Spray gun setup recommendations for painting square steel tubing — K2Forums.com

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Spray gun setup recommendations for painting square steel tubing

urb33urb33 Posts: 4Member
I'm new to metalworking and painting, but I've been welding furniture for my home out of square steel tubing. At this point, I've a number of pieces that I'd like to finish, so I'd like to purchase a spray gun in order to add color and protect the metal. I found myself here because I found some useful information posted about the ANI R150, which may or not be the appropriate spray gun for the job. To that end, I'd a couple of questions and I'm also looking for any unsolicited advice.

1. Is the ANI R150 or another detailing gun appropriate for spraying 1" steel tubing? I've been looking at detailing guns because tubing doesn't really have a big broad area for spraying.

2. Do I need to purchase multiple needles sizes for my gun? I spoke with a paint store and they seem to think I can get away with a product that combines a bare metal primer with a high-build primer for the first coat. Then, they can mix a single stage for the color. Certainly, I could also go the bare metal primer, high build primer, base coat, clear coat route, but I'm not sure if that means I need multiple needles or even guns to make this work.

3. Is there any other equipment that could be recommended?

And, for reference, this is for a hobby and I'm not selling this pieces. That said, I'd like to learn how to do this properly. In case it matters, everything I've built so far has been indoor, not outdoor furniture, but I'd like to do outdoor in the future. The metal I've been using has mill scale on the outside save for the areas where I've ground down my welds. I'll also be doing the finishing work down at a cooperative where I'll be hooking the spray gun to an air compressor with a 25 gallon tank that pushes 8.6 CFM @ 40 psi and 6.8 CFM @ 90 psi.

Thanks for the help!

Comments

  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,948Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I think that spray gun and compressor will be fine for what you need. I would look into other coating options though. The only problem would be the primary. You’re going to have a difficult time Spraying the primer through a needle that small. So your question about multiple needles may be valid. I’m not sure how much I needle set costs for the ANI Guns.

    Have you considered just having them powder coated? It can usually be done fairly inexpensively.
  • SingleAction52SingleAction52 Posts: 687Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭
    @urb33, I agree with @MidOhioHydrographics regarding the powder coating route but get the feeling that as a hobbyist you want to do as much as you can for yourself. If that is the case, the 3M Accuspray kit may be the way for you to go, you can get and use different size disposable tips with the twist of the wrist allowing you to spray different paints and primers easily and quickly..., and the spray pattern is adjustable from narrow to wide. It may be something to look in to for what you're doing.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,948Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator

    @urb33, I agree with @MidOhioHydrographics regarding the powder coating route but get the feeling that as a hobbyist you want to do as much as you can for yourself. If that is the case, the 3M Accuspray kit may be the way for you to go, you can get and use different size disposable tips with the twist of the wrist allowing you to spray different paints and primers easily and quickly..., and the spray pattern is adjustable from narrow to wide. It may be something to look in to for what you're doing.

    Actually a really good idea for this situation... Check CFM requirements for that gun. Not sure that your compressor will be enough to push it. May be ok...
  • SingleAction52SingleAction52 Posts: 687Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭
    What..., @MidOhioHydrographics , Did you just say I had a "really good idea...". I'm marking this one down, where's my badge??
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,948Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator

    What..., @MidOhioHydrographics , Did you just say I had a "really good idea...". I'm marking this one down, where's my badge??

    It's funny... I've never been a fan of the Accuspray idea or guns... but for this? It makes sense to me. Just painting a few things occasionally, different tips easily changed.... I like it in theory. Never used one of the guns tho...
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 5,867Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Unless you are using a 2K paint and a very good primer WITH removal of the mill scale, your finish will not last long. For durability you are going to need it sandblasted, and I would SERIOUSLY consider at least and e-coat primer if not full powdercoat
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 943Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    If you are looking to buy one gun and done, an ANI R150 in a 1.2 tip should work. That tip would be a little small for single stage, but you could add a bit more reducer to it and it should work fine. As far as primer goes, if you don't need to have a build primer, you can get a single stage urethane paint that is direct to metal. I have sprayed this type of paint through a 1.3 tip without issues. Or you could get some OHW and use it for primer and paint over it. Again, all of this could be done with a 1.2 tip.
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 2,855Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭

    Have you considered just having them powder coated? It can usually be done fairly inexpensively.

    This ↑↑↑↑↑↑

  • urb33urb33 Posts: 4Member
    Thanks for the advice. I had a look at the 3m Accuspray Gun and it looks like it needs 13 cfm @ 20 psi, which is too much for my compressor. That's been some of my attraction to the detailing guns, which seem to require less cfm. That said, @K2Concepts does sell the the 3M PPS conversion kits for the ANI R150, so there's some overlap.

