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Hire a paint company, they said, it will save you so much time, they said. But now, after shelling out all that money, you noticed there are thousands of tiny paint flecks all over your hardwood flooring and the paint company is not answering their phone – what a mess! Now you are stuck with the even greater task of either scouring the paint flecks from the floor or, in the case of dried enamel paint, a laborious floor sanding job. The next home decorating project you take one, you tell yourself, never mind what they said, and you set your feelers out for the best LVLP spray gun that you can find, otherwise known as a Low Volume Low-Pressure Spray Gun – this article will guide you to making the right choice. We will discuss everything in detail, including why it is a spray gun for a small compressor and what to expect to find in an LVLP spray gun kit. We will even include some LVLP spray gun reviews so that you can make a more informed decision next time round.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is a Low Volume Low-Pressure Spray Gun?
- 2 Advantages of Using a Low Volume Low-Pressure Spray Gun
- 3 Things to Think About Before Buying Your LVLP Spray Gun
- 4 Reviews on LVLP Spray Guns
- 4.1 Does it Perform as it Promises?
- 4.2 Type of Spray Gun and Fan Pattern Size
- 4.3 The Best LVLP Spray Guns Recommendations
- 5 How Does an LVLP Spray Gun Work?
- 6 How to Use an LVLP Spray Gun to Apply Paint
- 6.1 How Much Paint Is Wasted
- 6.2 Size of the Compressor
- 6.3 Paint Material
- 6.4 Cleaning Your Spray Gun
- 7 Comparing HVLP and LVLP Spray Guns
- 8 Advantages and Disadvantages of an LVLP Paint Sprayer
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9.1 Is an HVLP Paint Spray Gun Preferable to an LVLP Spray Gun?
- 9.2 What Does an LVLP Spray Gun Do?
- 9.3 Is Latex Paint Suitable for an LVLP Spray Gun?
- 9.4 Is the LVLP Spray Gun Durable?
- 9.5 Are There any Disadvantages With an LVLP Sprayer?
- 9.6 What are Some LVLP Spray Gun Applications?
- 9.7 What Does a Gravity-feed or a Siphon-feed Spray Gun Entail?
What Is a Low Volume Low-Pressure Spray Gun?
Low volume low-pressure spray guns have become the new norm when it comes to painting. With this age of Aquarius comes an influx of information and activity and with that an acceleration of pace. Society is fast-paced and kind of impatient, which makes these spray guns such an amazing tool as it satisfies that need for speed and accuracy. The low pressure that emits the paint causes it to come out in a fan-like manner. They are often used to spray logos and images on the body of cars.
The LVLP spray gun reviews have glorified this type of gun as the ideal candidate for DIY home decorators who work on the interior painting of walls, doors, and ceilings and have no need for high-powered, high-pressure compressors. In fact, it is designed as a spray gun for small compressors. The low pressure allows less paint to come out from the nozzle at once, thus, giving more control in the spray painting techniques.
LVPL spray guns last a long time and they will save you an immense amount of time, so it is highly recommended if it suits your needs.
LVLP Spray Gun Options
Now, of course, there is no such thing as originality anymore, but there is uniqueness. There are a few variations of these LVLP spray guns that each offer something unique to its brand. If you find yourself floundering with all the options and not knowing which is the best suited to your needs, we will sort you out! Low CFM spray guns, or LVLP spray guns, are the perfect spray gun for small compressors but you must make sure to pick the right one. Keep reading to find out more.
Bleeder vs Non-Bleeder Spray Gun
A spray gun that is a bleeder means that it offers a very reliable and steady flow of paint spraying from the nozzle, the trigger does not necessarily define the flow of the spray paint and this helps with preventing any dried paint from blocking up the nozzle because the flow is more consistent. The downside to this is a lack of control over the amount of paint that comes through.
There are spray guns that are non-bleeders. This type of spray gun is trigger responsive and it will cease to fire, or spray in this case, if you are not pulling the trigger. This allows a lot more control over your spraying and the amount that comes out each time. Depending on what you want out of your project will determine which spray gun to use.
