How To Use Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun

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In this article, we will be sharing with you all about How To Use Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun. Harbor Freight is one of the most popular stores that can offer some great beginners tools. One such amazing tool is the Harbor Freight HVLP Spray gun. If you have the gun and wish to use it properly, then keep reading further to know-how.

Harbor Freight HVLP Spray gun is one of the most useful and amazing tools, especially for beginners. But if you do not know how to use this tool, then you can take the help of the below article to use the spray gun.

Basics of Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun

Once you know the parts of the spray gun and which part of the gun performs what functions. Then it will be easier for you to use the gun. Given below are all the parts of the gun that you need to know.

Pressure Control

The Harbor Freight spray gun allows you to control its pressure. You can set the pressure of the gun to the level you want and then pull the trigger. Just make sure that you keep the valve at the bottom of the handle when doing so. After that, you can slowly open the valve till the air volume remains the same. You will have to decide about the right air volume through the noise of the gun and then decide intuitively.

Fan Control

You will see a Fan Control knob present on the back of the HVLP Spray gun. The knob controls the diameter through which the paint is sprayed out of the gun. As you open the knob back, the diameter will get bigger. If you are a beginner, we will recommend you to keep the knob open till the count of 2 or 3.

As you set the knob, you can test it on a random test surface. Also note that, when you first press the trigger, only air will come out of the gun. So give it some time and then the paint will start coming out. Just make sure that you hold the gun at least 6 to 8 inches away from the surface that you want to paint.

Fluid Volume Control 

Yet another helpful knob that is present on the backside of the gun can help you in controlling the volume of the fluid which is sprayed out. To use this knob, you will have to do so while the trigger is on.

The importance of keeping the gun at the right volume is that the paint will not run when you sweep the gun in any direction while painting. You can see the instruction manual of the gun to know more about the uses of the Fluid Volume Control Knob.


Whenever a user takes apart the gun to see how to clean an HVLP spray gun, then they will come across a long metal-like part which is called the Needle. It can vary in size from 1.4 needles to 1.8 needles.  If you are using thicker paints, then using a larger needle of size 1.8 would be recommended. Certainly, the smaller needle of size 1.4 can be used for thinner paints.

How To Use Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun

Now that you have understood the anatomy of Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun, here is how you can use the spray gun to paint any surface with ease and in less time.  But before we begin, know what is the mechanism of a paint spray gun –

When the trigger is turned on, the paint comes to the nozzle from the inside, then the air reaches the nozzle from the air inlet and both mix at the nozzle. The paint will turn into little droplets and fly out of the gun. These droplets then hit and paint the surface in a seamless and smooth manner providing a silky surface as the end result.

Follow the below steps in the same manner to get such smooth results.

How To Use Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun

Step 1: Fill in the Paint

The first thing you would need to do while using a spray gun to paint fills it with paint. Just take the paint you want to get on the surface and fill it in the cup. We would recommend the use of a funnel or a disposable paint filter to make the process less gross. Once you are done filling the cup, attach it to the gun. Then proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Get a Test Surface

Now that you have paint in your gun, we will get a test of how it will turn out on a surface. You can either use cardboard or anything similar to test the gun and its paint. This way you will get an idea of how the paint is getting on the surface. Depending on the result of this test, we will be setting up the gun in the next 3 steps from step 3 to step 5.

Step 3: Select the Air Pressure

The first thing we need in adjusting is the Air Pressure. In case the pressure is very low, it will just crank up. If the pressure is too high, you will see that the paint sprays everywhere. So adjust the knob to a medium level.

Step 4: Choose the Fan Control

Now is the time to adjust the fan control. The topmost knob that you see on the gun is the Fan Control. Just switch the orientation of the fan depending on the type of paint that you are using. If the Knob is in, you will be able to make dots or lines of paint. In case the Knob is out, then you will get a wide coverage panel. Thus, if you are painting a smaller or larger surface, adjust the knob accordingly.

Step 5: Select the Paint Volume

Once you have adjusted the above knobs, now is the time to adjust the paint volume. The paint volume knob will be present just below the fan control knob. This knob will be helpful in making space for the needle to back out thus creating space for the paint inside the gun.

The more you take the knob out, the more space will be available for the paint. We recommend you to screw the knob out slowly till you get an opaque coverage of the paint.

Step 6: Paint!

That was it all. You have made the Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun ready to use now. Just take it and start painting!


I want to paint a small object. How do I adjust the gun for that?

If you want to paint a small object, you need to make sure that the fan control knob is all in before you start spraying. This fan control knob when in, will give a smaller spray coverage which is ideal if you are painting small objects.

What do I do if the paint droplets are way too large?

If the paint droplets are too large, then this means that the air pressure in your spray gun is very low. Increase the air pressure and then check the size of the droplets.

What to do if I am not getting enough coverage of the paint at one go?

If you are not getting enough coverage of the paint in one go, this could be because you are allowing little paint to get out of the gun. You can do this right by loosening the needle and screwing the paint volume knob out. This will let you get more paint coverage.

Concluding Words

That was it all about How To Use Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun. We know that using a spray gun can become quite difficult. A little mistake and all of your surface could get ruined. If you do not know the settings on it or how to manage them to get the best results then the above guide can be very helpful.

Do let us know about your experience with Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun in the comments section below. We will be glad to hear you out.

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