HVLP setup

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 04-20-2016 08:48 PM 2399 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4551 days

04-20-2016 08:48 PM

I’m thinking about buying the Harbor Freight Professional HVLP (68843), I’ve read some really good reviews for what it costs. However it requires 12-15 CFM @ 40 PSI.

My compressor is really small. Only an 8 Gal, with 5 CFM @ 40PSI. Of course this is too small of a compressor. My question is, could I still run this gun on this compressor, and just wait for the compressor to catch up? (I’m only doing small paint jobs – cabinet doors). Or will the gun simply not work well because my compressor doesn’t produce enough CFM, no matter how small of job i have?

When the gun doesn’t get the CFM it requires, does that mean it won’t atomize as well, and therefore won’t have as smooth/nice of a finish?

....or should i just skip all this fuss, and buy an Earlex 5500?....

Thanks :)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

9 replies so far

View TMGStudioFurniture's profile


55 posts in 2278 days

#1 posted 04-20-2016 09:02 PM

I’ve used this one with an 8 gal compressor and it worked fine. I sprayed oil paint with it – I don’t think I’ve tried it with latex. It’s LVLP (low volume low pressure) as opposed to the HVLP (high volume low pressure) one you linked to.


View SouthernRustic's profile


25 posts in 2225 days

#2 posted 04-20-2016 09:03 PM

essentially it must have that amount of air to work properly. HVLP guns vary from 7-10+. It also depends on air nozzle size. the larger the tip the more air it will need. some issues you will encounter is inconsistent fan patter, spitting, dripping, rough finish, etc. make sure you clean it very well before you use it the first time. The HF guns are loaded with heavy lubricant. I currently use the cheap purple one only for satin clear poly. it comes with a 1.4 and works sufficiently for the rustic projects that i do. just remember if your little air compressor is running (filling with air) you should not be spraying.

Hope this helps.

-- Jeff

View pintodeluxe's profile


6543 posts in 4272 days

#3 posted 04-20-2016 09:51 PM

Gravity feed guns are fantastic. Try it out. If you need a bigger compressor down the road, so be it. A mid sized compressor is great to have in the shop.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2275 days

#4 posted 04-21-2016 01:01 AM

If its a bleeder type sprayer, you will need every bit of the air specified. I have a non-bleeder, syphon feed, Wagner conversion gun and it works okay with my Porter cable 3 gallon compressor if I let it catch up. I don’t like to do that and use my big compressor instead most of the time.

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2977 days

#5 posted 04-21-2016 07:10 AM

I use the cheap purple guns from HF as well, the website says it consumes 6 scfm. They work fine with small compressors but you can not spray much before you need to stop and wait for the tank to run. The gun will operate correctly when the tank is filled. The pump on your compressor will not be able to keep up to spray continuously.

The purple ones have a coupon right now for $9.99. You could buy one of them and do some test spraying to see if you are happy with the results.

View MrUnix's profile


8999 posts in 3658 days

#6 posted 04-21-2016 08:10 AM

+1 on the purple HF guns for $10… bought one years ago as a throw away and never did – now it’s my go to gun and my expensive ones sit on the shelf. You won’t be able to spray a car all in one shot, but for your purpose, it will work just fine – average 6cfm @40 psi.


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

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4551 days

#7 posted 04-22-2016 01:08 AM

No, I’m not talking about the purple gun. I’m talking about model number 66843. Its their 20 Professional HVLP. Costs about $69.00

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4551 days

#8 posted 04-22-2016 01:12 AM

However, I decided to not even try it. My compressor doesn’t even come close to 15CFM, so it probably won’t work that great. On top of that, my immediate need is to spray 100% acrylic primer/paint.

I bit the bullet and went and bought the Graco ProShot2. Let me tell you….what an amazing painter. I got it from S-Williams. Typically it runs $542, but was on sale for $399. On top of the sale, there was another promotion with two extra tip sizes ($150 value), and on top of that, a mail in rebate for a free 3rd battery ($60 value).

I was a little skeptical at first that it could put down a nice smooth coat of primer and paint (for some cabinet doors i’m refinishing), however it was perfect! No need to thin the primer or paint. Gun didn’t sputter or have any troubles what so ever. Sprayed almost a glass smooth finish on to the cabinet doors! I will post some pictures later.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View waho6o9's profile


9194 posts in 4036 days

#9 posted 04-22-2016 02:50 AM

Great news Doc, congrats!

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