The Two Feed System Options
Low-volume low-pressure spray guns can be categorized into two sub-categories. There are the gravity feed spray guns as well as the siphon spray guns. They each have their own mechanism, but each is just as good as the other.
Siphon Feed LVLP Spray Guns
This is the oldest type of spray gun, it has been long-sought-after and considered the most reliable, but that is most likely due to the fact that it is the most familiar for being the most commonly used. Its mechanism is one of siphoning the paint through the nozzle with high air pressure. One downside of this mechanism is that it is quite messy, leaving a spotty mess in your spaying path.
Gravity Feed LVLP Spray Guns
This mechanism does not need as much air pressure when it comes to getting the paint through the nozzle. This is because the container that holds the paint is attached closer to the top of the gun, thus requiring less force. It has the benefit of more controlled spraying and less over spraying. If more control is what you are looking for, this Low CFM spray gun is what you need. It is a spray gun for a small compressor and it works for all industrial or commercial needs.
Advantages of Using a Low Volume Low-Pressure Spray Gun
Besides the obvious advantages of using a low pressure low volume spray gun, there are far more than what we have already mentioned. Keep reading to find out exactly how beneficial it can be to use an LVLP spray gun.
Simplifies Painting Jobs
LVLP spray guns are notorious for spraying with more intricacy. They are able to get into those smaller nooks and crannies, or maybe indoors in a tightly packed apartment. If you are painting a piece of furniture, the job will be so quick and easy if you use an LVLP spray gun.
Smooth and Even Finish
If you are looking for a very smooth and even finish, then look no further than an LVLP spray gun. These spray guns do not let out as much paint as the HVLP spray guns and the spray is of a fine mist, this makes the finish much smoother than the HVLP spray gun finishes.
Not only do the LVLP spray guns help to reduce the amount of time spent on each project, or job for that matter. It will also help you save paint. This is partly because of the fine spray they give off and also because you can adjust the radius of the spray. LVLP has way less of an overspray factor and they use way less paint than if you chose the paintbrush or roller option.
Fine and Precise Sprays
If you are an interior designer or a fanatic of all things DIY, then an LVLP spray gun is definitely your best bet. Y might need to practice a bit at first, but you will be grateful in the end because they do allow for far more intricate detailing than the HVLP spray guns.
Obviously, there is the cost at the very beginning which is when you first buy the spray gun or the spray gun kit. After that, you will be able to complete jobs a lot faster because of the efficiency of the LVLP spray guns. This will save you time and money.
Things to Think About Before Buying Your LVLP Spray Gun
If you are on the lookout for the best LVL Spray gun, there are a few things you need to consider before you swipe your card. Bear in mind that the mechanism for each of the spray gun brands will pretty much be the same, except for a few differences that are not easily noticed. We have, however, listed some of the most prominent benefits and own-sides to each product.
Maintenance is a tedious thing but it truly is the most important thing to lengthen the longevity of your spray gun. Because a spray gun works with spray paint it needs to be cleaned after every use, and even after every color change. If you fail to clean your spray gun, you will find that dried paint will congeal in the nozzle, preventing the full flow of the spray.
Ease of maintenance is definitely something you should keep in mind when purchasing a spray gun. If you get one that is difficult to clean properly after every use, then the likelihood of your equipment suffering long-term damage due to poor maintenance increases. Lubricating each component of the spray gun is included in the maintenance plan.
What is the Spray Gun Made From?
Experts in the painting field will exclaim how amazing the aluminum spray guns are, or aluminum tools in general. It is very light in your grip and that makes it an ideal candidate for newbies as well as professionals. The lightness of the tool makes it super easy to use and versatile for different projects. Heavier spray guns tend to be bulkier and far more complicated to use, working your muscles more than necessary if there are other options available, like the low CFM spray guns.
Is It User Friendly?
