Best HVLP Spray Gun for Air Compressor

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Last updated: September 4, 2023

Choose the best HVLP spray gun for your air compressor in this comprehensive HVLP spray gun review.

Best HVLP Spray Gun for Air Compressor

If you’re a hobby painter, using a spray gun can make your life easier than using a paintbrush or roller. But when it comes to speed and precision, HVLP sprayers take the lead.

While there are different types of HVLP guns, compressor-based units offer the most power and the cleanest of finishes.

If you’re in the market for the best HVLP spray gun for air compressor, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available.

After a lot of research and testing, we’ve handpicked the top 10 models that will perfectly fit your compressor.

We’ve also included a buying guide and other helpful information to help you make the right decision. But before we delve into the review, let’s answer some fundamental questions.

What Is HVLP Spray Gun?

An HVLP (high volume, low pressure) spray gun is the most popular type of sprayer. As the name suggests, it uses a high volume of air at low pressure to atomize paint, resulting in a softer spray than an airless sprayer.

The low-pressure requirement ensures a steady flow of air, allowing the paint to stick to the target surface, resulting in a soft, smooth finish.

The main benefit of choosing an HVLP paint gun over an airless sprayer is that it produces less overspray and doesn’t waste as much paint.

This is because the tool operates with low pressure. You can also adjust the pressure according to the specific needs of your project.

HVLP sprayers work best with thinner materials such as latex paint and Polyurethane. They can be handheld and battery-operated, corded, or require a separate compressor.

They are generally less expensive than airless sprayers but are slower and don’t do well with thick materials such as lacquers and varnishes. I have a dedicated post about the difference between air and airless paint sprayer you can check out for detailed information.

Most HVLP spray guns come with a built-in cup to hold the material, so there’s no need to draw paint from a separate can.

Due to the lower speed, they are generally suited for smaller projects and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Some common applications include trim, cabinets, doors, furniture, moldings, etc.

What Are The Types Of HVLP Spray Guns?

There are three main types of HVLP spray guns – compact, turbine, and compressor-based HVLP guns.

1. Compact/Electric HVLP spray gun

As the name implies, compact HVLP guns are handheld models and usually have an electric cord. They typically feature an in-built pump that provides the air required to atomize the paint material.

Due to their small size, these sprayers are best suited for smaller surfaces. Most models only operate for 30 minutes between charges and are on the pricey side.

2. Turbine HVLP spray gun

These models have built-in turbines that supply the air required to atomize the paint. Although larger than compact models, they are relatively lightweight and much more powerful.

Best HVLP Spray Gun for Air Compressor

They are easy to move around and are great for small decks, siding, and furniture. You can use them to paint a room, but they will be relatively slow for an entire wall.

3. Compressor-based HVLP gun

Compressor-based HVLP spray guns have to be attached to compressors to function. The compressor supplies the air that is used to drive the tool.

Since HVLP guns are “low pressure”, they generally don’t require a large compressor. So, they can easily run on many consumer-style compressors, especially pancake and pontoon.

How Does An HVLP Spray Gun Work?

HVLP spray guns use air to atomize paint into a fine mist of different patterns expelled through the spray tip with a sweeping motion.

The specific mechanism depends on your brand and model, but the general process is the same.

The sprayers rely on gravity to pull down the paint from the cup into the barrel, where it’s exposed to the air supplied by a compressor.

Then, the paint is atomized and pushed out through the tip onto the target surface. In contrast, airless sprayers are equipped with a motor that pressurizes the paint and forces it through the nozzle onto the surface.

Can you use a HVLP gun with an air compressor?

Yes. In fact, most HVLP guns run on air compressors. The compressor provides the air pressure needed for atomizing the material.

Compressor-driven HVLP spray gun usually cost higher than turbine units as they require you to purchase an external compressor.

However, they have longer runtimes and can cover more space. Unlike other models, they can be used for professional jobs, but you must ensure that any compressor you use is compatible with the spray gun.

The compressor should meet the CFM and PSI requirements of the sprayer to produce a high-quality finish.

It is very common to find this type of HVLP in auto workshops. And no, you do not need an industrial-grade compressor to operate them.

