Need a recommendation for a spray system

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Forum topic by Flipper1956 posted 06-21-2019 01:09 AM 858 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 492 days

06-21-2019 01:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hvlp spray finishing question spray gun

I am a mid level woodworker, that doesn’t shy away from challenges. What I am looking for is a recommendation for a budget friendly spray system, (I am assuming hvlp) that will help me finish my projects with a quality finish at a reasonable price. I don’t want to break the bank with a Titan or high end Fuji, but am a little leary of the Homeright or plastic Wagner system.

I also would like to use the system to spray latex paint on walls, so a multi use product is key. I have been all over YouTube and am not certain if some of them know what they are talking about.

Am I asking too much from one system? Should I purchase one for finishing and a cheap unit for painting?

I felt that this forum would give me the best insight and I would love to hear all of your comments!

11 replies so far

View TungOil's profile


1383 posts in 1376 days

#1 posted 06-21-2019 05:00 AM

I think you are asking too much from one gun. The viscosity latex is significantly different from the usual furniture finish.

For a budget HVLP setup a lot of folks like the Harbor Freight purple gun but you will need a compressor. I’ve never used one, but they are quite affordable and worth investigating.

-- 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"

View TDSpade's profile


121 posts in 3297 days

#2 posted 06-21-2019 06:59 AM

You are asking too much from one gun. I have two Harbor Freight purple spray guns. They have 1.4mm tips. I use them to finish medium to large projects with shellac and lacquer. I have a Tool Force A-C2 HVLP Touch-Up spray gun it has a 1mm tip. (My favorite gun) I use it on smaller projects also with shellac and lacquer. Bought it on Amazon. These three guns need an air compressor.

I really want to replace the Harbor Freight purple spray guns. They work good. I just want something with a little more fit and finish, with interchangeable tips.

Just bought the HomeRight C800971.A Super Finish Max to paint my house with. Have not used it yet. Paint prepping seems to go on forever and ever and ever.

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2870 days

#3 posted 06-21-2019 12:09 PM

Do you want a self contained turbine unit or do you have/want an air compressor? For latex your best bet is a Wagner or other like the bbs have. Usually painting walls inside and all around outside and a perfect finish isnt required.

Turbines work, as many on here will attest, but a hi pressure air compressor gun will handle more viscosity variation and has more spray adjustment.

View bondogaposis's profile


5872 posts in 3232 days

#4 posted 06-21-2019 01:24 PM

I bought the Earlex 5500 an have been happy with it. I have used it on several furniture projects and the results have been great. However I would not try to spray latex paint with it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3715 posts in 2375 days

#5 posted 06-21-2019 03:17 PM

IMHO – Need more than one gun for wood working, unless only make one size projects?
(Or a one gun with interchangeable tips and fluid reservoirs)

I use several spray guns with a compressor. Airbrush for intricate touch up work. Small HF and Iwata detail guns for small projects. Famous mid size $10 HF purple gun for stains, shellac, and lacquer. Have 3M PPS system for spraying 2 part finished, materials I cant adjust well for temp/humidity conditions; or when need to adjust tip sizes the other guns don’t include.

FWIW – You can spray latex with 3M PPS 2.0mm tip with minor amount of thinning depending on brand, but with small cup sizes; would not suggest using it for anything larger than a entry door, or couple kitchen cabinets?
Spraying latex in home uses 1-5 gallon pails, not a couple pints, and does not the same tight film build goals as clear coat. Plus you can rent a specialized 5 gallon pail latex turbine from BORG for a couple days cheap. :-)

Note, I already had a mid size compressor for DIY auto repair when I chose spray guns, so buying a stand alone HVLP turbine wasn’t best choice for me. If you are new spraying paint, the stand alone turbine are a good way to get started. Be aware that there are a lot accessories needed beyond gun, and compressor (hoses, filters, fittings, water separators/desiccant, etc). So a true cost comparison is more than using a coupon for $10 gun from HF, unless you already have compressor infrastructure in place. :)

Best Luck finding your spray place!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6108 posts in 3190 days

#6 posted 06-21-2019 03:23 PM

Do you want a self contained turbine unit or do you have/want an air compressor? For latex your best bet is a Wagner or other like the bbs have. Usually painting walls inside and all around outside and a perfect finish isnt required.