Spray guns are something that requires a bit of skill to work with. This means a lot of practice is needed, even with the best LVLP spray guns. That being said, if you are a beginner at spray gun painting, then you should make sure that the gun you choose is user-friendly. This means is it difficult to load with the paint, or is it complicated to take apart for maintenance, or is there a whole LVLP spray gun kit included? Both of these factors will influence your workflow and should be taken into careful consideration. Better that, than having to call in a professional halfway through the job.
Which Gun for What Project?
This should be commonly known and self-explanatory, but we will explain it anyway. The type of paint job that is required, will determine which spray gun you should get. If the surface is large and spacious, it will require a different spray gun to the spray gun needed for more detailed effects. If you are looking to paint a cabinet or some wooden fencing, then an LVLP spray gun for a small compressor will do the trick!
Reviews on LVLP Spray Guns
LVLP spray gun reviews are available all over the internet and are a brilliant way for you to gain your own perspective of which spray gun you should get according to your painting needs. In this day and age, we are flooded with so much information it is hard to know who or what to believe. This means, it is up to you to make your own informed decision, but, feel free to use our guidance regardless. Use the past experience of previous low volume low pressure spray guns as lessons on what to do, or what not to do.
Does it Perform as it Promises?
Each LVLP spray gun is put to a test where its ability to perform without any hiccups is calculated. The end result is an estimation of its performance delivery. This estimation basically classifies the spray guns according to what job you want to be done, and it is important to check that in case you purchase one that can not handle the workload. The calculation is done using pounds per square inch, or PSI.
Type of Spray Gun and Fan Pattern Size
It is mightily important to work out what type of fan pattern you need for the job in question. This means, do the patterns of the spray flow in an up and down motion or in left, right, left again motion? This will depend on what you need to be painted. Another thing to consider is whether you want a bleeder spray gun or a non-bleeder. If you would like a more consistent flow then a bleeder is your guy, but the one with the more trigger-responsive flow is the non-bleeder.
The Best LVLP Spray Guns Recommendations
Now that you are fully aware of all the if’s, buts, and maybes with all of the different low volume low pressure spray guns, we can start looking at the best LVLP spray guns that are available on the market – our opinion of course. With all the brands and products available it can be a hard decision for one person, especially if you are new to the world of spray painting with compressors.
Ultimate Gravity Feed LVLP Spray Gun: ASTRO LVLP Spray Gun
There is a reason we call this spray gun the ultimate gravity feed spray gun. It really gets the job done, with no disappointment factor. This spray gun is remarkably durable and hardy when you take into consideration how light it is when you hold it. The trigger of the spray gun is not stiff at all, in fact, it is what we call a soft trigger, which is designed as a way to prevent exhaustion of the arms and hands, and allows your stamina to last longer, for a more productive day of painting.
This tool is very easy to maintain and keep clean, partly due to the fact that it has a steel fluid tip and needle – stainless steel at that. One amazing benefit with this spray gun is there is no worry of any transfer of the paint from the container through to the nozzle if you choose to use a smaller compressor. The body of the spray gun is damage resistant because it is made of aluminum, this also adds to its lightweight quality.
Ultimate Gravity Feed LVLP Spray Gun Kit: SPRAYIT LVLP Gravity Feed
If you’re a beginner to painting, or maybe you are starting out an interior design business on the side, you might want to look out for LVLP spray gun kits because they will come equipped with everything you need and you will not resize halfway through your preparation that you are missing an important piece. Sprayit has a brilliant kit available for your purchase. It is of an aluminum body, making it nice and lightweight for easy usage. The whole kit comes inclusive of two different size spray guns, two cups fitting for each sized gun, variously sized nozzles for different purposes, tools for fitment, and more attachments.
