plenty of air will give great results, so instead of $400 for the Earlex, I found a 30 gallon cast iron compressor on Craigslist and got a larger $65 gun from to spray the latex all for $265 and the compressor will get much more use than the Earlex would have.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View skatefriday's profile


487 posts in 2452 days

#12 posted 05-29-2016 02:56 PM

This is clearly a question for :-)

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4547 days

#13 posted 05-29-2016 03:10 PM

I have 40 years of spraying behind me and find that a good finish can be applied with inexpensive guns,I too use the $20 HF guns.


View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 3432 days

#14 posted 05-29-2016 05:03 PM

50 bucks most for the gun, because the real quality comes from setting it up correctly. Also, why not use a finish that is designed for spraying and an outdoor application? I assume some of the finish manufacturers of a catalyze do product with UV additives that is a much kinder to spray. I have no idea, but it might warrant some research and you may get an overall better product in the end.

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)


6347 posts in 3279 days

#15 posted 05-29-2016 06:18 PM

If you’re a Charlies Neil fan here are some link to what he says about spray guns.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4840 days

#16 posted 05-29-2016 06:28 PM

While I do have a “FEW” spray guns and turbine systems, the higher end guns are better, however, I use a Harbor freight all the time, they work decently. They are certainly a good place to start.

View MrUnix's profile


8356 posts in 3169 days

#17 posted 05-29-2016 06:43 PM

Another +1 for the purple HVLP gun from HF. Currently on sale, so can be had for a bit less than $13 – or wait a bit and they can be had for $9.99 with a super coupon. I’ve seen the exact same gun (same casting number, tip size, etc…) being sold at other places, like the auto parts store, for upwards of $70.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Carya's profile


10 posts in 3146 days

#18 posted 06-01-2016 01:25 AM

Thanks for all your help. You’ve given me lots more to think about and research. The end result will be a much better finish I can be happy with rather than being stuck with another expensive learning curve mistake. And to JoeinGa – I went to college in South Carolina and love the southern wit. Yours was a very clever response to my misspelling. Thanks I needed a laugh.

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