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Spray gun choices of decorating

Hi all

Looking for some advice on spraying versus brushing and sprayers.

First question is with a brush you get that finish that looks traditional / heritage, with a sprayer does it end up super smooth and modern looking? I have used spray guns run from air compressors to do automotive finishes but have no experience of these airless types. I assume that the paint needs to be thined to the right viscosity and the method is the same or is it a diferent approach ? Then if I want to go this direction and don’t want to invest a fortune, just something to do the occasional job any recomendations?

          thanks Roy

Spraying will definitely end up super smooth if the preparation is right. You’ll need to spray everything though to achieve the same finish. Don’t, for instance, spray doors and brush the frame because the difference in finish will be very noticeable.
You won’t have to thin paint with an airless unless you are using thick emulsions or contact paints but HVLP spraying always needs the products at the right consistency to spray and this usually means thinning.
Sprayers don’t come cheap if you are to get good results. You’ll be looking at around £1000 for an entry level trade airless. There are semi-professional units on the market from Graco and Titan/Wagner that should do a decent job though for around £400 less. However before you buy one I would check that the spares are available in the UK and that the pumps are serviceable.
Airless spraying will use much more paint than brushing and rolling. And while spraying ceilings and walls with airless is fairly easy you will need to work on technique using them for paintwork. Overloading corners and edges with products prone to running can be a real nightmare.
HVLP sprayers will use less paint and produce less overspray than airless but they are slower in use and not practical for large areas like walls and ceilings. If you want one for painting trim and doors you’ll need a minumum 4 stage turbine but 5 stage would be better. The higher powered machines will spray paint with less thinning. You will certainly be looking at over £1000, in some cases much more, for a decent HVLP to spray the paints we use.

Hi Roy
It all depends on what you will use the spray unit for, how often and of course what your budget is.

The spray unit you have used with a compressor is the similar to HVLP and is mainly used for spraying trim (doors & frames etc). With this set up you are using a small amount of paint and so are best suited to small jobs like cupboards and furniture, stair spindles etc I’ve even used it for spraying gates and railings. and they aren’t really designed for spraying thick paints like emulsion. The advantage is that they are quick set up and clean and can be very accurate and precise with little overspray.
An airless unit is more for large areas like ceilings and walls which you can paint very quickly. This system is not really best suited to domestic homes with furniture in the room as you need a lot of space to use them and they can produce a lot of overspray and ultimately they use a lot more paint. In a standard room it can take longer to set and clean than it does to actually do the spraying! They are fantastic for ‘new build’ work or for commercial work. You can also use them for spraying trim by getting different tips for the gun, similar to different needles for the hvlp guns. As a rule paint dent need to be thinned for the high end commercial machines but for medium and entry level, a basic rule of thumb is about 5-10% depending on the paint and the pressure set up. The spraying technique to what you have done is similar, you hold the gun about 8" away from the surface and overlap by 50%. If the surface is in good condition with no filling you maybe able to complete in one coat by using the ‘crosshatch’ method where you would spray left to right and then immediately overcoat by spraying top to bottom.

As with both units you can produce a high quality finish, quickly, the only disadvantage is that you can’t ‘touch-up’ with a brush afterwards as it will create a different texture, so it can be a pain to set up again to pant just one wall or door panel. Having said that, if you have a lot a decorating to do, for a relatively small investment you can produce a lot of work, quickly.

There are plenty spray websites that can supply a complete range of units, here are a couple

I hope this helps, please feel free to ask anymore questions.

Hi I’m also looking into commercial spraying. If you are spraying 20 rooms what is the method of doing so if you have white on the ceilings and a colour on the walls would you spray first coat on the walls then 2 or 3 coats on the ceiling .
Also is there a handheld sprayer you could use for touching/snagging where a light has been moved this sort of thing.I’ve heard graco do one?
Also for masking up windows which masking system would you recommend. All info very helpful.

1 Like

Looks like you loaded them questions well, we use the 3mm hand masker, its a great bit of kit.
For spraying ceilings ,we roll don’t spray, and only spray in empty rooms.

Thanks it is a new build project so all rooms are empty.Where would you purchase the masker? Thanks.:+1:

I ordered my 3m m3000 off ebay. But have seen you can get the Trimaco handmasker from Brewers Poole, try your local store.
I also use the one you can get from Johnstones not sure what is called, only one they do.
Trimaco is expensive to buy initially and to refill but you can get different size sheeting and it attracts the dust and over spray. Brilliant stuff.
Johnstones is cheap to buy and refill. There’s a couple of film sizes. Good quality sheeting too.

Graco easymax wp, is Graco’s handheld waterbased touch up kit. I have one it’s easy to use but if you are touching up after the paints dried I’d still advise doing the whole wall.

Hi the idaho painter recommends the TITAN IMPACT 440 is this a good spray unit to start with?
How does it compare to WAGNER and GRACO airless spray units?

I have the Graco 390 used it last week for classidure worked beautifully. I think the titan 440 is of similar performance. But it depends on what you are wanting it for?
Basically, yes, it is a great start point for spraying gives you all that you’d need until you get more confident and bigger jobs, or need to put masonry through it.
I must say that I find it’s not usually worth getting the sprayer out. You need to be painting an entire house carpets up and all.
Recently I was refreshing a nicotine stained bungalow. I had another professional painter helping me and so (in hindsight) it wasn’t worth getting the sprayer out. I did get it out as it’d been a while since I used it last, but it would’ve worked out to take about the same time. I only sprayed the ceilings and the woodwork and doors then put it away.