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Using HVLP for the first time
#1
Up to this point I have been using a can, primarily Dupli-color as well as 2x Rustoleum.  Because I prefer the Dupli-color and like to put some effort into getting good results, my paint jobs using the cans of Dupli-color literally take about two months.  So last year I decided to go with Dupli-color Paint shop automotive lacquer based paint with a HVLP and compressor.  This is primarily for convenience due to the re-coat window on the Dupli-color enamel being about a week.

So finally I had a chance to use it this past week and it has been a bit of a learning curve.

If you are going to try this I would highly recommend going to YouTube and typing "set up HVLP".  The video tips will save you a lot of time.  I did this after my first 4 coats.  The results of my first 4 coats was essentially a textured finish.  This seems to be due to the set up of the HVLP as well as my technique.  Once I finished 400 wet sanding the first 4 coats, watched some videos, dialed in my HVLP, and did some test sprays, the second attempt went much better.

The rocket is a 3" Darkstar and the main body is black with a red nosecone and red outer striped fins.  The black body will have a matte finish and the red high gloss, a bit challenging for a first time HVLP project.

A note on clean-up.  My first clean up was a mess and took way too long.  However on my second I was a bot more prepared with a container filled with lacquer thinner to drop the HVLP tip, needle and paint bowel into right away.  This made a much quicker clean up and overall my second experience improved greatly from my first.

My general thoughts so far are the following:

HVLP with automotive lacquer is fast to lay down, very quick drying, no re coat window so you can get through the job much quicker, and has much less over spray.  The negatives are that it has a much bigger set up and clean up time, which in itself is not as big an issue if the paint job warrants it.  However you cannot beat the convenience of the can for small jobs or touch ups.

Tomorrow will be the third attempt, laying down my first coats of red.
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#2
For anyone else who, like me, had no idea what HVLP is, it means High Volume Low Pressure:
http://www.fujispray.com/what-is-hvlp/
AMRS #54
WARS #24
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#3
Lots of variables with HVLP but you should be able to get decent results quickly.

Alot depends on the gun I have an expensive one and a cheap HorrorFreight touchup gun that I paid $15 for. I get can an excellent finish from the HF guns. For rocket work they are fine.

Biggest mistake begineers make with HVLP is setting the air pressure too low. LP for those guns is spec'd at 10psi at the air cap which is meaningless. To get that at the air cap you still need 30-45psi at the inlet depending on the gun. They are also high cfm so there is a lot of pressure drop in the line. You need a good accurate gauge and regulator at the gun to know you have sufficient air.

After that open the flow and fan wide open and you should be pretty close. Tighten down the fan to get a good oval and you are done. You may need to thin (reduce) the paint more than the manufacturer recommends depending on your orifice size.

For setup and cleanup nothing beats the Devilbliss Dekup system.

Have fun.
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#4
(06-18-2015, 10:39 AM)jderimig Wrote: For setup and cleanup nothing beats the Devilbliss Dekup system.

Wow great tip!   I just watched a Devilbliss Dekup demo and I am now sourcing a supplier.  That system rocks and makes HVLP a much better system...thanks jdermig.
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#5
You can get a starter kit (24oz) from Tcp or Amazon.
http://www.tcpglobal.com/DEV-DPC-654_2.h...ry=2664928

However the adapter that comes from the kit may not fit your gun and you will need to buy another adapter.

You can buy the resuable frames and lids separately and build up your own kit.
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