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Newsletter #138

The Original Is Still the Best, Buyer Beware of Copies.

For over 46 years Apollo Sprayers International, Inc. has been recognized as the HVLP innovator, producer and manufacturer worldwide of TrueHVLP™ spray guns and TrueHVLP™ Mobile Turbo Spray Systems. Throughout its history Apollo has introduced many “HVLP firsts” and proudly accepted multiple awards for its creativity and originality in HVLP technology and spray equipment. In fact, Apollo Sprayers International is the oldest continuous and original company solely manufacturing HVLP technology.

We live in a competitive world. When something is successful, be it written, a concept, a design or a product, it is open to being copied unless the concept or design is patentable. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, however, sometimes imitation can equal irritation.

At Apollo we pride ourselves on designing our products to be original and innovative. In addition, we have sought to improve the HVLP technology concepts to benefit craftspeople and finishers desiring the best that HVLP technology has to offer. Many of the products and concepts we introduce are the direct result of feedback from industry experts, spray finishers and coatings producers.

As the importance of HVLP technology continues to grow and be discovered by more industrial sectors and professionals, product demand increases. With this demand we began to see more and more copying. I bring this to your attention as a product consumer, to carefully look at product origins, company history and to look for subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences.

Recently I did a double take when I saw an exact replica of one of our professional series turbine models. A close look at the photo revealed a few minor alterations. That was the giveaway. For example, Apollo Green Machine™ turbines have a green body and a red base. The copy was all green including the base. Apollo uses custom-made black quick-disconnect couplers while the copy had stock brass couplers. Finally a close look at the photo revealed an alternative spray gun. The copy went so far as to imitate the serial number decal.

In another industry supplied by Apollo, UV Sunless HVLP, one supplier (not even a manufacturer) was so bold as to duplicate the design of a very popular system, give it a similar name and pass it off to unsuspecting customers as an Apollo product at very low cost. A closer look inside and out revealed many flaws and differences.

A few years back we discovered an HVLP manufacturer had exactly copied the front head and nozzle design from a successful Apollo series spray gun. We knew it would not be too long until an HVLP manufacturer took our most successful award-winning HVLP spray gun concept and design, the Atomizer™ 7500, and attempt to duplicate it and then pass it off as new and innovative. Oh, there are a few minor differences, but it’s not hard to figure out where the shape, concept and even talking points came from.

I guess my point to all of this is to bring to everyone’s attention that developing new concepts and ideas takes time, thinking, testing, modifying, not to mention cost, before introducing it to you, the consumer. Whether it is plagiarism of the written word (we’ve seen this happen along the way as well) or product copying, there should be a clear message to the customer why some companies are market leaders while others trail far behind. Some customers will always buy on price, but, as the saying goes, “let the buyer beware.”

Apollo will continue to serve the HVLP market with top quality products. I can assure you that you are getting the newest original technology, combined with our years of experience and relationships with various industries and our Apollo Community.


Sr. Vice President

Apollo Sprayer International, Inc.


We Want to Showcase Great Finishing, Send Us Your Photos!

There’s nothing that loves more than wonderful finishing. We want to showcase your work to the world, so please submit photo examples of your finishing projects, along with your name, contact information and any details of how you achieved the finish, woods used, etc. to our Facebook page. Any images we feature on Facebook will be placed in a permanent site which we are constructing now. We’re excited to see your work and creativity. When you go to our Facebook page, don’t forget to “like” us. Thanks!


Meet Us at AWFS Las Vegas, Booth 4158, Enter to Win Valuable Prizes!eco3gun1.jpg 

John Darroch, President and CEO of Apollo Sprayers and invites all AWFS attendees and prospective distributors to see the ECO-series turbines as well as all of the advanced POWER, PRODUCTION and PRECSION Series at the Apollo Sprayers Booth # 4158. He said, “AWFS is a great opportunity for our customers and friends to see our newest HVLP range, the ECO-Series, and all of our great American-made products!” 

What’s more, Apollo Sprayers International, Inc., parent company of will be giving away two signature HVLP products during AWFS Vegas 2013. Visitors to the Apollo Booth #4158, can enter by leaving their business cards, or name, address and email address to add to the drawings throughout the AWFS® Vegas show.

Drawing 1:
A NEW ASI-HVLP ECO-3, a USA-made ECO-logical and ECO-nomical 3 stage turbine system
John Darroch said; “Our new ECO-Series of 3, 4 and 5 stage HVLP turbine systems provide exceptional performance specifically geared toward small workshop applications. “ This efficient 3-stage turbine with new dual filter QT™ Quiet Technology is housed in a thoughtfully designed case to allow full ventilation and air filtration for performance and longevity. Users can expect more power and pressure than other 3 stage turbine systems in its class. Drawing to be held at 2pm on July 27, the closing day of the show.