If you have something that can knock out around 15 to 30 PSI, you will be able to accomplish much. Before purchasing a compressor for your spray gun, always check the specifications for the pressure demands.

HVLP Spray Guns Buyer’s Guide

Here are the key factors to consider when choosing an HVLP spray gun for an air compressor. 

  • Cup Capacity

Another factor you should consider is the size of the cup that comes with the spray gun. The cup holds the paint or material you wish to spray.

For small projects such as detailing or touchups, a small cup is usually adequate in most cases. However, if you’re working on a large or exterior surface, you will need a larger cup so you won’t have to refill it frequently. Paint cups can be made of metal, plastic, or even nylon. 

  • Tip Size

The tip size or diameter determines what paint medium you can use with a spray gun. The larger the tip size, the more viscous material the gun can propel. 

In other words, a larger tip diameter or nozzle can handle high-viscosity material. In contrast, a smaller nozzle is better suited for a low-viscosity paint or material. Choosing the wrong tip can cause several problems.

For instance, if you select a small tip for thick liquid or paint, the nozzle can get clogged. Likewise, using a wide tip for thin mediums can increase overspray. 

Hence, if your project involves low-viscosity paint like lacquer, urethane, or stain, use a smaller tip size. 

In general, we recommend using a spray tip that is at least 1.4mm.  

  • Ease of Use

Another thing to look at, especially if you’re a newbie, is how simple and easy to use the spray gun is. In this case, there are certain features to look out for. 

For instance, consider how comfortable the handle is. You want to avoid handles that are difficult to grip – instead, opt for something ergonomic with a soft grip.

This will allow you to work for hours without developing hand fatigue. 

Another thing you should consider is the weight of the sprayer. Compact and lightweight models make the spray painting process easier and more manageable.

It may also help you to achieve better precision, especially if you don’t have much experience. 

Having a comfortable trigger is also desirable. 

  • Pressure Requirement

Even though HVLP spray guns use low pressure, they still have to meet certain standards.

This is important if you want a device that you can use for different paint jobs, whether it’s shading, touchup, airbrushing, sun bursting, or general paint finish. 

Usually, when pressure is generated and injected into the spray gun, it drops at the inlet to maintain volume.

So, choosing an adequate pressure range that allows for flexibility is usually recommended. 

  • Ease of Cleaning

Painting projects can be messy, and spray guns are no different. HVLP guns are relatively easy to clean, but the process can be time-consuming since some parts must be disassembled. 

This is why choosing a model with easily detachable parts is a good idea, as this will make cleaning easier and less time-consuming.

It will also be helpful if the gun is supplied with cleaning tools. Some models may also have self-cleaning mechanisms to make things easier. 

Generally, compact models are the simplest to clean, while professional models tend to be more complex.

Regardless of the model you choose, always clean the sprayer after every job according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help keep it in good working conditions and prevent costly future repairs. 

For instance, not cleaning the sprayer after use will allow residue paint to dry inside, which can cause it to clog or spit.

If your sprayer doesn’t come with a bristle brush or other cleaning accessories, you can purchase a cleaning kit. These kits are inexpensive and readily available. 

In addition, remember to store the gun in a location, such as a cabinet or a cupboard, to prevent dust and dirt buildup. 

  • Length of Hose

Another thing to consider when choosing the best HVLP spray gun for air compressor is the length of the hose and cord. 

The length of the hose and cord tends to vary with each model. Most people prefer a lengthy hose and cord so they won’t have to carry any heavy equipment. It also makes movement easier.

It’s worth mentioning that a lengthy hose can cause pressure drops since the compressed air has to travel a long distance through the hose. This can be a problem if you’re using a high-pressure spray gun. In our case, HVLP guns use low pressure, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

10 Best HVLP Spray Gun for Air Compressor

1. NEIKO 31216A Air Spray Paint Gun

The NEIKO 31216A provides everything required to make your paint jobs a breeze. It comes with a kit that includes necessary accessories, amongst which you will find a metal-air gauge and regulator that indicates how much pressure you’re getting, as well as a cleaning brush and wrench for easy cleanup.

One of the first things you will notice about the gun is the rust-resistant stainless steel body and nozzle. This heavy-duty construction ensures the tool is long-lasting.

