Best Spray Gun For Lacquer
Some tasks are almost impossible to complete using a mere hand, like lacquer application. You need the right tools to apply lacquer and have the best results. Like in any other DIY project, what takes to get the best job done in lacquer application is the finish. To achieve this you need, not only the knowledge of how to do it but also the best tools.
Lacquer can be fed through different spray guns that are on the market right now. But remember, not all spray guns will get you the type of finish you need. However, the following types of spray guns are the best when it comes to spraying lacquer;
- AAA Guns. These are air assisted sprayers which are a good choice for large application needs. They provide more consistency through less work per piece.
- Pressured guns. This is a traditional application method, where different forms of pressure allow for consistent lacquer application. If you want to experiment with different materials and finishes, this is the best option.
- Suction feed guns. Despite being not often recommended for lacquer, you can still use them if you are an expert who has perfected his art over time.
- Gravity feed guns. These guns are easier to clean with a smaller reserve than others. Moreover, they are easier to use even for starters, making them the best DIY option.
- HVLP guns. This is another good DIY choice, especially for application of lacquer. You however ought to be careful about the set upon the spray gun itself so that its lacquer application is as consistent as desired.
Now that we have seen the five best types of spray guns for lacquer, it also won’t hurt to narrow them down to the best spray guns for lacquer application.
Our Choice for the Best Spray Gun For Lacquer
For any inexperienced DIY’er, this will be a great buy bought on a tight budget. This is a set that comes with two spray guns that are both great in lacquer application, but can also handle other paints in case you need to paint some other material. All you need is a decent air compressor.
What makes this kit top our list is the amount of accessories that it comes with. Imagine for a price of one, you get two solid spray guns and every other thing needed to use and maintain them, all under $75! The first gun is of a normal paint spray gun size. It is equipped with a 550ml paint cup which is enough to get so much surface covered with the lacquer or any material you might be spraying. This cup size is great since it gives you much to work with and stays ergonomic if you are not working professionally.
The smaller gun, on the other hand, is ideal for small spaces as well as touching up old lacquer jobs in case you do not want to scrub off everything and redo. It has a smaller cup (120 ml) and a smaller profile, which makes it a great pick for smaller lacquer jobs. If you need to get to some tight spots or inside drawers, you won’t need all the bulk of a large gun and that is where this small spray gun comes in. It also is best for trim and molding to give you the fine detail that defines a good finish.
Both guns are fitted with 1.4mm all-purpose spray tips each, which are suitable for most lacquers requiring minimal thinning. They are constructed using metal mostly, which makes them sturdy and durable, although a bit looser and lighter when compared to professional-grade sprayers. The few parts which are made of plastic are also sturdy.
You can also adjust the width of the fan from 1.5” to 9.0” using the knobs on the larger gun, which is a very impressive range. The detail gun too can be narrowed further and the spray patterns more precise and easy intuitive that other guns. At the price with which this unit comes, the guns boast an impressive spray tip, producing very little overspray, tightly focused and hold their settings more steadily compared to other similar level spray guns.
The HVLP design also helps reduce overspray and bounce backs and require little air compared to other HVLP sprayers. The larger gun uses 2.1 CFM at 40 PSI pressure with the smaller gun drawing 0.7 CFM at 40 PSI pressure. Pressure from your compressor output to the HVLP level is taken down by valves which come in handy with the guns.
The package includes two adjusting valves, 5 in-line paint filters, 10 paint filters, 3 cleaning brushes, a metal file, a coupler, PTFE thread tape, an adjusting wrench and a carrying case. All these components are nicely packed and they all come with a one year warranty.
- Has two guns, a larger one and a smaller one
- Sturdily made
- The smaller gun provides you with great detail
- Both can be used with other material besides lacquer
- Smaller gun allows maneuverability hence you can paint otherwise unreachable spots
- Both have 1.4mm spray tips
- Larger gun has a knob to adjust the width of the fan
- They have a tight focus hence produce little overspray
- Getting a gravity-fed HVLP design at this kit’s price is not a joke
- Both guns require little air to function
- Easy to use even for an armature
- Cannot get you a professional quality
- Several plastic components like the knobs and cups which won’t last as much as the metallic components of the kit
This is an inexpensive handheld all-in-one sprayer that will work great for guys who do not have an air compressor. Whereas other sprayers are designed to be used with an air compressor and a hose, this one has everything you need integrated into a handheld gun. It has a 400W motor, more powerful than one of any other handheld sprayers and is highly rated for both outdoor and indoor projects.
This is ideal for people who lack good ventilation or spray in the garage, as well as those who do not use air tools.
Although it doesn’t work with latex paints unless extremely thinned, this gun’s motor is powerful enough to spray lacquers and other thinner coatings easily. You can make a wide range of adjustments to its spray pattern. Twisting the nozzle widens or tightens the fan from less than 1” to a maximum of 12”. Besides the easy and smooth adjustments, PaintWIZ has three spray patterns from which you can choose; circular cone, vertical fan and a horizontal fan.
The spray gun includes an 800 ml cup (which is enough to cover so much ground without frequent refilling) and a 2.6mm nozzle, which is more than enough for lacquers. Moreover, it comes with an extra 1.8mm nozzle. The larger nozzle is bets for latex paints (which the spray gun isn’t good for) so you better use the smaller nozzle. In design, PaintWIZ uses some HVLP aspects hence it produces relatively little overspray compared to other handheld spray guns.
There is also an extra 1.3l cup for big projects like coating wide surfaces. A viscosity cup makes your thinning adjustment while three mesh paint strainers keep your lacquer clear. The package includes a cleaning brush.
Most of the handheld sprayers are manufactured by companies that lack expertise when it comes to paint sprayers. That’s why they might run well but will lack many things in precision and control department. PaintWIZ is manufactured by Fuji spray systems but sold under its own brand name. Fuji is popular when it comes to making professional, high-grade HVLP spray systems. That is reason enough to believe in this spray gun.
Being a handheld gun makes it easy to clean, you just refill the cup from the tap run water through it and brush off any lacquer remains. It also is compact and easy to store in a shelf since it is mostly self-contained. PaintWIZ has a better record than other equally cheap handheld sprayers, and comes handy with a one year warranty.
- Everything you need integrated into the sprayer, making it an all-in-one
- It is handheld
- Has a very powerful 400W motor
- You can make a wide range of adjustments with its spray pattern
- Comes with two nozzles, one measuring 2.66mm and the other 1.8mm
- Produces little overspray compared to other handheld sprayers
- Has an extra 1.3L cup for larger projects
- Compact enough to be stored in a shelf
- Easy to clean after use
- Comes with a one year warranty
- It is so heavy, being a sprayer and a gun combined (over 4 pounds)
- Not good with latex paints or any other thick paints
- Despite being portable, it is less versatile
- With the plastic housing and knobs, it isn’t very industrial
This gun is a favorite when it comes to HVLP tools since it has a good turbine system already. It also is incredibly ergonomic, precise and well-built. If you are a professional who seeks to control their spray pattern or an absolute consistent finish, then this pick will make you happy. Fuji T75 is versatile enough that it works well with any known coating giving you impeccable smoothness.
To start with, this is a professional grade spray gun. The first two spray guns are DIYer grade solutions for applying lacquer but Fuji is a top-of-the-line finish gun designed for people who take fine woodworking and trimming as their way of making a livelihood. So many features set Fuji T-75G apart from the rest.
A convenient side knob controls the gun’s spray pattern, different to what most other guns have that are in-line hence awkward to use amid the project. Mid-spray however, this one is easy to tweak without having to contort your arms. Despite the minimal adjustment, you will surely love it after working with the tools regularly. Also, this is a non-bleed tool. Nothing comes out of the nozzle’s end if the trigger isn’t pulled hence there is less blowing around with more less dust ending up in your lacquer. Full-time professionals and high-end DIY’ers known how important that is.
Despite the fact that it is made of solid metal, this spray gun measures only 2 pounds which is very light and so impressive. The fluid components are all rugged and tightly-machined made of 100% stainless steel. The knobs and fittings also are metallic, made with CNC-machining which is a great manufacturing process for top-of-the-line products. The two components that aren’t made from metal in this sprayer are the paint cup and the grip, both of which are made of nylon. The reason is not just cost-cutting but the nylon cup saves weight while the nylon grip keeps your hands cool for longer. Nylon is shutter proof and much stronger than plastic so this is not a big deal.
A 1.3mm spray cup is included and it does really well. Replacement caps can be expensive and this is a surprise for a spray gun at this cost. The gun has many smart ergonomic features, from an easy-to-pull trigger to the stainless steel spring. A rear rotating nipple lets you work with pressure tubes in case you prefer a pressure-fed cup. Additionally, it is easy to clean and comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Incredibly ergonomic, precise and well-built
- Has a convenient side knob to control the spray pattern
- It is a non-bleed tool
- Easy to tweak mid-spray
- Made of solid durable metal
- Despite the metal design, it is so light
- Has smart ergonomic features
- This is an expensive spray gun
- Fuji T-75G can’t run on the standard air compressor, you need a good turbine system already
This is a remarkably good HVLP turbine system. It is versatile, well-equipped and likely your project excellent lacquer colors and clear coats. Though this isn’t a professional system, it looks like one. It has a 25” hose, a professional-grade non-bleed spray gun and a metal-encased turbine unit.
The turbine casing measures 16” x 9.5” x 12.5” and it easily fits on the shelves. The gun is compact too and the whole package can easily be stored since the turbine has an inbuilt holder. There is also a 2-stage 1400W motor which is so far the most powerful in the market. This makes atomizing easier and leaves you with less thinning to do. It also gives you versatility to work with thicker coatings.
A metal crate which is also more rugged than any other DIY option houses the turbine. Fuji semi-pro 2 is light too although it mostly is made from metal. The motor and other internal components are protected by a sturdy metal casing but still it remains light. For a DIY’er, this is a semi-professional gun at a very cheap price. Consider a gravity-fed aluminum cup, a non-bleed spray cap just like the more expensive T-75G, solid performance and you will realize that this is a great acquisition at a low price.
