Guide to Automotive Paint Gun Problems

Your paint gun is one of the most precious tools you'll use in the auto body business. If it's not working the way it should be, you might be in trouble.

But before you throw in the towel and buy a new spray gun, rest assured that some paint gun issues can be easily fixed. Here we'll detail some of the most common paint gun issues and how to fix them.

HVLP Spray Gun Problems

HVLP spray guns are the most popular type of spray gun on the market today. Here are some of the most common HVLP paint gun issues and how to fix them.

HVLP Spray Pattern Problems

If your HVLP spray gun is spraying inconsistent patterns (i.e. orange peel), check the consistency of your paint before you point the finger at your spray gun. Make sure the paint you are using is designed for HVLP guns. If you're unsure, check the paint's technical data sheet. You may need to add paint thinner in order to make sure the paint is the right consistency.

If your paint is the correct consistency but your spray gun is still producing inconsistent patterns, take a look at your air compressor. HVLP guns require high volumes of air (measured in CFM). If your air compressor is producing a low volume of air, this might be contributing to an uneven spray pattern.

When all else fails, examine your spray gun's nozzle. Try using a smaller nozzle to reduce the amount of paint that needs to dry, which can help reduce the orange peel effect.

Spray Gun Spitting

“Spitting” happens when your paint gun's nozzle is not properly screwed into place. If your paint gun is spitting or dripping paint, it is probably because the nozzle is not screwed on tightly.

If you've checked your nozzle and find that it is screwed on tightly, you may need to purchase a new nozzle altogether. Spitting and dripping can be a sign of a worn out nozzle.

Gun Not Spraying

If your paint gun is not spraying paint at all, it's most likely due to a clog either in the air vent hole or the hose. Clean any dried paint with a toothpick, and use a cleaning solvent to clear any remaining gunk.

If you've cleaned your paint gun and find that it still isn't spraying, take a look at the air supply. Make sure the air pressure and the fluid are on the correct settings, and examine your air hose to make sure it is properly connected.

Leaking Air

You might notice that air is escaping from the paint gun handle. In this case, you'll need to replace the soft seals on the paint gun. Replacement parts can be found in high-quality paint gun kits, or they can be purchased on their own -- consult your manufacturer for specific replacement instructions.

LVLP Spray Gun Problems

LVLP paint guns are less common than HVLP guns, but many favor LVLP for their low overspray and high finish quality. The same troubleshooting instructions for HVLP guns should apply to most LVLP problems.

When to Buy a New Paint Gun

Have you tried everything possible to fix your paint gun, but it's still giving you problems? Before you bite the bullet and purchase a new paint gun, contact your spray gun manufacturer for further instructions that are specific to your paint gun model. They will be able to provide tailored advice, and they should be able to help you decide whether it's time to buy a new spray gun.

If you're in the market for a new automotive paint gun, Auto Body Toolmart has you covered. We carry a variety of paint guns from reputable manufacturers like Anest-Iwata, SATA, and DeVilbiss. Shop our collection today.

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