I faced this decision a couple of years ago, and like you, considered one of
the turbine systems. Sounded good: warm dry air pulling the paint out.
I went to a pro body guy who is highly respected in this area for advice.
He has done flawless repair work for me, and his resto paint jobs are
There's no turbines in his shop. When faced with the mandate to go HVLP, he
said his primary consideration was the quality of finish. His choice was a
Sata gun. It runs off regular shop air supplies, and converts to HVLP at the
gun. His point to me was that the best prop shops use this equipment and
prefer it over the turbine systems, and so, if I want specific advice on a
particular material, tip size to use, etc., using the same gun and system
would give me opportunity for the best consistent advice. He said he tried
the turbines but could never achieve a satisfactory level of quality.
I ended up buying a Sharpe Platinum series gun for about $400. I went to
the same paint supply company that my body-shop friend does. The Sharpe was
an equivalent high quality gun with a range of tip size configurations to
suit a variety of materials. I also determined that the Sharpe was a little
less demanding in the requirement for CFM, to the extent that it's possible
to run on my old Sears 1hp compressor. (That's the "old" spec of 1hp). I
usually use my bigger 5hp, though.
The results are great. Noticeably less overspray in the air, so you know
it's not extra money just floating away. And the finish is as good or
better than what I could achieve with my Devilbis pressure guns.
Stuart MacMillan wrote:
> Well, I've got five vehicles to paint in the next couple of years and am
> trying to make a decision on what system to invest in.
> I have a top quality standard gun and good technique with it after doing
> three cars over the years, but I am considering "upgrading." At over
> $150/gal for auto finish systems I'm concerned that I am wasting about
> 1/3 of the paint on over spray.
> I am looking at HVLP systems from TIP and Accuspray that are turbine
> based, as well as upgrading my compressor and buying an HVLP gun. The
> costs are similar. I will most likely rent time in a spray booth and
> bring my own equipment.
> I welcome your comments and recommendations.
> Stuart MacMillan