The PSI pressure when in use is between 28 and 45, but you could consider 60PSI to be the average pressure. The smaller nozzle is only 0.8mm in size which is obviously fit for the smaller gun. The bigger gun has a nozzle of 1.3 to 2.0 mm in size. The best thing about this kit is that the spray guns have an adjustable pattern of fan spray. This means that it can be versatile for each project at hand. Not only that, but you can also adjust the pressure at which the paint is sprayed out – whether you want more or less volume is the key.
Ultimate Siphon Feed LVLP Spray Gun: SPRAYIT LVLP Siphon Feed
We are aware that we recommended their gravity feed spray gun by Sprayit, but their siphon feed spray gun is also one of the top-of-the-range products, so we could not help but list it here as well. This spray gun works a little differently with its siphoning mechanism. The PSI pressure you can get out of it can reach up to 60, but the main PSI would be 28 to 45 in operation. The fan pattern it sprays can span out from 7 to about 10.9 inches in radius, and the CFM, or air consumption rate is from 3.5 to 3.9 if you are going at a PSI rate of 30.
If you are a professional, or simply a DIY lover of all projects, no matter how big or small, this siphon feed spray gun by Sprayit is perfect for you. It has the added benefit of having controls in the air so that it is easier to use and allows for more precision. You may adjust the amount of pressure you use, as well as the amount of paint that comes through the nozzle making it versatile for certain surface areas of different objects. Not only that, but it can work with paints that dry faster which are usually more difficult to work with.
How Does an LVLP Spray Gun Work?
An LVLP spray gun promises far less over spraying which will save you a lot of time of corrections and money on wasted resources. HVLP spray guns, on the other hand, are far more wasteful because they use up a lot more air from the compressor and they tend to overspray paint intensely which gets costly. This happens because the high pressure spray guns cause the air and the paint to mix and splatter out of control. They are a good option for bigger projects, but you are limited to them.
LVLP spray guns are called, in full, Low volume low pressure spray guns because they do just as their name suggests. They use low volume as well as producing a finer spray. This does allow for minimal over spraying and more precision, which will save you time and money in the long run – which is definitely a bonus.
Technicalities of a Spray Gun
We are aware that we have mentioned these things before but it is probably time for us to start explaining what we mean by CFM or PSI for that matter. Well, PSI, along with CFM, are there to determine the amount of pressure used and the amount of air used. PSI stands for Pounds per square inch and determines the amount of pressure used when spraying, whereas CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and represents the measurement of volume used. PSI run is
Differences between an LVLP and an HVLP Sprayer
Even though our main focus is on the benefits of using an LVLP spray gun, it is also beneficial to understand the differences between the HVLP spray guns and the LVLP spray guns. This will help you make a more informed decision when purchasing a spray gun – you never know, maybe you could actually benefit from an HVLP spray gun in the end. Below we have compiled a list of the differences for your educational benefit.
How to Use an LVLP Spray Gun to Apply Paint
When it comes to actually applying the paint with the spray guns, the two different guns, namely the HVLP and the LVLP spray gun’s results will vary considerably. The HVLP has a fan spray radius of 12 inches estimated, whereas the LVLP spray gun has a fan spray radius of an estimated 8 to 10 inches. If you are needing to paint a larger surface area then your best bet will be the HVLP spray gun, however, if you are needing to paint smaller pieces of furniture with more detailed precision, then the LVLP spray gun is your best option.
How Much Paint Is Wasted
Wasted paint is determined by how much overspray is produced by your spray gun. A spray gun that produces a lot of overspray will be one that is called a bleeder that means it sprays even if you are not holding the trigger. An LVLP spray gun that is a non-bleeder will help you save a lot of time and money on painting and resources. It only runs at 10 PSI which means it has an 80% efficient transfer. Wasting paint is not only harmful to your budget, but also to the environment, so take this into serious consideration.
Size of the Compressor
A larger compressor is designated for the HVLP spray guns. This is because they require a lot more power because their nozzles are larger for spraying large surface areas. For HVLP spray guns you will need a compressor that gives off 15 to 35 PSI. These do tend to be more pricey but they will make it easier to spray very large areas. Keep a lookout for either the turbine mechanism or the pneumatic mechanism..
