Automotive Paint Gun For Beginners: (Best Car Sprayers)

Dents, dings, and accidents happen; it's just a fact of life. And when those dings happen to our cars and trucks, it may mean you need to repaint some sections (or the whole thing). This article will look at automotive paint guns and help you decide what type and style is best for you. 

Whether you need to paint your car or just perform a touch-up on the bumper, there is a paint spray gun for you and your needs. Let’s dive in and look at the various types of spray guns, how they work, and even teach you how to use them. Then, we will review the best paint spray guns for beginners so you can get started right away. 

Image

Model

Tip Sizes Available

Motor Size or PSI

Feed Type

Buy Now

DeVilbiss 803558 Finishline 4 FLG-670 Solvent...

DeVilbiss Finishline 4

1.3, 1.5, 1.8mm

23 PSI

Gravity Fed

Wagner Spraytech 0529031 Black MotoCoat...

Wagner Spraytech MotoCoat

Detail nozzle, iSpray nozzle

2 speed adjustable motor

Suction Fed

Fuji 2202 Semi-PRO 2 HVLP Spray System, Blue

Fuji

Semi-Pro 2

1.3mm

2-stage electric motor

Suction fed

Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray...

Graco-Sharpe FX3000

1.0, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8mm

0 -30 PSI

Gravity Fed

DEWALT HVLP Spray Gun, Gravity Feed...

DeWalt

1.5mm

0 - 29 PSI

Gravity Fed

TCP Global Complete Professional 9 Piece HVLP...

TCP Global 9-Piece Kit

1.0, 1.4, 1.8mm

0 -180 PSI (29 - 50 PSI operational)

Gravity Fed

PNTGREEN HVLP Spray Gun with 1.4 mm Tip for...

PNTGREEN 

1.4mm

20-70 PSI

Gravity Fed

Types Of Automotive Paint Guns & How They Work 

When you break it all down, there are three main types of spray guns. However, one of the types can be categorized in two different models, making four types. Here, we will examine the four types, explain their differences and help you determine which type you need. 

Best Automotive Paint Gun For Beginners

Airless/Electric Spray Guns 

Airless sprayers are very common, especially among beginners, because they are generally less expensive. Their biggest draw, though, is that they don’t require air compressors, tanks, or intensive setups. You essentially mix your paint, put it in the reservoir, and plug it in. 

The downside is that it is more difficult to control. The pressure created usually cannot be controlled, and while there are speed dials, the pressure remains. The pressure here, as with almost all sprayers, is that it can pierce your skin and cause injury. 

Airless sprayers are good for thicker paints, varnishes, latex house paints, and some automotive paints. There are better options for cars, though, as you will see below. 

Dedicated HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) 

High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) systems are one of the two split categories from the dedicated paint sprayers. They use a regulated and steady stream of air to push the paint through the nozzle, creating a fine mist of paint. 

Unlike an airless sprayer, there is less waste (by about 40%), so the paint you spray actually sticks to the surface you are painting more often. The newer models use an air turbine that is integrated into the gun. This means you don’t need an air compressor, and they become easier to use. 

Because of the size and pressure, though, you may need to thin the paint. However, you can spray both large areas and detailed spots as needed with the correct nozzles. If you use a pneumatic gun, you will need a compressor, and they offer a high-quality finish but lack the detail capabilities of a low-pressure system. 

Dedicated LVLP (Low Volume Low Pressure) 

The other half of the split category is the Low Volume Low Pressure (LVLP) systems. With these machines, you can use any sized air compressor, making them quite popular with hobbyists and those that already own a compressor. 

They are designed to be easy to use and are perfect for automotive painting. There is less spray back, clogging, or running, which means the result is clean, smooth, and beautiful. 

The downside, though, is that they use a smaller nozzle, so you will need more time to cover large areas. Taking your time and going slow, though, result in a better quality finish perfect for car painting. 

Compressed Air Sprayers 

These guns are similar to the LVLP systems that use compressors and regulators for speed, pressure, and control. They are designed for everyday painting, such as interior and exterior walls, fences, wood, cabinets, etc. 