The cup is made of aluminum with a lid and can hold up to 600 cc of fluid at a time. The lid on top ensures there are no spills, making cleanup easier.

To reduce overspray, the device comes with an easy-to-use tethering trigger-style handle that lets you control the pressure and amount of paint expelled.

The color-coded red nozzle size is 2.0 MM which is perfect for many household applications. You can choose other nozzle sizes (up to five options), but you will need to purchase them separately.

While the gun operates at 40 PSI, the working pressure is 10 PSI. The CFM requirement is only 4.5, so it will work with most decent compressors.

The gun is great for beginners. It sprays well and is easy to adjust. Thanks to the gravity-feed fluid delivery design and adjustable valve knobs, you can control how much material is sprayed.

Overall, we are pleased with the quality and performance of the sprayer, particularly the solid steel body and low CFM requirements.

You don’t need an expensive compressor to operate it. It works great for primers, base coats, auto paint jobs, walls, and other household applications. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Durable metal construction 

  • Reasonable price

  • Doesn’t require an expensive compressor

  • Gravity feed fluid delivery design for increased accuracy 

  • Comes with all necessary accessories

  • Includes three adjustable valve knobs for precise control 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Only one nozzle is included 

2. Fuji Spray 2203G Semi-PRO 2-Gravity HVLP Spray SystemΒ 

The Fuji 2203G 2-Gravity HVLP Spray System is an excellent choice for DIYers or hobbyists who want to achieve professional results.

It is one of the more powerful 2-Stage spray systems in the market and delivers an absolutely amazing finish. It is perfect for spraying furniture, doors, shutters, fences, cabinets, and even walls/fences. 

One of the main highlights is the build quality. It is equipped with a metal turbine case, stainless steel nozzle and needle, and a handy gun holder that fits nicely.

The metal case keeps the turbine safe, while the gun holder helps to keep everything organized. 

The gun is small, which is a good thing if you have limited space for storage. Setup is straightforward as you only need to make a few adjustments.

A 25 ft. hose is supplied with the gun for connecting to the turbine. The house includes an air control valve to minimize overspray and bounce back.

The long length of the hose also provides you with plenty of reach so you can easily work around the work area. 

The gun also features a 1-quart bottom feed cup and a cool ergonomic handle. The standard spray tip is 1.3mm, which is suitable for thin to medium materials.

If you’re spraying something thick such as latex, make sure you thin it to the right viscosity. A chart is included to help you with this. Besides the 1.3mm air cap, you can purchase other sizes between 0.8mm to 2.0mm.

A wrench and brush are supplied with the sprayer to help with cleaning. We found the brush a bit small for reaching all the little spaces on the gun. So you may need a bigger brush. 

Wear earplugs while using this gun because the turbine can be very loud. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Accurate control over your spray

  • Dedicated fan pattern control

  • The ergonomic handle and low weight allows for several hours of use

  • Different tip sizes are available

  • Minimal overspray 

  • Comes with turbine filters that are quick to change

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • A bit noisy 

3. TCP Global Complete Professional 9 Piece HVLP Spray Gun SetΒ 

If you desire a single spray gun capable of meeting all your needs, you won’t go wrong with this beautiful set from TCP.

It includes three sets of high-performance spray guns compatible with most compressors and works with almost any type of material. The 1.4mm tip gun works best for light to medium-density materials such as base and clear coats.

The 1.8mm tip gun is ideal for medium to heavy viscous coatings such as latex, primers, and oil bases, while the 1.0mm gun is recommended for touchups and painting tight areas. 

Each gun is outfitted with an aluminum paint cup, while the other body parts are made of stainless steel. The handles fit nicely and provide a strong grip, so you can work with them for hours without developing fatigue. 

Like other gravity feed models, you have full control over the fluid delivery, spray pattern, and air pressure.

This allows you to take on different painting projects without compromising on the finish. The adjustments are particularly useful in preventing small vibrations from the guns, which could turn the knobs a bit and adjust the spray quality.

Besides the tips on the sprayers, you can select any of the extra tips (0.8-2.5mm) provided by the manufacturer for different paint mediums. But these are sold separately.

The CFM demands and operating pressure across the three guns range from 3.5 to 7.1 and 29 to 50 PSI, respectively, which most compressors can handle pretty well. The higher CFM rating reduces downtimes and lets you spend a long time on your project.