Alternatively, smaller compressors are designated for the LVLP spray guns because they require far less oomph. The great thing about this is that it will be much lighter on your budget, allowing more room for other supplies. The size of the compressor for LVLP spray guns would need to be able to give out at least 10 PSI and would only need an airflow of five to eight CFM.
LVLP spray guns are perfect for interior designers because they allow for a more intricate style of spraying. Unfortunately, metallic paints or paints with high viscosity are not suitable for these spray guns, but there are lots of other paints that are suitable for LVLP spray guns. They are the following:
- Water-based paints
- Enamel paint
- Chalk paint,
- Acrylic paint
Cleaning Your Spray Gun
We know we have mentioned it before, but we will mention it again, and maybe again a bit later on – just to reiterate it. Maintaining your spray gun is of the utmost importance which means you need to clean it after every single use! If you skip this important step then the paint will dry in the nozzle threatening to damage your spray gun permanently. Keep reading to learn exactly how you should clean and maintain your spray gun to avoid damaging it.
Paint supplies are not the only thing you need to pick up at the hardware store or paint supply store. Cleaning supplies are a mandatory part of the process because, without them, you will stand the chance of causing some permanent damage to your spray gun because you were not able to clean it efficiently. The following are the necessary cleaning supplies that are required for the best cleaning results:
- Eye Mask
- Protective gloves
- Respiratory mask
- Soap and water
- Mineral Spirits or a cleaning detergent suitable for the type of paint
- The wrench included with the spray gun when you bought it to take it apart for the cleaning
- Paper towel
- Toothpicks in the case of clogging the paint
- Brush for cleaning that was included with the spray gun when you bought it.
Take it Apart
Like we said before, you must make sure that the spray gun your purchase can easily be taken apart for cleaning and maintenance. Your first step of the cleaning process is to take the spray gun apart and separate all the pieces so that you can clean in between the hard-to-reach places. Make sure that you handle it carefully because the needle and the fluid tip are quite fragile and prone to breaking. Stay organized so that you stand less of a chance of losing an important bit when you need to assemble the spray gun again.
Cleaning the Paint Sprayer
This is probably the most obvious step in the process of cleaning your spray gun. If you are one that appreciates any saving of time and money, then follow our quick and easy instructions for quick and easy cleaning.
Clean the Paint Cup
The first thing you take apart from the spray gun should be the container that holds the paint. Pour any remaining paint back into your paint tub, and fill the container with your mineral spirits or the designated cleaning solution that you chose. Remember to make sure you choose a suitable cleaning solution for the type of paint you used. Do not forget your ever-so-important protective gear when this part comes up. Reattach the container back to your spray gun and give it a good shake. Then you need to pull the trigger and let the mineral spirit run through the nozzle, thus cleaning it.
Remember to complete this part of the cleaning procedure by wiping a mineral spirit-soaked cloth over and around the outside of the spray gun and the inside of the container.
Take Apart the Rest of the Sprayer
Now is the time to take the rest of the spray gun apart, starting with the fluid needle. Please be very careful when you take off the fluid needle because they are fragile and prone to breaking. Your spray gun should come equipped with a wrench which you can use to take off the air cap by unscrewing it. Set everything to the side, being aware of where you place them.
Clean the Inner Parts of the Sprayer
You always have the option to use mineral spirits when cleaning and by doing so you have a kind of insurance that your spray gun will be optimally cleaned, however, soap and water should be good enough. There are some very small parts to a spray gun which means you must be cautious when cleaning and try not to use so many rigorous movements.
Wipe all the Parts down Properly
It is always a good idea to let the parts of your spray gun soak the mineral spirits or the soapy water for some time so that all the excess paint is lifted or dissolved. This is the part where the toothpicks come in. Use them to pick at the remaining paint that may have congealed into the nooks and grooves of the gun.
