HVLP Spray Gun

Tom M

Well-known member
I recently purchased a HPLV spray gun from Lowes to spray some cabinets I made for our basement. This was my first experience with spraying, and as I have several home type projects I want to do this year, I thought spraying would be the way to go. Without getting into all the details, I ended up having to return the gun to Lowes three times. I finished the cabinets, but will be returning the gun for my money back (at the suggestion of the guy at Lowes.) I don't think it is a bad gun, but there were certainly some issues.

I'm looking for any advice or suggestions on a reasonable HVLP gun to buy. My main plan is to spray water based paint and primer. This will only be used for the home type projects. I've got a family room wall (book cases and mantel) to make this summer, and after purchasing a Kreg jig for the basement cabinets my wife now wants several additional cabinets/bookcases. (On a side note, I was able to build two upper and two lower 36" cabinets including eight doors in a weekend using finger-jointed poplar and plywood. Plus an additional 1/2 hour plugging the holes for the bottom door handles and re-mounting the handles - they don't work as good when they are on the bottom of the lower doors!)

Do I need a gun with different tips (the Lowes one only had one size)? Do some guns run at lower pressure (I've got a 10 gallon compressor which ran most of the time when spraying with the gun set at 20 psi. Any brands recommended? Maybe the Kobalt from Lowes would be fine if I could get one with the proper fittings so it doesn't leak paint all over my hand.)


Hi Tom,
I've been spraying waterborne clears and paint with HVLP for about four years. I started with the Earlex 5000 turbine unit and graduated up to several different conversion guns. I could type out a long list of things to look for, but ultimately you just need to call the expert. I called Jeff Jewitt and he answered all my questions and set me up with an excellent gun. I would become familiar with the products he carries and then give him a ring. Tell him about your compressor and what you want to spray. His website is http://www.homesteadfinishingproducts.com/htdocs/hvlp_spray.htm
His prices are very competitive and his advice is top notch.

Let me know what you end up with.

Ignore the label on the can, you WILL need to thin latex! They assume you're using an airless pump which can spray it unthinned. You need to find a pressure cup gun as well. They usually have a screw-on cup or at least 3 ears to hold the cup on. They have a warning cast into the cup cover saying do not exceed 50 psi. They have pressure cups that are only good to about 10-15 psi but they're much less common and won't work as well for you. You could also go with a remote pot with hoses. No hvlp or conventional gun has a chance with latex without that pressurized cup even after thinning! As for leaking paint.... sounds like a bad gun?
Thanks for the responses.  This sounds a lot more complicated that I was thinking.

1) What exactly is the pressure cup? I assume you pressurize the paint supply to help push it trough?

2) If I only want to use the sprayer for painted cabinets or maybe basement walls, would an airless sprayer be the better approach? I read on-line that the electric airless sprayers were designed for spraying latex.

I have no intention or desire to spray finish on furniture. I'm only looking for a way to speed up the list of honey-do projects that have been keeping me from doing the type of work I realy want to do.

That's exactly what the pressure cup is. A remote pressure pot is the same thing just connected to the gun with hoses which allows a much greater capacity AND the ability to turn the gun upside down to spray in tight places! Basement walls or any wall... an airless is definitely the way to go but you won't be happy with the finish quality for painting cabinets unless you can find the Milwaukee spray unit that is air-assisted airless. It's an airless paint pump but also has a turbine built into it for better atomization. I found one for where I work on clearance at Home Depot for around $270. Total dumb luck, I didn't even know it existed until I saw it on sale.