How to improve spray throughput? Floetrol additive, different product, or different equipment?

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Having recently had the experience of spraying 11 raised panel doors and 2 louvers doors on-site, I am evaluating what I can do to improve throughput/productivity. I was using a smallish compressor with a Spray-it 33000 LVLP gun (I know those are not the tools best suited to the task, but they are the tools I have). Overall the biggest issues that I had were throughput related, not the results. For a door or two at a time, you might not notice the overall time; when there are 13 doors lined up, and needing a prime coat and then top-coat on 26 sides, then the rate makes a bigger difference.

Aside from a few runs in places where I went too thick, the results were OK; not perfect, just acceptable.

Question is - if this type of project happens again, what might I do to improve throughput? Seems like there are 3 areas.

1. Product choice - I know that spraying a tinted water based 'lacquer' product might have been a better choice, although getting the right tint is not an easy local option. I have used Target products, and so would have had to special order tinted product there. If faced with this type of project again, I know I would prefer to spray a Target lacquer (lower viscosity and easier to spray). A latex, even on 'meant' to spray product like SW ProClassic, is simply harder for my equipment to handle.

2. Additive - does Floetrol additive, which I do not have experience with, lower viscosity enough to make spraying easier? When I thinned the product with too much with water, runs became too prevalent. Does Floetrol really do more than an equivalent amount of water to reduce viscosity and still prevent runs?
I am certainly willing to try this but I'm not really confident this is my answer.

3. Equipment - Given that I am not likely to spend $1000 on an airless sprayer, are there turbine products, or other compressor guns that handle latex well?

Equipment Background - My only other foray into spraying was when I lost a control knob on my Spray-It gun and so I tried an inexpensive HF gun (LVLP or HVLP I think I have read both descriptions) that stated it in product literature that it could spray latex. My attempts to use that gun confirmed that it could spray the approx 10% water thinned SW ProClassic latex, but that it was very inconsistent in rate.
NOTE that I did not filter this paint for use in the HF gun, as my DeKups fitted gun has a filter in the cup. I do not have a means to filter the paint before adding it to the gun. Therefore the inconsistent spraying MAY have resulted from this unfiltered paint (lumpy? I did not notice that). I can not think of any other way to explain the way this gun produced spray at such an inconsistent rate.

Advice?
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
If you wish to shift back to a solvent-based lacquer, you can get a custom tinted product locally. If you prefer to stay water-based, which I promote, Target offers a great product. As I believe you know their bright white is sprayable with a HVLP or airless system. The Target white comes in a 30-35 sheen only, so if you want less you will need to add a flattener. If you want a higher sheen it can be buffed to a mirror but only after full cure, about 21 days. The Target product can be tinted by them by sending them the Benny Moore or SW color number. I have never used that service, but I assume they know how

Back to your original question - Your Spray-It gun is LVLP (low volume low pressure) If you need faster painting, you need to move up to a HVLP. You will also need a larger compressor or consider a turbine system like a Fuji
HINT:
Easiest way to upgrade to a Fuji is to buy a bunch of raffle tickets and win it Drawing is next Saturday
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Whether you use a turbine or HVLP for me, it’s all about getting the product thinned properly. I’ve found m ost latex paints are impossible with less than a 2.0 tip, but it depends on the brand, but once you get past 25% thinning things go from bad to worse.

I don’t think Floetrol is going to help. I’ve heard using windshield washer fluid to thin latex works.

Best to go with a paint you can use, like ProClassic

You absolutely have to filter any paint before it goes in the cup.

I also like the Target pigmented lacquers.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, Vice President
Richard
Corporate Member
1. Your equipment isn’t going to work long range using a latex product. It’s kinda like wanting to hit a 300 yard drive with a putter. So you’ll have to think about an investment into better equipment more suited to the project at hand.

2. Floetrol works just fine, but you must follow the instructions on thinning the product. The general rule of thumb is thin most latex enamels no more than 25%. The other is if your fluid control on your gun isn’t designed to handle the material then it’s not going to give a satisfactory finish. You need to filter your materials before putting it in the gun, also add a filter to the end of the fluid tube.

