Spray painting is a simple skill to learn that takes minimal time and effort on your part to master. If you know how a spray gun works, it can save a lot of your money, having to hire professionals to paint and redecorate your home and furniture.
And in this economy, you should never hire someone to do something that you can take care of by yourself. Any spray-painting task would require you to own and know how to operate a paint sprayer gun.
This step is what discourages most beginners, as the tool might seem intimidating at first. On the contrary, this tool works following some elementary mechanics that are easy to understand if you spend some time with it.
If you are still confused and wondering whether you should just hire a professional, we have got your back.
In this article, we will take a look at how a spray gun works in detail. After going through this guide, you should be able to pick up a paint sprayer and understand its ins and outs without any issues.
What Is A Spray Gun?
A spray gun is a tool that is used for spreading and spraying paint in a controlled motion. There are many different types of paint sprayers, and depending on the type, the working principle may vary.
However, the most commonly used tools use compressed air that atomizes the paint and directs the particles towards the intended surface.
Typically, this tool is capable of covering large surfaces with paint relatively fast and also provide an even coating. When using a brush, you would often see bumps and blemishes on the surface that occurs due to paint dripping down as you work.
With spray painters, this issue is quite rare since the paint dries quickly. Also, you can work with delicate projects such as furniture designing with a precise paint sprayer.
There are many different types of nozzles you can find to use with a spray gun that allows you to control your precise flow of paint. As a result, you can be as precise as you want when you are working on projects that require control and accuracy.
So, depending on your requirements, you can switch up the settings on your spray painters and setup your spray gun to make adjustments as you see fit. You can also change up the spray pattern, and also use different kinds of lacquers. All these options make the spray gun a versatile tool to have in your inventory.
How Does A Spray Gun Work?
As we have covered above, a paint gun atomizes the paint into minuscule droplets. There are some components in the guns that allow the device to achieve this effect.
A paint sprayer usually has four different variants; they are Pressure, Siphon, HVLP, and Gravity feed. HVLP and Gravity feed guns are relatively newer compared to pressure and siphon spray guns.
Fluid Delivery Mechanism
In all the variants of a paint sprayer, there is a method to deliver the paint fluid. For example, the liquid is pressurized in pressure spray painters, allowing the paint to flow out.
In siphon guns, the paint is kept inside a reservoir where air movement creates a siphon, which pushes the color through the nozzle. Then we have gravity feed guns, that, as the name implies, utilizes the force of gravity to let the paint flow.
HVLP spray painters or High-volume Low-pressure units use low air pressure to create a large volume of paint. In HVLP units, you get a drastically reduced overspray, and as a result, the delivery of paint is highly efficient. Almost all of the automotive paint guns use HVLP technology.
The storage unit inside the spray gun, which contains the paint fluid, is known as the reservoir. It comes in different shapes and sizes, depending on the model and design of your specific unit. Siphon spray guns can typically hold more liquid compared to gravity-feed models.
A lot of factors, such as how often you need to refill, is determined by the size of the reservoir inside the spray gun. The job of the tank is simple; hold the paint in an optimal environment allowing atmospheric pressure to enter. It is done using vents in the gun or a valve.
The air cap is the most crucial part of the spray gun. Factors, such as spread patterns and the flow of paint, depends on this part of the paint sprayer.
It comes with drilled holes that are precisely positioned to create the design of the paint that spreads on the surface. These holes allow air to flow in that also serves to atomize the paint as well as generate the spread pattern.
Inside the air cap, you will find the fluid tip. Depending on the viscosity of the material, the internal size you need for the air cap may vary. You can find several sizes for every spray gun in the market. The center of the air cap also holds the fluid needle.
The final part of the spray gun that you need to understand is the fluid needle. It is attached to the trigger of the unit and controls the flow of the painting material. When you press on the trigger, it opens the air valve and retracts the needle. The harder you press on the trigger, the more of the fluid can pass through it.
This part of the paint gun controls the amount of paint that flows through the air cap. Additionally, it also regulates the flow of air, which in turn controls the atomization of paint.
In the above section, we tried to break down each of the components of a spray gun to give you a better understanding of the mechanism of this device. Although there is not much to a spray gun, the tiny components of the unit all contribute to how the paint is delivered from the gun to the work surface
We hope our extensive guide could help you develop an understanding of how a spray gun works. Now you should be able to pick up a device and get to work without fear of messing up your project.
Ken Green says
I have a Mark 1 spray gun that has never been used. Hooked up the airline to it and nozzle constantly blows out air with the compressor not reaching 20 psi. Didn’t put paint in the cup and just wanted to see if it worked.. When I compress the trigger, more volume of air blows out. Is this normal?