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Thread: HVLP Sprayer

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    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    HVLP Sprayer

    I am not sure if this is the right area to post this message but I'll try here. I just bought an 8 gallon air compressor and I want to buy a HVLP sprayer to paint bike frames with. I have used the sprayers that have the can attached to them but for spraying glue. Never used this small type of sprayer and I was wondering if anyone has had any sucess with them or not.
    8 gallon air compressor.jpg

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    Something like this will work fine if you're not doing it for a living. A larger gun will just get in your way and you'll be hitting the frame with the cup.
    http://www.eastwood.com/hvlp-economy...spray-gun.html

    I used a Harbor Freight version of this gun for several frames, but the needle is not sealing properly any more. I will buy a better quality gun to replace it, but I definitely got my $15 worth of work out of it. This is one of the frames I painted with the Harbor Freight gun.

    9690666810_110f45bb6a.jpg

  3. #3
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
    Something like this will work fine if you're not doing it for a living. A larger gun will just get in your way and you'll be hitting the frame with the cup.
    http://www.eastwood.com/hvlp-economy...spray-gun.html

    I used a Harbor Freight version of this gun for several frames, but the needle is not sealing properly any more. I will buy a better quality gun to replace it, but I definitely got my $15 worth of work out of it. This is one of the frames I painted with the Harbor Freight gun.

    9690666810_110f45bb6a.jpg
    I'll look into that one. I've never painted a frame before. Was it hard for you to do. I have two frames that a friend sandblasted for me and now I put three coats of Dupli-colour primer on them and going to try to paint them next. One is an old Schwinn Cruiser that I am refurbishing and my wife has decided that she wants it so it is getting painted Candy Apple Green. So this should be interesting. The cheapest price I could get to paint each frame was $ 400

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    It is not easy to get even coverage without runs, due to all the round tubes and joints. Take your time and do light coats until you get the desired coverage. I used an automotive base/clear over an epoxy primer. The clear is where you have to be careful about runs. Masking for a multi-color job is the difficult part. If you do a single color, its not too hard. Make sure you wear the proper respiratory protection when spraying.

    Check out TCP Global or your local auto body supply for paint.

  5. #5
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    and remember for best results

    strip frame to bare metal

    acid etch primer (probably from a spray can)

    sandable primer

    sand

    wipe clean

    multiple light coats of color, pay close attention to recoat time

    clearcoat

    use a really good mask (rubber type with replacable filters as a minimum)
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    And keep in mind that if you are shooting isocyanates, the filters won't get it done, you need positive air pressure.

    You can also get really excellent results using brushes. There seems to be more on this with machinery finishers, and boat builders. It goes without saying that spray is faster and better, but not everyone has a safe set-up for it, or a compressor.

  7. #7
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    I've painted two of my frames with a brush. Both times using two part primer and also paint. Both came out real durable but you could see the brush marks in some areas. Using a real good brush is essential for smooth results. The marine deck epoxy paint i used should have probably been thinned for better flow out (the can had instructions for painting with a roller...) Andy.

  8. #8
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the excellent tips.

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    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Brush?

    TPC Global

    Painting a frame isn't that hard. I recommend sandblasting, followed by epoxy primer, followed by base/urethane clear. If you bike hard you are going to sweat all over that thing and salty sweat is corrosive. Use the best paint available, not rattle can stuff unless you have no choice.

    House of Kolor UC35 clear is awesome stuff. Thick and durable. Flows out nice. Not the easiest to spray but no undue worry. http://www.tcpglobal.com/hokpaint/clears.aspx

    I paint in the open air and use a carbon filter mask. Sort of hold my breath when spraying in close where the fumes are not blowing away. Spray and then step back. Not the recommended practice, but I don't think the risk is overly high as long as you are not directly breathing the fumes.

    Couple shots of a frame I built a painted a few years back. I'm no where near a pro, so if I can do it, so can you.



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    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    I painted my first 12 frames with Imron. Did much the same to protect myself from the fumes as Nessism does. My use of a brush on paint for a couple of frames was by choice not a necessisity. I didn't want to borrow a facility and didn't care about the finish being show room for what were working bikes.

    I agree with Doug fattic when he says that a bike's paint job is much of what most people use to judge the rest of the build quality. Few know what to look for below the paint. After a dozen frames i had less ego about my builds. But now, 30 years later, I want my frames to look real nice so i have a pro squirt the paint. Andy.

  11. #11
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
    Brush?

    TPC Global

    Painting a frame isn't that hard. I recommend sandblasting, followed by epoxy primer, followed by base/urethane clear. If you bike hard you are going to sweat all over that thing and salty sweat is corrosive. Use the best paint available, not rattle can stuff unless you have no choice.

    House of Kolor UC35 clear is awesome stuff. Thick and durable. Flows out nice. Not the easiest to spray but no undue worry. http://www.tcpglobal.com/hokpaint/clears.aspx

    I paint in the open air and use a carbon filter mask. Sort of hold my breath when spraying in close where the fumes are not blowing away. Spray and then step back. Not the recommended practice, but I don't think the risk is overly high as long as you are not directly breathing the fumes.

