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You want to buy a 'good' quality spray gun to paint your hotrod - save some $$$!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bored&Stroked, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. My rant on thinking you need the 'Best' spray gun to paint your hotrod - think again, spend $125 and save some $$$:

    I started painting cars when I was 15 years old (35+ years ago) - learned from one of the best in SoCal 'Pat Santini'. I bought what he and I considered the best spray gun at the time --> a Binks #7, with a Sharpe pot on it. Even at that time, it was $400+. (Fortunate I was!)

    Soon after, I had three of them -> one for primer, one for color and one for clears. It is easy to have the best and assume that you always have to pay big $$$ - you just must have 'the best'. That is the way I always thought. I made a lot of money with those guns - they become 'best friends' in my hands after awhile. But I stopped painting for 20 years . . . changed occupations.

    Fast Forward . . . I put painting down for 20+ years - recently got back into it (just for my hotrod projects). Of course I researched the latest and greatest "modern" stuff --> HVLP, RP --- IWata, Sata, etc..

    So yes, I have a really nice digital Sata - RP . . . one hell of a gun . . . again, about $500 or so. Had it have it - was a 'spray gun bigot' from way back. :rolleyes:

    BUT - I also bought a couple Devilbiss 'Finishline' guns - I figured they'd be maybe good enough for primer, etc.. Truth is, they are very good guns for the price.

    I just painted an engine block -> shot the HOK KPC2F epoxy primer with a 1.8 nozzle, then used a 1.3 nozzle to shoot the red enamel. (Same gun).

    Okay - you're all thinking "BFD - an engine block :eek:" how hard can that be and who the hell cares! Fair thoughts, but I think it is harder to shoot strange shaped objects like engine blocks (and shoot them well), than nice consistently curved or straight panels. It is very easy to cause runs - due to all the strange corners, protrusions, casting ribs, etc..

    Anyway - just wanted to encourage all of you who are thinking of buying a spray gun and can't afford to spend $500 -- to spend $125 on a Devilbiss Finishline gun -- you can paint a very quality paint job with one of these.

    Will it spray candies and complex iridescents as well as my Sata, probably not - but in good hands, it can deliver a hell of a paint job. It's spray pattern, atomization, consistent and even feed is as good as my old Binks ever were. They also waste so much less paint than the old traditional guns - no comparison.

    I bought this two-gun pack for about $200 -- slightly used, not a bad deal. You can buy a new standard size gun for about $125 - complete.


    Okay here is the engine block . . . quit laughing now . . . 4 coats, no runs, almost no orange peel, no imperfections in the least:



    Okay - enough of my rant on the Finishline guns. I'd have no problem painting a complete car with this gun - would deliver excellent results, no questions in my mind. I'm sure there are other great guns for the price - here is one good example to consider.

    That is my story for the evening . . . just thought I'd share.

    PS: Yes - I still have all my Binks #7's - they're just old friends that I can't part with . . . just like picking them up at times.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  2. leroys85coupe
    Joined: Jun 2, 2009
    Posts: 148

    from usa

    good reading boss
  3. Nice info Dale....timely coz Im gonna be looking to get my hands on something reasonably decent myself.

  4. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo

    Cadillac mill?

  5. 23dragster
    Joined: Apr 22, 2011
    Posts: 264

    from U.S.

    Looks great. Thanks for the tip.
  6. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

  7. jick
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 376

    from london

    Great information.... Thanks dude, I have been doing a load of reading up on various sprayguns recently and this is just what I was hoping to find.
    Cheers..... Jick
  8. Swede64
    Joined: Jun 17, 2006
    Posts: 203


    I bought a Finishline a couple of month ago, haven´t tried it yet so it was a very nice feeling reading this. Thanks!
  9. Flathead Cadillac - 1942 . . . for the 'FlatCad' Bonneville car. There is a big thread on the build - just lookup FlatCad.
  10. darkk
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 456


    I don't paint anymore because I retired from it a couple years ago. I damaged my good gun, actually some asshole ran it over. Anyways, I ran to the local tool store and bought a cheap $39 binks look-a-like gun in my emergency need. That $39 paint gun worked so nice, I used it for my clear top coat gun for the next 20 years. Any paint gun that isn't deformed in some way can be used as long as the nozzle size is acceptable. You just need to figure out the characteristics of the gun. I have bought many used paint guns over the years for cheap money because someone else thought their gun was bad. Just clean the damn thing and adjust it to your painting style. I have never changed nozzles in any of my paint guns for a specific paint product other than shooting flake. And I bought a cheap gun for that as well. If you clean your paint guns immediately after using and clean it VERY VERY well, your gun should last a lifetime.
  11. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    im with darkk on this one also.i have a couple high dollar guns and a bunch of cheap old guns.and also a binks 7. the high dollar guns are the ones my son swears by.but i can or could shoot as good a paint job withn a 50.00 gun as he can with sata and he can shoot some paint.i keep my guns CLEAN and adjusted to what im shooting and ive always had great results.i aint buying no more high dollar guns. a good mid line gun in capable hands is all you need.imho.
  12. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,550

    from Ks

    Your gonna laugh, but..I go to NAPA and for a hundred bucks I get two gravity feed HVLP's and a touch up gun for a hundred bucks. A 1.4 and a 1.7. Well, I'm 56, painted my first car at 14 I guess I just don't seem to need a high dollar gun anymore. :D

  13. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,627


    hey, maybe something i can afford
  14. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437


    not a pro, but Harbor Freight is my friend and their stuff covers my needs.
  15. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,550

    from Ks

    Fifty buck gun.

