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Tag Archives: paint gun

  • How to Select the Right Paint Gun

    If you are the type of guy who likes to do everything himself, eventually you will have to go shopping for a proper paint gun. The paint job may be the last step of the job, but it’s likely the first part everyone sees . So getting the paint right is very important, and the right gun is part of that.

    There have been many changes in the past 20 years in the types of guns and paints that are available, and that are legal to use (depending on where you live). Your paint gun, air compressor and paint all have to be compatible with each other, so take a little time to learn about different types of paint, and look up your compressor specifications.

    Types of Guns:

    consour pro

    • HVLP - The high volume, low pressure gun (HVLP) has pretty much become the industry standard for the 21st century. They were created to spray paints with less over spray, and therefore less environmental pollution. The best feature of these guns is that they use less paint to cover the same surface, so you save money. Less over spray also means you don’t have to mask off your whole garage before painting to avoid everything getting covered with paint. Most paints these days are formulated to work with HVLP guns.


    conventional spray gun

    • Conventional - The standard, old school paint spray gun used a low volume of air, at a high pressure to atomize paint. Some paints and coatings with higher viscosity, or higher solid concentration, still go on best with conventional spray guns. If you are spraying something like chassis undercoating, truck bedliner, heavy duty industrial or tractor paints you may need the high pressure air from a conventional gun to get good atomization without excessive thinning.


    compliant gun

    • Compliant/Green Guns - There are also guns called simply “complaint spray guns” or sometimes “green guns”, or “reduced pressure (RP) guns”. These guns are a hybrid of the conventional and the new HVLP. They meet the letter of EPA rule 40 CFR Part 63 (6H) because they still use a low pressure at the spray head, and reduce overspray, but they spray more like old school guns so you can paint faster and the transition is easier for people with conventional gun experience.


    turbine system

    • Other - There are also new LVLP guns, which means low volume low pressure, and all in one turbine systems that don’t use an air compressor at all.


    High Volume, Low Pressure or HVLP

    concours pro teardown

    If you are just learning to paint with a spray gun, HVLP is the way to go these days. It’s the current standard, so there are plenty of different guns to be had for not a lot of initial expense. Eastwood alone offers nearly a dozen options from our own Economy line, our higher featured Concours line, and top brands like Binks, Iwata and DeVilbiss. Since most modern paints are formulated to spray through HVLP equipment, it is going to be easier to get good results with it.

    There is no need to jump into the deep end either. You can buy a lower cost gun and learn how to spray automotive finishes, then relegate that gun to primer only duty and buy a higher price gun for your next paint project.

    When buying a HVLP gun, be sure your compressor can flow enough volume to run it. What is the point of saving money on the gun, if you are going to have to upgrade to a bigger compressor to run it? This is also a good time to look at your compressor fittings, hard lines and hoses. Too small of a line, or a bottle neck anywhere can result in less volume reaching your gun. Remember, these are high volume air guns.


    Conventional Guns

    conventional gun cut awat

    These high pressure spray guns have been popular since the turn of the last century, and many people still prefer them. The good news is that they are still available new, and still supported by most major brands. The EPA even granted home users an exemption from the federal low VOC spray rule, though your state, county or city may have other rules. The bad news is that you typically need a much larger compressor to run them.

    If you plan on spraying ElastiWrap, bedliner, Plastidip, Lizard Skin, or heavy industrial coatings a conventional gun may be your best option. These types of thick heavy coating take a lot more pressure and energy to atomize out of the spray tip. Often times low pressure guns just can’t deliver a satisfactory spray pattern when applying them.

    If you have a compressor, and experience with a conventional gun, you may just want a new version of the gun you are familiar with, but you should also consider the new RP compliant guns as well.


    Compliant Guns

    In order to satisfy the needs of their customer base, and the federal EPA mandate, most big spray gun makes have designed these new versions of conventional guns. These new reduced pressure (RP) guns have redesigned spray heads to comply with the EPA rule for pressure and overspray to reduce VOC emissions. These guns spray very much like the old style guns, but still reduce the amount of wasted paint oversprayed into the atmosphere, which also saves you money.

    Besides the way they spray, RP guns are also typically faster than a HVLP gun to cover the same amount of surface. One of the only downsides for compliant guns is they tend to cost more than the HVLP, because they are aimed more at the professional user. Look for the letters RP or the word Compliant to identify these types of guns.

