My last build required alot more finishing then most of my previous projects. It seems like I spent more time cleaning the guns than spraying finish. I don't spray a lot mostly because I don't like spending all that time cleaning. I am asking for some help or tips to speed up the cleaning process. I spray only WB, mostly paint or poly. Most of my work consists of small projects and custom sized pieces.
From contributor J:
I would suggest getting a nylon bristled brush and keep it in a cup of water (lacquer thinner when using solvent borne coatings) and periodically clean the tip. It's a lot easier to keep it clean as you're going along than to get rid of all the build up. Check your pressure settings as well to see if that is contributing to the build up.
The garden hose will do the job very fast and quite well if you get it right after spraying. It gets to be more work if you put it off. I can usually clean up in about fifteen minutes. If I am spraying multiple coats I only clean up at the days end (except for a quick rinse when changing colors). It depends on what you spray but sometimes I leave paint in the gun overnight and continue spraying the next day too. I clean the nozzle exterior each time I set the gun down (just use a damp rag for this).
1. Use the snap on cup for whatever we are spraying.
2. During spraying we keep a tooth brush sitting in a cup of water and clean the tip about every 5 minutes
3. When we are done we unsnap the cup with finish in and snap on a cup filled with distilled water. Let it run through the gun and leave it on until we start spraying the next coats an hour or so later.
You should seldom need to tear the gun down. Use the "perking" technique first developed by Sharpe for use with gravity guns and you will eliminate the need to tear down most of the time.
Here's how perking works. You dump out whatever coating is in the gun. You add solvent, you loosen the air cap from the gun so that's is just about hanging off the gun but not quite. You turn down your air pressure to about 10 PSI and you pull the trigger. You cover the top of the gravity cup with a rag. The gun will now percolate like an old style coffee pot and clean itself very nicely. Continue this for about 30 seconds. Dump out the solvent, wipe the gun off and you're done.