How to Set a Vapor HVLP Spray Gun Before Painting


HVLP or gravity feed spray guns are both effective and efficient. Due to the gravity fed design, HVLP spray guns use less material by reducing the air pressure needed and, hence, the amount of over-spray. Over-spray is the fine particulate material sprayed through the paint gun into the air that never reaches the painted surface. In order for the HVLP spray gun to work properly, the material valve, air pressure and spray gauge must be adjusted properly prior to painting.

Things You'll Need

  • HVLP spray gun
  • Paint
  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Spray gun pressure regulator valve
  • 36 inch by 36 inch flat testing surface
  • Attach the air pressure regulator to the gun by screwing it to the bottom of the HVLP spray gun's handle.

  • Plug the air hose into the air compressor and the regulator.

  • Turn the regulator adjustment dial until the pressure needle points to the appropriate psi. Most paints sprayed through an HVLP gun suggest a psi reading of 15 to 25 pounds per square inch.

  • Adjust the spray or fan width by turning the nozzle dial. When the gun is in the right hand, this dial is located just above the right thumb. Turning the dial toward you will shorten the fan while turning it away broadens the fan. In general, the wider the surface to be painted, the wider the spay fan should be.

  • Adjust the material valve located on the bottom of the spray gun's handle. Twisting the dial up decreases the amount of material allowed through the gun while twisting it down increases it. There should be enough material flow that a smooth and even pass will cover the painted surface with a moderate layer of material. Too little will be faint and striated while too much will be thick and runny.

  • Paint the test surface with even strokes to ensure the gun is properly adjusted. Ensure the tip of the spray gun is always held parallel to the painted surface to avoid inappropriate material buildup from arcing motions.

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