Other notable features of the set include an air pressure regulator, plastic lids for the metal cups, moisture filters, and cleaning accessories such as brush and wrenches. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Compatible with most compressors

  • Comes with different nozzle sizes (suitable for various applications)

  • Great for beginners

  • Works with different types of paint

  • Built with user comfort in mind

  • Budget-friendly 

  • Works with most compressors 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Dissembling the gun for cleaning can be a hassle 

  • Tend to use more paint

4. NuMax SPS08 Pneumatic 0.8mm Tip Mini HVLP Gravity Feed Spray GunΒ 

With a tip size of 0.8mm and a cup capacity of 125cc, the NuMAX SPS08 spray gun is perfect for spray atomization and reducing paint costs.

It is built with improved paint transfer and thus produces less overspray. It is ideal for household projects but also powerful for automotive and industrial applications and can be used by both DIYers and professional painters.

The gun comes equipped with a regulator at the bottom that ensures consistent air flow to the tool and minimal pressure drop across the lines.

This helps to protect the gun and ensure you achieve a good spray. There are three adjustable knobs on the tool for control over the output. Specifically, one knob controls the fluid and regulates how much paint is mixed with air from the compressor.

Another knob is used to adjust airflow, while the remaining knob is used to change the spray pattern to full or round.

You can change the direction of the spray fan to two different directions – horizontal or vertical. This can be useful when you’re painting sideways, from top to bottom, and vice versa. 

The sprayer comes with a two-step trigger design. The first step connects to the air source when you pull the trigger lightly. Pulling farther to the second step engages the paint in the gravity feed cup.

The gun has an aluminum body, while the nozzle and needle are made of stainless steel. As a result, it’s both durable and lightweight and can be used over extended periods.

Expectedly, you will need a separate compressor to use this spray gun. Any decent air compressor should comfortably power it since it doesn’t have high airflow demand.

The 125cc cup should work for small projects, but if you’re working on something on the medium-to-large scale, you will definitely need a bigger cup, which can be purchased separately. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Cheap Hvlp spray gun

  • Comes with a cleaning kit

  • Easy-to-use two-step trigger design 

  • Built-in pressure regulator

  • It comes with three adjustment knobs for increased control on the output

  • Will work with most standard compressors

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Small material cup

5. Campbell Hausfeld General Purpose HVLP Spray GunΒ 

With just about half a pound weight, the Campbell Hausfeld General Purpose HVLP gun makes it easier and faster to finish your projects.

It comes with everything you need to get started right away. These include a wrench, two in-line paint filters, a cleaning brush, and a 6mm hex wrench. All you need to do is connect it to the compressor and start spraying.

The device comes equipped with a canister that can hold up to 20 ounces of paint, which allows for uninterrupted use.

In other words, you will be able to work for a long time using this gun before you need to refill it. The gravity feed design also helps to maximize paint use and reduce wastage. 

The gun also features controls that allow you to adjust the fluid and air output. You can also adjust the spray pattern to get the correct mode of application for your project. Using the right setting will ultimately result in minimal overspray and fine atomization.

We also found the device easy to clean. The polished aluminum housing makes it easier to wipe, while the gravity feed design ensures there’s little to no material left in the cup. 

You can use the gun for light to medium viscosity mediums. These include but not limited to base coats, enamels, lacquers, primers, Polyurethane, etc. Likewise, the gun is perfect for painting furniture, vehicle parts, and equipment. We particularly recommend it for metal surfaces. 

You will need an air compressor that delivers at least 4.5 CFM at 40 PSI to conveniently power the spray gun. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Easy to clean up

  • Produces a smooth coat (perfect for met surfaces)

  • Affordable price

  • Comes with essential accessories

  • Adjustable controls 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • You can’t remove the tip for easy cleaning 

6. Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint Gun

This model from Wagner might be a perfect match if you prefer a standalone HVLP spray gun that doesn’t require an external compressor.

The base unit is outfitted with its own low-pressure compressor that is about the size of a large bread loaf but powerful enough to power the gun through many paint jobs. Just plug the long cord into the nearest electric outlet.