    Turbine Systems

    Turbine base

    One of the latest developments in automotive paint application is the all in one turbine system. Typically it consists of something like a vacuum cleaner, with the hose connected to the spray gun. These typically are low pressure systems of various volumes. The nice thing about them is you don’t need to buy an air compressor, air dryer, or regulator, and the spray gun is perfectly matched to the air supply.

    Turbine systems work just as well as HVLP guns used with a regular compressor with most coatings. If you have no reason to buy an air compressor, these self-contained systems can be very attractive. The lower cost ones, with the turbine, cost less than just the price of many high end spray guns. The higher end systems cost close to the price for a spray gun and compressor, but unlike your compressor they are always ready to go. To spray with the typical shop compressor you typically have to drain any excess  condensed fluid out of the tank, then run a line with dryer and regulator out to where you want to paint. In order to paint with the turbine, you just plug it into the wall and start shooting.

    Other Types

    There are other types of guns out there: LVLP, MVLP, etc. These are low volume, low pressure, and medium volume, low pressure, and are just further refinements of the HVLP systems by different brands. There is not much difference except for their air requirements.


    So now that we have gone over what is out there, how do you choose? First you ought to consider what you are spraying, now and in the future. If all you want is the ability to apply temporary ElastiWrap colors to your car every few months, we have a value priced turbine kit perfect for that. If your plan is just to do the prep and primer and let a professional finish the job, nearly any low priced gun will get you started. But, be sure to know the output abilities of your compressor before you go shopping for a gun, they can vary widely even among similar sized machines.

    If you are starting from scratch and want the ability to paint anything and everything, the HVLP or reduced pressure (RP) guns are the way to go. Not only will they save you money in wasted paint, they will save you money when you buy the matching compressor. You will also use less electricity powering the compressor to paint with a low pressure gun as well. The biggest deciding factor in the end though may be this, less over spray is better for you, and everyone who has to breaths air.


    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, 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.

  • Get Spraying with your New Paint Gun, Quick and Easy!


    New Paint Gun? Not Sure What To Do Next?

    This Quick and Easy guide is all you will need to start painting your project in no time, you might be surprised just how easy it is.

    To start things off there are a few pieces of equipment you will need before you get to painting.  These items are required and you will not be able to continue without them.

    In addition to your new paint gun you'll need:

    1. Air Compressor (Preferably one that exceeds the minimum CFM of the paint gun)
    2. Air Filter, this can be a disposable or Wall Mounted Unit (This will make or break the overall outcome of the paint.  Even a little moisture or oil can ruin the paint)
    3. Gun Mounted Air regulator
    4. Lacquer Thinner (Used to clean the gun after Painting)


    Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 4.35.58 PM

    Shown here in the picture above is the EW Concours Pro (left) and EW Concours Paint Gun (right).  These paint guns share the common controls found on almost all HVLP paint guns on the market,  from discount tool models to industry elite brands these tips are relatively universal.

    Air Fitting and Regulator

    Now you're Ready to set up the gun.  Depending on which paint gun you have, it may not have an air coupler attached to the bottom.  All you need is a little teflon tape (found at any hardware store) wrapped around the threads. First screw the regulator to the gun then screw on the air fitting to the regulator. Tighten using the supplied wrench which comes with most paint guns. This will ensure an airtight seal to the paint gun.

    !QUICK TIP! 



    Setting Air Pressure

    Next you'll need to adjust the air flow to the gun.  This is where the gun-mounted regulator comes into play.  On the box or in the manual of your gun there will be a recommended pressure the gun operates most efficiently. (ex. 30 PSI)  Completely open the air flow adjustment on the gun and do not touch it, from now on the regulator will control the air flow through the gun. After your compressor is turned on and filled, connect the gun without the paint cup attached. Pull the trigger completely open while monitoring the reading on the regulator.  You will need to adjust the regulator to match the recommended pressure for your gun. (ex. so the regulator reads 30 PSI) Now that you have set the regulator unhook the gun.