Drawing 2:
Apollo 8200 Conversion Tri-Mode Production Spray Gun
The Apollo 8200 Super-Spray® gun is a high performance HVLP spray gun that provides superb atomization along with high HVLP efficiency. Combine ultra-fast speed of application with our precise Xpansive™ Fan Control Ring and you have the ultimate HVLP spray gun and the lowest overspray. Drawing to be held at 2pm on Thursday, July 25

Employees of Apollo,  or their distributors are not eligible for participation in the drawing. If you have questions, you can reach us at [email protected]: or call (888) 900-HVLP (4857).


Product of the Month: ASI-HVLP ECO-4, More Power to Do Moreeco4gun1-1-.jpg

The new ECO-4 HVLP turbine system from ASI-HVLP by Apollo is an efficient 4-stage turbine with new dual filter QT™ Quiet Technology in a thoughtfully designed case to allow full ventilation and air filtration for performance and longevity. Expect 12% more power and pressure than other 4-stage turbine systems in its class. ECO-4 is supplied with a choice between two high quality Apollo Spray Guns. Great to spray a wide range of thin to medium viscosity finishes on wood projects, cars, boats, planes, fencing and more.


Finishing Feature Article: Fine Finish Spraying: Not a High Pressure Situation by Scott Burt

Sprayer selection for finishing projects is really a simple matter, which has only become complicated by the fantasy of having one type of tool technology that can do it all. This dream doesn’t just apply to sprayers, but all tool types in general. Everyone wants to find the one tool that can “do it all”. It’s a nice thought, but really doesn’t coincide with the realities of finishing.

Because I deal mostly in the realm of professional paint contracting, I see a lot of cases where people try to drag that dream into existence by misusing that archaic weapon of mass atomization called the airless sprayer. If a painter has just one sprayer, it is most likely an airless pump, and they try to do everything with it. There was a time when you just about could, but that time has passed.

In the past decade, paint products have changed dramatically. Because of heightened VOC regulations, we have all witnessed the long drawn out swing of the formulation pendulum back around to waterborne finishes, and away from oil/solvent based products. As a result, the fine finish limitations of the airless sprayer have become glaringly apparent in the realm of fine finishing. This time around, the waterborne finishes are really good, viable replacements for oil. They are here to stay,READ MORE


Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner 

Combining Water-Based and Oil-Based Productsvarnish-left-and-water-based-finish-right-.jpg

Water and oil don’t mix, but water-based and oil-based finishing products can be combined as long as the previous coat is dry. Water dries considerably faster than oil so you can apply an oil-based finishing product over a water-based product within a couple of hours. On the other hand, you should allow at least overnight, and often several days, before applying a water-based product over an oil-based product or you may get wrinkling or poor bonding.Varnish is on the left in the photo, waterbased is on the right.


Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner 

Finishes for Wood Floors

The two key considerations in choosing a wood-floor finish are resistance to scratches and the large surface to be covered.

To stand up to abuse, you need a very durable finish, and to avoid filling the room with overspray that will settle and stick to the finish, you need one that dries slowly enough so it can be applied by hand. The two best choices are oil-based polyurethane and water-based polyurethane.

Oil-based polyurethane is more durable than water-based, but it has a strong odor that hangs around for several days, and it has a slight orange coloring (usually referred to as “yellowing”). Water-based polyurethane has very little odor, almost no coloring, and it’s much easier to clean up. Water-based polyurethane also dries relatively rapidly. So you have to work much faster, being sure to keep a “wet edge” so overlaps don’t show.

Oil-based polyurethane is the best choice if the color and odor aren’t problems. Water-based polyurethane is the best choice if you want to preserve the color of a pickled or very light wood, or if odor is a problem. You may be able to buy a more durable, two-part, water-based polyurethane from a flooring-supply store. Be sure to check on the toxicity of the product and the safety precautions you should take. Use a large brush, sponge mop or lamb’s wool pad to apply oil-based polyurethane.

Use a large brush or paint pad to apply water-based polyurethane. A paint tray provides a convenient reservoir to hold the material.

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner 

Stripping with Solvent

With shellac and lacquer finishes, which are the finishes used on almost all old furniture and woodwork, you can use their solvent for stripping instead of a paint-and-varnish remover. Depending on the object being stripped, I often find this method easier in the sense of spending less total time. It’s also less messy.

Use denatured alcohol for shellac and lacquer thinner for lacquer. You can test the finish to find out which it is by dabbing a little of each solvent onto the finish. The alcohol will soften shellac and make it sticky or remove it. Lacquer thinner will do the same to lacquer.

Spread some paper towels (or cotton rags) over the surface and pour on the appropriate solvent to thoroughly wet the towels. Keep wet for 10 or 20 minutes, or until you can wipe off all the finish quickly and easily. If you have done a good job, a quick wipe with a towel or rag soaked with the solvent will clean up any remaining finish residue.

One advantage of using this method of stripping is that you don’t have to mess with removing the wax that is included in many strippers to slow their evaporation. This wax causes many refinishing problems, because people often don’t get enough of it removed.