Reassemble the Spray Gun
Now that you have efficiently cleaned your spray gun, it is finally time to put it back together. Hopefully, you remember the order in which you took it apart because you will need to reassemble it in the same order. Luckily, there will be a manual with your spray gun that will explain exactly how to take them apart and put them back together.
Comparing HVLP and LVLP Spray Guns
With all this talk of spray guns, it might seem confusing to a beginner when deciding what you should get for your benefit, we have compiled a table of differences, which you can view below:
HVLP Spray Guns
LVLP Spray Guns
|Transfer Efficiency||Up to 70 percent||Up to 80 percent|
|Type of Compressor||Requires a high power turbine compressor||Smaller compressor suitable|
|User Friendly?||Very easy to use||Needs a bit of practice|
|Amount of Overspray||Lots of overspray||Less overspray|
|Operating Pressure||High CFM||Low CFM|
|Level of Proficiency Required||Suitable for beginners||Suitable for professionals|
|Width of Fan||Wider||Not as wide|
Advantages and Disadvantages of an LVLP Paint Sprayer
The most obvious advantage that an LVLP spray gun has over the HVLP is the fact that it has a far lower amount of overspray that is produced. This has already been discussed in detail so we will add some more advantages and disadvantages of the LVLP spray gun to the list so that you can make your own more informed decision.
The Advantages of LVLP Sprayers
- Less expensive than the HVLP
- Beautiful smooth finish
- Low PSI and CFM are required
- Best suited for car parts
- Suitable for paints that are waterborne
- Very little overspray is produced giving it amazing transfer efficiency
- Easy to transport
- Faster spray application
- Compressors are way less pricey
The Disadvantages of LVLP Paint Sprayers
- Not suitable for paints that are of a high viscosity
- The width of the fan spray radius is smaller
- Requires some practice to become skillful.
- Only suitable for thin materials.
In conclusion, it simply depends on the type of job you have at hand. If it is a job where you need to paint a large surface area, then the HVLP spray guns will be more effective. However, if the area is smaller like a piece of furniture, then it would be advisable to get an LVLP spray gun.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an HVLP Paint Spray Gun Preferable to an LVLP Spray Gun?
In the grand scheme of things, we prefer the LVLP spray gun because it is less messy and wasteful. It allows for more precision and intricacy and it is less costly than the HVLP spray guns. However, if you are painting a large surface area then you might need to consider an HVLP spray gun.
What Does an LVLP Spray Gun Do?
An LVLP spray gun is a method for applying paint. A container is attached to the gun that holds the paint and it sprays through a nozzle when you pull the trigger. An LVLP spray gun is good for smaller and more intricate jobs that are harder to reach for an HVLP spray gun.
Is Latex Paint Suitable for an LVLP Spray Gun?
Latex paint can be used in an LVLP spray gun. In fact, they offer an amazing finish in the end. It is important to understand the necessity of thinning out the paint before you run it through the sprayer.
Is the LVLP Spray Gun Durable?
There are many different brands that have designed LVLP spray guns. Most of them are mechanically very similar, so, it is up to you to do research on reputable brands and their products. You can find customer reviews all over the internet.
Are There any Disadvantages With an LVLP Sprayer?
If you manage to gather on an overly thick layer of paint, it might start to drip before it manages to dry. This will ruin the flush appearance of your paint job.
What are Some LVLP Spray Gun Applications?
You can use an LVLP Spray gun to apply paint to smaller pieces of furniture, or for painting any detail that an HVLP sprayer might not be able to get right. The LVLP spray guns are not limited to the smaller and more dainty projects they are also quite capable of spraying larger areas like walls or floors but you should be prepared that it will take longer to complete.
What Does a Gravity-feed or a Siphon-feed Spray Gun Entail?
The siphon feed spray guns have their paint container connected at the bottom of the spray gun which means it needs more pressure to get the paint through the nozzle. A gravity-fed spray gun has the paint container connected at the top of the spray gun which means it needs less pressure to get the paint through the nozzle.