They have many different sprays, and it takes a lot of practice to get it right. You will need to use a dial regulator and premix your paint. Thinners are needed to get the right consistency for the nozzles, and this can take some time to get perfect for automotive painting. 

However, for the professional, these gun types are quick, easy, and cause less hand fatigue, so you can spray all day if needed. For someone looking to do a touch-up paint job or who has never used a paint gun before, this may not be the option you want to start with. 


Choosing The Right Beginner Automotive Paint Spray Gun 

Type Of Spray Gun 

Once you have the system type you prefer to use, you need to select the gun type. There are two types of guns to choose from, suction and gravity fed. Each has its advantages and disadvantages that we will look at now. 

  • Gravity Fed 
    Gravity fed guns are identified by the paint cup that rests on the top side of the gun. This design has many benefits, but the most notable is that these guns can use all of the paint in the cup. Minimizing waste is a key component for a device that uses expensive liquids. Gravity fed guns can also use more types of paint, as thicker paints don’t need to overcome suction power and will enter the chamber via gravity when you squeeze the trigger. The pressure used by these guns is also more constant, so overspray and dripping are also minimized. Gravity fed guns are ideal for beginners because they don’t take a lot of getting used to, produce minimal waste of the product, and have much less overspray aiding in clean-up. 
  • Suction Fed 
    For more experienced painters, a suction fed gun may be a better choice. Also known as siphon or conventional spray guns, suction fed are easily spotted because the paint cups are positioned under the gun. As may be obvious, these guns use a straw into the paint cup and suction from the motor to draw the paint into the gun chamber. This system uses a lot of pressure, which makes them a bit harder to control. However, once you can dial in the right pressure for the type of paint, get over the higher learning curve of using the gun style, and don’t mind more waste and overspray, these guns are great for painting cars. The pressure is more constant, and the spray can be finer, resulting in a smoother application. However, for the untrained, you will experience sputtering, overspray, and a lot of clean-up.  

Application 

Your entire system setup will be determined by how you plan to use it. Of course, you are here because you need to paint a vehicle. But there are different needs. For example, painting as a touch-up will require a lower pressure and smoother application. 

However, if you want to paint to cover rust and corrosion, you will need a gun capable of thicker paints and more pressure. Scratch and dent repairs will also require their own style.

For the beginner, though, there are setups capable of handling more than a single application type, as long you know what your primary focus is. 

Power Source 

Another important consideration is the power source. There are two primary sources, again each with their own set of pros and cons. Air-powered or electric powered? You decide. 

  • Air Powered 
    Air powered models use a compressor to regulate the air pressure that pushes the paint through the nozzles. This creates a fine mist of paint particles that are then sprayed onto the car surface. These are the most common power sources for automotive painting, but they do have some limitations. Air compressors need to compress air, which also requires electricity. Depending on the size of your project, the compressor may be large and bulky, hard to move around, and may require frequent stops and restarts to allow the compressor to refill. 
  • Electric 
    Electric sprayers are generally cheaper (in some cases) and are easier to maneuver. In addition, there isn’t a compressor needed as everything happens inside the gun. Once plugged in, the electric turbine motor produces the necessary pressure to move the paint through the nozzle. However, these types may not have a steady flow of pressure, and regulating the stream is much more difficult. With overspray, dripping, and nozzle clogs being the biggest complaint, electric powered units aren’t the most beginner friendly options. 

Paint Gun Accessories 

As with most other paint products, there are additional items you need to make the paint spray guns work. Nozzles are required for many different reasons and, of course, air hoses and compressors (if needed) to make the systems work. 

  • Nozzles 
    The nozzles may be the most important part of the entire sprayer setup. Nozzles come in various sizes, fan widths, and droplet creation capacities. You will need to select the right nozzle, not only for the gun brand and type but also for the paint type and thickness, application needs, and more. We have an entire section further below, all about the nozzles for you. 
  • Hose Length 
    The air compressor is also important as you want one large enough to handle the job time, and with enough features to supply a steady stream of adjustable air pressure. Part of that feature list should include the air hoses. The most important aspect of the air hoses is the length. You want a hose that is long enough to reach your work area without forcing you to move the entire setup each time you change position. 