3. Depending on how much you want to do this, that will truly determine the investment needed to do this, I have been looking at and pricing these products for a few weeks lately. I own one of the original turbine spray systems (Cap-spray) they where bought out by Wagner and then bought by GrayCo. I can no longer get parts for these guns go they have lived a good life and it’s time to move on. I have looked closely at this product and the FuJi. I’m planing on test driving the guns on both products within the next couple weeks. Having used some of these products in the past and the ones that I already own you could use a turbine system and be happy as punch. Most of these guns come with a 1.3 cap and needle installed. You can spray a lot of different products with that set up. But if you are going to spray a lot of latex then purchase the 1.8 cap and needle for the heavier product, you will be happier in the long run about the quality of the finish And its 50 bucks. I would make the same recommendation for buying the small sized cap and needle sets if you are going to spray thinner products.
Prices on these products aren’t cheep. Much like the airless sprayer the prices start around $400 up to $2000, you can buy the less expensive unit and you have the biggest expense of the product, and that’s the gun. And I think for what you are doing you can start with the smaller less expensive unit and add a few things to it and have a great system that will carry you through a lot of projects big and small.
to close, you should buy some more tickets and hope you win the unit in our raffle. We will be pulling for you.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Aside from a few runs in places where I went too thick, the results were OK; not perfect, just acceptable.
I can not think of any other way to explain the way this gun produced spray at such an inconsistent rate.
It seems that you're saying two different things about your spray project 1) acceptable and 2) inconsistent rate. ??????

The spraying took a long time. How often do you expect to paint a bunch of doors? Enough to invest several hundred $ in a better spray unit?
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Thanks Phil. No surprises in your answer.
Do turbine systems actually handle latex 'well'? I know the more compressor answer, I wanted to be sure it wasn't the only answer... I can do latex now, but I can't say it is great.

Yes more tickets have been purchased!
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Henry, I think you have received some very sound advice from the other responders. I can't offer any comments on the equipment side, I have an Earlex 5500 (HVLP), it is the only sprayer that I have every used and it has performed well. I have used it to spray latex and enamel paints which were thinned with water and flowtrol. The best I have done with paint is two coats per day. That said, all of my efforts are for me or family, so I haven't felt a time push. Recently, I used a waterborne poly from General FInishes which I tinted myself (off-white). I was apprehensive a first, but now that I have used the product, I am sold. I was able to apply two coats of primer (General FInishes Stain Blocker) and four coats of the poly in 1.5 days...I could never have done that with paint. The added benefit is that the finish is harder than paint. The bottom line is that if I needed to really amp up through-put I would definitely consider waterborne lacquers.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
It seems that you're saying two different things about your spray project 1) acceptable and 2) inconsistent rate. ??????

The spraying took a long time. How often do you expect to paint a bunch of doors? Enough to invest several hundred $ in a better spray unit?
Jeff: I'm saying the results - i.e. how the doors looked when painted - were acceptable. I would. have preferred a faster option.

Reading carefully you may have noticed that the 'inconsistent rate' comment related NOT to my normal Sprai-it LVLP gun, but to a cheap-o (<$25) HF sprayer. The HF product literature on that gun stated that it would spray latex and I was in a pinch and so decided to try it. That HF gun was the one that was that had an inconsistent rate. The Spray-it gun was ok but slow. Sorry if my original post did not make this clear.

You pose a question that I have - Q - how often do I expect to do this? A - Uncertain really.
I do want to be prepared the next time this type of work comes my way, hence the my post.

Really the questions are how would you accomplish this task - prime and paint 11 doors and 2 louvers doors?
Do you have equipment that would accomplish this in whatever you consider a reasonable rate?
What type of equipment would you be considering if you needed to accomplish such things once or twice a year?
Or is the answer choosing a thinner and easier to spray product?
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
The bottom line is that if I needed to really amp up through-put I would definitely consider waterborne lacquers.
Yes if I had to do this over again I believe that is likely what I might do... but wanted the wider wisdom.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
1. Your equipment isn’t going to work long range using a latex product. It’s kinda like wanting to hit a 300 yard drive with a putter. So you’ll have to think about an investment into better equipment more suited to the project at hand.

2. Floetrol works just fine, but you must follow the instructions on thinning the product. The general rule of thumb is thin most latex enamels no more than 25%. The other is if your fluid control on your gun isn’t designed to handle the material then it’s not going to give a satisfactory finish. You need to filter your materials before putting it in the gun, also add a filter to the end of the fluid tube.

3. Depending on how much you want to do this, ...
Prices on these products aren’t cheep. ....
Thanks - good comments and advice Richard.
I knew I was pushing the capabilities of my equipment. If I knew what work was coming my way it would be easier to answer the investment question.... but my crystal ball is in poor shape.
I do want to at least know my options - for the next time.

