PAINT GUN ADJUSTING
sound trivial to an experienced painter but the fact is very few painters
know how to adjust their paint gun. This one item separates a sprayer from a
painter more than anything else. The fact is a painter that knows how to
fine tune his paint gun will turn a lot more hours and have a lot less
problems because he is controlling the paint and is not letting the paint
control him. This is why 80-90% of the painters today hate to spray High
Solids clears. They vision runs or orange peel and if you don’t adjust the
gun properly this is what you will get make no doubt about it.
all the number one question I get is what tip should I use? My personal
feeling is for basecoat a 1.3 or 1.4 and for clear 1.4. The exception on the
1.4 for spraying clear would be certain HVLP guns where a 1.5 is made for
spraying clear. And of course a true painter is only going to use gravity
feed gun. Leave the old siphon feed guns for the enamel sprayers that they
are made for, as these guns have no place in today’s body shops that are
using Urethanes and Polyurethane’s.
happens with an improperly adjusted paint gun?
applying basecoat chances are you’re applying it way too heavy and your
blends are showing, your metallic are not lying down or standing out like
they should so your color marches are a problem and the base is drying
slower between coats than it should. The number one clue the basecoat is
going on too heavy is if you’re having a dieback problem with the clear
after setting overnight (trapped solvents). If you’re applying clear the
clear is controlling you instead of you controlling the clear. With a High
Solids clear you try to spray it wet enough that the orange peel will flow
out but hope that it doesn’t flow so much that it runs on you. The next day
you tend to have a clear that looks cloudy or milky because of the trapped
solvents and it requires a lot of wet sanding. The benefits of adjusting the
paint gun properly will be faster application of paint and you will know
what the final job will look like when you spray it and not have to guess.
How do I
properly adjust my gun?
piece of masking paper on the wall, then set the fan how you like it. Adjust
the air pressure to the rate that you plan to spray with. Screw in the
fluid adjustment all the way. Hold the gun from the paper the distance that
you would normally spray (usually 6-8 inches) and give the trigger a quick
squeeze and release. If anything comes out of the gun it should be very
little and dry. Turn the fluid out one full turn and repeat this procedure
half a turn at a time until you are getting an even pattern and the paint is
even in build. If it is metallic the metallic should spray even as well. At
this point go to a rocker or bottom of a fender on the car and make a
12-inch pass. You will most likely have to back the fluid out one-half to
one full turn to spray at the speed you want then fine tune your air
gun is very close in adjustment, you should be able to lay the clear orange
peel free with out running it, and metallic should spray even and wet with
out much effort. Keep in mind this is not your last adjustment; every base
color will spray a little different and may require a half a turn in or out
for the new color. If you're going from a high solids clear for an all-over
to a spot repair clear you will need to make a minor adjustment again.
formula to remember is orange peel is fluid adjustment and run control is an
air pressure adjustment.
If you’re getting a few runs try upping the air pressure 5-10 pounds more.
note spend the money for a good set of paint guns! This is your career and
the paint gun makes or breaks you as far as labor hours turned. NASCAR
drivers don’t buy their race engines at a parts store to save money, so why
would a painter want a $200 gun? Spend the $400-800 for a good base gun and
again for a good clear gun, the payback will be faster than you think. You
will always get what you pay for with a paint gun!