To get the best coverage, even with a light spray, use good-quality paint. Avoid using any cheap paint with the tool.

The gun makes your work much faster and effortless than a paintbrush or roller and provides you with a better finish. It’s easy to set up and comes with everything you need for your projects.

There are two professional-grade material cups of different sizes (1Β½ qt. and 1 qt.) and a hose that connects the stationary base and spray gun. 

The hose is about 20 ft. long, which provides plenty of reach, making it easier to get around your project without constantly moving the unit around. It also helps to reduce hand fatigue. 

The gun is suitable for most types of paints as well as stain and varnish. The nozzle size is 1.8mm, so it might not be able to work with thicker paints like latex unless you thin them.

You can always purchase a large nozzle. 

The gun also offers adjustable settings for the pressure and fluid flow with different patterns (vertical, round and horizontal). This gives you precise control over the material that is being sprayed. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Lightweight and portable (weighs only 11 pounds)

  • One of the quieter models

  • Easy to clean

  • Adjustable settings 

  • Includes essential accessories

  • Lengthy hose gives you plenty of reach

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Fixed nozzle size

7. Graco-Sharpe HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun

The Graco Sharpe FX3000 was first introduced in 2011; fast-forward 11 years later, it still maintains its original value as one of the best HVLP spray guns out there.

One of its major highlights is its big spray patterns, which makes it perfect for larger applications, such as automotive painting. And the best part is that it’s not too expensive.

The gun is particularly great for beginners due to its simplicity. It’s easy to use and adjust right out of the box. It weighs just about one pound and has a low trigger pull, making it one of the lighter models.

So, it’s perfect for woodworkers and DIYers who need a sprayer that is easy to maneuver and move around during the course of their projects.

Talking about the spray pattern, the gun uses zero stripping and advanced technology to provide a large pattern size, up to 12.5 inches, which increases your speed and efficiency. Also, since it uses low air pressure, paint wastage is minimal.

While many HVLP guns have a small tip, usually 1 to 1.4mm, this unit has a wider range of nozzle sizes, between 1 to 1.8mm. This makes it suitable for a wide range of paint mediums and applications.

These include low-viscosity materials such as base coats, medium-viscosity materials such as clear coats and enamel, and high-viscosity mediums like primers and water-based Polyurethane. Specifically, there are five available tips – 1.0mm, 1.3mm, 1.4mm, 1.5mm, and 1.8mm.

Other notable features include two paint cups, a cleaning brush, and a wrench for dismantling the device. 

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Low CFM requirement

  • Great coverage

  • Easy to disassemble for cleaning

  • Adjustable spray pattern 

  • Solid construction

  • Affordable price 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Lacks a regulator 

8. DEWALT HVLP Spray Gun

If you’ve used inexpensive HVLP sprayers in the past and was not impressed with the results, then you should consider this gun by DEWALT. While DEWALT isn’t known for pneumatic tools, their gravity-feed spray gun is one of the best options out there. 

It’s high-quality, easy to use, and a perfect fit for DIYers. Even if you don’t have much experience, the gun can improve your work by a mile. It operates smoothly and provides an even application.

The operating pressure is about 15 to 30 PSI, so it can keep up with most consumer-style compressors. We recommend using a high-volume compressor.

The sprayer is about 2.4 pounds, so it’s a bit heavy. But it has a good feel with a full stainless steel body. It works well with Polyurethane, lacquer, and other oil-based finishes. 

A few customers complained about the price, which we think is worth considering the performance. Of course, you will need to spend extra on a compressor if you don’t have one already. We don’t like that the tip is not interchangeable. 

Make sure to disassemble the device for cleaning after each use. Soak the nozzle and cap and clean the internal parts.

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Great value for your money

  • The trigger is easy to use

  • Very lightweight

  • Easy to use

  • Well-constructed 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • A bit heavy 

  • Cap often drips

9. Paasche Airbrush HG-08 HVLP Touch-Up Spray Gun

Passche might not be a well-known brand but their gravity feed spray gun doesn’t seem to be shy of competition. With a weight of only 0.65 pounds, it is arguably the best lightweight model.

Even more, it’s easy to control and comes highly recommended for touchups and smaller detail paint jobs.

