The Finishing Store
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Newsletter #182

Greeting from Bill Boxer, Sr. Vice President, Apollo Sprayers International, Inc

In today’s HVLP spray finishing marketplace we see a wide range of equipment. We see extremely inexpensive HVLP spray finishing systems, mid-priced HVLP spray finishing systems and more expensive HVLP spray finishing systems.

We see systems with plastic HVLP spray guns and we see systems that have metal HVLP spray guns and we see systems that have precision engineered HVLP spray guns.

HVLP Turbospray (turbine) spray finishing systems are very versatile, with far reaching capabilities for different applications and spray finishers. On one extreme you have a part time craftsman who needs to create a good finish. On the higher end, you have professional applications and professional finishers who must produce perfect finish results for demanding customers.

When we understand the spray finishing marketplace it can help us understand why there is such a wide product range in HVLP Turbospray (turbine) finishing systems. I hope my article in this month’s newsletter will further your knowledge of this technology.

Special of the Month: Apollo Sprayers Power-3

Turbine HVLP Spray System named a 2017 Top Tool by Wood Magazine

This month Power-3 comes with a Blow Off Tool & a Viscosity Cup,

$58.90 value

CLICK HERE for info on the Power-3


Video on the Basics of Mixing and Diluting Paint, by

Susan “Swooz” Hudson, Artist/Instructor/Researcher at Black Dog Architectural Salvage, Roanoke, Virginia.

Swooz started out as a researcher, but she soon found herself working in the paint studio and custom furniture shop.   

Black Dog Salvage reclaims, repurposes, up-cycles, and recycles everything they can. They hardly ever throw out a thing as they are sure to find some creative way to reuse it. When the craftsmen combine several pieces to create a new piece, it can be a real challenge to find a successful finish that will marry the pieces together and make them one.

That’s where Swooz comes in. As a former Art teacher Swooz has a working knowledge of color, how to mix, blend, texturize, and create interest.

In the following video, Swooz walks you through the basics of mixing and diluting Black Dogs’ furniture paint for spraying. Then watch as the Apollo Sprayer takes over to create an excellent finish.

Featured Article: by Bill Boxer

Here is a very basic understanding of HVLP Turbospray (turbine) spray finishing systems.

HVLP systems are a complete spray finishing systems consisting of three (3) components.

a blower motor in a case housing

an air hose

a spray gun.

There is no air compressor involved or needed with an HVLP turbospray (turbine) spray finishing system. This is an independent stand alone system.

When you spray with an air compressor, you have the ability to increase or decrease air pressure to adjust pressure for different paints, coatings and different viscosities.

With an HVLP turbospray (turbine) finishing system you generally have one fixed pressure. While you can reduce pressure, you cannot increase pressure on a fixed pressure system. (There are exceptions that will be discussed later on).

  1. The motors used in HVLP turbospray (turbine) finishing systems come in different sizes and power/pressure output.
  1. Smaller, lower powered motors, produce a lower maximum pressure to atomize paints and coatings. This means that you are very limited to spraying very easy to apply or thin or low viscosity paints.
  1. As the motor size increases in different models your available pressure is higher which allows the ability to atomize a higher viscosity or more complex paint or coating.
  1. It is important to understand that not all paints will be able to be sprayed or to produce desired results with a smaller or lower powered HVLP turbospray (turbine) finishing systems.
  1. Next part of the HVLP turbospray finishing system is the air hose. Many smaller and lower priced systems come with a shorter air hose. This limits the range of distance from the motor unit to the spray gun and where you are attempting to spray. The shorter air hose is an attempt to achieve higher pressure from a low power motor.
  1. How and where the air hose connects to the spray gun is also important. Lower priced systems only provide a friction style push-in/pull-out connector. This often causes problems when the air hose disconnects when you are spraying and causes finish quality issues.
  1. More expensive equipment generally provides quick connect couplers to the spray gun and motor unit. (some models only provide a screw on hose connector to the motor unit.)
  1. Where the air hose connects to the spray gun is often overlooked or even missed by a potential buyer. Low cost and simple HVLP spray guns (plastic or metal) often have an air hose connection only at the top of the spray gun above the paint flow control. This too is done as an attempt to increase nozzle pressure with a lower powered motor.
  1. A professional HVLP spray gun has the air hose connection into the handle of the spray gun.
  • The last HVLP turbospray (turbine) gun feature to be aware of is bleeder or non-bleeder spray gun. Less expensive systems generally supply a bleeder style spray gun. This means that when the motor unit is turned on air is constantly flowing through the air cap of the spray gun. While this is not necessarily a negative factor, it can be un-nerving to a professional painter who is used to a conventional style spray gun where air and paint come out of the spray gun at the same time. This is called a non-bleeder spray gun. Today, you find both bleeder and non-bleeder style spray guns supplied with HVLP turbospray (turbine) finishing systems.
  • To achieve a good quality finish with any turbospray (turbine) finishing system requires a precision designed and engineered spray gun. Fine quality finishing is all about precision. This is especially true of complex and high quality paints.

