We all have the desire to have a hand in our projects’ every aspect. And for some of us, that means paint as well.
Painting is not as hard as it is made out to be. It absolutely takes patience, practice, and skills developed over time to turn out a spray job that is above the rest. For a daily driver, however, time and effort can make a big difference in the end result.
Recently, and most predominately, you will encounter gravity feed style guns with the paint reservoir (cup) on top of the device. Originally, the cup was on the bottom. Both function in a similar manner, by creating a vacuum at the junction of two passageways, air and paint. In a traditional gun, the pressures needed for this to occur properly are far greater than in a gravity feed. This generates vast amounts of overspray (paint that is so finely atomized it never actually makes it to the intended target); some studies have even shown that only 30% of your paint actually makes it to the surface. This is one of the reasons that the gravity feed style has become mainstream. This is not to say that the siphon-feed gun is dead. Manufacturers also make HVLP siphon-feed guns.
Some of the other reasons the gravity feed style is used is the acronym “HVLP.” High Volume, Low Pressure guns operate exactly as their name implies. At pressure ranges as low as 25PSI, they ensure more of the paint product makes it to the surface than a traditional gun, and also produce less overspray.
Now, a paint gun is only part of turning out a good paint job. Keep in mind the prep work, priming, sanding, priming again, sanding again, painting, color sanding, painting again, clear coat application, and buffing and polishing. There are a lot of steps involved in turning out a nice paint job. Best way to get a feel for how it is done is actually to venture down to your local parts yard and get an old fender. Repaint it a few times, and that will give you a good idea of just what you are in store for.
If you only plan on using your gun a couple times, it can be hard to justify a high-dollar professional setup, some of which can run up to $500 just for the gun. A more economical alternative for the beginner is this option from Titan Tools, available here at Speedway Motors, for a more reasonable $49.95.