    Fan Size and Fluid Adjustment

    This part can be tricky since the material you are spraying dictates the how big the fan size should be, how far away to hold the gun, and the correct overlap. Look to the packaging of the material you will be spraying to find the recommended values.  As a general tip, open the fluid adjustment all the way so the trigger can be fully engaged. If you are worrying about running the paint turn the fluid control in and slowly bring it back out as you get more comfortable spraying.


    Mixing Paint

    This also depended on the material being sprayed but generally the mix ratios are printed on the container or packaging of the material you will be using. Attach the paint cup, pour in the paint, and seal off the cup. You're almost ready to paint!

    Remember to attach the paint cup and pour the paint into gun without the air line attached.  It is easy to bump the trigger and accidentally spray paint where you don't want it.


    Attaching the Air Line

    After the paint is in the gun and the lid is on tight you are ready to attach the airline and get to painting.  Make sure you have a panel or piece of cardboard to use to test the spray pattern.  This is when you will use the fluid control and the fan adjustment to get the desired pattern for the material.

    Get to Painting!

    There you go now you can start painting all of your projects with you own paint gun.  At first it can be difficult to remember to do all of the steps in order but it wont take long to become second nature.


    Cleaning you gun is just as important as setting up to paint!  All you need is an empty metal paint can and Aerosol Injected Cleaner or lacquer thinner and its that easy.

    After you are done painting detach the gun from the air line.  Then empty the paint cup into the paint can. Now using Aerosol Injected Cleaner, a Solution Bottle filled with thinner or (I'VE FOUND THAT A CONTACTS SOLUTION BOTTLE WORKS), hold the paint gun over the paint can with the trigger pulled and pour the thinner into the gun where the paint gun attaches.  The thinner will run through the gun and out the nozzle.  Continue to pour thinner until it comes out of the gun clear.  Make sure you clean the gun immediately after painting so the paint does not dry in the gun.


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


    - James R. / EW

  • HVLP Spray Guns FAQ

    What size compressor do I need to run this? How many PSI? How many CFM? – This will vary from gun to gun, and even with what tip you are using on the gun. For the most part HVLP guns need more air volume, and less air pressure than a conventional gun. Eastwood offers guns that use as low as 29PSI and 4CFM

    What guns are good for clear coat? – Most guns good for general finish spraying are good for clear coat too. The important thing is to size the nozzle/needle properly for the viscosity of the paint so it goes on uniformly and with the proper thickness.

    Which guns can spray water based paints? – Waterborne paints tend to cause more corrosion than oil based. Guns to spray these paint are either all stainless steel internally or have coatings to resist corrosion.

    Why do I get streaks in my paint jobs? –
    Streaks in the spray pattern, especially heavy bands at the outside edge, is an indication of low pressure at the tip. Turn up the pressure control knob until these bands are eliminated. If the sprayer is already at maximum, you may have to use larger diameter hose or shorten the length of the hose to reduce the pressure drop. Also, make sure any paint filters in the system are clean, because there will be a pressure drop across a restricted or plugged screen. Sprayers are rated for a maximum tip size. Using a tip that is larger than the maximum size or a tip that is worn larger will cause low pressure. The tip should also be the proper size for the type of material being sprayed.

    What size needle and nozzle should I use? -
    Although every job may have slightly different requirements, for most materials it is best to choose a mid-size, or No. 3, needle and nozzle. If your paint is thicker than standard oil-based enamel, you may want to consider a larger size. Remember that there is no one tip that is perfect for all jobs. Needles and nozzles are quick and easy to change out. So try different sizes until you find what works best.

    Why does my gun spit a small stream of paint after I release the trigger? -
    The cause of the problem is that the needle is not seating properly in the seat. You will need to either purchase a kit for the gun needle and seat or you may only need to clean the needle and seat assembly. Residue or debris may cause the needle to move off to the side before seating.

    How often does a gun need to be rebuilt? How can I make it last longer? -
    This depends on what material you're spraying and how many gallons sprayed per day. For example, with lacquers, guns don't need rebuilding as often because lacquers don't have solids in them. In contrast, the high solids in blockfillers are abrasive and require more frequent gun rebuilding.

    One way to increase gun life before repacking is to thoroughly clean your gun at the end of every day. Be sure to trigger the gun before removing the diffuser and when installing the diffuser. If you don't, the diffuser will score around the ball on the new needle which can lead to premature wear. Your gun will develop a leak and this will cause spitting.