Maintenance 

Paint sprayers have a relatively high maintenance level compared to other household tools. You must clean them thoroughly after every use. This includes after a long break. Depending on the type of paint used, you may need to completely clean and refill after a short interval of an hour. 

Paint thinner and mineral water are two cleaning products you should always have on hand. If you fail to clean the gun and nozzles properly, the paint will harden, and you will need to have it professionally cleaned or, worse, forced to buy a new one. 

Ease Of Control 

Control of the spray pattern, amount of paint, and pressure are all critical to a successful project. Not only does the gun size aid in control, but you also need to look for models with multiple adjustments.

Pressure, speed, fan width, and others can all be controlled when using the gun and sprayer system. The easier the controls are for you, the better your project will come out. 

Compatible Paints 

Of course, one of the most important things is to use the right paint. Not only does the paint have to be automotive grade and match your vehicle, but it also needs to be compatible with the gun, cup, and nozzle. Matching all of these can be difficult but isn’t as hard as one would imagine. 


7 Best Automotive Paint Guns For Beginners 

1. DeVilbiss Finishline 4

Professional Choice 

Tip Sizes Available 

1.3, 1.5, 1.8mm 

Motor Size or PSI 

23 PSI 

Cup Size 

20 oz. 

Feed Type 

Gravity Fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

One of the most popular brands offers you the best professional paint gun on the market. The DeVilbiss Finishline 4 is a gravity fed paint gun specifically designed for smooth finishes and detail automotive work. 

This model comes with everything you need for an expert paint job. The aluminum cup holds 900cc of paint, thinner or primer, and has a pop-on lid. The plastic paint cup with a screw-on lid holds 20 ounces of paint. 

You also get three nozzle tips that fit directly into the flange, and the air cap assembly is easily removed, adjusted, and cleaned. You will need to supply the compressor and air hose, but all adjustments can be made right on the gun. 

With a pressure regulator (included), you can get the ideal pressure range for your project and paint type. Ideally, your HVLP system should output either 23 PSI or 13 CFM. Once up and running, the paint applies smoothly, evenly, and with less spatter or blotting than other brands. 

If you have never used a paint gun before, this model is certainly going to take a little practice. However, for those that have used a gun before, the natural feel and ease of use offered by DeVilbiss are recognized almost immediately. 

Pros

  • Low maintenance, easy to clean 
  • All anodized interior 
  • Includes cups, nozzles, tips, and regulator 
  • Fully adjustable 
  • Lightweight, full control design 

Cons

  • Has a higher learning curve than other models 
  • 1-year warranty 

2. Wagner Spraytech MotoCoat

Best Electric Sprayer 

Tip Sizes Available 

Detail nozzle, iSpray nozzle 

Motor Size or PSI 

2 speed adjustable motor 

Cup Size 

16 ounces 

Feed Type 

Suction Fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

The Wagner MotoCoat is easily the best electric HVLP sprayer on the market right now. It offers two adjustable nozzles, two paint cups with connection hoses, and an electric turbine boost motor. 

The two nozzles are the only ones that fit this model and are not interchangeable. However, they both adjust to allow for a multitude of uses. The iSpray nozzle is the default multi-function nozzle that can handle thicker paints like primer, latex, and even bed liner paints. 

When you want to finish your project or do more delicate work, the detail nozzle is your choice. It can apply an even, smooth and quick finish to any panel, seam, or bumper. Between the two options, you can paint your entire car (or home, boat, or RV). 

The biggest draw for this paint sprayer is that it takes all the guesswork out of it. So simple to use for beginners, you only need to adjust your nozzle for the spray pattern and the turbine speed depending on your paint selection (thicker paint needs the higher speed setting).

Everything else is automatically adjusted when you power the unit on and start spraying. 

The biggest downside is that it can be difficult to clean. There are a lot of moving parts, and the cleaning and maintenance details take up the majority of the owner's manual. So while the process is relatively simple, it is tedious and time-consuming. 

For the price and versatility of this electric sprayer, though, time spent cleaning is nothing compared to the time you will save when painting your car or truck. 

