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Hi guys, New to site. I'm a finish carpenter but I've done and do a lot of painting over my years in the trade, 18+. I've hand painted a number of cabinets I've built, just finished a TV console but would like to start spraying when I can. I was just on a job where two window seats were installed and they looked beautiful and were sprayed. What advice can you offer for a nice system that won't break the bank. What kinds of coatings are used? Is there a site online that offers info? Thanks for your help.
 

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Particulate Filter
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You could go hvlp but in the long run the airless is going to be more versatile. As long as you adjust the tip you use for the job and get a quality airless with sensitive pressure adjustment (graco 390) you're going to have a powerful money making tool.
 

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semi-skilled laborer
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Even a cheaper airless would work if you are not going to be using it constantly. I prefer a piston sprayer over a diaphram sprayer, but I think either one would work well for the occasional painting of a cabinet.
Now if I was going to be spraying solvet based materials like laquers and varnish then I definetly would go with the piston pump. I have a SprayTech 2155 that cost me $600 and I have used the hell out of the thing with no problems. The only real complaint I have about my SprayTech is that it doesnt have a manifold filter like the Graco, which means there is a better chance of crap getting into your gun. This has never really been an issue for me be cause I clean my gun and gun filter after every use, plus I run a strainer on the end of my pick up tube.
Spraying isnt hard, but it isnt as easy as it looks either, take your time and practice if you have never tried it before. It is better to spray on 2 light coats then try to make something cover in one coat and end up with sags and runs.
 

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I agree. Pick up either a Spraytech 2155 (discontinued at the end of the year possible), titan impact 440 or Graco. 390 or 395. By the way, if you have a 2155, most have a filter under the machine, it is the same filter as the gun filter, older models didnt have it.
 

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Pro
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Look in your local classifieds for an airless sprayer, Graco is the best option (last forever). Spraytech is alright, though they can't really pump heavy materials all that well (have one of those too), though I sold my Titan and kept the SprayTech (don't care for titan). HVLP systems are slow but produce great results (again, Graco, nothing under a 3800 for latex), however they are difficult to use if you don't have a lot of spray experience. I.E. after 10+ years of using an airless, I bought an HVLP for lacquer, and it took me weeks to figure out how to use it properly. If you have money to burn, you can't beat a AAA, again, Graco, the 395 finishpro model @ around $3000 (got one of those too) - best finishes i've ever produced.

But you could find a good used pump in your classifieds for anywhere from $200-500 depending on condition. Just stick to the brands or you'll just be throwing your money away. Whatever you end up with, get a Graco gun so you can use their fine finish tips.

As for coatings, that depends on who you have available. Here, I have GP, BM, Cloverdale, Acroma, Richelieu, and some others that I never use. Best cabinet coating you're going to find in a latex is "cabinet coat" by Insulx. For the best looking finish, use a pigmented pre-cat -- I use Valspar, Lenmar, Mohawk, or MLC. Trick is in finding the company who can do the best color matches for you.

Cheers
 
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