Painting can be an easy, economical way to spruce up your home, inside and out. Each year, millions of Americans put a new coat on their homes, touch up furniture, paint fences or decks. Apart from being tedious, it can be messy, take forever to complete and, in many cases, may not result in the smooth, professional finish you were hoping to achieve.
A new painting technology overcomes all this and at the same time saves you time and money. Touted as “The New Way to Spray,” High Volume/Low Pressure (HVLP) spray-painting systems make large or detail jobs faster, easier, more precise and more controlled than the traditional paintbrush, electric gun or compressor system. Manufacturers say HVLP users find painting friendlier and more enjoyable due to its efficiency in application and control-and no previous spraying experience is required.
The preferred choice of many Europeans, HVLP systems, from companies such as Earlex, Graco and Wagner, use one-third less paint to do the job because of exceptional paint transfer efficiency, minimal over-spray, almost zero bounce back and less waste common with other methods.
These versatile systems let users spray any surface, from siding to decking, doors, walls and ceilings, furniture, wicker, fences, sheds, kitchen/bathroom tile-even flowerpots. The gun rarely clogs and cleanup is “faster than a paintbrush.”
HVLP systems are paint-friendly and can be used with latex, lacquer, varnish, enamel, oils, acrylic, eggshell, fence and deck stain, polyurethane, shellac and automobile paint. The best systems have lightweight guns that don’t vibrate in your hand and are generally quiet and easy to use. Proper protective clothing, such as a face mask and eye mask, are recommended.
Setup is simple. After filling the spray gun with paint, connect the hose and turn it on. With most systems, a turbine motor feeds a high volume of air through the gun at low pressure. The airflow forces the paint from the cup to the nozzle, where it atomizes the paint into fine particles. The air jacket around the paint ensures that overspray is minimal and gives the user optimum control of the spray.
With most systems, paint volume is adjustable with spray patterns as fine as one inch, up to 12 inches wide. For best results, users should spray 10 to 12 inches from the object using a horizontal and then a vertical spray pattern. Round spray patterns are also available with some systems. Costs will run $120 to $200 at your local home improvement store.