Pros

  • X-Boost turbine adjusts for proper speed 
  • Handles a wide range of paint types 
  • Includes everything but the paint 
  • Ideal for bed liners and thicker paint needs 

Cons

  • 1 year warranty 
  • High maintenance/cleaning level 

3. Fuji Semi-Pro 2

Most Versatile 

Tip Sizes Available 

1.3mm 

Motor Size or PSI 

2-stage electric motor 

Cup Size 

1 quart 

Feed Type 

Suction fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

Fuji is a company that caters to the hobbyist and DIYer that loves high tech, high-quality products. Of course, you are going to pay a little more for this system compared to others on the market, but none can really match the quality and versatility of the Fuji Semi-Pro 2. 

This system is an electric HVLP dedicated system that can accommodate multiple paint types, thicknesses, and pressures. The system comes with a 1.3mm nozzle which is standard use size. However, you can purchase Fuji nozzles from 0.8 to 2.0mm to match your needs. 

The biggest draw to this system, though, is the gun. The Fuji M-Model paint gun is as versatile as it is easy to use. The system here comes with the 1-quart suction paint cup, but with an adapter kit (#9960 U-Tube Conversion), you can change the M-Model to a gravity fed gun. 

The highly versatile gun has control knobs for fan spread, pressure, air cap capacity, fan pattern and is quickly disassembled. Cleaning and maintenance are made simple by the limited pieces and quick disassembly. A little mineral water and paint thinner, and you will be ready for reuse or storage in less than 15 minutes. 

The downside of this system is the cost. At twice (or more) the cost of most other systems, it can be difficult to justify the purchase. However, if you plan to paint more than once, ever, the system will pay for itself. With a 2-year parts and labor warranty, excellent customer service, and a capability of high detail, you can’t go wrong. 

Pros

  • Converts (with kit) from suction to gravity fed 
  • Lightweight with stay-cool handle 
  • Professional level control knobs 
  • Multiple nozzles and tips available (separate purchase) 
  • 2-year parts and labor warranty 

Cons

  • High learning curve 
  • Not the best option for outdoor use 

4. Graco-Sharpe FX3000

Good Nozzle Options 

Tip Sizes Available 

1.0, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8mm 

Motor Size or PSI 

0 -30 PSI 

Cup Size 

600cc

Feed Type 

Gravity Fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

If you are looking for a paint gun with nozzle options, look no further. The Graco-Sharpe FX3000 comes with a single nozzle but has the capability of using a lot more. When you first make your selection, you can choose from one of 5 nozzle sizes (1 - 1.8mm) to come with your gun.

After that, you can purchase a myriad of nozzles for all types of applications from latex, to bed liners and varnishes to oils. 

This high-powered gun withstands pressures up to 30 PSI and has one of the highest volume outputs around. When using the gravity fed gun, the gun seems to handle itself. It does have a high learning curve for a beginner, though. 

With adjustment knobs for pressure, airflow, regulators, drip rate, and even nozzle diameter, direction, and width, it can take a while to dial in. Once you have it fully adjusted, though, you can seemingly paint forever. 

As long as there is paint in the cup and air flowing through, the gun will run smoothly. There are fewer reports of sputtering, overspray, and clogging with this gun than almost every other professional-grade option on the market today. 

Pros

  • More nozzle sizes than other brands 
  • Less clogging and sputtering 
  • Up to 30 PSI constant use 
  • Extremely lightweight 

Cons

  • 1-year warranty 
  • May be difficult for beginners to make adjustments 

5. DeWalt HVLP Spray Gun

Most Lightweight 

Tip Sizes Available 

1.5mm 

Motor Size or PSI 

0 - 29 PSI 

Cup Size 

600cc

Feed Type 

Gravity Fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

DeWalt is well known for affordable, high quality tools for almost every home renovation project you can think of. The DeWalt HVLP Spray gun is just one more tool. However, it is a tool worthy of beginners and pros alike. 

This 600cc gravity fed paint cup sits atop a stainless steel, easy-squeeze trigger gun. It doesn’t have as many adjustment knobs as the harder-to-use Fuji M-Model, making it simple to learn and use. 

Unlike that Fuji model, though, this model doesn’t covert to a suction fed gun and back again.  