In summary: Inexpensive, low powered HVLP turbospray paint systems are limited to simple paints applied at a fairly thin low viscosity. As your demand for professional end results increases so does the quality of equipment needed as well as higher powered HVLP turbospray (turbine) finishing systems provide not only more available air pressure but also features that will provide monitored adjustable power, equipment longevity, knowledgeable housing design around the motor, and an air hose that can absorb daily wear and tear with the smoothest flow of air.

Importance of Design:

Turbospray (turbine) motor housing: Extremely important is the size of the case around the motor, louvered vents and quality of air filtration and circulation. Apollo case design incorporates the highest number of louvered vents, oversized QuadraClean air filters and case design that permits increased air movement and circulation. This interprets to cooler running temperatures and increased equipment longevity.


Turbospray (turbine) motors produce warm air from motor friction. It is important to ventilate this warm air. This is a shortcoming of most other turbospray (turbine) systems manufactured. Additionally, limited ventilation and poor quality air filtration can lead to premature failure of the system.

Air hose quality and design is also important. It needs to be of a material that can withstand solvents and withstand crushing. Internally the air hose needs to be smooth to permit a smooth flow of air delivery. Apollo provides air hose ruggedness, appropriate hose length for specific applications and crush resistant design with an internal steel helix.

The Apollo Atomizer 7500 series spray gun has been noted for flawless design for HVLP turbospray finishing systems. It has multi-faceted features. It can accept any size bottom cup or gravity cup or can be used in a production setting with a pressure pot and a fluid hose. The Atomizer has won multiple awards for design and performance. It is the primary spray gun supplied with all Apollo professional HVLP turbospray (turbine) finishing systems.


It is unfortunate that many manufacturers advertise and project their HVLP turbospray finishing systems as professional when they really are not. They are designed for occasional painters and often for easy to apply paints and coatings. They also falsely advertise that all units will spray every paint. This too is not true or accurate. While it may be possible to spray a more difficult paint through a lower priced and lower powered system, it will require a significant viscosity compromise to reduce the paint to spray properly. Over reduction could compromise the quality and desired results.

It is important to note that Apollo has designed their various product series for their intended market. Apollo has fully addressed each market segment with an appropriate series and HVLP spray gun.

Questions from our Readers:

  • At what point do I fill nail holes with putty?

  • It’s more efficient to use widely available Color Putty or similar product to fill small nail or brad holes in furniture after the sealer coat has been applied than it is to use wood putty before applying the stain and finish.

There are three reasons.

First, using Color Putty after the sealer coat but before the topcoat is much faster. With a little putty on your finger, you can move from one hole to the next very quickly, wiping off the excess as you go.

Second, you don’t have to wait for the putty to dry before sanding smooth as you do with either water-based or solvent-based wood putty.

Third, you have a much better idea of the matching color to use after you have applied a coat of finish than you do on the raw wood before applying a stain or finish.

  • Can I remove wine stains from unfinished wood?

  • Here are two methods for removing stains caused by spilled red wine on unfinished wood—for example, on a butcher-block countertop.
  • Mix some Oxi-Clean with water to make a paste and put it on the affected area. Check after a few minutes to be sure it’s doing something. If so, leave it for a short time until the wine stain is removed.
    2.  Scrub the wood with a scouring powder, such as Ajax, that contains a little chlorine bleach.

If either of these methods leaves a lighter spot on the wood, apply the cleaning solution to the entire surface so it will be an even color.

Following is a question that has been asked many times.

  • What is the difference between dyes and pigments?
  • The difference between a dye and a pigment is that dye dissolves in a liquid and pigment doesn’t. Therefore, dye doesn’t settle in a can or jar, but pigment does and has to be stirred back into suspension before using.

Dyes are available in powder and liquid form. If in powder form, you have to dissolve the dye in the appropriate liquid—usually water, alcohol or acetone. Instructions will tell you which. In liquid form, dyes are available concentrated (for you to thin), and already thinned with the appropriate liquid.

What makes dyes and pigments confusing is that they can be used together in a stain, and they often are in common off-the-shelf stains available in paint stores and home centers.

This doesn’t cause any problem for application, and it doesn’t make much difference for appearance. But you need to be aware that the dye part of a stain can bleach out in sunlight, leaving only the pigment part remaining. This will almost always change the appearance of the stain on the wood quite noticeably.

Take a Break and Have Some Fun!

See how many words you can find. Look for words horizontally and vertically. You can print this page, including the puzzle, work offline and then highlight words as you find them.

 Mix and Spray