    I also saw that there's some advice on needle sizes elsewhere on the forum here, which would suggest that a 1.0 needle is too small for the primer. Really, I was looking at the 1.0 needle since I'm spraying such a narrow area and my fan size will be very small. That said, @K2Concepts also sells needle conversion kits. Two questions on this front. One, is it typical for someone to switch their needles when working on a single project? Two, is a larger needle necessary for the primer or is it just going to take forever? Some of the pieces aren't all that large.

    On the mill scale and primer front, thanks for the info. The paint shops in my town suggested two different routes and combination of products. For the 2-in-1 direct to metal/high-build primer, I was suggested a 2.1 VOC 2K High Build DTM Primer. For the two part process, I was suggested an etch primer followed by a 2K HS Urethane Primer. Now, does this seem reasonable for hot rolled steel covered in mill scale? Second, will I be able to spray these products through a detail gun with a 1.0 needle or do I need a different gun or a different needle?

    Anyway, thanks again for all the help. This is a new hobby for me, so I'm trying to understand things and best I can before dropping a chunk of change in equipment and paint.

    P.S. The system here seems to be eating my posts, so sorry for this coming out so late.
  • urb33urb33 Posts: 4Member
    And, by the way, I thought about powder coating, but I'm interested in learning how to paint. It also seems like there's a easier process for spot repairing with paint than with powder coating, which has been some of my attraction. Really, I'm looking for a somewhat durable finish that I can repair later down the line.
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 943Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    urb33 said:

    And, by the way, I thought about powder coating, but I'm interested in learning how to paint. It also seems like there's a easier process for spot repairing with paint than with powder coating, which has been some of my attraction. Really, I'm looking for a somewhat durable finish that I can repair later down the line.

    One Hit Wonder has lots of colors. You can spray their paint direct to metal, then clear. If you want to go the single stage method, then you can get their paint, and they have a hardener you can add to make it a single stage paint. Easy-Peasy, and you could shoot it though a mini gun with a 1.0 or 1.2 tip. @onehitwonder
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 5,867Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Smaller size tip and needle will typically just take longer to paint. Most primer will go through a 1.0 tip, but its a slow process after that.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,948Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator

    urb33 said:

    And, by the way, I thought about powder coating, but I'm interested in learning how to paint. It also seems like there's a easier process for spot repairing with paint than with powder coating, which has been some of my attraction. Really, I'm looking for a somewhat durable finish that I can repair later down the line.

    One Hit Wonder has lots of colors. You can spray their paint direct to metal, then clear. If you want to go the single stage method, then you can get their paint, and they have a hardener you can add to make it a single stage paint. Easy-Peasy, and you could shoot it though a mini gun with a 1.0 or 1.2 tip. @onehitwonder
    Now THAT will make it easy.... you will need to sand/scuff very well, then mix the hardener w OHW. This may be the best option yet.

    Do you have access to a sand blaster?
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 943Member ✭✭✭
    If for some reason you have to shoot build primer through a small tip, reducer is your friend. It will take more coates to get a good build, but it will be possible.
  • urb33urb33 Posts: 4Member
    Ah, cool. I didn't know about the one hit wonder paints, so I'll give them a look! I do have access to a sandblaster, but I need to check the size limits for it. Off the cuff, the smaller pieces I've made should fit, but probably not the larger. I'm guessing that the mill scale could be a problem if not using a good primer?

    As far as the primer, thanks for the info on the reducer. Candidly, am I better off just adding reducer/spraying slowly or getting a second, cheap primer gun? As I'm just getting started, I don't really want to spend in the high hundreds of dollars getting setup. But, let's be honest, paint isn't cheap and I know I can go through a lot more with a crappy gun especially if I have to do multiple layers because the gun decided to misbehave. Part of my attraction to the R150 was that it seemed like a reasonable starting gun for good value. I know some people just get the purple Harbor Freight gun to spray primer. Or, maybe there's a good value primer gun out there that someone would like to share. Basically, is it better to:

    1. Just add reducer and/or spray slowly the primer through the touch up gun?
    2. Get a cheap primer gun and, if so, does someone have a good recommendation for one?

    Thanks again for all the help!
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 943Member ✭✭✭
    I used the cheap guns for primer when I first got started learning automotive painting. After going through a few of them, I bought an Airgunza in 1.8mm and never looked back. That gun has since became my activator gun as it works great for me. I bought an ANI F150 with a 1.7 tip to spray primer now. I have a couple of ANI R150's that I use for base and clear on smaller items.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,782Administrator El Jefe

    I used the cheap guns for primer when I first got started learning automotive painting. After going through a few of them, I bought an Airgunza in 1.8mm and never looked back. That gun has since became my activator gun as it works great for me. I bought an ANI F150 with a 1.7 tip to spray primer now. I have a couple of ANI R150's that I use for base and clear on smaller items.

    This...
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 943Member ✭✭✭
    @urb33 , you can get all the guns I listed above direct from Jim here at K2 concepts. I believe his site is www.k2shoponline.com
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