The sprayer has a fully adjustable spray pattern. You can set it to achieve either round or spray patterns. This makes it suitable for a wide range of applications. 

When you purchase the gun, you will be provided with just one nozzle. If you want, you can purchase other nozzle sizes separately; there are five different options available. You will also need a separate compressor to use the gun.

It only requires 1.5 to 4 CFM of airflow, so it will work with just about any compressor.

However, the material cup on the gun is quite small, the capacity is only 3 ounces, so it’s best for touchups. You may find it inadequate for whole paint jobs. In general, you can use it for any job that falls in between an airbrush and a large spray gun.

Like most HVLP units, the gun has a high transfer efficiency, so it produces less overspray. Since both the needle and spray tip are stainless, you can use them with water- and solvent-based paints. 

As earlier indicated, the entire device weighs just over half a pound, which means you can use it for hours without getting worn out.

Our only complaint is with the positioning of the spray adjustment. It sits just where your thumb is supposed to rest. As a result, it’s easy to move your finger and accidentally spin the knob while painting.

In other words, you may find yourself changing the spray fan pattern unintentionally. It’s not a huge issue but is still worth mentioning. You can try tightening the set screw or stack some O rings around the shaft to keep it from moving so easily.

What We Liked πŸ‘

  • Very controllable

  • Easy to setup and use

  • Suitable for both water-based and solvent-based paints

  • Lightweight

  • Produces less overspray 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Spray pattern can be inconsistent sometimes 

10. Master Pro 44- Best HVLP Spray GunΒ 

If you want an HVLP paint sprayer you can use to achieve professional results every time; you will not go wrong with this model from Master Pro. The lightweight HVLP gravity feed sprayer is built with user comfort in mind.

It provides a well-balanced ergonomic grip on a featherweight of 3.27 pounds, enabling you to use the tool for hours without getting tired. 

The HVLP technology delivers superior atomization and performs well with all coatings, including base coats, clear coats, primers, single stages, and other light to medium viscosity paint mediums.  

An important highlight of the gun is that it’s waterborne compatible. The components are made of precision-engineered high-grade stainless steel that is 100 percent suitable for the latest automotive waterborne paints. It’s chemical agent friendly, durable, and super easy to clean and maintain.

The tool offers four sets of fluid spray tips for different material viscosities. This includes 1.3mm and 1.4mm tips for light to medium liquids such as clear coats, single stages, and base coats, 1.5mm and 1.8mm tips for single stage top coats, primers, and other medium to high viscosity coatings. 

The gun also features a 1L aluminum cup to hold the paint and a pressure regulator to control the fluid output. You can also use bigger disposable cups, thanks to the MPS adapter.

A fluid filter separates contaminants from the paint, while the adjustment wrench and brush make cleaning easier. 

The device weighs just over 3 pounds and has a comfortable handle. 

What We liked πŸ‘

  • Easy to maintain

  • It comes with a fluid filter 

  • Up to four spray tips to choose from

  • Adjustable spray pattern 

  • Lightweight 

What Could Change πŸ‘Ž

  • Not suitable for professional use

Pros & Cons of an HVLP Spray Gun

HVLP spray guns are popular for a reason. They offer a lot of perks that endear to beginners and DIYers. However, they are not without issues, even though these are less significant compared to their many benefits.

In this section, we will look at some of the pros and cons of choosing the gun over other options. 

Pros of an HVLP spray gun

  • Produces less overspray due to higher transfer efficiency (up to 90%)

  • Easy to use (great for beginners)

  • Some models are very versatile and contain many spray patterns 

  • Some can spray at any angle

  • Lightweight design

  • Can spray a variety of materials

  • Adjustable controls (you can control the spray pattern and fluid flow through the tip)

  • Budget-friendly

  • Low-Pressure requirements 

  • Some models operate without a compressor

  • Minimum paint wastage compared to airless sprayers

Cons of an HVLP spray gun

  • You have to wear proper safety gear while using the gun

  • Slower than airless spray guns

  • Some materials may require thinning before use

Difference Between HVLP and LVLP Spray Gun

Even though HVLP and LVLP look very similar, they usually have different outputs and applications.

