Elisha and I love our spray systems. Here’s why:
No such thing as a free lunch
Spraying your finish does have some down sides. You have to create a spot in your shop where you can spray. You may have overspray, and you’ll need to protect your area from that. When you’re done, you’ll need to clean the spray gun. But, overall, the benefits of using a spray system outweigh the negatives.
Choosing a system
Airless systems are self-contained. No compressor or turbine required. That provides a lot of mobility but, for the most part, airless systems don’t provide the finishing detail you’ll want on your woodworking projects. Many HVLP (high volume, low pressure) systems use a turbine, meaning you don’t need an air compressor for the gun. A good HVLP gun will handle paint just as well as it will handle clear coat finishes.
Compressor, but HVLP
It’s possible to get HVLP guns that work with a compressor. Keep in mind that spray guns have a very high cfm (cubic feet per minute) consumption rate. So if you want to spray using your compressor, make sure your compressor provides the cfm an HVLP gun requires.
Why we like turbines
The systems we use have HVLP guns, and air flow is provided by a turbine. This provides portability, and cleaner air. Compressed air often has water in it, which will ruin your finish. Turbines don’t have that problem.
If you’re spraying…
…you’re getting your finish airborne. That means you need to take extra care with your PPE. Make sure you have good ventilation and wear a respirator.
Mastering your system
Like any tool, spray finish systems have a learning curve. This video will help you learn how to set up and use an HVLP gun and turbine.