Sounds like I’m campaigning for an abortion rights rally or something, but no, really all I’m saying is the choice in paint guns is your key to a good or a bad repair. There are so many choices though, you have airbrushes, gravity feed guns, siphon feed guns, HVLP guns (and for those of you that don’t know what this is, it stands for high volume low pressure, meaning it takes less air to push more paint which cuts down on the over spray),the non hvlp guns, prevals, atomizers. Where do you start.
Well heres my take on it. I’ve used all these types of guns and have found that price does matter and each of these guns definitely have there place, but they need to used in that place and not use one for all .
The airbrush is probably the one I use the least at work but the most at home with my art work, and the reason for that is the airbrush is used for minut detail, where not a a lot of paint is needed in one area, now there are instances where at work while dying stereo knobs or small pieces I will break it out. So trying to dye an entire leather seat with an airbrush is very time consuming and time is very precious commodity. Most airbrushes run from just a few dollars to a couple of hundred. My choice was the Iwata. Its got great feel and a very smooth double action, meaning when I push the trigger down I get air first then I pull back to get paint, the double action gives you a little more control of how much paint you want where. It also has an open back so when it clogs I can pull back on the needle to blow out the clog. I also use a Pasche, which is also a good gun. Try to stay away from the cheaper guns unless it’s for a hobby or something, they are just not as reliable as the more pricey ones. Do your research, I did and found great deals online. Your probably looking in the range of one hundred to maybe one fifty for a good reliable airbrush. Airbrushes are delicate tools, always remember is to clean after you use it, the guns are useless if you let paint set up in them.
Gravity feed guns are the most widely used and my choice as well. The one I use is made by Sharpe, it’s a small detail gun with a finger trigger, a four ounce cup which is plenty of paint for a vinyl repair. It’s small enough making it easy to hold, and move around inside the autos. Being a gravity feed, the paint will flow even painting almost upside down. There are so many other types and styles, you almost have to experiment and find the right gun that fits you. But I will say this price again does matter, but don’t get carried away, the little less expensive guns will spray dye just as well as those five hundred dollar guns, so don’t think you have to go broke buying a paint gun.
If it’s texture paint your spaying or under the wheel wells, then a siphon feed gun is my recommendation. Even large areas like an exterior panel of a car, but for the interiors I just don’t use one very often. They leak if you don’t have the bottom on right, and god forbid you not get it on tight and step into someone’s forty thousand dollar rig and the cup falls off, holy cow what a mess. The spray pattern on the smaller siphon feeds are more for texture paint, the tips are larger to accommodate the thicker paint. So really it sounds like I don’t like the siphon feed, it’s not that at all, it’s just a gun for certain jobs and I have found other ways to spraying texture then with a siphon feed gun.
Preval, sounds like something from English class. The preval is an aerosol can spray gun that you use with a jar for paint that is attached at the bottom so when you push the trigger on top paint sprays out, right, well not all the time. These little engeneous devices have been probably the biggest waste of money on my part. Well maybe not that harsh, but I have had problems. They can be good for emergency purposes, or for spraying texture, but it seems like one use is all you get, even if you clean, it just doesn’t seem to be enough they will always clog. The spray pattern is always inconsistent. So as far as that goes make your own judgement call on this one, if you want to keep one for emergency’s well maybe, but really there are better ways to apply paint.
The old timers atomizer. One of the oldest ways to applying paint. A little folding tube that you open in an L shape, put one end in the paint and the other in your mouth and blow. The air traveling over the tube in the paint, blown by you, creates a vacuum and sucks it up and then blows it out in the direction of the air traveling out of the tube in your mouth. Sounds weird, but it works pretty well once you get the hang of it. I have seen guys spray an entire leather seat this way, whew, gives me a headache just thinking about it. I’ve found the atomizer works great with the water borne textures, but that is about it. Not enough lung power to spray much more. Make sure you clean it out, man it is hard to get unclogged if you don’t.
Finding the right paint gun is a choice and selection plays a big part in your projects. The choice you make, will determine whether the jobs turns out excellent, or just ok, and we all know where ok gets us. So make the right choice and do some research, ask around and pick the right paint gun for the right job.