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Air spray gun painting vs corded/cordless painting

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by ams, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    So I have always painted my signs with a spray gun through an air compressor. It works when dry, but it's been raining for weeks here and there is a ton of moisture and I do drain it out first, but when it fills up with air, it's soaking again coming out.

    My latest project has been getting all messed up because it doesn't spray right.

    Looking online I see that Graco makes a couple of great ones. Both corded and cordless. Has anyone used these type of sprayers? Apparently you don't have to dilute the paint, just pour in and spray. I was wondering if they are better and also is cleaning the spray gun easy or a nightmare?
     
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  2. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Here is what they look like:

    633955682382.jpg

    Graco-Ultra-Handheld-Sprayer-17M363.jpg
     
  3. Cross Signs

    Cross Signs Active Member

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    I had one of these for a while.
    [​IMG]

    HomeRight Finish Max
    .
    IT WORKED AWESOME!!! I used it a lot for sandblasted signs. Then, one day it just quit. I have yet to buy another but it's on my list. Electric spray guns are junk. And HVLP guns that are hooked up to compressed air are a joke. Get a real HVLP.
     
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  4. chester215

    chester215 Just call me Chester.

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    There are air line moisture filters.
     
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  5. studio 440

    studio 440 Member

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    why not add in line water traps they work great
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Premium Subscriber

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    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Hmm, didn't know about that stuff. at the price I pay adding this stuff, I could get a corded/cordless.
     
  8. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    $20 to add an in line water trap.
     
  9. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Y
    That will condense it but you still have to seperate it. Get a moisture trap and a motor guard filter.
    Those cheap airless sprayers are for soccer moms to paint their bird houses.
     
  11. BobM

    BobM Very Active Member

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    I have the Graco, corded. It does spray heavy paint very well, as in house paint. It is adjustable and with practice it works excellent. I've used both Enamel and Latex with it. Make sure you use the correct tip for the paint you will be using.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    I have the cordless Graco, it works great. Runs off the DeWalt batteries and you can spray for a really long time on one battery.

    20180630_114332.jpg 20180630_125711_HDR.jpg 20180630_125717.jpg 20180630_125741.jpg 20180630_141709_HDR.jpg
     
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  13. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    Graco is the most popular brand of airless sprayer among commercial painters. The early hand-held units had problems but I have heard that the newer ones are greatly improved. But I have not used them.

    The spray tip on the Graco cordless model in the picture looks like the exact same tip used on the bigger commercial rigs. To clean, you simply reverse it by turning it 180 degrees and spray water through it for latex or solvent for oil based. Some airless sprayers are only for latex as they do not have an enclosed motor for spark control. I don't know if this is an issue with the Graco handheld sprayers.
    I have looked for these handheld Gracos at rental places, but I haven't seen them yet. The cordless model retailed for around 1200 when they first came out, I believe, but I notice they are around 500 now. Worth the money if they perform well.
    I would probably not spray oil based paint without thinning 10 or 15% or so. You may have a leveling problem otherwise, and the dry time will increase considerably. Latex, of course, should not be thinned when using an airless. When spraying a catalyzed paint like Matthews, mixing ratios for reducers and catalyst should always be followed.
    Obviously, you can't paint a house with the handheld units, but if they perform well they would be great for coating out panels in the shop, and painting signs and sign cabinets and poles on location. It would be wonderful to be able to spray Matthews Polyurethane in the field.

    Regarding moisture in the line messing up a paint job, a water trap should be installed at the compressor outlet. You don't need to spend a lot. Under 100 dollars. And if you have a run of pipe or hose from the compressor to the painting area that is not short, another separator would be a good idea at the spot where you connect your gun hose to the line from the compressor. A final filter could also be put on your gun. I used to use the plastic balls, but prefer the little glass/metal ones with the purge button on them. They last a lot longer since I was always breaking the plastic ones.

    Note that some of the water problems can come from condensation in the hose itself, not just in the compressor, especially if the hose is in a spray booth that is unheated much of the time.

    Brad in Kansas City
     
  14. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    What kind of sign are you making out of doors and frames? :D
    That's a lot of Dewalt tools
     
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  15. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Maybe he worked for Disney as the prop guy on Monsters Inc
     
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  16. billsines

    billsines Member

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    We use Kremlin pumps and guns. Size your air compressor correctly and get the moisture filter units and you'll be fine.

    Of course it depends on how many signs you're talking about and whether you paint on location or always at the shop.
     
  17. bowtievega

    bowtievega Member

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    We bought one of the corded versions of the Graco for a couple jobs where we needed to spray some 5 ft tall address numbers and street names on the roof tops of a couple new build in one of the cities near by. They work pretty well shooting latex paint, similar to the standard airless sprayers but just not quite the same volume of paint, and you don't have the largest paint cups either. We use the Grip Guard EFx paint system for almost everything we do in shop so its not something we use on a regular basis. It can be a little tricky as well, any chuds in the paint and its going to hiccup. I would look into desiccant air filters and water traps first.
     
  18. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    Ha, none. Just posting since I have hands-on experience with it. Professional painters love it, the finish is excellent.
     
  19. NateF

    NateF Member

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    +1 on the Graco cordless sprayer. I picked one up just a month or so ago. But I also have a traditional HVLP (auto-paint-style gun). Each has their place.

    The Graco uses the same kind of tip that would be used in a larger airless sprayer for painting a house. Different tip sizes are available. I've found that it does a great job shooting waterbased primer (for instance, Jay Cooke's sign primer), and exterior latex paint. It shoots a wider spray pattern and tends to go through a lot of paint, though. Spraying watery primer isn't so bad since I can use a smaller tip. But with exterior latex, I can go through a gallon in no time. Partially because so much gets wasted trying to get a decent coat on the edge of cutout letters.

    I still use the automotive-style HVLP gun for shooting oil-based paints, especially anything that is mixed with a reducer and catalyst. Supposedly the most expensive Graco can handle these, but A) I don't want to wreck the gun and B) the HVLP sprays a thinner coating and uses much less paint. For small jobs, it's nice to be able to mix a tiny cupfull of paint, drop it in a cheap harbor Freight touchup gun, and be done in no time. Setup, paint, and cleaning the gun can all be done in 15-20 minutes.
     
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