Automotive Painting; What to Look For

Automotive painting is drastically different from residential painting or giving a fresh coat to a piece of old furniture. Here’s how you can find the perfect paint sprayer for automotive painting, including a few tips to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

Focus on Compressed Air

Compressed air paint sprayers are the best type to choose when you’re working with automotive painting because they allow for more control over precision painting, which is what the majority of automotive painting entails. It does mean you are going to need to have an air compressor to power the unit, which is likely going to be an expected piece of equipment if you’re working in any kind of professional capacity.

Prioritize Control

The key to automotive painting is control, which means that you’re going to want a paint sprayer that allows you to adjust the size and flow of the paint stream accordingly. Most sprayers have some kind of control on the gun for regulating force and size, so look for one that suits the specifics of your projects. Some models also support the use of in-line pressure gauges, which can further help you monitor the performance of the sprayer and make sure you’re always delivering the right pressure for an even coat.

Account for Various Compounds

The sturdy metal build of a paint spray gun designed to work with compressed air is what allows you to work with the various types of compounds common with automotive painting. However, you also need to think about the thickness of the spray needle, as this also determines how you apply the compound. A thicker needle will make it easy to apply a primer, while a thinner needle is better suited for topcoats and touch-ups. Some guns may allow you to switch needles, while others may not, so keep this in mind while you look at your options.

Gravity Feed Guns

Many compressed air paint sprayers use a gravity feed system, which makes it easier for you to change paint colors as needed or refill your supply. However, these can be difficult to handle in some cases, so you may wish to look for a model with a swivel cup, which will allow you to better angle the gun when working on tight spaces.

Finally, the Workspace

Since you’re going to be working close to the vehicle while you paint, you will want to make sure that you have enough ventilation in your work space to avoid inhaling the paint fumes or causing paint mist to build up.