With a capacity of up to 29 PSI and multiple nozzle sizes available, you can use virtually any paint with this gun. From varnishes and acrylics to topcoats, bed liners and latex paints all flow effortlessly from this tip. 

Clean-up is made a little easier with the gun being made from stainless steel and the paint cup, too. However, many little pieces need to be removed, disassembled, and hand scrubbed. The per-use maintenance is higher with the DeWalt model than other guns, but the trade-off is worth it. 

For a fraction of the cost of other HVLP guns, the added maintenance is a fair trade-off. On top of the performance, this gun is also one of the lightest HVLP guns on the market. And being from DeWalt, it comes with a standard 3-year warranty that is hard to beat. 

Pros

  • 3-year warranty 
  • Lightweight, stainless design 
  • Affordable pricing 
  • Ideal for beginners 

Cons

  • Can be difficult to clean 
  • More paint thinning needed compared to other brands 

6. TCP Global Complete Professional 9-Piece Kit

Best Midrange 

Tip Sizes Available 

1.0, 1.4, 1.8mm 

Motor Size or PSI 

0 -180 PSI (29 - 50 PSI operational) 

Cup Size 

150cc, 1 liter (x2) 

Feed Type 

Gravity Fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

TCP Global offers one of the most complete and inclusive beginner spray gun kits out there. This 9 piece kit includes three paint guns, all gravity fed, three paint cups, three additional line filters, a cleaning tool, pressure regulator, and wrenches—everything you need for a complete painting project. 

Instead of a standard gun setup where you constantly change nozzles and paint cups to complete your project, you can simply change guns with this setup. This can save you time as you can easily set up one gun with your primer, one with the base, and the detail gun with the topcoat. 

Each gun is slightly different, with the smallest gun using a 1.0mm nozzle and a 150cc paint cup. It is ideal for minor touch-ups or thin paints covering small areas. The primer gun uses a 1.4mm nozzle and has a 1-liter stainless steel paint cup. 

The final gun also has a 1-liter cup but uses a 1.8mm nozzle for topcoats, varnishes, and other similar paints. The biggest draw, though, is the pressure regulator. The regulator is adjustable from 0 to 180 PSI (which runs between 29 and 50 PSI under load). 

It can also lock in place, so once you get the pressure to an ideal setting, you can lock that pressure and not have to worry about pressure dropping or increasing, creating overspray and splatter. 

The downside is that these are mid-range guns. They will get the job done and are perfect for beginners. Experts, professionals, and daily users will find the guns a little lacking, though. There aren’t many other adjustments you can make, and if you want a different nozzle, you are out of luck. 

For the price, though, you get three guns and everything you need (except the hoses and compressor) to paint an entire car. With a minimal 1-year warranty and iffy customer service, you are almost on your own. However, it is a chance worth taking for anyone with a desire to start painting. 

Pros

  • Most complete set available 
  • Different guns for different paints 
  • Extremely high pressure capable 
  • Regulator locks in pressure position 

Cons

  • 1-year warranty 
  • Fewer tip sizes available 

7. PNTGREEN HVLP Spray Gun

Best Budget Automotive Sprayer 

Tip Sizes Available 

1.4mm 

Motor Size or PSI 

20-70 PSI 

Cup Size 

20 ounce (600cc) 

Feed Type 

Gravity Fed 

Type of Technology 

HVLP 

If you need to paint your car or truck and are on a budget, you can save your money for higher quality paints and opt for this cost-effect and highly budget-friendly gun from PNTGREEN. The H827 model is a mid-range quality paint gun and an entry-level price. 

For the cost of a quart of automotive paint, you can own this HVLP gravity fed paint gun that comes complete with a 600cc plastic paint cup, adjustable pressure control, and a 1.4mm tip nozzle. For a small added bonus, PNTGREEN also includes a key chain shaped like a miniature paint gun. 

The gun itself is simple to use and ideal for beginners. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles that other models and brands have. Instead, the focus is on usability and lower maintenance. 

The paint cup and nozzles come off easily and can be cleaned, by hand, fairly quickly. Spraying mineral spirits or paint thinner through the gun will also clean the internal components. Complete instructions are also included, though they may not be as thorough or easy to follow as you would like. 

