Spray Setup for Occasional Paint Jobs

What's an affordable spray system for once-in-a-while paint spraying? September 14, 2006

We rarely do a painted kitchen - only two or three a year. I really like the paint and primer system from Mohawk, but the primer is so thick that even after thinning, the cup gun will not spray it well. I have a pressure pot that we spray CV through, but I would rather not use it to spray the paint. I am looking at an airless sprayer from Lowes. It is 2800 psi. I think it is meant to spray houses with. It costs about 527 dollars and seems well made. I really don't want to put a lot of money into a high dollar system like a Kremlin, because we don't do much paint, but I definitely need something other than a cup gun to shoot this primer and paint. Would this unit serve me well or should I look at getting another pressure pot? I don't even know if a pressure pot would spray this stuff well.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor M:
Check with your gun supplier - you might only need a different air or fluid nozzle for your gun.

From contributor L:
When I need to spray latex paint (thick stuff), I use a Husky pressurized cup siphon gun. You can pressurize the cup up to about 50 psi. It uses about 7 CFM of air. I still need to thin my latex, but it sprays well and only costs about $50 from the orange box store. It'll probably spray well at 40 seconds viscosity using a #4 Ford cup.

From contributor H:
I have recently bought the Graco Maxum (sp?) XR7 from the orange big box for $500. It's 3000 psi with a nice gun and a 50' hose. I shot Glidden latex right out of the 5 gallon pail (with 6-8oz Flotrol/gal) with no problems. Plenty of power.

From contributor S:
Check your viscosity with a ford #4 - you should be around 22-28 seconds for primer with a 1.4 - 1.8 setup on a conventional or HVLP gun.

From contributor A:
I do kitchens all the time and for lacquer priming I use an airless (Titan 440). They are great for that purpose. I wouldn't bother with a pot - you still have to thin the material 30-40%. The airless, maybe 10% if that. Any pump will be fine for you - just get a good 2 finger trigger gun with a swivel fitting. .411 tip and you're set. I love the old Greco tips but they are hard to find. Zip tips are good too. The airless is definitely worth the investment.

From contributor t:
I use the exact airless pump that contributor A just mentioned. It's a good machine, but there are a few drawbacks to this type of machine to consider. All said and done, it's a decent paint sprayer.

1) Overspray is a lot more than HVLP - you get maybe a 60% transfer rate. Backs of doors tend to get a bit rough-textured on the final coat of the door face, if you aren't very careful about how you spray the edges.

2) The Titan 440 takes a lot of thinner to flush. I'm sure many others do too. Use it for white and whites only. We sprayed 10 gallons gunboat grey color out of it and it took nearly two gallons of clean thinner to get it back to white quality.

3) Danger. If you don't have that tip properly seated and you pull the trigger, you stand a chance of getting paint in your face (i.e., eyes). I always wear safety glasses when I spray with that gun. Always. You can also inject or slice yourself with it if you shoot yourself with it.

4) Tiger-stripes. I've noticed that I get stripes with it more often than I'd like - even when I'm spraying with a new tip (310 or 412) 6-8 inches away, overlapping 50%. I can only chalk it up to overspray, the outer edge of the fan not being atomized properly. We spray precat, which is a bit easier to tiger-stripe than cheap non-cat lacquers. We add Flow Enhancer to remedy that. But it only helps a little, slows the drying time by about 20%, and makes for a lot of fun spraying vertical surfaces (runs and sags).

If you get this machine, which I recommend (particularly if you find a used one in good shape, because the Titan 440 is expensive), keep these items in mind, particularly the safety issue. It can be a dangerous animal.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor E:
I just did a paint job using a GRACO XR9 spray and back rolled. I experienced what I assume contributor B was referring to as "Tiger Stripes" - noticeable bands across both edges of the spray fan. They went away when I increased the spray pressure to the gun.