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High Pressure, Low Volume paint system

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Disclaimer: These IAC pages are developed by individual IAC members and do not represent official IAC policy or opinion.

Collected by: Lin Oakley (


From:Lin Oakley (

Am going to buy a high pressure low volume paint system to paint my Eagle Project. Can any of you builders recommend the most appropriate Brand and Model?


From: Damon Wack []

As far as I can tell there are two manufacturers available, Graco and Fastech. I have used a Croix, which is now Graco, and it worked great. I purchased, but haven't used yet, the Citation system from Fastech, mainly because it has a fresh air breather system with it, important for shooting polyureathanes. The main difference I saw between systems is the Graco has a superior filter system, which would be nice if you are shooting in the same room with the turbine unit, but since I am using the breather system I am going to build a good booth and remove the turbine unit to a well separate area. Folks who are used to compressor systems generally don't like HVLP, because of orange peel, but once you learn how to thin the mix you will have no problem. You will use a lot less paint, but a LOT more thinner!

From: Jeff Smith []

I've been pretty happy with my Walcom Geo FZ '97. It is fairly unique in that it uses a standard air compressor and needs only about 5-8 CFPM air flow, so a regular shop compressor works fine. The HVLP guns in the past that used compressors needed a very large volume of air. The other nice thing is that the air is not warmed, as it is on turbine HVLP guns. I bought this one based on the advice of the paint manufacturer, I am using a water-borne polyurethane, he recommended this one as it really atomizes that paint well. Here's a web site for you that gives more detail on the gun, look under the "geo system" menu for the FZ '97.

From: Rob []

Painted the Poly-Fiber system on our SkyDancer SD-260 with a Croix 9 system and loved it.

From: Hal Hitchcock []

I have been using the Croix system (the name has been changed) for painting my Eagle. It is a great system to use. First off, what paint are you using? For Imron, there is absolutely no problem. Just mix the paint, thin it slightly, and spray. For other paints, I have had more problems than I want to think about. It took alot of trial and error to find the correct method. First mix paint and catalyst. Then thin it out. For 8 ozs. of paint, I thin about 1-2 ozs. depending on how thick the paint is. White is pretty thin, darker colors are thicker. Spraying at full air, I back off the paint flow considerably. Spray the first coat to tack. Should look like dusty paint. Wait 20 minutes, or until you can touch the tape and not have any paint come off on your finger. This is time and temp dependant. Spray a second coat. This may or may not cover. Again wait. The third coat is usually my finish coat. I'm spraying for final cover and smoothness. Each coat I open up the needle a little more for paint, still 100% air.

How does it work? Well, I sprayed an entire Citabria fuselage tubing on 2 quarts. Wings for my Eagle were about 2-3 quarts. At $100/gal. for paint, you get the idea. You can accomplish the same with compressed air, but the HVLP system is superior in many different ways. First, the overspray is very minimal. However, I still have 2 exaust fans everytime I spray. Second, an HVLP gun is adjustable every which way. You can increase/decrease air, same for paint. I have horizontal, vertical and circle spray patterns. But the biggest is the fumes/overspray are minimal. Your cost is cheaper because you are spraying as much paint.

© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn