Difference Between HVLP Spray Guns and RP Compliant 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 otherwords, 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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Compliant Spray Guns

These Compliant guns carry different names depending on which company makes them.

Due to the slower speed of HVLP guns over Conventional Spray guns, many painters complained. To solve this problem spray gun makers improved the speed of HVLP by approximately 30%.

These Newer Guns also spray at a safer distance of traditional HVLP. 8" off the surface vs. 6" for a typical HVLP spray gun.

New to the block is Reduced Pressure or Compliant technologies. These guns are air-atomized spray guns which offer greater pressures than HVLP, a faster working speed, and slightly higher atomization levels.

Due to industry demands for higher production speed most reduced pressure guns are approved for use in about 90% of the USA. They are approved even in CA San Francisco bay area, so one figures the low over spray levels, while slightly higher than HVLP, are still very excellent.


Faster application speed than HVLP - upward of 30%

Among the Highest finish quality

Great Material Savings - similar to HVLP

EPA and Government Approved in most areas

Particularity good with clears and stains and dyes.

Old timers like them because they feel and operate like traditional spray guns.


Most people do not know about them because they are newer to the market than HVLP

Due to the newer technology, many people spray incorrectly

Due to the newer technology there are not a lot of Chinese Cheap guns so you have to invest a bit of money in the technology

We will be happy to teach you about these guns, please drop us a line at


Great for:


EPA Facilities

Slower Painters

Close to surface painters

Great for:

Clear Coats

Old Time Painters

Fast Painters



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