Toolipedia: HVLP Paint Sprayer

Toolipedia: Everything you wanted to know about HVLP paint sprayer

A HLVP Paint Sprayer | Construction Pro Tips

What is a HVLP paint sprayer?

A HVLP paint sprayer is a gun-style paint application system for painters. HVLP stands for high volume low pressure, which means that it sprays a large volume of paint with very low pressure. These systems are different than spray guns that might attach to a compressor and usually come with their own motor and fan system. Depending on the number of stages (number of turbines that drive the paint) a HVLP paint prayer system can be used to spray anything from thin clear coats to thicker latex paints with little to no dilutions. Here are the basic parts of an HVLP paint sprayer:

  1. Spray Gun
  2. Turbine motor
  3. Hose
  4. Paint Reservoir Canister
  5. Trigger
  6. Spray Pattern Adjustment Nozzle
  7. Air Flow Adjustment Nozzle
  8. Adjustable Spray Head for orientation

Though there are some cheaper home use and DIY models, many HVLP paint sprayers are expensive and are used primarily by painters and finishers. The HVLP paint sprayer can be used to spray furniture, cabinets, woodworking or walls and trim in large volume. Most of the DIY models are only single stage and best for clear coats.

How is a HVLP paint sprayer used?

Operation basics

  • Prep the surface to be painted, be sure that it is sanded and clear of dust
  • Fill the reservoir canister with paint; check with the manufacturer’s label to determine what (if any) dilution factor you may need to use
  • Connect hose to turbine motor and to paint gun, turn on motor
  • Adjust spray head and pattern as needed
  • Spray the material using back and forth sweeping pattern, avoid lingering in one spot to prevent paint buildup
  • Once completed empty the reservoir and fill with water or paint thinner to clean the sprayer
  • Spray water or thinner into a bucket until the cleaning fluid is clear
  • Disassemble the sprayer and clean out any nozzles that may be clogged or that has remaining paint
  • Allow the gun to dry

Accessories needed

  • Spray Gun Cleaning kit
  • Viscosity Cup to determine if the paint needs to be thinned


  • Paints and finishes can have high VOCs and produce fumes; be sure to paint in areas with good ventilation and/or wear a respirator
  • Be careful of wind direction if painting outside consider wearing safety glasses
  • Paint thinner can be an irritant to skin, wear nitrile or latex gloves while cleaning up

What are the different types of HPLV paint sprayers?

  • HVLP paint sprayers come in a number of stages (1-5) the fewer the stages the less powerful they are
    • Stages refers to the number of turbines, the more powerful they are the more viscous (thicker) the medium they can spray
  • Some HVLP paint prayers have spray guns made of plastic
  • Some HVLP paint sprayers have plastic hoses as opposed to rubber hoses
  • Some HVLP paint sprayers have less adjustments on the gun

What makes a good HVLP paint sprayer?

  • High number of stages
  • Metal gun and reservoir
  • Rubber hoses with quick connects
  • Variety of adjustments

Fuji makes high quality HVLP paint sprayer. 


Test a small inconspicuous spot (or scrap piece of material) to determine if the spray pattern is correct before spraying on the finished product.

Get more painting tips here.

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LeRoy Demarest
I have worked for over a decade as an environmental scientist working on an advanced bioremdiation clean up project. For the past six years I have also worked as an adjunct instructor for several colleges, both F2F and online, teaching a number of science courses. Finally, I have been freelance writing for a variety of publications on the topics of: gardening, environment, construction, science, science education, academics and technical work.