As their name suggests, an HVLP uses a high volume of air and low pressure to atomize paint while an LVLP uses low volume and low pressure. As a result, an HVLP paint sprayer can be turbine-based, electric-based, or compressor-driven.

LVLP sprayers, on the other hand, only run on compressors, and since they have low volume requirements and use less power, they will work with almost any type of compressor.

In addition, LVLP guns have a smaller fan spray pattern and take longer to complete tasks than an HVLP gun. This makes HVLPs better suited for small to medium size projects.

Also, even though HVLP sprayers use more CFM, LVLP atomizes better and sprays relatively faster, producing a finer finish with less overspray. This makes them (LVLP) more suitable for large and high-production applications.

Can I Use A HVLP Sprayer With Any Paint?

It depends on the type and sheen of the paint. HVLP sprayers work best with thin paints such as oil-based paints. Thicker paints, such as latex (water-based), are better suited for an airless sprayer and may clog up your HVLP gun unless you thin down the paint.

In general, you can use an HVLP sprayer with various paint. These include oil-based paints, latex, varnishes, milk paints, primers, enamel, lacquers, top coats, base coats, clear sealers, Polyurethane, and milk paints.

With any of these mediums, always consider the viscosity of the paint. If the paint is too viscous, it’s best to thin it before using it with your HVLP gun to avoid clogging the nozzle.

That said, thinning paint doesn’t always solve the problem. Sometimes, it can produce mixed results. The best thing to do is to ensure your spray gun is compatible with any paint you’re using. You can check the label or user manual for relevant information.

Do HVLP paint sprayers use more paint?

No, they don’t. HVLP sprayers operate at low pressure, which results in less paint usage and a finer finish. Airless sprayers, on the other hand, operate at significantly higher pressure, which results in more paint usage and overspray.

The good thing about HVLPs is that you have greater control over the flow and thickness of the paint. Having said that, you should still expect some level of overspray (though lesser), so make sure to mask your floors and furniture.

It’s possible to achieve similar results with an airless sprayer or even better results depending on the type and size of your spray tip as well as your technique. But in general, you will waste more paint using an airless spray gun than an HVLP gun.

Do I need a regulator on my HVLP spray gun?

A spray gun regulator is highly recommended if you want consistent results in your paint jobs. An air pressure regulator helps to provide precise pressure and airflow adjustment to minimize pressure drops in the system across air lines.

In order words, regulators ensure the gun gets constant air pressure, thereby mitigating the dreaded pressure drop. The good thing about this is that you won’t have to trudge back and forth to the compressor to check and adjust the pressure, which makes it very convenient.

Having a regulator also allows you to tweak the spray pattern of the gun based on the type and viscosity of the paint.

When choosing a regulator for your spray gun, make sure it has a greater capacity than your gun. This way, it can supply enough air for the gun to operate efficiently. You can also have a regulator in the compressor.

Thankfully, regulators are not too expensive, and they are sure to save you a lot of hassle.

How to Reduce Overspray With an HVLP 

Reducing overspray in your project will reduce paint waste and help you save money. Here are several ways to do it: 

  • Always check the local weather forecast before painting outside. Don’t paint when the wind is too strong. Likewise, if you are painting indoors, turn off the fans.

  • Using the wrong spray pattern can also cause overspray. To fix this, you can fiddle with the gun nozzle to ensure you get the correct pattern. This is usually possible when you have a sprayer that is adjustable and has both broad and narrow patterns. 

  • Applying too much pressure can also cause the paint to splatter and increase overspray. The easiest way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to lower the pressure on your device. This is why it’s important to choose a gun with pressure adjustment. 

  • Spraying too far from the target surface can increase the amount of overspray. Likewise, keeping the gun too close can cause drips. To prevent this, maintain a safe distance from the surface, usually between 7 to 10 inches.

  • One way to get a more direct spray into the target surface and reduce overspray is to use a smaller spray tip. So, make sure you’re using the correct spray tip size. Also, opt for a smaller fan width.

  • Poor spraying technique can also contribute to overspray. So, if you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to work on your technique before you take on your main project.

  • Cover all surfaces and items you don’t want to paint. You could use old newspapers or rags or masking tape.  

Safety Practices for Using an HVLP Spray Gun

There are always safety concerns when working with any painting medium or sprayer. To ensure your safety, follow the tips below when using your HVLP spray gun.

