Find Out More about cITB funding

From setting up a HVLP spray gun to spraying effectively. Your questions answered!

You’re a professional decorator looking to up your game and boost your business’s profits. It’s why you’re here, it’s why you’re reading the blog. We realise that you might have already heard about the wonders of High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spraying and the incredible advantages it can offer over traditional brush and roller methods. But you’re curious, intrigued, and eager to learn how to harness the power and get control of that HVLP spray gun for your painting projects.  

Ok, so let’s do that, let’s walk you through how to set up and spray using HVLP equipment from setting up your HVLP spray gun to spraying, unlocking the potential to revolutionise your painting projects and make more profit. But before we do that let’s break down the benefits, just for those on the line on whether HVLP is best for them. 


The Benefits of HVLP for Spraying 

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of HVLP setup and usage, let’s explore why HVLP is a game-changer for decorators and painting professionals. 

  1. Efficiency: HVLP spray guns can cover large surfaces in a fraction of the time it takes to use traditional brushes and rollers. This means more projects completed in less time, leading to increased profits.
  2. Quality Finish: HVLP guns deliver a smooth and even finish with minimal overspray when set up correctly. This professional-grade finish enhances the aesthetics of your work and leaves your clients impressed.
  3. Versatility: Whether you’re working on furniture, cabinets, or things that need a fine finish, HVLP spray guns can handle a wide range of applications, making them a versatile choice for decorators.
  4. Cost Savings: While there may be an initial investment in an HVLP system, the reduced paint wastage and faster project completion will ultimately save you money in the long run.


Now, let’s get into the practical details of setting up and using an HVLP spray gun. 

Setting Up Your HVLP Spray Gun 

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace 

Before you begin, ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated and free from dust and debris. HVLP spraying is efficient, but it’s essential to maintain a clean environment for the best results. 

Step 2: Choose the Right Needle set 

Select the appropriate needle size for your project. In the video that we’ve added below, a 1.8 needle set is used with Q5 Machine and Renner 760 paint. This needle set choice will depend on the type of paint and the desired finish. 

Step 3: Test with Water First 

Always test your HVLP gun with water before using paint. This helps you check for any blockages and ensures that the gun is functioning correctly. Water is easier to clean up in case of issues. 

Step 4: Adjust the Fluid Flow 

Gradually pull back the fluid adjustment knob until you achieve a satisfactory finish. You may need to thin the paint slightly to achieve the desired atomization and fan pattern.  

Step 5: Thin Your Paint (If Necessary) 

To thin your paint effectively with an HVLP gun, follow this top tip, also shown in the below video. Take a rag and add drip in small amounts of water (or correct thinners if using oil-based) gradually. This controlled method ensures that you achieve the right consistency without over-thinning the paint. 

Using Your HVLP Spray Gun Effectively 

With your HVLP spray gun set up and paint thinned to perfection, it’s time to start spraying. Here are some tips for using your HVLP gun effectively: 

  • Maintain a consistent distance from the surface you’re painting to ensure even coverage.
  • Overlap each pass slightly to prevent streaks and achieve a uniform finish.
  • Keep the gun moving at a steady pace to avoid paint buildup in one spot.
  • Practice on a test surface before tackling your main project to get a feel for the gun’s performance.


Can I Spray the Same Paint Through HVLP and Airless? 

As we delve into the world of HVLP (High Volume Low-Pressure) spraying and its incredible benefits, it’s natural to wonder whether you can use the same paint with both HVLP and airless spray systems.  

The Short Answer: Yes, You Can! 

The good news is that you can indeed use the same paint with both HVLP and airless spray guns. Whether you’re working on a project that requires the precision and finesse of HVLP or the speed and power of airless spraying, your chosen paint can accommodate both methods. 

Understanding the Difference 

However, it’s essential to recognise the fundamental difference between these two systems when it comes to paint application. 

  1. Airless Spray: Airless spray systems work by pressurising the paint and forcing it through a tiny nozzle, creating a high-speed stream of paint particles. This results in a powerful and efficient application. Airless systems can handle a wide range of paints, including thicker materials, and typically operate at much higher pressure, often up to 2000 psi.
  2. HVLP Spray: HVLP, on the other hand, uses air at a lower pressure to atomise the paint, creating a softer, more controlled spray pattern. HVLP systems are known for their ability to deliver a fine finish with minimal overspray. However, they are limited in terms of pressure, usually a HVLP spray gun is limited to around 9.5 psi.


Thin Wisely, Not Excessively 

The key distinction between the two systems lies in their pressure capabilities. With airless spraying, you have the flexibility to increase pressure to accommodate thicker paints. In contrast, HVLP machines are fixed at a lower pressure, and this is where some adjustments may be necessary. 

If you plan to use the same paint with both HVLP and airless systems, you might need to thin the paint for HVLP spraying. While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for thinning, it’s a straightforward process. As I mention above.  


Do not confuse these two important notes. Keep an eye on the technical data sheet provided by the paint manufacturer for guidance on thinning ratios; and be cautious not to over-thin the paint, as this can result in poor coverage and adhesion. 

Remember, your experience as a decorator plays a vital role in this process. Over time, you’ll develop an intuitive sense of how much thinning is needed for different paints, ensuring you achieve the desired results. 


Look, the beauty of using both HVLP and airless systems with the same paint lies in your ability to adapt and deliver exceptional results across various projects. While airless spray guns offer versatility in terms of pressure, HVLP spray gun’s provide precision and finesse.  



In conclusion, the benefits of using an HVLP spray gun in your decorating business are undeniable. It’s a game-changer that can save you time, increase your profitability, and elevate the quality of your work. With proper setup and technique, you’ll be well on your way to achieving professional-grade results that leave your clients delighted. 

So, equip yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to master the art of HVLP spraying, and watch your decorating business thrive like never before. 



Other posts that may be of interest:

Get in touch