I am a home woodworker looking to get into spray finishing. I've done some
spray finishing in the past, but it has been about 20 years ago, long before
HVLP and the latest advancements. I do about 4-6 woodworking projects per
year. Most have been small, but I'm starting to get into larger projects. I
am moving to a new house soon and it will have much more space.
I have used brushed-on polyurethane finishes almost exclusively in the past
10 years or so. But as my projects get larger, brushing has been a serious
time investment. My current project is cabinets and shelves for the library
in the new house. It would take me weeks to finish these with a brush! So
I'm looking to go to spray finishing.
I have a 5HP, 25-gallon Craftsman compressor. This is large enough to run
some of the low-air-requirement HVLP spray guns. I've been looking at the
DeVilbiss GFG670 and the Sata RP. I can get either of these for about $270
or $350, respectively, at spraygunworld.com. Frankly, I'm leaning toward the
670 because of cost. I plan to use exclusively waterborne finishes with the
sprayer. This is just for practical reasons. Putting up a spray room for
oil-based finishes that meets local building codes seems like overkill for
what I will be doing.
I know someone who sells Graco airless sprayers and believes I should just
go with an airless sprayer. Specifcally, he can get me a Graco Magnum DX for
under $200, which is less that a good gun for my compressor will cost. The
appeal of this solution is that it can be used for other larger jobs, such
as painting a house or rooms in a house. But I don't want to compromise my
ability to do quality finishing of my wood projects. I am somewhat skeptical
of using an airless sprayer for cabinets and furniture.
Can any of you seasoned veterans give me advice on this decision? Does
airless make sense for spraying waterborne clear coats? Is a low-end airless
sprayer like the Magnum DX a viable option? Or if I went airless, would I
need to invest in a higher-end sprayer? I've read a couple places that the
higher-end airless sprayers are far superior for clear coats. But, of
course, they are very pricey.
Your advice on this would be much appreciated.