Job-Site Sprayer Choices

Pros discuss basic equipment for spraying in the field. November 12, 2006

I usually do all my spraying in the shop, but am venturing out to spray cabinets on site. The new doors will be sprayed at my shop, where I have my compressor. I plan on spraying pigmented lacquer and don't have an airless. Is it time to get a turbine unit, airless, or just use a midsize compressor with my HVLP setup?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
If you plan on doing this on a regular basis, the route I would take for pigmented lacquer would be a small Graco airless pump... like the 395 series. Cost under 700. I use a Kremlin 10/14 pump and a small compressor for on-site work, for speed of delivery and overspray. But both units will fill the air with lacquer immediately. Be cautious. Ventilate and mask accordingly.

From the original questioner:
I use HVLP equipment and get minimal overspray, which is what I am looking for. This is a remodel job, so I don't want to have to drape the whole house. Is there something I can use that doesn't put out a lot of overspray?

From contributor T:
The Kremlin 10-14 has the highest transfer efficiency of any production spray gun. It also only needs 1.5 CFM, as does the pump. Therefore, any small compressor that will produce 3 CFM will run it. Most any other type of gun will require 8 to 18 CFM, making the compressor non-portable for jobsite use. I think an electric airless will work as well, but it will certainly have a lot more overspray, therefore more masking and less control.

From contributor B:
I've been using a Wagner FineCoat for years, probably spraying an average of 6-8 gallons of pre-cat lacquer a month. You can buy them (turbine, hose, and gun) for $79 factory refurbished. I've been really happy with it. I know they are cheap and most wouldn't think it to be worthy of pro use. I take it with me on every install, just in case I need to touch something up. Don't need a compressor, either, as it has its own turbine.

From contributor B:
Consider getting an HVLP turbine sprayer from American Turbine. Top quality, transfer rate as good as any, Sicmo gun, easy to use and long lasting.

From contributor K:
Although the airless are your quietest option, and there is no cup on the gun to get inside the cabinets easily, I would suggest a HVLP setup over an airless for site work. You will have less overspray, less material wasted vs. flushing and cleaning your piston pump. I would suggest a turbine to avoid hauling enough air to run a gun continuously. Most turbines warm the air (some to almost hot), so you will have to add hose length to cool the air, or possibly tweak your lacquer with retarder. If you happen to get a bleeder gun, you will have a learning curve with constant air going (just get a non-bleeder). With the cheaper turbines, they will not atomize your thicker finish well without thinning. On the other hand, if you know your conversion HVLP gun well and just don't mind hauling the compressor, go that route.

Last, if you want to spend the bucks and go 1st class, get a Kremlin AAA (like a 10-14) with a pressure pot - you will get the highest transfer, no heat, no cup on the gun, great spray accuracy.

From the original questioner:
Just ran across a used Wagner 4-stage turbine with gun for a good price. Has anyone had any luck with Wagner?

From contributor M:
I have a 3 stage Wagner turbine and it does a nice job for me. I think the 4 stage will do everything you want it to do and will be easy to transport.