Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2008

Paint Gun for Heavy Metallic Paint

Q: What is the best gun & tip to use while spraying Imron 5000 & 6000? I am using a Iwata hvlp with a 1.3 tip and still have trouble with heavy metalics.

A: The Iwata HVLP spray gun might be perfectly adequate, but you might need to play with the fluid flow rate and air atomizing pressure. Invariably, painters use too high a fluid flow rate and the atomizing air can't adequately break up the paint stream. I suggest that you set up your spray gun from scratch. Take a piece of aluminum foil and attach it onto the spray booth wall. Turn the fluid needle and fan control knobs and the air atomizing control valve all the way closed. Now open the air atomizing control value a quarter of a turn and do the same with the fluid knob. If no paint comes out of the gun then open the air a little more, and perhaps also open the fluid control knob another quarter turn. Continue opening the air atomizing valve until some paint emerges for the gun. Eventually, a wet round circle of paint will deposit on the foil. At this point start to open the fan control knob to widen the fan pattern. By opening the air valve, fan control and fluid control knobs in small increments, you should be able to get a setting that will produce a good looking paint finish.

This take time and patience, but the process usually works.


Ron Joseph


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