{my paint sprayer} and a long story to go with it…

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One of the most emailed questions i get besides laundry room questions is about what i use to paint furniture – brush or gun.

Well….the answer is…a GUN!!!

Let me tell you a little story (and its a long story, so if you don’t care then just come back in a couple of days for my craft room post, it has prettier pics!). 

I had a gun that i have been using for about a year or so.  It sprayed well, it was easy to use, it could take a beating, and it was cheap – so when it was time to replace it, it wouldn’t clean out my bank account.   By the way, i got the gun at Lowes for between $50-$60.

Old gun


So, although this gun was working ok, i was looking to upgrade.  Mostly because i used this gun with my 22 gallon air compressor, and while most pieces i painted it worked fine, some pieces that i painted, the air compressor just couldn’t keep up.  So, it was a little frustrating not having consistent air flow to the gun.

My air compressor


Well, one night i was painting and my gun tip was leaking.  I cleaned it out…didn’t work…i lubed it… didn’t work…i read the instruction manual (ughh)…didn’t work…i cried out of frustration….still didn’t work.  My conclusion (and after doing a little research) was that the needle needed to be replaced.  A replacement needle was almost as much as the gun!! 

So, i figured now was as good as time as any to upgrade.  I researched… A LOT.. and then some more….I was sooooo confused!  Everyone has different opinions, I would go to all these online forums and read for hours on paint guns. 

I needed a gun and needed one fast so i decided to go with the only turbine HVLP gun that was carried locally and that they kept in stock.  I bought an Earlex HV5000 for $300 (on sale).  I was super excited as it had very good reviews, came home got it all set up and started painting.  The gun took a good hour at least to get it tuned just right – that was a bummer.  I don’t have hours to adjust knobs around.  I liked how the gun sprayed, but it was heavy – like i had to hold it with 2 hands heavy, you cant spray furniture with two hands on the gun.  There is no way that i could have kept that gun and been happy with it long term– especially for spending a lot of money for it and it not being what i thought it was going to work like.

So the gun went back to the store.  What was i going to do now?!  I went back and bought another Kobalt gun but, i didn’t want that gun, i wanted to upgrade, but i was so confused by all of the choices and every ones opinions!!  It seriously made me cry – yes i cried over a paint gun!!  Its not like this is just something that i do here and there on the weekends – i am trying to get somewhere with it.  See what i am saying??

Then, i decided to try a conversion HVLP gun.  Supposedly they are supposed to be just fine with my size of air compressor – you can even have a smaller compressor and they are supposed to keep up.   I tried it – didn’t like it.  Back to the store it went. 

Well, i had been chatting back and forth with the ever so knowledgeable Christa from Stories of a House.  I told her my sad story and she had recommended the Graco 7.0 fine finish spray gun – its what she has been using and loves it so. 

But, the gun was pricey ($780, and then $60 for different needle sizes, and you will need at least 2 of them).  Luckily my husband loved me that week and let me buy it :)

I got the gun about a week and half later, used it within 2 days and started crying again – not out of frustration or sadness this time – but out of pure freaking EXCITEMENT!!!   This gun is THE BEST!  I cant even tell Christa enough how much i seriously love her for recommending this gun!  It is so easy to use with its one knob air adjustment and that you can just flip the switch on the machine and its ready to go (not like waiting for the compressor to fill up).  Its also so easy to clean – takes about 5 minutes.  I also love how it has consistent power – sprays so fast and even.

My new baby!!


The unit itself is larger than what i expected, i put a paint can next to it for the pics so you can see the size comparison.  It also has a really long hose so you can get around pretty easy.  It sounds like a vacuum when its running – so not bad, not bad at all :)



This is the link from where i purchased my gun http://store.spraymallstore.com/grhv7for20.html

***I did speak to a couple people, and they say that if you are spraying latex you should go to a five stage unit (the one i bought is a 3 stage), but with Christas recommendation and other people in online forums i decided to go with this one – and i couldn’t be happier.  Since i bought it i have sprayed about 10 pieces and its working awesome***

Anyways, that’s my story – don’t laugh at me for crying about a broken paint gun or the two that i didn’t like  (my husband already laughed at me, believe me)!!  When you spend most of your free time painting and are making money from selling your painted pieces – you want something that is going to be consistent, good quality, easy to use/clean and most of all produce a good quality finish.  From the furniture i sold just this weekend, i pretty much paid it off :)

And, you have to go over to Christas blog, Stories of a House – she has some serious talent and her pieces are awesome (she sells them too if you are in Arizona, her furniture blog is The Restoration Shoppe).  She is very knowledgeable – she must read a lot or something?!?  Tell her i said hi!!  :)

Up next, my craft room