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I have an 8 gallon 125 PSI compressor that produces flow rates of 4.5 CFM @ 90 PSI and 5.5 CFM @ 40 PSI. I would like to get a general purpose HVLP spray gun that will work with this compressor.

I would like to achieve as smooth a finish possible without orange peel artifacts. My first project will be spraying clear coat on cabinets, but I will likely use it on other wood projects and smaller metal and plastic projects. I do not plan on painting entire cars.

Other than the CFM rating on the gun, are there any other things that I should look for?

If I select a gun with a higher CFM rating than my compressor, what issues am I likely to run in to?

  • You may also want to look at the latest generation of airless sprayers. The best are reportedly quite capable of furniture-quality finishes -- a huge improvement over the old house-sprayers. They aren't cheap; US$300 and up seems typical... but that's comparable to turbine-style HVLP units – keshlam Oct 18 '15 at 15:32
  • The airless sprayers I looked at seemed to be more geared towards painting houses and buildings. I ended up going a turbine system which I am very happy with. Once I got the settings dialed in it worked perfectly. – Brian Oct 20 '15 at 17:48
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If your spraygun is too large for your compressor

If you selected a gun that draws more air than your compressor is capable of outputting then you'll be waiting for your compressor to catch up and you will be running your compressor more.

General things to keep in mind

  • The type of coatings you will be spraying: Different HVLP guns are designed for different types of coatings.
  • Nozzle/Tip size: The nozzle is one factor in controlling the spray pattern. Different size nozzles are used for primers, clear-coats and stains.
  • Adjustability: Controls for fan size, fan shape, air volume and material volume.
  • Setup and configuration: At minimum, you will need a regulator at your spray gun for fine tuning. Moisture and other contaminants are also concern, so proper routing and filtration of the compressed air will help to reduce contaminants like oil and excess moisture.

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