Difference Between HVLP Spray Guns and RP Conventional Spray Guns

The Challenge - Hvlp vs Conventional Spray Guns / Hvlp vs Air Assisted Airless / Turbine, LVLP, RP Etc.


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What is spray gun painting? Spray Gun Painting uses air to directly atomize and direct paint particles onto a surface. This paint gun or device sprays a coating of paint, ink, varnish lacquers etc. through a front orifice which is sized to match the viscosity of the material. i.e. the thicker the material the larger the exit or fluid nozzle or orifice. As apposed to brushes or other techniques, spray gun painting produces a flat superior flawless finish. It is not difficult to get a glass like finish. It really depends on how good your spray gun is. In other words, by investing in good equipment anyone can produce a flawless finish. As opposed to aerosol paint cans which are too expensive. There is not enough power in an aerosol can to truly atomize the paint as well as a "true spray gun".


HVLP is one of the most common and well supported technologies around. Many of the new literature and training techniques will use HVLP in their examples.

HVLP spray guns are designed to improve transfer efficiency. HVLP guns push paint particles at about half the velocity of conventional spray guns. While this means you have to spray closer to the surface, you gain by having your material actually get applied to the object instead of floating into the air.

The spray gun itself requires a lower pressure to atomize the paint i.e. (LP) by using a higher volume of air (HV) to atomize and propel the paint. The result is a higher volume of material hits the surface which reduces material consumption and air pollution. A general idea is that it takes two thirds of the coating on the substrate and one third into the air i.e. 65% or Greater transfer efficiency as mandated by the government for HVLP markings. Typically this means you need to use 8-20cfm to atomize the paint correctly with a min of a true 3 HP or 5HP peak motor. Luckily, we carry the low CFM gun models which consume from 3-8CFM that produce equal or even superior finishes to higher CFM gun models. Why? because it is more the design of the gun and the precise manufacturing techniques not the size of the air that matters. Please ask us at

Does this mean there is no overspray? No, compressed air exiting the gun still pushes back and pushes solids away from the object being sprayed, just a lot less. It is estimated by the US EPA that typical material savings can well exceed 50% which is money in your pocket.

Traditionally, HVLP guns use more compressed air than conventional air spray guns, which means increased energy costs. Today however, HVLP guns use less cfm of compressed air than older HVLP guns and we currently carry the only "Green" Spray guns which consume 50% less power then their competitors, can operate on 110v compressors and yet deliver the same quality of finish.

HVLP guns due to their softer spray are great for applications where the operator needs a high degree of control at the gun


High finish quality

Great Material Savings

EPA and Government Approved

One of the most common application methods - easier training and support


Slower working speed and a smaller fan
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Larger Compressors Required
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Lower atomization of clear coats
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Problems with thicker paints
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Conventional Old School


High overspray levels rated upward of 65%-70%.
Conventional air spray has decreased in popularity due to the high material costs of modern day paints and government EPA limits and regulations in many markets including the auto and wood finishing markets. Conventional air spray guns suffer from poor transfer efficiency - transfer efficiency is the percentage of coating solids exiting the gun that actually end up on the object being finished. With conventional equipment only 1/3 of the material gets applied to the surface. The rest is lost in the air unless you have an expensive recapturing process or facility.


It is estimated that you may be wasting as much as 50%-75% of you material costs into the environment depending on your technique and usage.

Conventional spray guns generate operate under very high pressures. This translates into a loss of much of your material and your money. Material is lost 2 fold. 1) Compressed air uses such high viscosity that some of the solids are pushed away from the object and lost into the atmosphere in the form of overspray and 2) Bounce-back because the paint particles are propelled at such a high velocity during the atomization process that they literally jump off the surface when they hit not unlike water sprayed onto the sidewalk when watering your lawn.



High finish quality

Fast working speed

Great with specialty coatings like adhesives, splatter effects, etc.


Older technology

Super high overspray
We have the New Conventionals that solve this problem

Wasted Material 65%-70% wasted
We have the New Conventionals that solve this problem

Not Environmentally approved

Outlawed by the EPA in many industries



Great for:


EPA Facilities

Slower Painters

Close to surface painters

Great for:

Clear Coats

Old Time Painters

Fast Painters



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