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Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

  1. #1

    Cheap spray guns (worth it)?


    I was looking at a few cheap spray guns on harbor freight and amazon.

    Not a pro painter and none of the projects I have in mind require high quality finish.

    Undercoat a couple of trucks with NH undercoat oil. That undercoat is thick and heavy. Will any of these be fine to spray it?

    Painting a few things like a trailer, a picnic table, a dump bed, etc that I donít care much about finish.

    I looked at this to Save me time but I have never used a spray gun before. Thoughts?

    Cheap spray guns (worth it)?-36a6e178-a434-42ff-952c-cb20a39db6be

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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    I would get the lvlp gun. It will be more than fine for shit jobs. The hvlp guns have there uses but probably over kill. Its just easier to deal with the bottom tub than the top one if your just sloshing crap around. Easier to clean too.

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  3. #3
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    I have the bottom one. Only used it a handful of times for spraying latex paint, mostly on trim moulding and louvered doors. Worked fine, takes a bit of trial and error spraying onto a piece of scrap to figure out the best pressure and settings. Works best thinning the paint a little bit, and I think when I filled the can I strained the paint through an old piece of window screen. Cleanup is pretty easy. Worth the $15-20 for sure.
    I use this compressor, ideally a bigger one would be better but it was fine. https://www.harborfreight.com/8-gall...sor-68740.html

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  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    I'm ashamed to say I have more in spray guns than I should.

    I started with the HF HVLP kit. Do not know if they still sell it. It included two guns; a regular sized one and a small gun. The small gun is so far of no use to me. I can't remember the tip sizes but the small gun has a tip that is way too small for anything I've tried to spray. The larger gun is really hard to use with latex. I've tried to use it on a couple small woodworking and trim projects and you have to thin the paint too much. Cleanup is easy but not easy enough. In the end I would rather just use a brush and a roller. I think this is the one to get for thinner automotive type paints like the trailer project you mentioned. Not the right choice for any of the heavier stuff unless you can find bigger tips for it.

    Another problem I have is that my little pancake compressor is just too small for the job. I was shooting very slow and letting the compressor build pressure a lot. I would still factor in a bigger compressor if planning to use these guns.


    My brother in law bought a Rockler sprayer that has a more appropriate tip. He bought it to do doors and trim in his house. He had such good results I ran out and bought one. It sprays heavy latex well and thinner shellac based primers. Biggest annoyance is the cup is small and cleanup is still a bit annoying. Supposedly it will throw stain as well. I think these are probably the best choice for smaller home-owner projects.


    Recently a friend bought a Graco handheld sprayer and redid his kitchen cabinets. Again, I was really impressed with the results. Then a semi-pro standup Graco airless setup came across my path for reasonable money used. I jumped on it. I haven't used it yet, but I can't wait. Cleanup seems SO MUCH easier and the gun is super nice. I think I can do like 50-75' of line or something.

    Although I don't think these will do thin paints well.


    When I was a kid my father hand a Wagner airless gun. It was horrible. Such a pain in the ass to clean and a nightmare to get from throwing splatters. These things have come a long, long way from that.

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  5. #5
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    I have the $15 HF number. You get what you pay for, but we're talking under $20. Amazing that they can sell ANYTHING that works at that price, and the gun does work. I actually got fairly decent results with it and will still occasionally use it to spray 2-part epoxy primers that I know I'm going to have to sand well anyway. You do need a decent size compressor, though.

    I ultimately upgraded to a Devilbiss gun that was around $200, if I remember correctly. All I have really used them for is automotive base/clear following paint manufacturer's recommendations for mix ratios and tip size with varying speed reducers depending on the spray temp/conditions. It takes some practice, but the results are pro.

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  6. #6

    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    I have the $15 HF number. You get what you pay for, but we're talking under $20. Amazing that they can sell ANYTHING that works at that price, and the gun does work. I actually got fairly decent results with it and will still occasionally use it to spray 2-part epoxy primers that I know I'm going to have to sand well anyway. You do need a decent size compressor, though.

    I ultimately upgraded to a Devilbiss gun that was around $200, if I remember correctly. All I have really used them for is automotive base/clear following paint manufacturer's recommendations for mix ratios and tip size with varying speed reducers depending on the spray temp/conditions. It takes some practice, but the results are pro.
    tricky do you think it will do Oil and rustoloeum paint ok?? I did get a HF 8 gallon compressor ( https://www.harborfreight.com/8-gall...air+compressor ). I am within return period and was debating getting the same in 20/21 gallons.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I'm ashamed to say I have more in spray guns than I should.

    I started with the HF HVLP kit. Do not know if they still sell it. It included two guns; a regular sized one and a small gun. The small gun is so far of no use to me. I can't remember the tip sizes but the small gun has a tip that is way too small for anything I've tried to spray. The larger gun is really hard to use with latex. I've tried to use it on a couple small woodworking and trim projects and you have to thin the paint too much. Cleanup is easy but not easy enough. In the end I would rather just use a brush and a roller. I think this is the one to get for thinner automotive type paints like the trailer project you mentioned. Not the right choice for any of the heavier stuff unless you can find bigger tips for it.

