How to Set Up a Spray Gun
Setting up a spray gun is necessary to arrive at the best paint outcomes. Whether you have a new gun or using an old one that’s been rebuilt, fine-tuning it before use will make you gain maximum control of the spraying process. Understanding the mechanism behind the valves and gauges found on the gun should, therefore, be your first activity.
Air pressure regulator
Usually found at the bottom of the gun near the air inlet, this knob is used to control the amount of air pressure running through the gun. The regulator typically comes with a gauge for you to see accurate readings in real time. Air pressure anywhere from 20 to 30 psi is deemed ideal for small to medium sized projects. However, you can always adjust the pressure as to how you see fit.
Fluid control knob
The fluid control knob manipulates the amount of paint being ejected out of the spray system. It connects to the paint nozzle or the opening of the gun. To adjust this knob, back it all the way up until you get around 90% fluid flow. The only time that you may need less flow is when you are painting small pieces that require miniature paint patterns.
Fan pattern knob
This knob may be seen above the fluid control knob or near the gun handle. This is perhaps the most important knob that you will have to adjust since it sets the shape of the fan pattern. Turning it causes the pattern to turn circular or to flatten out. An ideal pattern to produce is a full oval pattern sized 9 to 12 inches.
It is also important to test the uniformity of the paint pattern. You can do this by spray painting a piece of paper from side to side until the color runs. The runs should be similar across the pattern. This ensures even coats despite some overlapping of paint.