    What is tip wear? How can I compensate for it?  -
    Tip wear is gradual, usually over days or weeks. The operator will attempt to compensate by doing the following:

    • Increase fluid pressure (an attempt to achieve an acceptable pattern). This will increase fluid delivery even more.
    • Back away from the part (an attempt to achieve a larger pattern). This may result in a dryer spray pattern.
    • Increase gun speed (an attempt to prevent runs and sags).

    Why do I get “Orange Peel” when spraying HVLP?
    “Orange Peel” happens when the paint on the surface starts to dry before paint under it. The main causes are: Paint applied too thick due to too much or too little air pressure, paint viscosity too heavy for needle/nozzle, holding the gun to close to the painted surface and weather causing the paint to dry too fast.

    What is the difference between conventional style spray guns, HVLP and turbine guns?
    Conventional spray guns typically operate at 40- 60PSI out of the gun. Typically they atomize paint better, but loose more than 50% of the paint to overspray. HVLP guns use more air at a lower pressure usually around 10PSI. They produce a smaller spray pattern, and don’t atomize as well, but deliver nearly 70% of the paint to the surface. Turbine HVLP guns don’t use an air compressor. They have their own turbine based air supply to deliver higher volumes of air at lower pressures.

    Why am I not getting a good paint flow at the tip? –
    Is the tip plugged? Is the pressure set too low? Are the filters plugged? Is the paint too thick for the gun to spray easily?

    What do the numbers 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.8 mean? –
    That is the size of the hole in the tip of the spray nozzle in mm. Larger holes are used for thicker paints, like primer. There is typically a corresponding sized needle for each size nozzle.

    Where do you order repair and replacement parts from? –
    Right here. Eastwood carries a full line of parts and accessories for all the guns we sell.

    Do all these guns come with an air regulator with gauge? –
    Not all of these guns include the regulator/gauge at the air inlet of the gun, but Eastwood sells them separately in both analog and digital gauge versions.

    What are the signs of tip wear? –
    Flow rate increases - As the tip wears, the physical opening in the tip increases. An increase from .015” to .017” (two one-thousands of an inch) may result in a 33% increase in flow rates. How quickly this happens  depends on the factors listed above.

    Pattern size decreases - The tip will wear out in the top and bottom portions of the tip opening. This will result in a smaller pattern size. It will continue to decrease in size as the tip wears.

    What parts of the gun need periodic lubrication? -
    The fluid needle packing A, the air valve packing B and the trigger bearing screw C require daily lubrication with a non-silicone/nonpetroleum gun lube. The fluid needle spring D should be coated lightly with petroleum jelly or a non-silicone grease (i.e.. lithium). Lubricate each of these points after every cleaning in a gun washer.

    Can I get different sized tips for these guns? –
    Eastwood carries all the parts and accessories for all the guns we sell. If different sized tips, needles and air caps are available you can get them from us.

    What sort of storage does this come with? Does it have a plastic carrying case? –
    Many of the guns we sell do come in storage cases. We also carry an empty case specifically for DeVilbiss gravity feed guns.

    What is the best general purpose HVLP spray gun?
    What’s the difference and purpose between the DeVilbiss Starting Line and Finish Line? – The Starting Line series are designed to cost less and be more entry level friendly, but they still feature all DeVilbiss’ years of spray gun expertise and will give years of reliable service. The Finish Line series is a full on professional gun designed for years of heavy usage when your livelihood depends on it.

    Which guns can use the DeKup system? –
    Eastwood has adapters to fit the DeKups, Gunner and 3M PPS systems for most guns.

  • How to Tune in Your HVLP Spray Gun- With Kevin Tetz

    If you have never painted with a spray gun before, or if you have only recently converted over to spraying with modern high volume low pressure equipment, there are new things to learn. Here is a little primer Kevin Tetz did recently for us explaining which knob controls what function, and how to set your gun up before painting.
  • How to Choose a Paint Gun

    Time to buy a paint gun? Before parting with your hard earned money, read through this brief article to help in your decision process.

    With so many choices available, choosing a paint gun or paint guns to can be really confusing. With so many variables and individual needs, I can’t specifically tell you which gun to buy however I will attempt to filter through the many variables and provide a better understanding of what is available and why.

