Spraying VS Brushing question

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Forum topic by revanson11 posted 06-15-2012 09:10 PM 1491 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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113 posts in 3390 days

06-15-2012 09:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spraying vs brushing question spray gun finishing

I’m preparing to start my first attempt at spraying a finish on a project. I have been practicing with the sprayer using water with food coloring in it. I seems to me that I will be using considerably more finish using a sprayer than by brushing it on. Is this a normal fact of using a sprayer that the process will consume far more finish or am I doing something wrong. Please help me out LJ’rs.

-- Randy, Central MN

9 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3866 days

#1 posted 06-15-2012 09:25 PM

Randy, the short answer is YES spraying will use more material. Lots of facters go in the mix : what are you spraying, what are yu spraying with, have you sprayed before ? Enjoy

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 4169 days

#2 posted 06-15-2012 11:02 PM

Randy, it is interesting that you brought this up. I was just completing a project a few days ago, where I was spraying a water based polyurethane. When I was done, I started running plain water through the sprayer (a cheap HVLP turbine system) and noticed that even at the same settings, there was a LOT more water coming out of the spray gun than there was with the actual finish.

The point I guess is that the thicker your material, the less volume of it you will use. So, your spraying with water might be exaggerating the amount of material you will use when actually spraying a finish.

You will use more material spraying, since after all you have to overspray at the beginning and end of each pass, but for me it is well worth it, considering how much better and faster it goes.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4634 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 11:05 PM

It depends on what your spraying with ,what kind of material your using and your technique in both operations. If your spraying would say you may use more material but not a big percentage more, any difference is worth the time you save .


View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3305 days

#4 posted 06-15-2012 11:28 PM

I find I use pretty close to the same amount, slightly more. but Jim is 100% right. Spraying (for me) is a matter of seconds, instead of hours brushing then removing my brush marks and fixing my drips and uneven spots. The only thing I hate about spraying is the mess. I thought it would be much worse that it actually is, but it’s still a little messy.


View revanson11's profile


113 posts in 3390 days

#5 posted 06-16-2012 01:02 AM

Thanks to all of your for your responses. I was hoping that by using water I might be using more liquid than I would using the water based finished. Maybe I need to start buying my finish is gallon size instead of by the quart.

-- Randy, Central MN

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 3425 days

#6 posted 06-16-2012 10:45 AM

Hey whats the worse that can happen? if you make a mess….clean it up an do it again…


View NiteWalker's profile


2742 posts in 3634 days

#7 posted 06-16-2012 11:03 AM

I spray a lot of waterborne finish and water based dyes; the key is fluid adjustment.
My gun (QS-125WB) has a small regulator so I adjust that to 29psi.
When spraying the water dyes (water and transfast powder), because it’s so thin, I have to keep the fluid delivery knob almost closed. I aim for a very fine, almost fog-like pattern. I get a lot of control that way.

For my clear coats (crystalac super premium) I adjust the fluid delivery knob until I get a nice mist and not a heavy spray.

I spray everything through my 1.2mm needle.

Once you get the spray pattern down, you’ll use a lot less finish.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3344 days

#8 posted 06-16-2012 01:29 PM

I have a HF sprayer that works remarkably well, I use it on almost a mist for Spar on my Adirondack chairs. It takes about 5 minutes, it doesn’t run, and it’s quick to clean up. I wouldn’t care if it used the whole can every time.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3484 days

#9 posted 06-25-2012 06:32 AM

I used “Flowtrol” mixed @ 20% and 80% paint on my first HVLP spray job see my latest project bathroom cabinet, with great results. The equipment I used was a FinishPro 9.1 system. I put on 5 thin coats with spackle covering tiny gaps on each successive coat. I think Flowtrol would work equally well with water based laquer, but you would have to check compatibility with your brand of laquer.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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