K.C. Body Shop Supply

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Common Spray Gun Problems and How to Fix Them

A good, functioning spray gun is your most important tool  when refinishing autos. If it’s not working the way it should be, you may be in trouble. Here are a few of the most common paint gun issues, along with some tips on how to fix them.

Problem: Paint is sputtering (fluttering) from your gun

Cause: The most common cause is air leaking around a loose fluid nozzle.

Fix: Tighten the fluid nozzle.

Problem: You have an uneven or inconsistent spray pattern.

Cause: Your air cap is plugged or worn and must be replaced.

Fix: Remove your air cap, then clean or replace it. (The cap is brass, so you should use only a non-metallic point when cleaning).

Problem: Your gun is leaking from behind and in front of the trigger area.

Cause: Your Teflon packing is worn.

Fix: Replace the Teflon packing.

Problem: You have incorrect atomization.

Causes: Your inlet pressure is too low or high or the spray material is too thick or thin.

Fix: Adjust the air pressure and/or the product viscosity.

Problem: You are getting runs and sags in your spray pattern.

Causes: You are getting too much material flow or the product viscosity is too thin, or you are tilting the gun at an angle.

Fixes: Adjust the gun or reduce the fluid pressure, mix the product properly, apply lighter coats, or hold the gun at the proper angle related to the surface.

Problem: Your spray surface is thick (it looks like an orange peel) with too much coarse material embedded in it.

Causes: You are spraying too close to the surface, the air pressure is too low, the material is not properly thinned or mixed, or the surface is rough, oily, or dirty.

Fix: Adjust the distance of your spray, increase the air pressure, or reduce the fluid pressure. Follow the paint manufacturer’s mixing instructions. Properly clean and prepare the surface.

Problem: Your spray is too dry.

Causes: Your air pressure is too high, the material has not been properly reduced, you are spraying too far from the surface, or you are spraying too fast.

Fixes: Decrease the air pressure, reduce the material to the right consistency, or adjust the distance or speed of your spray.

Following these tips will help keep your spray gun in good working order on your next paint job.