    For many years, paint guns were simple devices that used air flowing through small internal passages inside a metal paint gun body creating a vacuum to suck the paint through a tube, out of a canister attached to the bottom and when combined with a needle sliding through in and out through an orifice or nozzle, the paint mixed with air into small droplets becoming atomized then with air pressure, was forced out of the gun, through the atmosphere and landed on a surface, hopefully your car. A bit simplistic perhaps but basically how it was done. These were generally known as Siphon Guns and can be readily identified by the paint canister or cup, attached to the bottom of the gun body. Another similar version looking very much like a Siphon Gun, instead of vacuum, relied on supplied air to pressurize the canister, forcing the paint up through the needle and nozzle, becoming atomized then propelled through the atmosphere. These were known as Pressure Guns or “Pressure Pots” and most often used for production work or conditions where the gun will be inverted part of the time or on extreme angles. Although they were known for producing a beautiful finish in the hands of a knowledgeable painter, both designs required a fair amount of air pressure, usually 50 to 80 PSI to do their job and because they discharged a great amount of atomized paint into the air, were not very efficient, generating a lot of over spray. In some areas of the US, and Europe, these guns are actually not permitted for sale.  With some searching, they can still be found today, however they are considered to be old and inefficient technology.

    Another configuration of paint gun layout is the Gravity Feed. Gravity Feed guns are identified by the paint canister or “cup” being attached to the top of the gun body. The main advantage of this design is that the paint is fed to the nozzle of the gun with gravity and since no air pressure is needed to generate suction, it requires less pressure. Added benefits are a shorter path for the paint to travel and much easier cleaning. Also, most are newer designs which take advantage of the great advances in paint gun technology in the past 10 years.

    Note: It is a common misconception that if it is a gravity feed gun, it must be an HVLP. Not necessarily. Some of the really inexpensive guns may be made to look like an HVLP but are in fact based on old high-pressure technology. The best advice here is to look very carefully at the gun, the box, any included literature containing specifications and don’t hesitate to ask questions of the seller before forking over hard earned money.

    This leads us into the subject of HVLP guns which is an acronym for High Volume Low Pressure. These are by far the most commonly available units today. Ok, you may be wondering what this High Volume Low Pressure actually means. The “Low Pressure” refers to the air pressure required to operate the gun properly. The majority of HVLP guns today require from 15 to 30 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) which is the force of the air needed to function adequately. The individual gun will state this in the included specifications. The “High Volume” is the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) which is the amount of air needed to get the job done. Some guns require as little as 3 or 4 CFM while others will need 10 to 15 CFM. At this point it is VERY important to point out that the PSI and CFM requirements are specified AT THE GUN INLET (I will touch on this in greater detail a little further on in this article). In addition to your main regulator at the air compressor, you need to always have a true gun regulator attached right at the gun inlet to properly measure inlet pressure, they also serve to prevent sudden pressure spikes when opening and closing the trigger.

    Another term you may occasionally encounter is LVLP which obviously describes a Low Volume Low Pressure gun. Although virtually identical to an HVLP, the combination of both a lower PSI and CFM requirement will earn a gun this designation. They are generally among the most efficient guns out there and waste little paint however most of them are at the high end of the price scale.

    The guns described above are available in full-size as well as smaller versions that you would use for laying a single-stage color or base-clear in a tighter area or over small parts. Named “Mini Guns” by most manufacturers; their usefulness in shooting door jambs or covering small repaired areas is why they are frequently called “Jamb Guns” or “Spot Guns”.

    All paint guns share the same basic internal component design that is; internal passages designed for optimal flow, a trigger controlled, sliding “needle” which is a metal rod with a sharp point that extends into and out of the “nozzle” which has a corresponding size to match the needle (they are paired in sets and always used that way) and the “air cap” which surrounds the nozzle and injects air into the paint stream and shapes the spray pattern or “fan”. In addition, they also have assorted springs, ferrules, bushings and seals. The aforementioned “needle” and “nozzles” are sized by the hole in the nozzle where the paint is discharged through. They are measured in millimeters and can be from 1.0 to 2.0 mm with most in the 1.2 mm to 1.8 range. Again, no direct rules apply here as different manufacturer’s nozzle/needle sizes will work better with some materials than others, some basics are; 1.2 mm/1.3 mm for base colors, 1.3/1.4mm for clears and single stage urethanes and 1.5 to 1.8 for heavier-bodied primers and sealers. 1.0mm is what is most often found in a mini-gun.