Turbines work, as many on here will attest, but a hi pressure air compressor gun will handle more viscosity variation and has more spray adjustment.

- OSU55

bbs have????

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2870 days

#7 posted 06-21-2019 03:30 PM

Big box store – HD, Lowes, Walmart etc. If those guys have a latex sprayer that can be rented that may well be the way to go.

Never sprayed latex, always brushed or rolled, and would never use latex on any cabinets, shelves, etc. due to blocking – stickiness. There are some very good waterbased acrylic/lacquer paint available for that and they spray well and dont have blocking issues.

View RobHannon's profile


347 posts in 1411 days

#8 posted 06-21-2019 03:45 PM

I agree with others on 2 different sprayers. I am using a cheap electric Tacklife sprayer for latex, very similar to the Wagner and Homeright types. For poly, shellac, or other thin finishes I use the purple harbor freight sprayer on a compressor. Decent gun provided you keep it clean and it is cheap to replace. The other benefit of going with cheaper tools initially is you will be forced to get good habits with filtering and thinning properly. They are not overly forgiving with the wrong viscosity or debris in your finish. A good gun may work better in those circumstances but you are likely to get sub-par results.

View Flipper1956's profile


3 posts in 492 days

#9 posted 06-24-2019 01:12 PM

Thank you to everyone who responded to my question. Your experience and comments are invaluable and have provided the direction I need. I will be heading to HF to get a gun and a couple of accessories to get started and will likely stop at a big box home improvement store to grab and reasonable quality paint sprayer.

Don’t be surprised if I reach out again with some questions on how to best make those products function properly!

View Robert's profile (online now)


4045 posts in 2361 days

#10 posted 06-24-2019 01:31 PM

I have the Earlex sprayport and an HVLP compressor gun (purple HF cheapo).

I agree one gun won’t do it all because spraying cabinets and walls are totally different. Fine atomization for cabs, to a fine tip, therefore no matter what you get, some thinning will be necessary.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Kelly's profile


3154 posts in 3825 days

#11 posted 06-24-2019 05:59 PM

I have two HVLP sprayers. One is an Accuspray and a the other is Capspray (bought out by Titan). I also have a Spraytech airless. Each is gold for how its used.

The Accuspray is really a conversion gun with the compressor and 2-1/2 gal pot. On a whim, and since it holds 2-1/2 gallons, I painted a couple rooms with it. It did fine.

It does just fine with lacquers, latex and poly. However, it is far more complicated to run and more work to clean than is my Capsprayer. Cleaning is more difficult because of the large pot and hose.

Regardless, it does what HVLP’s do and trumps an airless for most jobs.

Of course, the airless is a monster better suited for large jobs, including painting whole houses.

I bought used, rather than new. Had I bought an Graco from a big box, it would have been disposable, because that version of the Graco airlesses was not designed to have its pump rebuilt. They may have changed. Regardless, nearly twenty years in, I still have a workhorse worth rebuilding, and I don’t have to rent an airless for a hundred a day, when I paint my house.


The Capsprayer is my favorite.

Thinning latex for it only requires a tablespoon or two of water, at most.

As with any good HVLP, you can open the gun up to toss a lot of paint, or fine tune it to blow out painting balusters in a fraction of the time brushing and rolling would take. Of course, compared to an airless, there is very little over-spray (at about 8 PSI, vs 2,500 PSI).

I’ve had my Capsprayer for well over a decade and would replace it in a heartbeat. Last time I used it was spraying all my kitchen cabinet doors and deck railing.

Swapping to a finer needle allows me to do automotive type finishes.

These are expensive, but it you’re going to use one for years, it may not be a bad deal. OF COURSE, I see these for sale on craigslist from time to time.

Now they have five stage units too, but a four stage would handle anything you want to do. As noted, you just have to thin a bit.

If mine died tomorrow, I’d replace it with another Titan/Capsprayer or an Apollo. I don’t know about the others, so cannot compare them.

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