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My wife has informed me that we're re-doing the house. This includes changing out 13 interior doors and replacing nearly all of the trim moulding throughout the entire house. Oh, she also wants the change to include white-painted wood rather than stained. I do not know whether she wants latex or oil-based paint but know that eventually I'll use both (if not on this project then the next one.)

I plan to do the painting and need help in choosing an HVLP system. I have the $200 Campbell Hausfeld 2-Stage HVLP but have never been satisfied with the results. Since I'll be doing a bit of volume (if I do well she is considering re-painting bathroom and kitchen cabinets) I want to upgrade my equipment and my skills.

I have come down to two main contenders: the Fuji Mini-Mite 4 and the Apollo ECO-4. I've read a lot of good reviews about the Fuji and the Apollo seems well-rated. On Amazon and at Rockler they're both going for about $750.

I am a hobbyist who likes to do a good, quality job. I intend to spray doors, cabinets, baseboard and moulding with latex and enamel paints. I also would like to spray stain to re-treat my grandchildren's cedar play set each spring.

Given these goals which unit should I buy?

While I'm bothering you for advice: since most of the time the jobs are small would a gravity-fed cup be smarter for me than a suction cup?

Thanks for the help.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Charles,
I am brand new here and don't have enough posts to PM yet. As soon as I can intelligently add to other threads I'll be able to get to you.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don,
Is that "Gpops" as in Grandpa? I'm just "Pops" to mine. I don't know how I acquired the handle but one day I was "Pops" and it stuck.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Affirmative. I read you on the spam issue. I've become quite an email filter craftsman in an effort to at least lessen the flow of junk into my inbox.

Thanks for helping out the new guy.

Greg
 

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I am also a hobbiest and have been doing renovations to my house.

I happen to have the Earlex Spray Station 6900. I got it about a year ago. I am happy with it although unimpressed with the friction-fit connector joining the hose to the gun. The Earlex hose is very light and flexible, which is very desirable, but don't step on it. If I had to do it again I would probably have gone for a Spray Port model if I went with Earlex. Having a bit more pressure from the turbine might be nice in some situations, and having a non-bleeder gun might also be nice.

I have been very pleased spraying General Finishes Enduro undercoat & pigmented poly on cabinets and doors. Probably most HVLP systems will spray this well. GF suggested a coat of Enduro clear, but this changed the color from bright white to a yellow white. I am very happy with the white pigmented poly without the clear coat.

I have had mixed results spraying latex with HVLP. Here is where a beefier turbine may make a difference. Interior latex will spray if thinned. I haven't yet tried Flotrol. It goes slow and there seems to be more overspray. On trim I got better results than I usually get with a brush. But I am also going to try adding Flotrol and brushing.

If you are spraying "on site" and not in a shop space, there is a lot of work involved in protecting the space from overspray. It gets better after you've done it a couple of times, but it is still significant. If Flotrol and a brush works almost as good as spray, that will likely become my preferred method for painting trim in most situations.

I also got a Graco airless sprayer last year. Those things spit out latex paint fast and furious. Lots of overspray. During my kitchen renovation before cabinet installation I sprayed 3 gallons of primer in probably an hour or less. With a short extension spraying the ceiling worked great also. Even so, I used a roller on the walls.
 

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I also suggest you get a Mirka sanding block with a vacuum attachment and a full assortment of "sandpaper" for it. Just a few strokes between coats can really improve the final result, especially when using the GF Enduro products.
 

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I sprayed latex (Valspar Signature) using my HF HVLP over the summer on my dresser upcycle project. I'm sure I completely violated any rules regarding the amount of water/Floetrol to thin with. I also used the biggest needle I included (1.8mm or 2.0mm). Overall a big learning experience and not something I would want to do regularly. The GF paint on the other hand worked great. Only minimal thinning (maybe 5%) and no Floetrol was required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I told my wife that I had posted on LumberJocks and was getting good information and help on equipment and paint. I said that after reading a lot of posts on the board we shouldn't use latex but lacquer because it would spray better.

Rolling her eyes, (she is an interior designer) my wife informed me that I will be using SW ProClassic acrylic paint. I said "Acrylic, I meant acrylic not lacquer." I told her that General Finishes is highly praised here and she replied that if I can source it I can use it.

I will be setting up a temporary booth in my garage to do the painting. This way I'll be able to set up drying racks for the trim and I plan to suspend the doors from the ceiling. Still learning…thanks to everyone on the board for the help.

Greg
 

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Do you know how many stages my compresser driven HVLP gun has? About 120.
No limit to the output. You can dial it in just how you like it.
A woodcraft gun sells for $40. A nice Porter Cable PSH1 with pressure regulator is around $100.
http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1750
After getting nice off-the-gun finishes with this setup for years, I'm not sure why anyone would pay more.

As far as staining the play set… get a $10 Harbor Freight HVLP gun. Dedicate that one to stain-only.

Good luck with whatever you choose. With the description of your wife you provided, you'll need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good luck with whatever you choose. With the description of your wife you provided, you ll need it.

- pintodeluxe
She's not that bad (and very cute)! She is just a pro in her field and wants the job done right, especially when it is her own house.
I sprayed a cabinet with the aforementioned CH sprayer and the job didn't turn out too well. I blame the equipment for only part of it which is why, before embarking on the new projects, I have come here.
 

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Rolling her eyes, (she is an interior designer) my wife informed me that I will be using SW ProClassic acrylic paint.
Yup. That is the product I am using on my trim. I did spray it with some success and will be trying it again, along with adding Flotrol and brushing. Some of the expensive SW products level quite nicely; I have seen imperfections in the wet film that were gone once the paint was dry. Harmony interior paint and Emerald exterior paint do not level at all in my experience; what you see in the fresh wet film you will see in the dry finish.

But I think the GF Enduro white poly produces a distinctly nicer finish. I have it on two interior doors (which are now off-white because they got the clear coat that did not come out perfectly clear), a bathroom cabinet, and the new fiberglass back door (or it will be the back door once I install it this weekend). Use the undercoat, sand between coats (maybe only 2 or 3 strokes) and the result can be very nice without a lot of fussing or headache. She may have a point; getting the GF product may not be painless. Woodcraft was willing to order what I wanted.

SW apparently has products specifically for cabinets which (as I recall) is more like a pigmented poly or lacquer but even after several calls to various parts of the company I couldn't find a way to buy any. The retail stores didn't know what I was talking about and the commercial products contact was not much better. There is now a SW commercial products store not far from the Woodcraft store (SW Houston) that I might try next time.
 
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