The only downside to this gun is that there isn’t a warranty. PNTGREEN sells direct to consumers and doesn’t offer a warranty. However, they do offer a 30-day return where you can get a replacement gun or a refund. 

Pros

  • Extremely affordable 
  • Ideal for automotive painting 
  • Adjustable fan and fluid controls 
  • Includes adjustment wrench and cleaning tool 
  • Free spray gun keychain 

Cons

  • 30-Day return 
  • Only 1 tip size 

How To Setup & Use A Spray Gun For The First Time

Setting up your spray gun is the most important step of the entire process. Without a proper set up the gun can jam, sputter, clog or even break. Whether you are using a compressor system or a dedicated HVLP system, the setup is slightly different. The main difference comes from where your controls are located. 

On a compressor paint spray gun, everything but the air pressure is controlled on the gun itself. On a dedicated system, the controls are split between the spray gun and the compressor box.  

This section will look at the steps for a proper setup of both types of spray paint guns. You should always read through your owner's manual for all components and follow their instructions for setting up, priming, and use before you ever turn the sprayer on.  

How To Setup A Paint Spray Gun 

It is important to note that proper setup should be completed each and every time you use a spray gun. Differences in temperature, humidity, and other climate conditions will have various effects on the paint gun. 

  • Open the fluid and fan controls to their maximum settings. This allows the proper air and paint mixture ratio. 
  • Connect the air supply (if using a non-dedicated system). 
  • Put the correct nozzle in place and ensure it is locked into the gun. 
  • Set the PSI from the air supply to the proper rate according to the owner’s manual. 
  • Add paint to the paint cup and attach it to the gun. (Some guns will require this done prior to connecting the air hose). 
  • Begin spraying on a piece of cardboard. 
  • Adjust the nozzle, fan, fluid, and pressure settings until the cardboard shows a solid, elliptical pattern that doesn’t run or spatter. 

For a visual reference of proper setup, you can view this YouTube video for guidance. 


How To Use An Automotive Paint Gun 

If you want to paint your car, using an automotive paint spray gun is your best option. Properly using a paint sprayer, though, is something that does take a little practice. To assist with using an automotive paint sprayer, we offer the following guide. 

As always, though, you want to use the resources that come with your particular paint gun. Most manufacturers will include a detailed user’s guide, and some will also have videos to watch.

The steps below are generic and are offered to give you an idea of what to expect when painting a car or truck. 

  • Wash
    The first step is to properly clean the painting area. It is highly advised that you use a pressure washer. This will remove dirt, debris, and grease or grime built up on the site to be painted.
  • Sand The Area
    If the painting area is rusted, you will need to remove the rust as best as you can. Some filling or patching may be needed as well. Sand the area and then rewash it to remove all dust and debris.
  • Tape Off The Area
    You don’t want overspray or splatter to get on other areas of the car (or surrounding items. Using painter's tape and paper, cover the area near the paint site to protect the rest of the vehicle.
  • Remove Molding
    In some cases, it is easier to remove the strip or body molding instead of taping it off. If this is a viable option for you, it is a good idea. Set up your paint gun. Now that the area is prepped, sanded, and cleaned, you want to get the paint and your gun ready. 
  • Apply Primer
    With the proper nozzle, apply an even layer of primer. Once the dry time has elapsed, apply a second coat of primer.
  • Sand Down The Primer
    You want to ensure an even, clean surface. Sanding the primer and wiping it with a dust cloth will leave the area ready for paint.

    Using the proper nozzle again, set up your gun and add the paint to the paint cup. Paint the area and reapply (up to 5 coats, as needed). 

    After the paint is dried, set your gun and nozzle up for topcoat or clear coat paint. Apply at least two layers of clear coat (following product directions) and allow to dry and then cure. 

    Once cured, clean the car again and ensure the paint is smooth, even, and matches the rest of the vehicle. 

Explaining Automotive Paint Gun Nozzle Sizes 

Spray tips are labeled using a 3-number system. For example, a common nozzle is listed as a "515," which will tell you the fan size (in inches) and the orifice measurement (in thousands of an inch in diameter).

The first number is multiplied by 2 to get the fan width, and the second and third numbers give you the diameter. So a 515 nozzle gives you a 10 inch fan pattern (5 x2) and an orifice opening of 15 thousands of an inch. 

