looking for finish sprayer/gun advice

Wes Louwagie
118 posts and 1 follower
1478 14 0

Hey guys I’m looking to hear some thoughts on finishing sprayer. In the past for big projects I always sub out the finishing, or just use a brush on. I will probably still have some work subbed out but would like to spray smaller projects here. seems the more research I do the more confusion there is. The one they wanted to sell me at the local finish store was 2,600 a bit much for me.
Anyways/ thoughts?

I purchased the Fuji hvlp 2 years ago. For a beginner like me it did a great job. I had never sprayed before that.
I got the Q4 gold package including extra caps and whip hose for about $1100
No problem spraying latex. There are pressure pots available for it. I don’t have one for I spray very little. It’s very quiet

It’s got great reviews. Their other models also are well reviewed.
I did not get mine from amazon but here is a link: http://www.amazon.com/Fuji-2894-T75G-Quiet-Spray-System/dp/B00D4NPPMI

Check it out.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Chris Schwarz just did an article for Popular Woodworking , April 2016, about how to do this without all the expense.

$2600! that must have been some setup. I also have a Fuji, mine is the Super 4 Gold with both a gravity cup and a bottom feeder gun. I really like it, and the Fuji CS is excellent. But to be honest, if you have a compressor maybe pick up a HF purple HVLP conversion gun (don’t laugh, even some highly experienced finishers are surprised by the performance of this thing) and try it on some practicepieces with the finish of your choice. Speaking of that, it would help to know what exactly you want to spray (finish) in the discussion….but anything short of wall paint (latex) will probably work in the HF gun.

"I long for the day when coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be" Merle Haggartd

I have the four stage CapSprayer and an Accuspray with a two gallon paint pot. I love the Capspary and use it for everything from latex to laquer.

You can pick up a used four stage for around four hundred. That SHOULD be with the hose and gun. I see scammers selling beat units without hose or gun, which would add about four hundred.

The Accuspray has an even nicer gun than my Capspayer, but it is, essentially, a self contained conversion unit. I’ll probably sell it, since I don’t do commercial work anymore.

These are units that, if you follow the rules, will last you a life time and allow you to paint a cabinet in latex or a car in lacquer.

Obviously, the two gallon unit is more complicated to clean. The Capspray, not so much.

Stay away from the Wagner buzz units. No one owns an old [working] one, unless it’s still in an unopened box.

I use the Minwax sprayer…works very well for my needs.

I use a siphon feed from Harbor freight, and a pancake compressor. The setup is a bit crude, sure, but it works for me. I don’t do many large jobs, so my upgrade plan is the Earlex spray station. Not because the siphon and pancake don’t do a fine job. The setup with the Earlex is just more compact and contained.

To back up others, the Fuji’s seem to get good reviews everywhere. The highest reviews seem to be for Apollos, but they, of course, come with a higher tag.

After you use a true HVLP, as opposed to any conversion, you’ll be sold on them. The differences are huge:

1) You don’t have to lug around compressor. It’s more like lugging around a vacuum.

2) You have no moist air problems. That is, moisture does not condense in the lines, as with siphon units or conversion units.

3) They shoot air at around eight to ten pounds, so there is little bounce back, compared to units that require around forty-five pounds or airless units that bounce material at about twenty-five hundred pounds.

4) Though air pressure is low, volume is high. Mine runs around eight CFM at nine pounds. To give you an idea of what this means, I actually use mine to run a small mud gun for texturing.

When shooting latex, I thin a quart with only about two table spoons of water (“eyeballed”) and can tackle a stair or deck railing in about a fifth, or less the time a brush and roller would require.

When I switch needles and go to lacquer, I thin more carefully and get the finish you’d expect on a nice car.

The guns on the good units (Cap Spray, Fuji, Apollo (not familiar with Earlex) are remarkable.

P.S. Twenty-six hundred is robbery, even for a five stage.

My four stage true HVLP was fifteen new, plus seventy for needles and cap for fine spraying. Now, they are selling five and six stage units (you could push an elephant through the nozzel). That latter is listed for around sixteen hundred.

Apollos are going for a grand for four stage units and eighteen for five.

Fuji’s are going for about a grand plus fifty.

Earlex units go for around five hundred fifty.

Don’t go less than four stages (turbines). Five would, probably, be nice. Having four stages, rather than five or six, just means you have to thin a little more (e.g., two teaspoons per quart of latex vs one teaspoon).

I had a three stage Graco and it was a nice enough unit, but the performance, against my four stage, was notable. To be fair, it was running a Harbor Freight gun.

I like the idea of being able to control the air flow from the unit to the gun (Apolo), but my guns do such a remarkable job of controlling patterns and volume it probably doesn’t matter. In the end, I doubt you’ll see any difference in the quality of the finish produced by big name units, if handled correctly.

Thanks for the advice guys! As far as what I’ll be spraying, not exactly sure. would like to try some 2k poly, lacquer? I’ll check out the fuji.. haven’t seen the minwax sprayer, i’ll check it out also. Kelly forgive my ignorance but can you tell me what exactly the stages represent three vs four etc..

Stages is just their cute name for turbines/fans. Each stage is a turbine. Generally, anything significant has at least three, but anyone familiar with them is going to buy at least a four stage.

Each stage adds horsepower, so to speak.