  16. Bigdaddyhemi
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 361


    I have a finish line gun, Had negative thoughts until I used it best bang for the buck and it works great
  17. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,550

    from Ks

    Fifty buck gun, rest my case.:)

  18. B&S any thoughts on a reasonable compressor to use with that gun?
    Hope this doesn't side track the thread if you don't mind. Been wanting to try my hand at this for a while. I don't think I can afford to pay someone to do my truck.
  19. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,207


    Nice info sharing. I was feeling bad when you said you stopped painting, but felt better when you mentioned your hot rod projects. Happy we didn't lose another hot rodder to golf or stamp collecting. Spray on brother!~sololobo~
  20. On a whim, I bought two of those 10 dollar gravity feed guns from Harbor Fright. I have used them to shoot lacquer and poly on furniture that I have built or refinished. They work just fine. I also have a Binks Model 7 and a Model 18. I quit painting years ago because I wasn't worth a damn, but good technique and materials are more important than a super legatz gun
  21. Yes, I still have and use now and then my Binks 7, one of the finest guns ever produced! Yes, I bought mine over 40 years ago, no I wont part with it!!! LOL
  22. The biggest difference with the cheap guns is they don't last like a $500 gun so they are great for a couple of paint jobs, which is all most non pro's will do, but don't stand up to long term use.
  23. toreadorxlt
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 733

    from Nashua, NH

    I use a Astro DX3 and it lays down base and clear quite nice for a $89 gun.
  24. 1941ihkb5
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 338


    I had my devilbis suction gun for years now and it still lays paint down nice.
  25. D-fens
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 369

    from Huntsville

    The big ticket rigs will give you a better finish, off the gun, with water base and / or high solids clear. If you're spraying in a production shop that can (not to say will) save time and MAYBE make you a little more money.

    On the other hand most us ain't spraying for a living so spending $1200 on a Satajet 2000 don't make much sense.

    I use a mid-price Devillbiss ($350) for single stage and clears, a cheaper version of the same gun for base, a Sharpe mini gun for jambs / touchups, and an old IR gun I bought at Lowes years ago for primer.

    At work I have a Devillbiss starting line kit, and a couple cheapo high pressure guns ( for spraying CARC coating on military equipment).
  26. Flathead Johnny
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 744

    Flathead Johnny
    from MA

    good thread, i will be painting my truck in spring and every bit of information is needed
  27. 70caminoman
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 38


    I'm not sure where you got your price on a sata 2000. But the big dollar 4000 doesnt even go for that. 800 will get you a 4000 at most places and 700 for a 3000, and once you feel a gun like that and see the finish right out of the gun, you never want to use anything else. I'll never give mine up.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,219


    By this reasoning alone from the OP, I could shoot just as well with a $175.00 Hi-Point 9mm as I can with my HK P2000. Yeah, for the 1st few rounds. 70camino is right. To a seasoned pro, a great gun is just short of a luxury item because IT SAVES YOU LABOR WHEN IT COUNTS. To the occaisional painters reading this, I'm sure I could hand you my Iwata for the next coat after your HF gun, 9 out 10 of you wouldn't want to give it back. Does that mean you really need it? Not at all, again using the OP's reasoning. A great gun won't "make you" a great finisher. It will tell you why you spent it every time you fill the cup though. It'll do it for years and years too. Why buy a $200 Dynabrade orbital? Why buy a Dotco grinder? Because that HF orbital could ruin superior metal finishing by how it cuts the base finishes and fillers. They wobble around and dig holes. Of course you can just hand sand it all, but why? If I'm going to buy a tool or piece of equipment, I'm buying the very best I can be it new or used. I won't "settle" on something like that. Hey, why do I need a 10HP Speedair and 205gal of tank? Because I had it, that's why. I got $1500 in the whole get up INCLUDING a single phase 10HP motor on 220. That $650 spent on the motor made my compressor worth $1000 more. I coulda sold it for $1700 in it's 3 phase form to another shop. Then what? Go buy a 5HP bLowes or Tractor Supply version?

    The OP is right, and so are some of the replies. But it's all in the hands of the operator. Great tools are no replacement for knowledge or talent, but added to those 2 things, you can do this with ease. It's a car door...


  29. Yes and No, HF guns are disposable, and thats how i use mine for primer, when worn out it goes in the trash. The finishline guns the OP was talking about are fully supported with rebuild parts and I have been useing them for awhile. And praiseing them on here. For what most folks would be doing they are about the right gun for what they really need. Now a professional painter that is on shop time would certainly be ahead with a more expensive gun. Each has their place in use.
  30. Keep the input coming boys!

    My main reason for the post is that I frequently hear folks complain that they can't afford a decent spray gun . . . maybe they can't, but they do need to know that you can buy a very reasonable product for a fair price.

    In the end, the knowledge of HOW to prep, WHAT materials to use, HOW to paint, HOW to finish and HOW to 'problem solve' is the experience we all desire and what makes great painters . . .

    BUT - if the cost of a high-end spray gun is holding you back from getting started or learning, I say spend less and get started! :D


    Hopefully this thread provides value to the HAMB masses and gets some of you started down the path of learning and ultimately you achieve the satisfaction of being able to paint your own cars. You'll be glad you did!

    I love painting . . . just wish I had more time for it! :rolleyes:


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