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Eastwood Auto Restoration Blog - Free How-to Automotive Tech Advice for Everything DIY Automotive

  • Prepping a Car for Paint

    Whether you are planning on painting your car yourself, or paying to have it done, it is essential that the prep is done right. For the most part it is a time consuming job consisting of mostly grunt work, there is not really that much to learn about prepping correctly. So learn how to do it yourself, and see if you can’t knock a couple hundred off the labor bill for the next paint job at the body shop.
  • How to Select the Right Tip for Your Paint Gun

    When spraying paint with a compressed air spray gun, whether gravity feed or siphon feed, conventional or High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP), it’s important to have the gun set up properly for the job. What you are painting is important to a certain extent, but more import is what you are painting with.

    painting

    For example, if you are painting a small panel, or a motorcycle gas tank you can use a gun with a smaller spray pattern than if you are painting the side of a van.  You can still use the big gun for a small project, but it is going to be more wasteful and messy. You can use the small gun for a big job but it’s going to take a lot longer to do it.

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    Moe important to the quality of the job you are doing is using a gun with the right size fluid tip and needle for the paint, primer or whatever else you are spraying. Most guns have the option of several different sized spray tip openings, with a matching needle for each one. Eastwood carries a selection of popular sizes for the guns they sell. As a general rule of thumb, thicker material, like high build primers use a bigger opening, while thinner liquids use a smaller tip.

    Often times the paint or primer will come with recommendations as to how to spray it. Usually the instructions that come with the gun will have a handy chart too. Here’s what Kevin Tetz and Eastwood recommends for the Concourse HVLP gun.

    spray gun tips

    For spraying clear coats on small parts and projects, a 1.2mm tip. For spraying a whole car a 1.3mm tip is recommended. The 1.4mm tip is perfect for base coats and metallic as the droplet size allows the particles to self-orient to eliminate streaking and mottling. The 1.8mm is at the upper end of sizes for urethane primer surfacers, and the minimum size you want to use for a poly-urethane primer surfacer, which can use up to a 2.2mm.

    Here are some common tip sizes and recommended usages:

    5 tip

    0.5-1.0mm – These are very common in detail spray guns because they provide a much smaller pattern compared to a larger tip on a full size gun. Also used for thin dyes and stains.

     

    1.2mm, 1.3mm – Good for clear coat and thinner base coats. Spraying clear with a 1.2mm will take longer because the tiny hole doesn’t flow much fluid through it but will give you a very fine finish. The 1.3mm is a great general clear coat tip, also thinner base coats, waterborne and single stage paints. Too thick of a paint won’t flow well through this size though.

    1.4mm – Great all-purpose size. Works well with most base coats, and even thicker clears. This size is the closes to a universal tip as it comes. When in doubt it’s a good place to start.

    1.5mm, 1.6mm – Versatile tip for base coats and single stage paints. Thinner paints run the risk of orange peel though because they will not atomize correctly. Also a good choice for lacquer paints.

    1.7mm, 1.8mm  –1.7mm is the smallest size you should use for most types of primer, not a very common size but currently offered on the Eastwood Concours LT Gun.  Typically 1.8mm is recommended for most primer surfacers. Also the smallest size if you are shooting latex paint, not that you would do that with your good HVLP gun.

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    2.0-2.3mm – High build primers and other thick materials. Avoid spraying and base, single stage or through these size tips, it will not atomize correctly and give a poor result.

     

    pro set

    If you still are unsure what sizes you will need, Eastwood makes it easy by offering our Original Concours and Concours Pro HVLP paint guns in sets that come with multiple sizes.  Purchasing a set like these will allow you to spray all types of paints from the same gun, making it easier while saving you money.

    There you have a rundown of the common sizes of fluid tips for the HVLP spray gun and what they are for, with the most common in red. If you just remember thinner smaller, thicker bigger, it’s pretty intuitive. With fancy paints like pearls and metal flakes, you may have to go smaller and larger respectively for them to come out really well, but the only real way to find out is with practice, lots of practice.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and How-To Center for more Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

  • Sound Deadening Paint Sprays and Mats - Benefits & Application Tips

    Cars have come a long way since WWII, but they haven’t really gotten any more enjoyable, which is why we all still like to play with our old cars. Plenty of people will argue about whether a new Honda Accord could beat a first generation Mustang in a race (it probably would, no matter whether a drag strip or a road course), but no one is going to argue about how much quieter it is inside the modern car. Sure that’s both good and bad; we want to hear the 289 roar, but that freeway drone gets old after an hour or two.
  • Can You Powder Coat Glass?

    We all know you can powder coat metal but what about other materials such as glass?  In order to powder coat an item there is really only one determining factor, it must be able to withstand 400ºF. Metal is one of the best materials to powder coat because it conducts electricity, allowing the charged powder to be drawn to the part thus completing the circuit.  That leaves out all other non conductive items, can they be powder coated too?  Hot flocking is the most common way of powder coating non conductive objects by heating them up to temperature, pulling them out of the oven and then applying the powder without needing to connect the grounding cable or plug in the gun.  The part is already hot so the powder melts on contact.  Once there is full coverage you put it back into the oven to finish curing.  This method is proven and utilized by many manufacturing companies but there are some other little known tricks to coat materials like glass without having to heat them up before.
  • How to Reduce Moisture in Compressed Air Systems

    Part of getting a good paint job is having good quality air coming out of your compressed air lines. This is also important when powder coating and media blasting too. Besides the typical separator and desiccant attachments for removing moisture, there are planning, periodic maintenance, and plumbing steps you can take to help with this issue.

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