I have always used a brush to apply lacquer. I hated this part of the projects because the lacquer was hard to apply without it starting to dry before I got a perfect finish. A friend recommended that I start using a spray gun for this task.
I was intrigued and went in search of the best lacquer sprayer. I sought advice from expert painters and refinishers. These professionals created a list of fantastic spray guns that they used when applying lacquer and similar products.
The pros also gave me come choice information on how to choose a sprayer that can handle lacquer. I included those tips for my readers.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks!
||Graco Magnum 257025 Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer||
||Wagner Spraytech 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint Sprayer||
||Fuji Spray Fuji 2203G Semi-PRO 2-Gravity HVLP Spray System||
The 7 Best Spray Guns For Lacquer
1. Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer
This is a fabulous paint sprayer that has precision controls for the flow of the paint in the container. Controlling the flow is important to anyone who sprays a variety of substances. You get to control how much of the painting substance is released and therefore control the smoothness and thickness of the paint you apply.
We have all experienced clogged nozzles when spraying paint and especially when spraying a sticky substance like lacquer. This unit allows you to simply reverse the nozzle tip when you experience a clog saving you time and allowing your work flow to continue at the same pace.
You can use a paint hose that is up to 50’ in length with this paint sprayer. That gives you the ability to set the unit up and then complete your project without having to move the main unit.
2. Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint Sprayer
An HVLP paint sprayer is perfect when you want to apply something like lacquer. The high-volume atomization of the substance allows it to be spread out over a larger area in a shorter amount of time. You get smooth finish work on decks, furniture, doors, cabinets, and just about any surface you intend to paint.
This unit is great for the application of lacquer, but it also capable of applying stains, paints, polyurethanes, and more. It has twin turbines that produce the high amount of pressure needed by some of these substances.
It has a stationary base so you only have to worry about the weight of the spray gun and the container of painting fluid you are using. It has two containers and one of them is made from aluminum so sticky or oil-based substances will not damage the container and will be easier to remove during cleanup.
3. Wagner Spraytech Flexio Stationary Two Nozzles Paint Sprayer
Powerful pressure allows you to apply latex paint without thinning it. You also have flow and pressure adjustments that allow you to spray stains, lacquers, shellac, varnish, and other liquid substances perfectly.
The adjustment for the air pressure is conveniently on the handle of the sprayer gun. That allows you to have the ability to change the pressure control setting without stopping and returning to the base portion of the unit.
You do not have to stop between each coat of paint, stain or varnish and clean the gun. Wrap the gun in a plastic bag so the paint substance does not dry on the nozzle or tip and remove the bag to use for the second coat. Do the cleaning when you have completed the job or when you are through working for the day. It is easy to take apart and clean, and the stationary turbine provides you with ample storage for all of the spray equipment components.
4. PaintWIZ Handheld Pro Paint Sprayer
PaintWIZ has created a paint sprayer that has features that professional painters will love and priced it at a price that the average homeowner will love. You get the quality of a professional gun with the price of a simple DIY device.
You can use this unit indoors or outdoors. It is an electric powered device and does not require an external air compressor. The lack of the air compressor makes this unit easier to transport and it is powered by a standard 155V electrical outlet so finding power is not a problem.
This device creates minimal overspray. You can have a flawless finish and less cleanup because you will get less of the paint on areas you do not want it to come in contact with. Cleaning up is easy because the device comes completely apart and allows you access to all components.
5. Fuji Semi-PRO 2-Gravity HVLP Spray System
This HVLP paint sprayer comes with a quick connect coupling and air control valve. You can set this unit up to work with in less time and spray without the fear of bleeding of the paint from the spray gun. The adjustable fan pattern allows you to spray from a variety of angles and will minimize overspray and drips.
The lightweight gravity cup holds 400cc of fluid. It is metal so you do not have to fear damage from oil-based products. Plastic containers can easily be ruined if the substance used in them is oil-based or really sticky like lacquer.
Professional results can be achieved even if you have never used a paint sprayer before. The device is very easy to set up and very easy to use. You have complete control and the unit design is simple enough to not be confusing when you need to make adjustments.