Knowing these numbers will help you select the correct size nozzle for your specific needs. The following chart will help you identify the nozzle sizes based on their common usage. 

Note that nozzle tip size is listed in thousands of an inch (0.0xx inches). This will represent the last two numbers of the nozzle identification. For example, a 515 nozzle would have a tip size of 0.015 and be listed below as 015. 

Nozzle Tip Size 

Material Type 

Material Thickness 

009 - 011 

Clear coat 

Thin 

009 - 011 

Varnish 

Thin 

009 - 013 

Shellac 

Thin - Medium 

013 - 015 

Acrylic 

Medium 

013 - 015 

Oil-Based Enamel 

Medium 

017 - 019 

Latex 

Medium - Thick 

017 - 025 

Primer 

Thick 

025 - 039 

Elastomerics 

Extra Thick 


How To Maintain, Clean & Store Spray Guns

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your paint gun are crucial to its performance, longevity, and ease of use. Whether you are using a low-end model or a high-end Wagner model, cleaning and maintenance are a required, time consuming process. 

Cleaning will vary slightly based on the type of paint you use. Some will require mineral spirits and thinners to clean, while others can be cleaned with soap and water. The first step is to use the warm water or mineral spirits and spray them through the gun until it runs clean from the nozzle. 

Auto Paint Gun For Beginners

This cleans out the straws, suction motors, and internal parts before the paint inside can dry. Then you want to disassemble the gun and clean the paint cup assembly. You also want to disassemble and hand wash the tip, strainers, air cap, nozzles, and rods. 

Once all the paint is removed, and the parts are dry, you will want to reassemble them, performing general maintenance as you go. This may mean changing filters, oiling seals, or adding throat seal liquid. 

Once complete, you can store your gun in a cool, dry place. You want to keep the gun out of direct sunlight and away from harsh chemicals. Store in an upright position, and if you have it in a dusty or dirty area, a cover can easily be used to keep the gun clean and dry. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I use an airless sprayer to paint a car? 

Technically, you can use an airless paint sprayer to paint a car, but it is a lot more work, and the results tend to be less than desirable. The main reason is that the airless models pull the paint directly from the paint can or bucket, where dust, debris, and other particles can settle, ending up on your car.  


Is repainting a car as good as factory paint? 

No paint job will ever replace an original paint from the manufacturer. Not only is after-market paint hard to match in color and viscosity, but it is also near impossible to match the fade of time and weather exposure. Unless you are repainting the entire vehicle, the new paint will stand out until you perform a few blending tricks to fool the eyes. 


How do I know what paint will match my car? 

You will need to look in the glove box, wheel well, or driver's side door jamb for the information tag. There, you will find the color code ID. Using this number, you can then purchase paint with the same tag ID for a close to OEM match. 


What are the easiest and hardest colors to paint on a car? 

A lot will depend on the finish as well as the color, where pearls and metallic are more complex than standard gloss paints. Lighter colors like silvers and whites are easier to match and care for than darker colors like blues, blacks, and reds.  


Can you color match spray paint? 

You can color match with spray paint as long as you get spray paint that is automotive grade and matches the color code for your car. You will also need to blend the paint by painting a sanded area that extends beyond the paint area to fool your eyes that the colors are the same tint and shade. 


How many spray cans does it take to paint a car? 

Using a spray paint can (known as a rattle can) can be done, though the results often aren’t what you expect. The number of cans you would need depends on the size of the vehicle, the color, and the number of coats you need to get a decent appearance. On average, you can expect to need or use 20 to 30 cans for proper coverage. 

Conclusion

Choosing the best automotive paint gun for a beginner isn’t the most straightforward task. The type of setup, gun style, and performance will depend greatly on your needs, paint type, and abilities. Gravity fed guns offer less waste and better control, and HVLP dedicated systems are generally easier to use. 

Our top pick, the DeVilbiss Finishline 4, is a gravity fed HVLP gun designed for professional results with all internal anodized passages, multiple tips and nozzles, and simple adjustment controls. No matter which option you go with, though, you will enjoy painting with professional grade equipment. 

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