Most spray guns have cogs and screws that are immediately noticeable and obvious to adjust. They are immediately the symbol that no unique tool is needed for this.
The following descriptions will show which settings can be made with them and their effect. This is followed by helpful instructions on adjusting a paint spray gun step by step in practice about the essential functions.
Why should you adjust the spray gun?
You should constantly adjust the spray guns you use to know that you will get the best spray pattern with them. If you do not do this, tremendous and undesirable changes in the paint application may occur.
The correct setting also guarantees that the spray gun lasts a long time, does not become clogged, and is optimally adjusted to the materials to spray onto the substrates. You can find out how to clear a clogged spray gun here.
What you can adjust in paint spray guns
Before you start painting, the first step is to adjust the gun with the most necessary options.
You can first adjust the adjusting screw for the spray pressure to do this. Depending on the gun, it is located at the very bottom of the handle, or it is the lower of the two possible screws at the rear of the gun. It is also referred to in this context as the gun inlet pressure.
This can be increased or maximized. Especially with water-based paints, the correct setting is essential to obtain the best spray pattern.
The manufacturers usually also specify a maximum. This is to protect the gun from damage. Since the HVLP and LVLP gun types also differ in this area, you typically need 40% less pressure with the LVLP for the same material.
You can make another adjustment at the regulating screw for a spot or wide jet. It sits at the rear of most guns and is then the upper of the two screws if there are two there. However, on the Santa line of firearms, this screw can also be on the side of the gun.
You can set the wide jet for large areas and thus an even paint application. On the other hand, the spot spray is for painting difficult-to-reach areas such as radiators or a trunk.
The other particular setting is material quantity reduction. It limits the retraction of the needle so that more or less paint comes out. This adjustment screw is, therefore, on the same axis as the needle.
Adjusting the spray gun in 3 steps (instructions)
The following are the individual steps that generally need to be adjusted for guns. They follow in the correct order:
Step 1: Set the adjusting screw for the spraying pressure.
Here you adjust the screw according to the manufacturer’s specifications. It is also essential that you do not set the compressor pressure too high so that the recommended inlet flow pressure does not change and too high a force is transferred directly to the gun.
As a rule, the pressure on the compressor should be set between 2.0 and 2.5 bar, but this also depends on the paint. A higher pressure during painting is necessary, for example, for viscous materials.
If you have a pressure gauge directly on the gun, which shows the inlet pressure, this is safe and advantageous. Here you can then always read the correct air pressure and adjust it.
Otherwise, a pressure gauge should be located directly on the compressor, or you must equip the gas cylinder with one.
Step 2: Adjust the regulating screw for a spot or wide jet
Now it is essential to consider which areas you want to spray. Then first check the spray pattern on a substrate as a spray-out, such as a piece of cardboard. If you wish to obtain more of a spot or wide spray, spray and turn the adjustment screw open and closed accordingly. Do this until you get the desired spray pattern.
Step 3: Adjusting the material quantity addition
Only use this function if you need it and are afraid of spraying too much paint when pulling the trigger. This gives you better control over an initially uncertain spray gun use.
Turn the screw and check on the spray-out to see if you have limited it sufficiently for your needs. Otherwise, readjust until the handle locks enough.
Do all paint spray guns have to be adjusted in the same way?
Each gun reacts slightly differently. However, you can use the options mentioned above to make the respective settings for each gun.
In any case, the most important thing is that you limit the input pressure to adjust it to the gun. Otherwise, there is a risk that it will break, and you will lose your warranty.
What happens if the spray gun is incorrectly adjusted?
Depending on the regulation options, the spray pattern will change. Large droplets can develop if the pressure is too low, and the gun can dot, which you will immediately see on the surfaces.
Too high a pressure will make the spray pattern foggier and may ineffectively spray out too much paint. This increases consumption but does not necessarily improve the result.