HVLP and Airless Paint Sprayers
HVLP paint sprayers are ideal for trim, finish work, furniture staining, cabinet painting, and other projects where you’ll want a smooth, quality finish.
Using a higher volume of air with lower pressure means that you’ll have a well contained and controlled spray for applying an even coverage with almost no over-spray, applying a smooth finish and keeping the paint or stain where you want it.
Airless paint sprayers are the go-to style for large applications. If you’re needing to paint an entire building, stain a 40-foot deck, or use thick latex or textured paints, this is the sprayer for you.
Airless sprayers work similarly to pressure washers, but with paint. They cover more area, but they’re messier, so you may not want to use them on a windy day.
Comparison between HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) and Airless Paint Sprayers
- Operating Principle
HVLP sprayers are the advancement of conventional air sprayers. In an HVLP, air compressor atomizes the paint to spray at high volume and low pressure inside. In some units of HVLP, turbine can be used instead of compressor for atomization. On the other hand, in the case of airless sprayers, piston is used to pressurize the material through a small orifice. So, in airless sprayers, there is high pressure but it is created by the hydraulic pumps instead of air compressor.
Thus, HVLP paint sprayers are known for fine production, not for high production. Airless units have a transfer rate of fifty percent while this number can reach to up to 90 percent for HVLP models due to their lower wastage. But airless paint sprayers are more powerful because of the high pressure inside of about 2000 PSI while usually, the HVLP ones just have pressure around 10 PSI at the nozzle.
One more thing is that painting result of HVLP units looks better due to better atomization. You can notice more it with stains, enamels or varnishes. Thus, HVLP paint sprayers are the best option for touchup and detailed jobs. On the other hand, HVLP can’t handle the exterior jobs rapidly. Noticeably, airless paint sprayers can consume a can of paint at the rate of two gallons per minute.
You don’t need to thin the paint for an airless paint sprayer as it can spray the paint straight due to high pressure. But, there is fuss for this case of HVLP sprayers where thick paints such as enamel latex are usually not allowed.
HVLP paint sprayers with compressor have no problem in achieving the fine spray. Moreover, you can get wide range of pressures using compressor. It is especially helpful when spraying fine spray. Besides, turbine units of HVLP paints sprayer are portable and their hot air reduces significantly the time for drying and thus no choke can happen inside the hose. However, there is one downside is that most of the HVLP paint sprayers can’t paint with the unthinned paints.
Airless paint sprayers are usually portable and really a workhorse to handle thick paints and jobs covering large area. They can spread gallons of paints in just a minute. That is the reason why these paint sprayers are widely accepted usually by the professional contractors. You can paint oil or water based product with an airless paint sprayer. But, it does not fit for jobs having small area because the spray pattern will be coarse and hard to control. Besides, airless paint sprayers have piston instead of turbine and they are much noisier as compared to HVLP paint sprayers.
Airless sprayers are more dangerous due to high pressure and high temperature as operating. Also, these products have more overspray problem than the HVLP paint sprayers. So, you need to be more careful while painting with airless sprayers. It is compulsory to avoid direct contact and cover all the nearby things with drop clothes before you start using an airless paint sprayer. Also, there may be a risk of amputation even while using airless system. So, you need to read carefully read the instruction before using the airless paint sprayers. Use mask and safety glass for proper handling.
HVLP paint sprayers with air compressor are costlier than the airless paint sprayers and its turbine counterpart. But, if you already have a compressor, you can use it with the HVLP spray gun and its other accessories.
As HVLP paint sprayers have less overspray, it is a superior choice if you are working with the expensive paints. They are also better option for the jobs requiring preciousness and detailed works such as furniture and fittings. On the other hand, airless paint sprayers fit best for big and relatively flat surfaces such as walls and oil tanks.
HVLP and airless paint sprayers are complement to each other according to the job application. If you are want it for outdoor jobs, you must go for an airless system. On the other hand, HVLP technology fits best for indoors and common shop-use pieces. For a professional contractor, there are few models in the market which incorporate HVLP technology with the airless system for multipurpose jobs that are certainly the best choices.