    Earlier in this article I mentioned “air requirements at the gun inlet”. This is a critical point in that all compressors have a CFM rating which will appear as this example; 16 CFM@90 PSI. I stress this as being very important since this rating is at the OUTPUT of the compressor tank, when the compressor is new, with ideal atmospheric conditions, moon in the right phase…you get the picture. Add in ½ dozen air fittings, tank regulator & filter, 50 feet of air hose a few more fittings and if you are lucky, you have 10 or 12 CFM at the gun and if your gun requires more CFM, the paint job will suffer and the gun looks like the bad guy. Note: horsepower is not a good rating of a compressor, always refer to the CFM rating. If you suspect that your compressor may not be up to the task, there are things you can do to help. 1st, use as short of a hose as possible and go with as large of a diameter as you can. A ½” I.D. hose is much better than a 3/8” hose. Try to eliminate fittings if you can, elbows especially. Go with the largest tank Filter/Regulator unit that you can afford. If you need help, there are several excellent online sites that help you calculate air pressure and CFM loss through pipe and fittings. Another important point is that moisture and oil are responsible for ruining probably 70% of paint jobs. You MUST have clean dry air to the gun. Be sure your compressor tank is drained of water, use a good quality moisture and oil trap (in-line desiccant systems work well too). Buy a new air hose and keep it dedicated just for painting to minimize the chance of intruding oil or contaminants to you paint gun.

    The controls on most paint guns are quite similar with the air-flow, paint-flow and fan knobs. The fan knob regulates the width of the “fan” or spray pattern which is normally a vertical elliptical shape however this is determined by the horizontal or vertical orientation of the Air Cap. This is determined by the user. Since all guns are different in their base settings, consult the instructions supplied with the gun as a starting point. Each gun design has an individual “feel”. Get familiar with it, waste some paint and practice, practice, practice before tackling that paint job on you old car or truck

    There is one other type of painting system that certainly bears mention here and that is the Turbine systems. These are great for those without a compressor or requiring portability. Basically, if you can imagine using the outlet hose of a powerful vacuum cleaner on a specially designed paint gun and heat that air, you have the idea of a turbine paint system. Of course they are a bit more complex and specific than that and cost can vary widely. They provide a huge amount of CFM, the intake air is filtered and the output is heated to provide a dry air supply. I have tested several of them and the better quality units do work quite well. The only caution is that many (but not all) are designed for painting backyard storage sheds and garage doors but not cars & trucks so choose carefully and take note of the included needle/nozzle set size. Some are supplied with 2.0 mm and larger needle/nozzle sets however the higher quality machines offer optional automotive painting sizes.

    One final word on cleaning. Failure to take the time and effort to properly clean them has killed more innocent paint guns than any other cause. The cheap, clean-up grade of lacquer thinner or acetone available by the gallon from one of the large discount stores works well. Another alternative is one of the aerosol gun cleaning agents available from many paint and supply houses. To avoid damage, begin cleaning as soon as you are finished painting and minimize the exposure time to the solvent. NEVER leave a paint gun to soak in solvent as it will ruin any plastic internal parts and rubber seals. Drain unused paint from the cup, wipe out as much as you can. Pour a few ounces of the solvent into the cup and spray it out into a rag or wad of paper towels (be careful not to have it spray back at your face and I trust you would still be wearing protective gear at this time). Wipe of any remaining paint form the exterior then remove the air cap and nozzle, put several more ounces into the cup then with the air disconnected, squeeze the trigger and allow the solvent to stream out until it is clear. Put the air cap and nozzle back on Hook the air back up then once more, spray the remaining solvent into the rag.

    In summary, shop carefully and hopefully use the information I have provided. You must make the determination on how often you will use the gun, whether to but just one and acquire the additional needle/nozzle sets or buy two or even three separate guns. Many painters have a dedicated color gun, a clear gun and a primer gun. Generally, with the more expensive guns, a great deal of engineering and development goes into optimizing internal flow and atomization characteristics also, they tend to be much longer lasting, these are usually bought by the everyday painter. For the dedicated hobbyist, there are quite a few decent guns and sets available for $200/$300 or so. 

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