3hp/60 gal 12.6 CFM @40 PSI; 11.3 @90 - Enough to spray stains?

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Forum topic by e_dogg posted 02-02-2018 12:06 PM 1749 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1627 days

02-02-2018 12:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hvlp compressor stain spray

I am about to start on two small bookshelves and a 48” bathroom vanity, and find myself on the fence between a ‘gun only’ to use with my existing compressor or an all in one unit in the 2-300$ range, such as the Earlex 5500. Most of my intended use would be oil based stains, clears etc, but latex paint capability would be great.

I have searched all over the web, and found instances where people using much smaller compressors are told theirs dont have the CFM or tank size for this use. I already own a 3hp 60 Gal Puma compressor which claims stats of: 12.6 CFM At 40 PSI; 11.3 CFM At 90 PSI which is plumbed to 1/2 air lines in my shop. Originally this was for automotive/tool use only, so my drying and filtering is setup accordingly and I assume would need to be addressed as well before it could be used for finishing.

Can I safely support a gravity or siphon gun to stain and apply a top coat with this? Even if I can, is a gun and the necessary dryer/filter a better long term investment than a stand alone machine? I plan on doing more personal projects over time, and want to build towards supporting my growing hobby.


7 replies so far

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 2082 days

#1 posted 02-02-2018 12:30 PM

No tangible investment needed. Get yourself this gun from harbor freight and be done with it. For the saved $$275 you can buy me e beer.

View tomsteve's profile


1200 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 02-02-2018 12:41 PM

i have a 3 hp 60 gallon twin cylinder( not 2 stage) and have successfully painted many vehicles with it using a devilbiss finishline gun and a devilbiss copper tekna. ive used both guns for finishing entertainment centers, computer desks, kitchen cabinets, and much more. if you had the budget of 2-300 for a gun, id suggest the devilbiss finishline 4. you can get a “kit” with 3 different fluid tips.,7172.html

this is the filter i use

i suggest a regulator at the gun,too.

it will work great for what youre doing once ya get the hang of gun set up and spraying technique.

after using it, you may find many more projects you can spray with them. might even get into a little auto body work/repair.

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 02-02-2018 01:51 PM

I own a 30 gallon, 5HP (debatable) 220VAC Coleman compressor that I bought back in the late 90’s.
I have sprayed everything from water based stain on flower boxes, automotive paint, up to air brushing.

I use the purple guns shown above from HF, and they do just fine. I have two air brushing units, one expensive one, very old and desirable, (can’t remember the name), and one from HF. Can’t tell the difference in application, to be honest.

I have it piped for two lines, one that is a straight run for things like blow guns, filling tires, full pressure of 115 lbs., and one line that has a regulator/water separator on it, set at 40 lbs. for spray. Two coils of line mounted on the wall above in those HF type roll-up units, save that the spray unit has a lighter poly hose on it, just for ease of use.

I clean the filter about once a quarter, and change the oil about every other year, depending on what it looks like when I pull the little dipstick. I only put in non-detergent synthetic. I drain any water out of the tank at least once a year.

I probably have less than $400 in the whole rig, and it has served me well, from filling tires to spraying sunbursts on guitars.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View e_dogg's profile


5 posts in 1627 days

#4 posted 02-02-2018 08:28 PM

I appreciate the advice from everyone, it sounds like ill be shopping for a spray gun. While I had a max of 2-300$ I certainly wouldn’t mind spending less. Maybe I should give that HF unit a try, what nozzles and tips are y’all using with it?

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


9043 posts in 3690 days

#5 posted 02-02-2018 08:54 PM

I appreciate the advice from everyone, it sounds like ill be shopping for a spray gun. While I had a max of 2-300$ I certainly wouldn t mind spending less. Maybe I should give that HF unit a try, what nozzles and tips are y all using with it?
- e_dogg

For $10 you can’t beat that little purple gun. And it only has 1 need/tip (1.4mm IIRC), so you are stuck with that. I have not found that to be a big deal, as you just thin appropriately if needed. Outstanding for spraying oil based enamels, which are much thicker than stain – so you should not have any problems at all. And if you don’t like it, then you are not out much cash.


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

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

610 posts in 2960 days

#6 posted 02-02-2018 09:49 PM

You’d be better off buying several spray guns and dedicating them for specific types of finish instead of spending a lot on one spray gun. All it takes is one forgetful moment where you leave something in the gun too long and it gunks it all up to potentially ruin it.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1986 days

#7 posted 02-03-2018 12:37 AM

You have more than enough compressor to run a HVLP or conversion gun. +1 on the Devilbiss gear, it is very good quality and you get a wide selection of tips and needles to select from. I spray dye stain and lacquer from my gravity feed Devilbiss gun on 7 CFM no problems. You can also add decups if you prefer disposable cups.

I have this one: DeVilbiss (GFG670) Plus High Efficiency Gravity Feed Spray Gun

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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