Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

April, 2006

Airless, Air-Assisted Airless Spray Guns

Q. I do mainly remodel construction with some new and some repaint applications. I paint from utility trailers to interior walls, to trim, doors cabinets etc. I don't do huge volumes at any one time but am looking to purchase a more efficient and higher quality way for my painting needs. I have heard you can buy an airless and get a fine finish tip to closely resemble the HVLP system. Would this give as high of a quality of finish? What would you recommend? Thanks for your time.

A. In my opinion airless spray guns generally do not give you the same high quality as an HVLP spray gun when you are finishing a surface for decorative value. It is difficult to control the airless gun sufficiently to maintain a low and uniform paint film build (dry film thickness). The problem with a fine finish tip is that it is so small that it can plug easily. I suggest that you should experiment with this gun and tip, and determine if you can get the finish you desire.

An air-assisted airless spray gun provides better control that an airless gun, and gives you a better opportunity to match an HVLP finish. The advantage of an air-assisted airless spray gun is that it operates at much lower pressures than an airless spray gun, yet can apply large volumes of paint quickly.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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