How to Adjust an HVLP Gun for Enamel

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Painting with oil-based enamel is easy with an HVLP spray gun.
Painting with oil-based enamel is easy with an HVLP spray gun. (Image: paint image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com)

When it is time to paint the outside of your house, latex or oil-based enamel is best for waterproofing. Latex enamel is often preferred for its faster drying time and cheaper price. Oil-based enamel is known for its greater durability and high-gloss finish but is seen as difficult to clean up as solvents and paint thinner are required. Inexperienced painters may not know that high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) spray guns can be used when painting with enamel, which makes the clean-up much easier. Setting up your HVLP spray gun for enamel painting is easy.

Things You'll Need

  • High-volume, low-pressure spray gun
  • Latex or oil-based enamel paint
  • Water
  • Floetrol additive

Adjusting a HVLP Spray Gun for Enamel

Fill the paint cup with enamel paint and attach to the HVLP Spray Gun. The latex enamel may be difficult to work with. In this case, you may add a small amount of Floetrol additive and a small amount of water to aid in thinning the paint.

Turn the HVLP spray gun on and adjust the air pressure by opening the compressor regulator to 90 psi. Then adjust the regulator on the handle.

Set the fluid volume and shape of the line of paint spray by closing down the fan control and opening the fluid volume control. This will create a small round circle of paint. Turn the fan control to the position that creates the desired width of spray area.

Continue to adjust the fluid volume control to create the desired thickness of spray on the surface. Take some time to find the right level. It is important that the rate at which you move the gun across the surface is fast enough that streaks of paint do not run.

Turn the regulator on the handle down to 25 or 25 psi when you are concentrating on small areas to prevent running. Remember to keep the pressure high to prevent running.

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