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10 Signs That Can Help Point You to the Right Spray Gun

Air Pro Gun 2

No spray gun will fit every application. We all know this; that’s why there are dozens of choices among industrial air spray, air-assisted and airless paint guns. Or maybe you should be using an electrostatic spray gun or an HVLP paint gun.

While there is no perfect gun for all applications, there is the right gun for every application. The traditional criteria for selecting a spray gun includes:

  • Pattern

  • Transfer efficiency

  • Nozzle and cap options

  • Cost

But this list does not account for many factors in your operation. How do you know if you have the best possible spray gun match for an application?

Here are some possible indicators that can help you find the right spray gun. If any of these apply to your operation, our experts here at Spray Equipment and Service Center are ready to help.

1. Painting is a bottleneck in your operation

Industrial painting can be complex, so there are many variables that contribute to breakdowns, slowdowns and quality issues. You can’t have an efficient and high-quality paint operation without an optimal spray gun. Industrial painting is also a messy, physically taxing job that many people don’t want to do. Perhaps workforce issues are contributing to issues in this area. If so, are you equipping painters with the best possible tools to do their jobs and take pride in their work?

The Spray advantage: We can calculate how much paint we can help you save, which will also help you reduce costs on filters and booth maintenance. Or perhaps we can identify a different process or approach. For example, if you are an aerospace parts supplier looking to increase your transfer efficiency to get more material on the substrate, we can show you if an electrostatic handgun will improve your quality and/or margins.

2. Your painters tend to be entry-level employees

An important factor in the efficiency of your operation might be the experience level of your painters. They may not be aware of the nuances of a spray operation, such as daily maintenance best practices, or how air spray guns differ from air-assisted or airless paint guns. A lack of experience on your team could also result in a lower level of troubleshooting.

The Spray advantage: This dynamic speaks to the importance of having the right spray gun and a solid training system. Proper technique matters for applications, and something as simple as the proper way to turn off the trigger will extend the life of your equipment.

3. Your training for new painters hasn’t been updated

Training is essential for setup, operation, shutdown and storage. You might have lost tribal knowledge in recent years, which can impact the effectiveness of your training. A poor training system also could be a sign that you are not keeping up with advances in spray equipment technology.

The Spray advantage: In addition to traditional on-site training, we offer virtual reality training tools, in which the trainee has a real spray gun in hand and is applying virtual material to a virtual part. The trainee will not only see material usage but also the potential cost and waste, so you are arming them with information that connects their job to overall performance.

4. Your operators don’t take ownership of the spray guns

If your operators treat your spray guns like a hammer, it’s safe to say you might not be using the right spray gun. For example, leaving a paint gun in a bucket of acetone overnight will remove excess paint off the gun, but it also will wear out the o-rings. A painter who views the gun as a valuable tool will be more likely to wipe the paint off the gun while the paint is still green.

The Spray advantage: The proper daily handling of spray guns will help you get the most out of your investment. Some operations buy and replace lower performing spray guns as opposed to addressing daily maintenance procedures that would allow them to afford a higher performing gun.

5. Your painters like the model of spray gun they are using

If the painter knows that the model of a spray gun helps them do better work, they are more likely to take pride in their work and take care of the gun. Maybe it’s lighter than other models and is easier to use for longer periods of time. Different brands of guns operate differently. One type might require fewer passes. Some customers assign a gun to a painter to encourage them to take ownership.

The Spray advantage: Our experience will help you find the right match for any application. A painter who takes pride in a spray gun will know when to replace the tip in order to get peak efficiency as opposed to running until the issues are obvious. We can show painters how to let the gun do the work for them. Reducing the number of passes will improve output and reduce the physical stress on your painters.

6. The quality of finish in your operation is inconsistent

There is a right spray gun for any desired finish. And there are many variables to consider — from the paint or coating to the substrate material and more. A splotchy look on wood stain might be the result of poor atomization.

The Spray advantage: We understand the scope of possible issues from drum to tip. A painter might be doing dozens of passes when four may be enough with proper technique. The wood industry has transitioned to air-mix and air-assisted guns to save material, but the key is to turn down the air pressure so the material sticks better. We can make sure you have the right size of air line or other key setup considerations.

7. Your material costs are skyrocketing

Material is expensive, so the right spray gun is an essential part of the efficiency equation. A worn tip will use more material, so when you see a 10 percent increase in material usage with an airless gun on a flatline machine, you should replace the tip. Or, if a needle or nozzle is worn, your quality will be better if you replace both at the same time.

The Spray advantage: Our experts will work with clients to match the right equipment for any material. We have relationships with material suppliers, and we also have our Spray Lab so we can test and experiment without interfering with an operation.

8. You are changing the filters in your paint booth more often

If your painters are overspraying or blowing through the paint, not only is your work inefficient, but the excess material is being captured by filters, which means that you will need to replace them more frequently. That is an unnecessary expense.

The Spray advantage: We will help find the optimal rate of change for your filters. Some painters change filters too soon, which also results in unnecessary costs.

9. You are having issues with air quality permits

Air quality permits vary greatly by jurisdiction, but the EPA does base its permits for industrial painting and coating on volume of tonnage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Permits can be difficult to manage when operations are growing or have challenges within a facility. If you are using more VOCs, you might benefit from a change in equipment or even a different process.

The Spray advantage: We have helped many operations transition from a solvent-based coating to a water-based coating. Transitioning to a water-based coating can present challenges in certain conditions and may require a different spray gun. We also can point out potential enforcement issues related to permits.

10. You know the cost of your spray gun but not the total cost of ownership

Capabilities versus cost is a consideration for every piece of equipment in your operation, and it should apply to spray guns as well. You might be keeping the cost of spray guns down, but it might not be saving you money if you are spending more on material, filters and booth maintenance.

The Spray Advantage: The right spray gun will lower your total cost of ownership for your spray operation.

Spray Equipment & Service Center is Your Partner For All Things Spray

Here at Spray Equipment & Service Center we have the experience and expertise to help you with all of your needs for spray guns. We can help you select the proper equipment for every task, show you how to operate it efficiently, and we provide support to help you keep it up and running. We often can show you a better way.


You can also buy replacement parts on our website. We offer ease of ordering, provide purchase history, including access to part numbers, and access to product brochures and manuals. We are the partner you need for all things spray.