    Couple shots of a frame I built a painted a few years back. I'm no where near a pro, so if I can do it, so can you.



    Excellent job. The frame looks great. This is a cruiser that I am refurbishing for my wife. I had a friend sandblast it so when it get warmer weather I'm going ot attempt to paint it. I got the 8 gallon compressor and for Christmas got a HVLP spray gun. So I'll give it a try.

  12. #12
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    My wife bought me an HVLP spray gun and I have had it for about two months now and I just went to use it and it says that it is for water based paints only. I have never painted a bike frame before so I don't know is this gun any good to me now or not.

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    You might post a pic of the gun you have. It's likely that it intended to be used for latex (water based house paint) and spraying paints with solvents will damage internal parts. Though there is "water borne" automotive paints, this gun won't likely properly atomize paints of this viscosity.

  14. #14
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    Here is the gun I have, hope you can see it okay. Nothing special came from Canadian Tire, made in China.

    hvlp spray gun.jpg

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    Looks like any other automotive gun for spraying automotive type paints, solvent based or waterborne. The internal parts will not be damaged by the solvents. I was imagining something else.

    I don't know why they say "water based." Possibly it's tip sizes as supplied are more suited to water base. I don't know as I'm still using standard (non-HVLP) syphon feed and I have zero experience with waterborne paints. Maybe someone else can comment on the setup differences between solvent based, and water.

    Fill 'er up with some properly thinned paint and give it a go.

  16. #16
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    My HVLP is a self contained unit-no air compressor needed. Hopefully you've sprayed before, as thinning the paint properly from the start will ensure that it sprays beautifully, and not splatters and spit. I would suggest a trip to your local Dulux or General Paints store. You can rent a professional HVLP, and they can give you the low down on which tip to use, and how to properly thin your paint. Also, you won't be worrying about will the solvent based paint working ok in a gun that says for water based paints only. If you are painting a "candy" colour, that will most likely have metal flakes in it making it a little more difficult to spray evenly and get even colour. It is different to spray candys, and pearls, than a straight colour like the black bike earlier pictured. He's done a wonderful job it looks like, but when you want the bling of a candy it's a bit tougher and the paint is quite a bit more expensive if you already haven't found out. Properly done, the results will be spectacular. One more point about coverage, if you paint a candy colour, lighly spray your cable stops first, then your long tubes. At the junction points of the head tube, BB shell, seat post area, these will get heavier coats of paint and will be darker than, say the middle of the tube if you're not careful and aware where the bulk of paint will end up. Good luck! Lets see some pictures when you're done!

  17. #17
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckySailor View Post
    My HVLP is a self contained unit-no air compressor needed. Hopefully you've sprayed before, as thinning the paint properly from the start will ensure that it sprays beautifully, and not splatters and spit. I would suggest a trip to your local Dulux or General Paints store. You can rent a professional HVLP, and they can give you the low down on which tip to use, and how to properly thin your paint. Also, you won't be worrying about will the solvent based paint working ok in a gun that says for water based paints only. If you are painting a "candy" colour, that will most likely have metal flakes in it making it a little more difficult to spray evenly and get even colour. It is different to spray candys, and pearls, than a straight colour like the black bike earlier pictured. He's done a wonderful job it looks like, but when you want the bling of a candy it's a bit tougher and the paint is quite a bit more expensive if you already haven't found out. Properly done, the results will be spectacular. One more point about coverage, if you paint a candy colour, lighly spray your cable stops first, then your long tubes. At the junction points of the head tube, BB shell, seat post area, these will get heavier coats of paint and will be darker than, say the middle of the tube if you're not careful and aware where the bulk of paint will end up. Good luck! Lets see some pictures when you're done!
    This is the first time that I'll be using an HVLP spray gun. But it says in the instructions that my gun can only use water bourne paint. I thought that I had to use automotive paint for the bike frame and being new to this whole painting process I'm not aware of automotive paint being water based. Finally my wife wants the frame Lime Green in color. I was going to paint it candy apple green but I have been reading how hard it is to do that.

  18. #18
    Home School Valedictorian 02Giant's Avatar
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    Waterborne is the direction automotive paint is headed, over half of all new cars are painted with it. Waterborne is an automotive paint.

    Basically you have the wrong gun, you need one that can be converted to do both or only shoot solvent based if you don't want to try waterborne.

  19. #19
    Home School Valedictorian 02Giant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werwer2012 View Post
    Excellent job. The frame looks great. This is a cruiser that I am refurbishing for my wife. I had a friend sandblast it so when it get warmer weather I'm going ot attempt to paint it. I got the 8 gallon compressor and for Christmas got a HVLP spray gun. So I'll give it a try.
    For a bicycle frame you can make your 8 gallon work, it will run petty much constant and you will likely have to wait for it to catch up from time to time. One issue that comes up from a compressor running, especially one that is running constant is water build up. You will need a water separator, if any gets through it will ruin your finish.

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