I have been getting a ton of emails lately regarding the gun that I use. I try to answer a lot of the emails that I get, but I am bombarded with so many it is difficult to respond to each one individually. I try to answer the most commonly asked questions on my blog so the information is available for everyone to find. Hopefully many of you will find this bit of information useful.

I have been painting furniture for about eight years now. I have gone through a couple of different machines through the years; some I would recommend and some I would not. I won’t mention the ones I didn’t like here. Everyone has their own personal preferences and what may not have worked for me might work great for someone else.

One of the machines I used was the Graco True Coat. I wrote all about it in a previous post. You can read all about it, plus tips on how to use it, clean it, and properly store it by clicking here. I really liked this gun, but the motor is only good for about 50 gallons of paint, so I burned through a few machines rather quickly and decided I needed something that would last a lot longer. If you are just going to do a few projects around the house I would recommend this gun. If you plan on going into the business of painting you will want to invest in some different equipment, which I’ll talk about a little latter in this post.

In my opinion there are pros and cons with the Graco True Coat:

PROS- The best thing about this gun is that it requires no thinning, ever.  All types of paint can be poured directly from the can right into this gun and all will get a perfect spray, everytime. One thing I really like about this machine is the easy clean up. Switching from one paint color to the next is a breeze, which is also a great feature. It has a nice wide spray pattern that quickly covers large surfaces; great for big pieces of furniture. The wide spray pattern makes it very easy to get a perfect smooth finish on a large flat piece of furiture in seconds.

CONS-One thing that I don’t like about it is the fact that it only sprays when held up right, so in order to paint the top of a table or dresser you have to lay the furniture on it’s side or back. The other negative thing about it is that it uses a ton of paint. It gets great coverage and looks beautiful, but goes through more paint than necessary. Because the paint goes on so heavy it makes for long dry times. The large spray pattern, which can be great in many instances, creates a ton of overspray and waist when painting small items like dining chairs.

The gun that I currently use is  a Husky Gravity Feed HVLP Spray Gun. I purchased this one at Home Depot for $49.98. This gun requires an air compressor, which can be a big purchase. An air compressor can easily cost you hundreds of dollars and is a pretty large piece of equipment to store. Well worth it if you are serious about getting into painting and plan on doing so long term.

There are also some pros and cons for the Husky HVLP spray gun:

PROS- This gun will spray side ways, up side down and, of course, right side up. This is great when painting things with spindles or curves because it allows you to get at it from many different angles. Because this gun has a gravity feed you can paint up until the very last drop of paint in the gun; not wasteful at all. Because it uses air the material being sprayed is reduced into a fine mist. Layers of paint go on thin and smooth reducing dry times greatly. With this gun there is very little over spray and I use a fraction of the amount of paint I did with the Graco. Clean up with this gun is also incredibly easy, as is changing out to a new color. Adjustments can be made on the gun to change the spray pattern from small and round, great for small details, to thin and wide, which is great for larger pieces and big flat surfaces. This gun gets a really smooth gorgeous finish.

CONS- I have found that every paint needs to be thinned with this gun. Because each paint is different there is no specific ratio of water to paint (I use water based paints). Each time I use a new paint I add water a little at a time, do a test on a scrap piece of wood, and continue to add water until I achieve the desired spray pattern and consistency. This takes a bit of patience and can add a little time onto the job.


27 Responses to The spray gun that I use- Husky Gravity Feed HVLP Spray Gun

  1. Lisa Hankins says:

    Thanks for the info! I’m using a cheap-o siphon hlvp with a big a$$ air compressor lol I’m having to thin everything but my gosh the painting is so much easier. We already had the compressor so that wasn’t an issue. I’m liking the adjustments on the sprayers too. You can set it for whatever type of furniture you’re working on!

  2. Crystal says:

    Hello, which gun are you using in the video of you spraying the dining table? Also, If I went with the Husky is there a specific air compressor I would need? I have a Husky 2 gallon air compressor, would that be sufficient? Thanks! Love your blog!

  3. Doris says:

    I use and love my “American Turbine 953″ HVLP spray gun. Runs with a 3 stage turbine instead of a compressor. That alone makes it easier to take to job sites because it’s smaller than a compressor rig.My previous rig was a canister gun with compressor. This gun (as most) has adjustments and some latex paints do need to be conditioned. I use “golden” acrylic flow release for conditioning my paints; straight water does help loosen the paint for spraying, however water makes paint dry faster which means it won’t “bridge” as nicely if it’s drying too fast. Just my 2 cent worth! I have been doing this for 14 years though!

  4. Nebraskasack says:

    What type of paint are you using with the hvlp sprayer? How much are you typically thinning? Do you use the hvlp to spray the bonding primer? If so, do you thin that as well? Have you noticed a sheen difference when thinning the paint with water? Thanks for the help.

  5. Deana says:

    I use Valspar paint from Lowes more than anything. It is a latex based paint. I’d say I put about 1 part water for every 5 to 6 parts paint. I haven’t used it with the bonding primmer yet. I hate to water down primmer though, so I avoid it if possible. I have used Kilz primmer with it and that didn’t require thinning. I just finished a high gloss piece and it seemed to be just as glossy as it would have been had I not thinned the paint a bit. Hope this helps.

  6. Katherine says:

    I just bought the graco true coat this wknd, mother’s day gift! I will be using it for furniture projects around house. I started the wknd off painting one side table by hand. Then I was off to paint my large dresser. Thats when I requested the spray gun as a gift!!! I found when I use the graco I really didn’t need a second coat of paint. I used a primer and pro classic paint form sherwin williams. Did you ever feel you could of gotten away with one coat when using the graco?