6. Fuji Mini-Mite 4 PLATINUM HVLP Paint Spray System
The quiet operation of this paint spraying equipment will be appreciated by everyone who needs to use the unit for interior crafts and projects. The T70 is an HVLP that can be converted to a gravity fed device with the application of a conversion kit. That makes your device more versatile and better suited for a larger variety of projects.
Durability is created in this unit by the heat dissipation chamber that allows the motor to outlast and outwork similar product. It has three fan spray orientations so you can get the proper coverage and it can be used to apply substances that have a low viscosity or substances that have a high viscosity.
This item is highly portable so you can take it wherever your job is and easily carry it by the built-in handle. The container cup is metal and can handle any substance and be cleaned properly so the cup does not retain any residue that could damage a future project.
7. Ingersoll Rand Edge Series Gravity Feed Spray Gun
This is a gun for use with paint spraying equipment. The motor or power required to make this gun work is sold separately and not included with this gun.
It has an ergonomic handle that makes it very easy to hold and use. It has a non-drip container cup attached. The container cup is made from plastic but is capable of being used with a wide variety of materials including ones that have oil or chemical bases.
The air adjustment valve is located on the handle of the gun so you get more control over the substance you are applying. The air control also lets you reduce overspray and bounce back.
What are Lacquer Sprayers?
Lacquer sprayers are paint spray guns that typically have wider spray nozzles and higher ranges of pressure to force the lacquer from the container. Lacquer is a thin substance but it is sticky and adheres faster so the spray gun used to apply it must have high pressure capabilities so it can apply the substance quickly before it adheres to the components of the spray gun.
Most people choose an HVLP spray gun that works in conjunction with an air compressor to spray this type of substance. These guns are available in a wide range of sizes and prices. You can get them with several different size product containers so you will not have too much lacquer in your container at one time.
How Do They Work?
Lacquer spray guns are high-velocity, low-pressure sprayers. They are quite similar to paint sprayers, although the thickness and adherence of lacquer necessitate higher gun pressure than paint sprayers.
Lacquer is put into a gravity or pressure feed hopper, from which it is channeled into and through the spray gun’s nozzle. A gravity-fed hopper allows lacquer to drain from above the cannon into the tubing, whereas a pressure-fed hopper sucks lacquer in by creating a vacuum chamber in the tubing.
After the lacquer has been sucked in, it’s ejected from the nozzle at high velocity in a triangular pattern to ensure an equal spray across the working area. When it comes to spray distribution, the pressure and velocity of the air in the gun make a big difference.
How To Use A Spraying Gun To Spray Lacquer
This stage requires caution, probably more than in any other stage. Though a simple and controllable technique, it can sabotage other finishing operations if not done with care and precision.
Follow the steps below for an outstanding lacquer spraying:
Fill in the spray bottle
Spraying lacquer can be tricky since the spray is often hard to come by. You must use a pre-catalyzed lacquer, which eliminates the need to add a catalyst every time you work.
Before you buy a pre-catalyst, make sure you cross-check the expiration date. Fill the cup with lacquer by three-quarters, then top it off with a quarter cup of lacquer thinner.
Apply the first coat of sealant to the surface, which will protect the wood fibers, so thicker coats will be easier to apply later on. If you’re using a satin lacquer, you’ll need to stir it at regular intervals because it tends to accumulate at the bottom.
Start Spraying The Lacquer
Start by testing the product on a piece of cardboard, so you can fine-tune the settings for your actual job. Work swiftly, overlapping your strokes up and down as well as back and forth.
Hold the sprayer close to the surface for the initial thin sealing application. The final layer can then be built up with thicker or full-strength lacquer applications.
When it comes to places that are subjected to wear and tear, take extra precautions. It’s also important that you sand in between each coat.
Once you’re done, make sure you clean your sprayer before putting it away. To do so, you must decide whether you’ll use nitrocellulose or water-based lacquer.
If nitrocellulose lacquer is at your disposal, spray it continuously with a break after each application. Clean the sprayer when finished.
Begin removing the gun from the air hose one step at a time, pulling all residual lacquer from the gun into any receptacle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your spray gun.
