Sunday, May 17, 2009

What is the right gun to use?

This post comes in response to to a readers question. Donald Butler from Houston is restoring a Jeep and keeps a video blog of his progress.
Donald asked what is the best gun for doing a metallic finish for a base coat clear coat paint job?
In an ideal world I would like a whole arsenal of guns. I would like a 1.4 HVLP gun for base coat and a 1.3 RP (reduced pressure non hvlp for the clear), a 1.8 for urethane primer a 2.2 for those times when I need to use a polyester primer and a detail gun for shooting smaller projects and doorjambs.
The 1.4 HVLP gives the best color match and the 1.3(or smaller) RP lays down the clear the best. Primer guns need a larger oriface to lay down the heavier material.
Alas I can't afford all of them. I get by with a 1.4 HVLP for both base and clear a 1.0 detail gun and a 1.8 primer gun
There have been manufactures over the years that have made guns with interchangable air caps and I've tried a couple and have never been very impressed. They are compromises and just don't seem to work out well. To do it right youo would have ot change out the air cap, fluid nozzle and needle. Doing that you've probubly spent enough money to buy a new gun.
By far the most important thing is to match your gun to your compressor. This is about air consumption. Guns need a critical volume of air to operate correctly if you spend a lot of money on a good gun that requires 13CFM (cubic feet per minute) to operate and your compressor can only deliver 8 CFM it will not operate correctly and you will be disappointed.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Your advice is very helpful to me. Thanks for responding!
The further I get into this project the more intimidated I am becoming about actually painting the Jeep.
I wanted to get your opinion on the "Paint Shop" line of lacquer paint from Sherwin Williams. I saw a piece on it the other day on "Two Guys Garage." They talked about how it was a BC/CC set up, but was lacquer so it was very forgiving for beginners. There were many positives on the piece about this product including the fact that it is usable for "at home" application - not requiring massive breathing setups or professional high-end equipment. I actually used it to paint the hardtop and it worked well.
My struggle is that I would really like to paint the Jeep back to its original look. But, Paint Shop only comes in about five basic colors. So, do I use a more complicated paint getting the original color (but it might not look as good) or do I go with a different, more modern color, but the paint job actually be better.
OR, is there another product similar to the Paint Shop line that would be easier for a beginner like me to use successfully?