    Another problem I have is that my little pancake compressor is just too small for the job. I was shooting very slow and letting the compressor build pressure a lot. I would still factor in a bigger compressor if planning to use these guns.


    My brother in law bought a Rockler sprayer that has a more appropriate tip. He bought it to do doors and trim in his house. He had such good results I ran out and bought one. It sprays heavy latex well and thinner shellac based primers. Biggest annoyance is the cup is small and cleanup is still a bit annoying. Supposedly it will throw stain as well. I think these are probably the best choice for smaller home-owner projects.


    Recently a friend bought a Graco handheld sprayer and redid his kitchen cabinets. Again, I was really impressed with the results. Then a semi-pro standup Graco airless setup came across my path for reasonable money used. I jumped on it. I haven't used it yet, but I can't wait. Cleanup seems SO MUCH easier and the gun is super nice. I think I can do like 50-75' of line or something.

    Although I don't think these will do thin paints well.


    When I was a kid my father hand a Wagner airless gun. It was horrible. Such a pain in the ass to clean and a nightmare to get from throwing splatters. These things have come a long, long way from that.
    I did see a couple of airless stuff online but not sure if they will do ok with oil/rustoleum



    I may also do bed liner on a bed and/or trailer floor at some point

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    Last edited by tsorfas; 01-01-21 at 05:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    tricky do you think it will do Oil and rustoloeum paint ok??
    I'm afraid you'll probably struggle in both cases. If I remember correctly the gun only comes with one fluid tip, and it's like 1.4mm, which would have to be way too small for the undercoat oil.

    Isn't that stuff is like chainsaw bar oil consistency?
    No idea what they spray that stuff with, but 1.4mm is for almost water-like consistency (base/clear, etc). It's even on the small side for primers, but like I said I have used it for primers with success...

    You don't really care what the oil looks like, though... So at $15, give it a shot. Shit, at that price you could even pick up a 2mm drill bit and enlarge the tip without worrying too much about wrecking something nice. I think the Devilbiss tips cost more than the HF gun,

    Really, though, the fluid tip nozzle size is directly related to the viscosity of the fluid you're spraying. HF likely chose 1.4MM because it's middle ground for most automotive uses (all of which are relatively thin). Chainsaw bar oil, Bedliner, and many of the other, thicker paints are just not going to work well.

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    Last edited by Tricky Mike; 01-01-21 at 06:59 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    I'm afraid you'll probably struggle in both cases. If I remember correctly the gun only comes with one fluid tip, and it's like 1.4mm, which would have to be way too small for the undercoat oil. Isn't that stuff is like chainsaw bar oil consistency? No idea what they spray that stuff with, but 1.4mm is for water-like consistency (base/clear, etc). It's even on the small side for primers, but like I said I have used it for primers with success... You don't really care what the oil looks like, though... So at $15, give it a shot. Shit, at that price you could even pick up a 2mm drill bit and enlarge the tip without worrying too much about wrecking something nice. I think the Devilbiss tips cost more than the HF gun,
    that's what they used to spray it: https://nhoilundercoating.com/produc...g-gun-125-psi/

    LOL - Solid advice regardless. I will report back. I may even film this.

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    Last edited by tsorfas; 01-01-21 at 07:00 PM.

  9. #9
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    +1. The latex paint just doesn't flow through the gun unless you thin it like 2:1. I remember trying it out with water and it was great.

    Autobody, exterior paint, underbody oil. These are like totally different things. Good luck getting one gun to throw all three.

    I think I remember reading somewhere that the hf hvlp gun is a clone of a mainstream one and the tips interchanged.

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  10. #10
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Admittedly, I don't know anything about the gun in your link, but it feels safe to say that the only thing it has in common with the HF gun is that you connect it to an air line. They're running 125PSI? You know what HVLP stands for, right? If not, use the Google, Sav! That's what I do

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  11. #11

    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    Admittedly, I don't know anything about the gun in your link, but it feels safe to say that the only thing it has in common with the HF gun is that you connect it to an air line. They're running 125PSI? You know what HVLP stands for, right? If not, use the Google, Sav! That's what I do
    LOL I dont know if they run it at 125psi but that is also for the guy who sprays trucks for living!

    I will give this a shot... https://www.harborfreight.com/33-oz-...gun-61455.html
    2mm and lots of reviews that they have sprayed all sorts of stuff through it. and like you said, if it fails.. oh well.

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  12. #12
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Yeah, grab one, even to just mess around with. $20 hardly gets you a 4-pack of beer these days.

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  13. #13
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    Yeah, grab one, even to just mess around with. $20 hardly gets you a 4-pack of beer these days.
    Fucking IPAs.

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  14. #14
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Add an I... IIPA:

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  15. #15
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    I kinda like the DIPAs cause it sounds so Bostonian.

    Like, let's go get some DIPAs kehd!

    Tragedy they suck.

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  16. #16
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap spray guns (worth it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post

    When I was a kid my father hand a Wagner airless gun. It was horrible. Such a pain in the ass to clean and a nightmare to get from throwing splatters. These things have come a long, long way from that.
    I had a Wagner knockoff, it worked ok for stain, but not for paint, at all. I used it to stain my house once. I might have it somewhere in my hoarding pile, don't remember throwing it out, but haven't seen it in 30+ years

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    RandyO
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