Water-based lacquers will require you to flush your sprayer with water. Don’t forget to empty the can of leftover lacquer.
Furthermore, you should clean all remaining parts so that the sprayer’s quality remains intact. This avoids lacquer buildup which may affect the later outcomes.
Different Types of Lacquer Spray Guns
If you are going to use lacquer while finishing some of your projects then you need a paint sprayer that can handle the liquid, and the pressure that the liquid needs. Consider the features of the spray guns that are beneficial to lacquer applications, and then compare the guns you like to see which one is best for your needs.
The LVLP spray paint guns are frequently chosen as a lacquer application tool. LVLP stands for Low Volume Low Pressure. They are capable of applying thin liquids but they are very slow so they are recommended for use but, DIY homeowners and hobbyist that work on small projects. You will not need any additional equipment to use the LVLP spray gun.
HVLP spray paint guns produce a higher amount of pressure and give you the ability to be more precise with your lacquer application. The HVLP stands for High Volume High Pressure but this should actually say High Volume High Atomization. The HVLP guns exerts the same amount of pressure that the LVLP gun does, the difference is that the HVLP gun will atomize the lacquer at a higher volume.
An HVLP gun requires a powerful air compressor to be used with it. Some of the HVLP guns use turbines instead of air compressors to create the power they need.
These spray guns are capable of creating a smoother finish that is flawless. They are usually easy to clean, and they are commonly many manufacturers that offer these tools at very affordable prices.
Gravity Fed Guns
Gravity fed spray guns will work with lacquer but they are bulkier to use. They are often cheaper than the LVLP or the HVLP versions.
What to Look for in a Lacquer Spray Gun
When you shop for a lacquer sprayer you need that tool to be able to provide high pressure amounts. Lacquer is thin but sticky and it takes a lot of air pressure to force it out of the container in a mist that will leave an attractive coating.
Minimal overspray is one of the most sought after features of a paint sprayer that you plan to use for lacquer applications. You want the least amount of overspray because once lacquer has touched an object it sticks quickly and it can be hard to remove without damaging the finish of the surface.
You also want a paint sprayer that has easy clean up features designed into it. You have to thoroughly clean your paint sprayer and gun after you use a substance like lacquer. You cannot let the equipment sit overnight without being properly cleaned and all of the residue of the lacquer removed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need a spray gun for lacquer?
You can apply lacquer using a brush or a roller but the spray gun allows you to cover the surface area faster so the lacquer does not thicken or harden before you get the coating completely on the object. Lacquer needs to be applied in thin coats and those thin coatings dry very quickly. A spray gun gives you the ability to cover a wider area in a shorter amount of time.
How often should I clean the air filter?
The air filter on electric paint sprayers needs to be cleaned at least twice during a work day. If you do not have adequate ventilation you may have to increase the number of times that you clean the filter. Listen to your paint sprayer motor and you can hear the change in tones when the filter begins to need cleaned. You may also notice that the sprayer is not applying as much substance or is starting to sputter.
What is the best respirator for spraying lacquer?
When you are considering a respirator for use while applying substances like lacquer you want the respirator to A.) fit tightly against your face. This allows the respirator to create a seal that prevents the fumes from being able to get beneath the mask. B.) Choose a respirator that can be used with either an “R” filter or a “P” filter. These filters are oilproof and oil-resistant.
What is the best temperature and humidity for spraying lacquer?
If you can choose the perfect temperature when you are applying lacquer then between 65 and 75 degrees is ideal. If you can choose the perfect humidity level between 50 to 70%. You always want the dew point to be within 20 degrees of the actual temperature to make sure you have the right humidity level for the lacquer to go on smoothly and dry properly.
If you are looking for an affordable paint sprayer that can handle lacquer and thinner materials for your DIY projects consider the PaintWIZ PW25150 Handheld sprayer. It is economical and will spray thin substances with very little overspray.
If you are looking for a larger sprayer that can handle small business use consider the Graco Magnum 257025 Project Plus Sprayer. It can handle a wide variety of paints and paint substances from thin stains to thick latex paints. It is capable of applying 50 gallons per year. Perfect for the occasional handyman’s needs.