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Old 06-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
LearnAutoBody
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Tips For Using Auto Spray Guns

We started using an Iwata spray guns several years ago at the school that I teach at. After using the gun, I was sold on it. Most students that have no prior preference choose the Iwata as their gun of choice as well. So if you’re looking to purchase a new gun, I recommend an Iwata spray gun. The Supernova with a 1.3 is my favorite. However, the tips that I am going to share with you can be applied with any spray gun.

1. Adjust The Air Pressure
The first thing that I normally do is to set the air pressure. Be sure to look at the technical data sheet for the product that you will be spraying. This data sheet will give you a recommended air pressure setting. However, pay attention if it states at the gun or at the nozzle. Big difference. If it says 10 cfm at the nozzle and you set it to 10 entering the gun, you’re going to have problems. You will not have enough air pressure, which will result in the paint not atomizing correctly and have excessive orange peel.

Using my spray gun, I use a air regulator on the end of my gun. I set it anywhere from 18 to 24 psi. This usually work great for most coatings. As mentioned, too little will under atomize (orange peel) and too much air pressure will over atomize. This will cause too much overspray wasting paint and causing the over spray to land back onto the surface causing the paint to look dry.

2. Adjust The Pattern
The pattern adjustment will adjust the pattern from a small ball to a oblong shape. If the pattern is not wide enough, you are going to have runs and stripes in you paint job. If the pattern is too wide, you may have poor coverage and waste paint materials. With the Iwata spray gun I normally open the pattern open all of the way. Then I start closing the adjustment until I start to see the pattern start to get smaller. Once it is to that point, I stop and make my next adjustment.

3. Fluid Adjustment
This is going to depend on the product being sprayed. For clear coat I open the adjustment to maximum to allow a lot of fluid to come out. If I am shooting base coat, I will adjust and close the knob about 3 or 4 turn to allow less fluid to be sprayed.

4. Fine Tuning
I have the gun set, but it needs to be fine tuned to my techniques. First, the additional adjustments may have changes my air pressure, so I will readjust the psi if needed. Next I will spray a test pattern on our spray cart. If it is runs or looks too thick I will widen the pattern. If it is not covering well I will narrow my pattern. Lastly, I will adjust the amount of fluid. If it feels like too much I will adjust for less fluid and if it does not feel like enough fluid is coming out, I will increase the fluid adjustment.

5. Practice
The last tip that I can give you is to practice. That is what it takes and do not be afraid to make adjustments. Make your spray gun fit your technique, instead you adjusting your technique to fit the paint gun. This tutorial was with an Iwata Spray Gun in mind, but any other paint gun that you will be very similar and follow the same steps.

If you have any question about spraying, let us a comment below! Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:02 AM   #2
kyleamico
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Re: Tips For Using Auto Spray Guns

You have explained good tips here. I like to add more tips as mentioned below:
  • Clean your working area to remove dust.
  • Start sanding away using circular motions. You may have to sand corners and crevices by hand. The best finish is achieved by sanding the entire car back to bare metal with a perfectly smooth finish. Wipe the whole surface down with a clean rag and thinners to remove dust, and wait until residue from the thinners evaporates completely before continuing.
  • Mask up areas you don't want to paint using masking tape and newspaper or plastic sheeting. Take the time to do this job well to avoid unsightly over-spray.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:13 AM   #3
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Re: Tips For Using Auto Spray Guns

Your end result is only in the beginning stages of paint. With a simple search on How to Paint for Beginners you'll see that "fish eyes" are a huge beginner mistake. What are fish eyes? When oil or lubricants sit on the surface of your car. Well its easy enough to get some Valspar 170 Aqua clean and wash the surface down with a rag prior to and sanding, or scotch bright. Now easy enough right? No, if you're painting or spraying in an area with with any of these products being used in the past its contaminated. If you've used WD40, and oils, Armorall wipes, any cleaners, etc. in the shop, garage, or paint booth you need to give the environment a good wash down. With some simple soap and water and a pressure washer. Diesel cars and having a gas car ran in the area for a long period of time can also give out fish eyes. Make sure you give the car and environment a good half an hour to stay turned off in the spot prior to painting so all fuel and contaminants are free of the air in the shop. To prep you'll need to do the following.
1. Clean all the area. A wax and grease remover can be pretty labor intensive. If you don't get all of the cleaner off you can run into the same problems as if you had wax and grease still on it. I use at my shop I work at Valspar 170 Aqua clean. Its an extremely water based cleaner that you can even get away with just simply spraying it on and sanding it while wet into the paint and clear with no problems.
2. Sand the clear. A good rule is if its shinny it won't stick. Any clear coat with a smooth shinny surface will allow you to peel the paint or clear coat of like a sticker. Use a 320 grit sand paper to get all of the clear to a dull finish or a red scotch bright pad.
3. Make sure you have a good tack clothe to dust the surface. Take a air blower and run it at 1/4 max pressure and lightly rub the top surface off while you blow over the tack clothe. This will remove all and any dust from the surface, and stop any dust from resetting onto the panel or car.
4. Double check all corners, lips, and surfaces to make sure they're good and dull so new primer, sealer, base coat, and or clear coat can stick good to it.

Good luck!
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