  7. Deana says:

    It was actually a Wagner and I wouldn’t recommend it. It was the first gun I had and it waisted a ton of paint and was a super big pain to clean up. As far as an air compressor goes a two gallon tank is not big enough for this type of job. A small tank like that is best for very small jobs, like filing up bicycle tires. I’m not an expert on compressors, but I’d say you need at least a 20 gallon tank, other wise the motor will never stop running, it won’t be able to fill up with air fast enough to keep up with you. (guess it kinda depends on how much painting you are going to be doing all at once.)

  8. Deana says:

    Yes, a lot of times one coat of primmer and one coat of paint was enough. Since it requires no thinning the paint goes on nice and thick and gets good coverage. Have fun with all your projects!!

  9. Doris says:

    Some paints don’t need to be conditoned. It just depends on the “Base” and the pigments needed to mix the color. I can usually tell with my first stir if I need to condition and then I only condition to the consistancy I know will go through my gun just fine. I use the Zinnser Bullseye 123 primer and usually doesn’t need to be conditioned (I have it tinted to a gray) It’s the type of primer that feels soft for a few days but around day 7 it is stuck and the best primer known to women who paint!! However, no need to wait the 7 days to topcoat it! It’s dry to the touch in about 2 hours or less. Happy Painting ladies!!

  10. Deana says:

    Great Tip!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Denise says:

    Hi Deana. First time leaving a comment but certainly not the first time visiting your site. Thank you for all the great information you provide. It’s helped me out on a good few occasions! I have a question regarding the Husky Spray Gun. What size fluid nozzle & needle(s) is included with it? I recently bought a PorterCable spray gun with a 1.5mm tip. Just wondering if I will need it to be larger to spray with latex based paints?

  12. [...] been desperately searching for the Husky HVLP Spray Paint Gun which Deana over at Alchemy Fine Living raves about.  My Wagner is frustrating me, so it’s time to upgrade to a paint gun which is [...]

  13. Deana says:

    My gun has the same size tip and because of that I always have to thin the paint. Without adding water the paint won’t go through the tip, but with a little thinning it works perfect.

  14. Denise says:

    As you can read from the trackback, I had a heck of a time getting the Husky here in Canada…but Home Depot in the US is sending me one! I’m so excited. Thanks for the info on the 1.5mm tip. I have no problem thinning the paint, I was just concerned I may need to purchase a larger tip(s). Thanks Deana and have a fabulous day.

  15. Ann says:

    Deana,I love your work and was wondering what size compressor you use with your Husky?

  16. Deana says:

    Ann, It’s huge! I think it holds like 100 pounds. My grandpa has had it in his workshop for years, so I just started using it. That large of a tank really isn’t necessary.

  17. Paige Johnson says:

    May I ask if you do not mind, what you did not like about the Wagner?? And what one you had? I purchased the Wagner PaintReady Sprayer. Used today for the first time for my first coat of paint on so shelves. I like it so far, but am worried it may not be good. Would love to here your thoughts.

  18. Deana says:

    Hi Paige, It’s been so long since I used the Wagner I don’t remember what it was called. It was yellow and the paint was poured into a big tank that had a long hose on it. It plugged in, so it didn’t use an air compressor. I didn’t like it because the clean up was a big huge pain. It also seemed to waist a lot of paint because once the tank was empty it wouldn’t spray anymore despite the fact that the entire hose was still full of paint. The machine isn’t made for commercial use. Because I use my equipment a ton, the motor burned out on me.

  19. Fama says:

    Hi Deana,
    Great article. I’m really interested in lacquer painting, do you also offer training at your workshop?

  20. Deana says:

    I offer upholstery and sewing lessons at my store, but I don’t offer lessons in furniture painting. I do all the painting at an offsite workshop full of power tools (it’s kinda dangerous). I rather not have people there for liability reasons. On occasion I offer workshops at the store, but I’m only able to teach techniques that can be done by hand with a paint brush.

  21. tina dusterhoft says:

    Hi – can you tell me what type of air compressor or the gallon amount you used with this gun?



  22. Deana says:

    Hi Tina, The tank I use is HUGE. It holds 100 gallons. That size tank isn’t really necessary, you could use something much smaller.

  23. c w rogers says:

    I have a small air compressor I want to use with a gravity feed sprayer I read your blogs I saw where you were asked what size to use in one you said you had a 100 gal which you said was to much how many gal. husky compressor would I need to support one sprayer? cw

  24. Deana says:

    The gun I use requires 40 psi, so really all that’s needed is an air compressor that can give you that kind of pressure consistently. It really depends on how much furniture your going to be painting. If you plan on painting furniture all day long you’ll want a larger tank, otherwise the motor will constantly be running and you’ll burn your compressor out pretty quickly. I would say at least a 20 gallon tank is needed.

  25. Yvette says:

    I just came across your YouTube how to videos… Love them! With that said, I’m considering applying a black/brown satin lacquer finish to an old HiBoy dresser.Do you use your Husky HVLP sprayer for applying lacquer as well as water based paint? Or use a separate sprayer? Thank you in advance for your reply! –Yvette

  26. Deana says:

    Hi Yvette, I use the same spray gun. It is really important to clean it super, super good between paints, especially when switching from oil or lacquer to water based paints.

  27. [...] gun that I use to paint furniture. I use a Husky HVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun. I wrote all about it HERE. The manufacturer states that the gun is not compatible with latex paints, and several people have [...]

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