7 Tools to get you Started as a Spray Painter

If you are looking to jump into the world of professional spray painting or are an experienced painter, there are a few tools that are absolutely necessary in order to improve your work in the spray booth, improve efficiency, and keep you safe. Here is a good list to check off:

Certified Respirator or Supplied Air Respirator

Staying safe in the spray booth is number one priority. Spending money on a quality, certified respirator or air supplied system may not seem as cool as spending money on a spray gun but your future self, and wallet will thank you. Respirator masks prevent many microscopic and scent-free particles from entering your airways during the paint application process. Respirators offer protection against chemicals, solvents, harmful vapors and mold spores.

In any refinishing situation it is always a good idea to have fresh air to breathe. Respirators and SAR (Supplied Air Respirator) are your lungs’ first line of defense in these environments. There are many places that make inexpensive respirators, but please never take chances when it comes to your health.

A good respirator we recommend would be the SATA Air Vision 5000 Fresh Air System. This system has a carbon set and a standard. The carbon set has an activated charcoal filter, and compressed air-fed breathing protection equipment. It runs about $1400 USD. But if you are looking for a more affordable option, you could look at any of the full or half mask respirators by 3M. They range anywhere from $30 USD to $300.

Reliable Spray Paint Gun

Another very important tool every painter needs is a quality spray gun. Without this, the paint job itself will lack precision, waste materials, and lack professionalism.

My personal favorite starter spray gun is the Anest Iwata LPH-400. The spray gun is a lower cost to entry, lightweight, wonderful spray pattern, and if set up correctly can be used as both a base and a clear coat spray gun. Any spray paint guns by Anest Iwata, SATA, Devilbiss, or Walcom are all really good quality. Spray guns from these manufactures can range in cost from $250 USD all the way up to $1250 USD. Understand the need and purpose for your paint gun before purchasing as these different variations of spray guns offer different spray gun functionality. For example, spray pattern, high volume low pressure, reduced pressure, needle sizes, etc., all play a role in how the gun will spray.

painter painting a vehicle bumper with LED spray paint gun.

Spray Gun Light Attachment / Color Matching Tool

Lighting is an incredibly important part of the refinishing process. Good lighting can make the difference between a great finish and a redo. Also it never hurts to have a tool that helps you color match. Understanding the color before, during and after can determine if the paint job is successful. Good accurate lighting helps a refinishing technician visualize the way a spray pattern is being applied to the surface. Blotchy metallic, inconsonant pearls, transparent colors, and uneven clear coat passes can all be avoided with a good lighting setup.

There are tools that scan the paint to give you the same or similar color code, but they can be a bit pricey and a bit finicky. Luma III makes a spray gun light attachment called the Aurora 2 Spray Gun Light that allows you to color match as you spray. The Aurora two is also easily portable and far less expensive.

Quality Reusable Spray Paint Suit

Spray paint suits are very useful to have in the booth. They keep you clean, protected, and comfortable during the application process. 

 There are so many suits out there to choose from, so how do you know which one is best for you? These are some features you should look for in a quality spray painter coverall.

  • Anti-Static Material
    • Having an Anti-Static Spray Paint Suit plays a major factor when it comes to picking a spray suit. If your spray suit is anti-static, it prevents small dust particles from sticking to you and potentially transferring to your paint job.

       

  • Adjustable
    • People are different shapes and sizes, so having an adjustable suit helps you stay comfortable in the spray booth.
  • Hood
    • Having a hood on your spray suit is good for a couple reasons. One, it protects your hair and skin from the paint particles and keeps you clean. The second reason is that it covers your hair and prevents any loose hairs from falling on your paint job. 
  • Durable
    • Of course you want a durable spray suit. Some can tear easily, so make sure you get one with good fabric and sturdy zippers. 
  • Reusable
    • Reusable spray suits are more durable and will save you money over time. Not to mention, they are better for the environment.

Some good spray suits to consider are Devilbiss, Walcom, Motivated Painters, and Sata. Luma III also has an amazing spray paint suit that has all of the above plus knee pads and ventilation to ensure maximum comfort. 

Disposable mixing cup system (PPS, D cups, SATA cups)

Disposable Mixing Cups can save you up to 50% and more over the cost of mixing with traditional mix cups. Not to mention all of the solvents and thinner saved when having to clean your metal spray gun cup. This is a good, quick investment for any refinisher who is painting a couple times a week. Cleaning up is easy and far more efficient, getting you on to the next project quicker.

Some of the mixing cup systems we recommend are the 3m PPS systemDevilbiss D cups, and SATA cups.

However, if you are wanting to be more environmentally friendly, they have metal and plastic cups that are reusable.

In the Booth Storage

Having storage inside the booth is a good idea to prevent outside dust and dirt off your equipment. The less you have to move from outside to inside of your spray area (and vice versa) the better. We are constantly carrying dust, skin flakes, hair, and thousands of other microscopic contaminants that can compromise the quality of a good spray job. Good booth storage for degreasing, last minute taping, and holding your tools goes a long way to helping painters turn out great results.

Hang your Hose

Dirt and dust can easily get transferred onto your paint job from your air hose. It is common for painters to toss their air hose onto the ground when they finish painting, but if you have a system to hang your hose, it will be one less thing to worry about carrying contaminants into your spray job.

 One that we recommend is the Air Hose Hang System made by Luma III. It is a durable magnetic holder that attaches to any booth wall. 

Click here to see a video of how it works.

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7 Tools to get you Started as a Spray Painter
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7 Tools to get you Started as a Spray Painter
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Whether you are spray painting at home or working for a body shop, there are tools necessary to the craft that will improve your work in the booth.
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Luma III
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