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The Difference Between HVLP and Conventional Spray Guns for Finishing

It does not matter whether you are refinishing in antique rolltop desk or just creating a simple woodworking project like a wall mount coat rack getting a proper finish on that project requires a little know how and some basic finishing equipment. There are two basic types of finishing spray guns available in the market today the newer high-volume low-pressure guns otherwise known as HVLP and the old stand by the conventional spray gun. Both of these spray systems do a good job of applying finishes but there are a few basic design differences that you will have to take into consideration before making your purchase.

Conventional spray guns operate at a relatively high pressure they connect directly to an air compressor and blast the finish on to your project under the high pressure these guns are capable of very finely atomizing the finishing materials this translates into a nice smooth flow out and leveling of the finishes whether it be a clear finish or a paint finish. Conventional spray guns deliver an excellent finish results but are very inefficient only approximately 30% of the finish ends up on the wood, the other 70% is released into the atmosphere, this obviously has undesirable results both in the wasting of the material and to the environment itself.

High-volume low-pressure guns are relatively new to the do-it-yourself market. These guns were designed to increase transfer efficiency, which is how much of the finish is actually transferred to the wood compared to how much is wasted. Many of the solvents used today in find finishing products unfortunately contribute to poor air quality so in industry today the high-volume low-pressure systems have been in use in many shops and are even mandated by many states and local governments. In the HVLP system air is delivered at a much higher volume but with a very low-pressure so that less finish is blasted off the work piece and into the environment.

There are actually two different types of high-volume low-pressure spray gun systems. The most efficient system operates off from an air turbine this turbine delivers an extremely high volume of air at a very low-pressure in the area of four to six psi. Obviously this system can be quite costly compared to what is known as a conversion high-volume low-pressure spray gun which still runs directly off from an air compressor like a conventional spray gun but it uses a much lower pressure in the area of 25 psi to operate while it is not quite as efficient as a turbine air system it is still much better than a conventional spray gun. For the do-it-yourselfer who already owns an air compressor a conversion high-volume low-pressure spray gun would be the best choice you'll still be able to get a very high quality finish and retain a very good transfer efficiency.

Even if you are using a high-volume low-pressure spray gun to finish your coat rack it is still important to first protect yourself by spraying in a well ventilated area and using proper safety equipment such as a respirator. Many finish manufacturers now produce a line of water-based finishes that are nonflammable and because they use water as a base instead of say lacquer they are much more user friendly and less harmful to the environment.

Edward Hazel writes for If you are looking for a high quality well made coat rack step in and check us out, we manufacture a complete line of wall mounted coat racks from a shaker peg style coat rack to a modern wall coat rack with brass hooks or satin nickel for the brushed stainless steel look we even have a very modern looking hand rub white lacquer coat racks to go along with our line of Oak, cherry and Maple wall coat racks, we can even manufacture you a custom size coat rack or even ship you a coat rack that is unfinished.