HVLP painting - help needed

Mike Arman armanmik at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 21 19:00:47 EDT 2005

I'm having a bad time using a Fuji Q3 HVLP spray system, and I need some 

Using a #3 tip, I find I am able to do a reasonably good job with Corlar 
(epoxy) primer. I don't get many runs, but sometimes I do get some orange 
peel, which I understand is from putting too much paint on and/or being too 
close. I can sand the Corlar down smooth, and come back to it - I'm by no 
means good at it, but with enough cussing and sufficient tries, it works OK.

The problem is when I try to spray the Imron top coat - this stuff is too 
expensive to screw up, and I am screwing it up royally. I have gotten the 
correct finish, deep, smooth, shiny "wet look", ONE time - and everything 
else has been an unmitigated disaster - orange peel, rough surfaces, no 
shine, thin spots, runs, occasional drips, and of course every bug and leaf 
in the entire state insists on admiring the wet paint close up and 
personally, and commits hari-kari, flopping and struggling in the drying 
paint . . .

I'm following the instructions on mixing the Corlar (mix per ratio on can, 
thin to 20 seconds in drip cup, wait three hours, then spray) and on the 
Imron (mix per ratio on can, spray any time), and I think I have the 
correct nozzle size (#3). The end of the needle is flush with the nozzle 
with the trigger in the off position. The air supply from the turbine isn't 

Can someone in this group send me some words of wisdom on this? I'm making 
a godawful, expensive, frustrating mess, and I am going to have to strip 
and redo more than a few items because they have turned out just plain 
awful. I'd like to learn how to do this right, because I am becoming right 
weary of doing it wrong over and over, not to mention the serious amounts 
of time and money (Imron is EXPENSIVE, and a lot of paint goes a short way) 
I'm wasting.

If the word is "do the prep and let someone else do the finish coat", I can 
handle that, but I cannot believe it is THAT complicated. Do I need to wait 
for five minutes, ten minutes, a week between coats? Should I paint 
vertically, horizontally, or standing on my head? Am I better off trying 
this early in the AM or late afternoon, should I wait until it is cooler 
outside and the humidity is lower, do I make a human sacrifice to DuPont?

Help Help Help -I confess to rapidly discovering that I am clueless here, 
and I need some advice.

Mike Arman
90 V8, not just a car, an ADVENTURE!

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