I was at SW and asked their idea (normal retail shop, not their commercial store that is also close to me). They directed me to a cordless Graco airless sprayer running off DeWalt batteries. Look like a great system, but ran somewhere near $800 (didn't get an real quote). If I had another house full of doors (and knew that type of equipment was the way to go...) I am alright springing for the right tools.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Whether you use a turbine or HVLP for me, it’s all about getting the product thinned properly. I’ve found m ost latex paints are impossible with less than a 2.0 tip, but it depends on the brand, but once you get past 25% thinning things go from bad to worse.

I don’t think Floetrol is going to help. I’ve heard using windshield washer fluid to thin latex works.

Best to go with a paint you can use, like ProClassic

You absolutely have to filter any paint before it goes in the cup.

I also like the Target pigmented lacquers.
Thanks Bob.

Agree on thinning. Floetrol won't help in the sense that it does not solve the fundamental rate issue? DO I understand you correctly?

Windsheild washer fluid? Water and wood alcohol (methanol?) isn't it? Would certainly thin paint - and likely a cheap source of impure lasohol if that what you want. I am not likely willing to want to do the experiments I'd need to do before I trusted that solution - unless I can read more on this.

What type of filter do you use prior to spraying latex? As course as a kitchen sieve or as fine as coffee filter? Or likely somewhere in between?
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
How much time did it take you and what are you expecting?
It likely work out to about 30-40 minutes per door, per coat including all the steps in the process (thining/stirring paint, moving doors to paint location, setting aside to dry,... Doors were different sizes (narrow closet doors, passage doors, wide closet doors, the worst - louvered doors) so that is an overall rate.

Not sure I know what I expected.... but thought that was slow.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
It likely work out to about 30-40 minutes per door, per coat including all the steps in the process (thining/stirring paint, moving doors to paint location, setting aside to dry,... Doors were different sizes (narrow closet doors, passage doors, wide closet doors, the worst - louvered doors) so that is an overall rate.

Not sure I know what I expected.... but thought that was slow.
That was indeed slow. With a more appropriate gun setup I would think you could get that down to the 8 - 10 minutes per door range with the actual spraying taking about 2 minutes
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
It likely work out to about 30-40 minutes per door, per coat including all the steps in the process (thining/stirring paint, moving doors to paint location, setting aside to dry,... Doors were different sizes (narrow closet doors, passage doors, wide closet doors, the worst - louvered doors) so that is an overall rate.

Not sure I know what I expected.... but thought that was slow.
So, total time for all the doors, completely finished?
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, Vice President
Richard
Corporate Member
Thanks - good comments and advice Richard.
I knew I was pushing the capabilities of my equipment. If I knew what work was coming my way it would be easier to answer the investment question.... but my crystal ball is in poor shape.
I do want to at least know my options - for the next time.

I was at SW and asked their idea (normal retail shop, not their commercial store that is also close to me). They directed me to a cordless Graco airless sprayer running off DeWalt batteries. Look like a great system, but ran somewhere near $800 (didn't get an real quote). If I had another house full of doors (and knew that type of equipment was the way to go...) I am alright springing for the right tools.
I would still guide you back to the turbine system for that application. Just a few minutes per door, per coat with the right gun set up. That would put you under $600 and give you a great deal of flexibility with other projects, now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a sales person for any product, but I have one Cap-Spray gun (This is a turbine system) that I have sprayed several houses of doors in place and sprayed the same in cabinets. With that I have switched between dye, too a lacquer top coat, too a latex enamel. In one day per house. Now this is not me doing all the masking and or sanding or other preparations. It was just me coming in and prepping the materials and spraying. After typing all that i guess my point is go for as much flexibility as you can get along with bang for the buck.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, Vice President
Richard
Corporate Member
That’s a nice pump, you can paint doors, door trim, and other trim, walls ceilings, boxing and siding. Your main controls for that spray unit are the material viscosity, the type and size of the tip installed, and the pump pressure. After that it’s how much control the operator has of themselves. I have tried spraying cabinet parts with a unit like this and lack of control over where you can put the materials.
FUJI-2202F | Acme Tools, I was thinking more like this. Or this, Graco Finish Pro HVLP 7.0 3 Stage Turbine Standard Series
 

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