Can you spray latex or emulsion paint with an HVLP?

by | Oct 14, 2016 | News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Spraying latex and high viscosity paint with a 6-stage system

Yes. But here is what you need to know:

  • Latex paints differ in their formulation, composition and viscosity.
  • In the manufacturing process, many latex paints have coarse ground resins and pigments, unlike other coatings where the resins and pigments are finely ground.
  • The reason is that latex paint is generally made to be brushed, rolled or applied with airless spray technology rather than an air atomizing technology such as HVLP.
  • HVLP sprayers vary widely in the available nozzle pressure. Smaller, lower powered, less expensive HVLP turbine units do not have the pressure necessary to apply a generally acceptable smooth finish.
  • While you might get the paint to come out of the spray gun with a low powered HVLP system, application speed will be slow and the finished surface either wavy (orange peel) or coarse.
  • Thinning the paint is necessary to improve the ability of the equipment to atomize the paint better and the addition of a latex conditioner (Floetrol) will assist in helping the finish flow and level better.
  • How much you need to thin the product will depend on the size of the turbine unit (3-stage to 6-stage), available pressure, and the quality of the paint selected. This will vary anywhere from 0% to 50%.
  • The downside of thinning latex paint is loss of sheen. A gloss sheen can become virtually a flat sheen with excessive thinning.
  • Slower drying and multiple applications are also issues.
  • On the brighter side, newer more powerful turbines (6-stage units) that put out much higher atomizing pressure allow most materials or paints to be sprayed unreduced.
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