It also has very low overspray, minimal bounce back, and has great finish. The 25-foot hose has also been fitted with an air control valve which you can use to control overspray and bounce back. Fuji Semi-pro comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Well equipped
- Professional-grade with a non-bleed spray gun
- Turbine unit is encased for protection
- Made of metal
- Comes with a 25-foot hose
- Has the strongest motor in the market
- Low overspray and bounce back
- Non-bleed spray cup
- The 25-foot hose has an air control valve which helps control overspray
- You can’t get professional results using this tool
- Doesn’t have the smart features and amenities like other Fuji products
- Lacks the noise-reduction muffles that most Fuji products
The last spray gun for lacquer in our list is the Graco Magnum ProX7 with a rating of 0.34 gallons per minute. With this sprayer you can tackle any project, whether interior or exterior, and the design is likely to save you time and money. It supports a larger tip size and is an excellent choice also for spraying heavier coatings. What makes it more convenient to use is the durable cart that increases its portability.
Graco Magnum X7 features a stainless steel piston pump which delivers high pressure power to spray lacquer. A flexible suction tube sprays the lacquer directly from 1 or 5 gallon containers. It has a maximum operating pressure of 3000PSI and a maximum tip size of 0.017 Inches. You can easily and effortlessly move around the unit thanks to the convenient cart and the paint saver pail hook.
With a ¾ horsepower, it runs off a 15 Amp household current or 1500W generator. The maximum horse length is 150 feet. Cleaning material clogs is easily done by reversing the high precision spray tip. A power flush adapter connects it to a garden hose for fast and easy cleaning.
Startup also is fast and reliable every time with the PushPrime feature, with the paint flow easy to control since the pressure control is adjustable. The performance rating of Graco Magnum X7 is 0.31 gallons per minute and the maximum hose length is 150 ml.
- Compact design for easy storage
- Durable and high pressure piston pump
- Adjustable pressure control
- Power Flush adapter
- Can take any project
- Easily portable
- Some customers complained about its quality and durability
How to Mix Lacquer and Spray
Lacquer is one of the oldest wood finishes. While, it has been around for centuries, modern application of lacquer is different from that artisans used in ancient Asia. While ancient artisans used tree sap, modern lacquer is made of acrylic plastic hardening agents, and acid dissolved cotton cellulose. For that perfect finish, you need to be aware of how to properly mix lacquer and how to spray it. Of course, for this guide, we will be using a paint sprayer.
Types of Lacquer
While there are many types of lacquer out there, the most common is nitrocellulose lacquer. It is made from dissolving cotton cellulose with either nitric or sulfuric acids. Since it is made from natural fibers, it forms a natural bond with the wooden surface where it is applied. Generally, it dries through evaporation and will become wet if it comes into contact with a solvent. Catalyzed lacquer, a form of enzyme based lacquers comes into two parts, which you mix before applying. The curing agent in the catalyzed lacquer ensures that the lacquer does not become wet even when it comes into contact with a solvent. The drying process is irreversible for this type of lacquer.
Nitrocellulose lacquer is generally premixed and you only have to fill it into the spray gun and spray on the surface of your choice. However, depending on the brand, you may need to thin it out. You need to fill at least ¾ of the spray cut and fill up the cut with the thinner. For the smoothest finish, sandpaper each coat with a 220-grit sand paper or another fine sandpaper before applying a fresh coat. For catalyzed lacquer, you need a single coat or two as it dries harder.
The following steps are necessary for a smooth finish:
First, you need to choose the right wood. Lacquer is not applicable to all types of wood. Refrain from applying lacquer to oily woods, softwoods like redwood and cedar or any wood with open grains or coarse grains such as ash and cherry.
Before you apply the lacquer, it is important to first prepare the wood. Begin by sanding the wood using 120 grit sand paper, and then repeat the process using a 150-grit paper. Use a damp cloth to clean the surface to examine any irregularities in the wood. Use a 180-grit sand paper to finish the sanding process for a smooth surface. Sanding is important as it allows one to identify any defects on the wood. When applied, lacquer will highlight the defects.
Read the instructions on the container of the lacquer before applying. Each brand may have different spraying techniques. Ensure that you follow all safety guidelines, such as aeration of working area and protective gear among others.
The best applying distance for lacquer is between 8 and 12 inches. Always be consistent with the distance when applying lacquer to ensure that the spray is consistent over the entire wood surface.
When spraying, do not begin at the edge, rather start spraying a little and then move from one edge to another before you stop spraying. Also, it is important to spray over the edges before stopping to spray. This will ensure that there is a consistent layer over the wood with each spray, thus ensuring that the thickness of spray on each edge is similar. If the wood is too wide, spray across the narrowest edge first. Ensure that you apply a consistent layer on all the surface. Also, avoid runs and buildups. Multiple thin coats are better than a single heavy coat.
After every coat. Use a 320 grit paper to smooth the finish. You will have to wait for at least 20 to 30 minutes for the spray to dry. Repeat the process with every coat. The last coat should be buffed using a 400-grit sand paper dampened with mineral spirits, for that professional look.