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HVLP System Advice

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Just a hobbyist here with no spray finishing experience, but am currently building bathroom vanities for a master bath remodel in my home. My wife wants gray cabinets, so I'm going to make them gray. Instead of paying the trim folks to paint them, I think this will be the perfect time to invest in a spray system and do them myself. Can I get opinions on the systems out there/that you've used? I don't have or want a big compressor, so a HVLP seems like the way to go. I want this to be my paint/clear finish solution all-in-one. I only seem to accomplish a few projects per year.

I am very comfortable in the $400 - $600 range, but biting off $1k for the Fujis may be a tough sell.

Apologies if this is redundant, but my quick search showed that the last discussion was a couple of years ago.

Thanks for all of your input.

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First off get this book - https://www.amazon.com/Spray-Finishing-Simple-Step-Step/dp/1600850928

Watch the DVD that comes with it then read the book.

I have the Fuji Semi Pro 2 and have been real happy with it for all my clear water borne finish projects but I am looking at replacing it with something that has some more power because of some projects that are coming up that involve paint.  You really should have something more the a 2 stage machine when it comes to paint.  You can only thin paint so much and still have it be a good finish so you need a machine that can pull it through with out thinning to much.

You need to do some research on what type of paint you want to use and this will help you with the decision on which level machine you want to go with.  You can look at tinted lacquers,  These are lighter finishes and will work with a machine of less power.

You might want to look at some of the products that General Finishes offer.  They have a lot of information on the website and some videos that give a brief comparisons of their products.

I would be prepared to spend more then $600

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You say that you don't have or want a large compressor. "Large" is relative. So, it is hard to advise. However, if you are talking about the "pancake" or "hotdog" style small compressors, you may need to look at LVLP guns (low volume low pressure). I purchased a very inexpensive one a short time ago that requires only 4 cfm and it works great with my 2 hp 10 gal California Air compressor. I find the quality of the inexpensive one adequate for my purposes. However, there are better quality ones on the market. Just do a search for LVLP.

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For paint i hesitate to recommend a turbine HVLP sytem as there are better airless systems that will do a better job cheaper. I don't know what kind of paint you want to use but a friend of mine recently bought and used this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PJGGQ9W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to paint his kitchen cabinets. He had good results and has zero experience with sprayers. He recommended paint filters and water based paint.

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On 3/16/2020 at 10:17 AM, Chestnut said:

For paint i hesitate to recommend a turbine HVLP sytem as there are better airless systems that will do a better job cheaper. I don't know what kind of paint you want to use but a friend of mine recently bought and used this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PJGGQ9W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to paint his kitchen cabinets. He had good results and has zero experience with sprayers. He recommended paint filters and water based paint.

Could you check the link you posted? It doesn't work for me. Thanks.

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First thing is you need to decide what type of finish you want to use. Sherwin Williams has a great cabinet paint called ProClassic, and Benjamin Moore has one also but I forget the name. Great paint, but way to thick for a reasonably priced spray gun. 
   I’d recommend a water based lacquer.  Two coats of primer and two coats of finish. The issue is where you can get it. I’ve been using Sherwin Williams Kem Aqua Plus for a few years mainly because I didn’t want to spend a lot of a finish system. I got the Earlex 5500 and found where I could get the KA+. I have had great luck with it. Now that ive gotten more comfortable with finishing I went to a AAA spray system. I’ve started having some microfoaming issues with the KA+, so I went back to the Earlex to try it, same problem. Thinned it slightly with an extender, it solved the problem. I did try the Black Widow spray gun from Harbor Freight, I thought it spray excellent, but didn’t seem to like the KA+, would keep clogging up. Didn’t try to figure out why, I just returned it. 
  Recently I tried a company called Target Coatings out of NJ. I’ve only sprayed the clear so far but am VERY happy with it. They also sell a tinted lacquer that I am going to try which can be tinted to any SW or BM paint color, you just need the number for the color. Feel free to hit me up with any questions. 
  

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