How To Clean A HVLP Spray Gun (Easy Step By Step Guide)

High Volume Low Pressure, or HVLP, spray gun is a great option to help you get the painting done in your home, no matter the size of the room. It can help get the paint job done quickly while making you look like a professional painter.  

As soon as you are done with the paint sprayer, it is time to clean it off. This helps the spray gun work better and last a lot longer. When you are ready to learn how to clean an HVLP spray gun, use some of the following steps:

There are a few different tools you will need to use to help take care of the different parts of the spray gun and to keep all of the parts nice and clean. Some of the equipment that you will need include: 

goggles
  • Protective Equipment
    Since you will work with paint, solvent, and other chemicals, it is a good idea to wear protective equipment. Options like coveralls, goggles, and gloves are good to make sure none of the chemicals get on you. 
  • Buckets
    You will need some buckets for both the water and the paint thinner to clean off the paint sprayer. Make sure they are big enough to hold all the items that you need inside. 
  • Bristle Cleaning Brushes
    Some of the paint will likely get stuck inside the small parts, and a good bristle brush will help clean those hard-to-reach areas. 
  • Rags Or Paper Towels
    These will help you rinse off and wipe down the parts before you put them in storage. 
  • Toothpicks
    When it comes to the small parts like the needle, you will need to look at a toothpick or something small to help you get all the paint out. 
  • Warm Water & Soap
    Rinse all the items off with some warm water and soap to make sure that all the paint is off and the part is as good as new. 
cleaning bucket rags

Steps For How To Clean A HVLP Spray Gun

Now it is time to work on cleaning the HVLP spray gun. There are a lot of parts that come together to help you use the spray gun, and you will need to take them all apart to get the paint unstuck and make sure it works well. Some of the parts that you will need to clean include: 

Cleaning The Cap 

You will need to remove the collar and the air cap from the spray gun. After choosing the proper solvent, put some inside the cap and let it soak to remove the paint.

After a few minutes sitting into the solvent, you can take it out and use a scrub brush to scrub the paint off from the cap. You may need to put the cap back into the solvent to let it soak a little bit longer if the paint is stuck.  

Cleaning The Nozzle Plate 

The nozzle plate will come off at the same time as the needle. You will need to take it off to remove the needle. This needs to sit in the solvent for a few minutes too.

You can get a large bowl of it ready with the rest of the items to ensure the paint has time to dissolve and get off the parts. Use a brush or a toothpick to get into the small parts of the needle.  

Cleaning The Spring 

As you are removing the items from the spray gun, you will notice a spring present that you will need to remove as well. This spring can get full of paint and will make it harder to use the spray gun.

You can take this off too, rinse it, and add it to the solvent along with some of the other parts if there is some paint that is difficult to remove. Use a small brush to help remove it and make it easier to keep clean.  

Cleaning The Fluid Needle 

It is a good idea to clean out the fluid needle. Unscrew your fluid control knob and place it to the side before squeezing the trigger to help pull the needle out. Place this, along with the fluid nozzle and air cap into a bucket with the right solvent inside.

You can soak these parts in the solvent but do not place the whole spray gun inside. Instead, use a brush to help clean out the parts and make sure the paint is removed.  

Cleaning The Paint Cup 

You will need to use a solvent soaked rag to help clean out the residue that is in the cup. First, fill the cup halfway up with some solvent and then tighten up the lid and swirl it around.

Then attach the gun to the hose and spray the solvent out to a waste bucket or a clean rag. Repeat this until the solvent is clear and the cup is cleaned out. Pour the rest of the solvent into a waste bucket when you are done, wiping the cup clean.  


Safety Precautions To Take Before Cleaning

Before you get started cleaning your spray gun, it is important to follow some safety precautions. Some of the steps you should work on ahead of time include: 

Wear Protective Clothing 

It is best to wear some protective clothing to help with cleaning the spray gun. This will help keep you safe and clean and will help when you use a solvent to get the paint off the parts. Long pants and shirts, along with goggles and gloves, will help.  

Be Careful Disassembling The HVLP Spray Gun 

You must take apart the spray gun when you are done using it. You will need to be careful when you take the gun apart. If you force anything too much, it could break the spray gun and make it hard to use again. Instead, take it apart bit by bit and wash each part before putting it back together.  

Keep The Manual On Hand And Read It Carefully 

You should keep the manual on hand. This will help you take the gun apart for cleaning and put it back together in the correct order when you are all done. Use the manual for an explanation of how the paint gun works and to see what you need to take out to get cleaned so the paint will not stick.  

Keep All The Parts Out Of The Way & Secured 

As you clean each of the parts, you will need to keep them out of the way and ensure they are secure. You do not want all of the parts to move around and get lost while you do the cleaning.

Have a plan in place to help organize the parts and then put the whole machine back together. Waiting makes it more likely that you will lose one of the pieces. 

How To Clean A HVLP Spray Gun After Use

How To Store A HVLP Spray Gun After Use

Once the HLVP spray gun is cleaned out well, it is time to store the machine. If you do not store the spray gun well, it will get ruined and stop working. The best way to store it is to keep it inside, such as in your garage. A location that is insulated and heated will work the best because cold can rust it out.  

You should also take the time to remove the cup's lid and store the spray gun with the lid off. This allows any solvent in the gasket time to evaporate to maintain its shape. Finally, lubricate the needle if you do not plan to use it for some time and then store all the parts in the same place so you can find them later.

Cleaning HVLP Sprayer FAQs

Should HVLP guns be cleaned between coats? 

If you plan to do a second coat within a few hours of the first coat, you can leave the paint inside the sprayer. If you do not plan to use it within a few hours, it is best to clean out the paint sprayer to make sure nothing gets stuck inside.  


Can you use mineral spirits to clean an HVLP spray gun? 

You can use mineral spirits to help clean out your spray gun. This can work out well to get all of the canisters and the sprayer's head as well.


You should just use a little bit to help remove all of the paint from the inside of the spray gun. Read the directions to see how much of the mineral spirits you need to use. 


Can you substitute acetone for paint thinner when cleaning? 

It is possible to use acetone to help clean out the paint sprayer, especially if the paint has had time to harden and is really thick. You should not mix it with the paint and then use the paint. Stick with paint thinner if that is your plan for the acetone.  


How long can you leave paint in an HVLP spray gun? 

It is best to empty the paint out of your spray gun as quickly as possible. This prevents the paint from getting stuck in the spray gun and ruining the machine.


You should never leave the paint in one of these for more than 4 hours while you wait for a coat to dry. Empty it out if you do not plan to use the device for another coat. For paint jobs that will happen shortly after the first coat, it is fine to leave the paint in for a few hours. 


Conclusion

A paint spray gun is a great option to choose, allowing you to get any room painted in no time. It is much better than using your paintbrush to get all the room to look a lot nicer.

By keeping it cleaned out and not leaving paint inside, you can ensure that your paint does not get stuck inside and ruin the machine. Take a look at some of the tips above to see how you can keep your paint sprayer clean and safe.