In the world of painting and decorating, the pursuit of perfection often comes down to mastering the tools of the trade. For some, this means nothing more than learning how to brush or roll. I hear it all the time, ‘true decorators only use a brush and roller’. But that’s like saying a true mechanic can only work on anything built before the license plates turned to double-digit numbers in 2000. You know, back before they were all computerised, we could fix them with cable ties and masking tape rather than needing a computer. Times have changed, we all have vehicles that need computers. Rocking up in a C reg Vauxhall Nova Estate would look unprofessional. So, imagine how it seems turning up to a client’s home without a HVLP sprayer or airless spray machine.
In recent years, the HVLP sprayer has emerged as a game-changer in our industry, revolutionising how we, as decorators, can approach our projects. Clients demand better finishes, and we must deliver, or someone else will.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the benefits of using HVLP for spraying, with a particular focus on spraying furniture, and we’ll also explore how to distinguish between different needle sets for HVLP guns.
Benefits of Using HVLP for Spraying
When it comes to achieving a flawless finish, choosing your painting tool can make all the difference. As I mentioned above, clients want better finishes, an off-the-shelf look that’s going to last, and they’re capable of doing their research beforehand. On average 53% of people do their research before buying. If they’re online looking at what type of painting service gives the best result, they will have already chosen spraying before even reaching out to you. So, it’s not surprising that decorators with a HVLP sprayer are the ones getting the business. But apart from clients’ growing demand for spray paint decorators, why else should a decorator consider training up on HVLP?
HVLP Efficiency and Speed:
One of the standout advantages of a HVLP sprayer is their efficiency. These machines deliver a high volume of paint at a low pressure, allowing you to cover surfaces quickly and evenly. This means that decorators can complete projects in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional brushes and rollers. A HVLP isn’t suitable for all occasions, but knowing the difference helps.
Precision with A HVLP:
A HVLP sprayer provide exceptional precision and control. Whether you’re working on intricate details or large surfaces, the ability to adjust spray patterns with needle sets ensures that you achieve the desired result with minimal overspray.
Smooth finish from spraying with HVLP:
A HVLP sprayer produces a smooth, professional finish that is hard to replicate using traditional methods. This is particularly important when working on furniture, cabinets, or other high-end projects where the finish’s quality is crucial and the customer wants the off-the-shelf look. There will always be a time and place for brush and roller, and we don’t say abandon them altogether, but if you want the best look and finish, brushes don’t come close to an HVLP.
Versatility in a HVLP sprayer:
A HVLP sprayer is a versatile tool that can be used for various applications, including furniture, cabinetry, walls, ceilings, and more. Their flexibility makes them an invaluable addition to any decorator’s toolkit. Ensure you learn the difference between HVLP and airless, as there’s a time and a place for both.
Spraying Furniture Using HVLP
Let’s take a closer look at how a HVLP sprayer can excel in furniture refinishing. In the video above, we demonstrated spraying a chair with Renner paint, but the principles apply to various furniture pieces.
You can see the transformation as the paint is evenly and smoothly applied to the chair. This process saves time and delivers a superior finish compared to using a brush. However, as mentioned in the video, the real challenge with a HVLP sprayer is not in using it, but properly cleaning and maintaining it. For those who specialise in kitchen cabinet paint spraying and have spent days degreasing doors, you’ll be used to the importance of doing these less enjoyable jobs.
Speaking of enjoyability, let’s look at some of the best bits for decorators using HVLP.
The Artistic Flow:
OK, this is going to sound weird. But for those who have sprayed, you’ll completely understand what I mean. Trevor McMillian mentioned it in a previous blog. Spraying furniture with an HVLP sprayer often feels like an artistic performance. As you pull the trigger and release a fine mist of paint, there’s a sense of control and precision that’s truly captivating. It differs from brush painting and is much more fun than rolling. Spray painting is like wielding a magic wand that transforms dull surfaces into vibrant, beautifully coated pieces. No, it doesn’t make you Harry Potter.
But to get that fun, you must practice and experiment with different spray patterns and techniques. Create gradients, fades, or ways to infuse your personal touch into your work. Not practising and getting it wrong can be highly frustrating. Preparing and training makes the difference.
The Visual Transformation with HVLP:
Watching paint being applied with a HVLP sprayer is a sight to behold. It’s like that feeling you have when pulling off the masking tape in one long strip without it tearing or pulling off the paint. With spray, the even and consistent coverage it provides can be incredibly satisfying. You’ll see the colours come to life, imperfections disappear, and the furniture piece undergo a stunning metamorphosis right before your eyes.
The Sense of Accomplishment:
Completing a furniture spraying project with a HVLP sprayer brings a profound sense of accomplishment. Knowing that you’ve efficiently and effectively transformed a piece is a reward in itself. The satisfaction of a well-done job lingers long after you’ve packed up your equipment. You don’t look at a roller and go, ‘yeah, that’s my roller,’ like you do with a spray machine. That feeling of having and knowing that a machine is yours and yours alone and that you’ve complete a fantastic project with it is rewarding.
Make sure you document your before-and-after moments with photos. Create a visual diary of your projects, as you can revisit them anytime, use them to show future clients and use them in your marketing.
Remember, though, that a HVLP sprayer requires meticulous cleaning after each use to ensure they perform optimally in subsequent projects. Neglecting this crucial step can lead to clogs and malfunctioning equipment, which can be frustrating and costly. So, remember, while the spraying itself is enjoyable and efficient, the post-spray cleanup is equally important.
How to Tell the Difference in Needle Sets
OK, on to something more technical. Understanding the difference between needle sets in HVLP guns and how each helps you achieve the desired spray pattern and finish. In this second video (the one below) we demonstrate the contrast between needles and nozzle sets.
The primary distinction lies in the numbers on the needle and the nozzle. A 1.8 needle and nozzle set is designed to fit snugly and create a specific spray pattern. When you run your finger over it, you can feel the precision of the fit. In contrast, a 1.5 needle with a 1.8 nozzle creates a notably different pattern, with a significant gap when paired.
These numbers are your guides for selecting the appropriate needle and nozzle combination for your project. As demonstrated in the video, a test fan pattern with both sets showed a slightly narrower pattern with the 1.5 needle and a finer atomisation compared to the 1.8.
It’s important to note that both needle sets can produce excellent outcomes, but the choice depends on your specific project requirements. Understanding these differences empowers decorators to select the correct needle set for each task, ensuring precise and consistent results.
Learning how to spray with a HVLP sprayer is a valuable skill that can elevate the quality of your work and increase your efficiency as a decorator. Whether refinishing furniture, tackling walls, or undertaking intricate projects, HVLP paint sprayers offer precision, speed, and versatility.
At our spray painting training academy, we train and empower decorators to harness the potential of HVLP technology and integrate it into their businesses for increased profitability. As you embark on your journey to master HVLP spraying, remember the importance of proper equipment maintenance and understanding the nuances of needle sets.
Remember, the decorating world is evolving. Airless spraying and HVLP spraying are leading the way towards faster, more precise, and visually stunning results. You can’t afford to have a limited mindset and miss out on the opportunity to take your decorating skills to the next level. Open up your opportunities, embrace the efficiency, enjoy the transformation, and make HVLP your trusted partner in creating exceptional finishes.