  • Avoid touching the spray tip while the gun is in operation. Even though an HVLP operates a low pressure, the sharp tips can still injure you. The only time you’re allowed to touch them is when the gun is off, and you are cleaning it.

  • Paint chemicals produce a lot of toxic fumes that can cause several health problems when inhaled. So, always wear a respiratory mask to protect your lungs.

  • Another way to reduce the fumes is to spray in a well-ventilated area. If possible, always spray outdoors, preferably in your backyard or any other place with good ventilation.

  • Wear protective clothing and gloves, and cover your eyes with safety glasses. It’s also a good idea to wear some form of ear protection if you’re working indoors or for an extended period. 

  • Either mask or remove any item in the work area to avoid staining them with paint.

  • Before starting any project, always check the sprayer for any loose or broken components. Tighten the loose parts and repair all damages. Don’t attempt to stop leaks with your hands or any other part of your body.

  • Never point the spray gun at yourself or at other people or animals. If there’s a tip guard or trigger safety, always use them when spraying.

  •  Make sure the spray nozzle is the correct size for your specific application, as this will make your job much easier.

  • If there’s a need to thin the paint medium, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions. 

FAQs – Best HVLP Spray Gun for Air Compressor

What PSI does a HVLP spray gun use?

This depends on the model and application. Essentially, the pressure used by each gun will not be the same for different materials. In general, most units use 10-14 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 40 PSI.

However, you can get a great flow for most projects by setting the sprayer around 28-32 PSI. You can find the exact pressure required for different materials in your sprayer manual.

What size compressor do I need for an HVLP gun?

This depends on the brand and model of your gun. Most HVLP guns require a pressure input of about 15 to 30 PSI, making them a good fit with smaller pneumatic units. We recommend going for a compressor with 8 to 15 CFM and a pressure input of about 35 to 40 PSI to avoid interruptions.

Can you use HVLP to paint a car?

Yes, you can paint your car with an HVLP if it meets the pressure requirement and CFM rating. This is usually around 15-30 PSI and 8-15 CFM, respectively. For the best results, it’s best to use a gravity spray HVLP spray gun when spraying a car. You will also need a consumer-style compressor (a small one).

Can you paint walls with HVLP?

You can paint interior walls with an HVLP sprayer, but this depends on the size of the wall. If it’s a small accent wall, you can use an HVLP sprayer. However, for larger walls where you need to cover a lot of space, you’re better off with an airless sprayer.

Is It Possible To Use An HVLP Gun With A Turbine?

Yes, some HVLP guns come with an inbuilt turbine that supplies the air required for atomization, thus eliminating the need for an external compressor. This makes them usable anywhere.

Though slower, they offer a precise application and produce less overspray. They are also easy to use and perfect for exterior painting – thanks to their portability.

Can I spray Polyurethane with an HVLP Gun?

Yes, you can. HVLP sprayers generally work well with thin paint mediums. Polyurethane is a thin material, which makes it OK for your spray gun. Having said that, it’s still important to know when to thin down any medium, especially if you have a smaller nozzle.

What is better HVLP or LVLP?

Both HVLP and LVLP are high-quality spray guns. The better option will depend on your spraying needs and personal preference. HVLP guns offer more simplicity and are very affordable, making them popular among beginners.

They also deliver a pleasing final coat. On the other hand, LVLP sprayers produce lesser overspray and have higher transfer efficiency, but their coverage speed is lower. They are also easier to transport and deliver a top-notch finish, making them a better fit for contractors.

ConclusionBest HVLP Spray Gun for Air Compressor

Choosing the best HVLP spray gun for air compressor doesn’t have to be a challenging task. The guns reviewed here are affordable and will significantly improve your projects’ outcome, so you won’t feel the need to redo them.

In selecting each model, we focused on factors such as pricing, ease of operation, nozzle type, pressure requirements, cup capacity, and ease of cleaning.

Just take your time to go over each and select one that meets your needs and preference. Also, familiarize yourself with our buying guide so you can get the most effective model without going through any trial and error.

Let us know if you have any more questions about choosing the best HVLP paint sprayer for your air compressor. Until then, happy spraying!

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