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Automotive Painting Skills- Controlling your spraying distance

Did you know? The spraying distance is an essential factor that affects the spraying performance. The spraying distance is close enough to make the object’s surface very thick, and it is far away to increase the flying dispersion on the surface. If you pay attention to controlling the distance when spraying, you can save paint and time.

Spraying distance

What is the Spraying Distance?

Spraying distance refers to the distance from the gun tip to the surface of the painting objects.


The different types of spray guns always have their spraying distances. For example, airless guns use high pressure to atomize the paint directly, so the spraying distance is generally farther, usually in 10-12 inches; conventional high-pressure spray guns in 7.87inches; low-pressure spray guns are closer in 6.29-7.09 inches.


This article focuses on low-pressure eco-friendly spray guns, mainly for automotive painting spray guns, and which aspects are affected by the spraying distance.

  1. The atomization zone required the spraying distance.

We called best spraying range, mainly to see the atomization zone in the field of how far away from the gun head to the surface, the shape is perfect. Generally, there are three stages of atomization zone:

  • Central wetting zone
  • Atomization zone,
  • Overspray zone.
3 stages of atomization zone
3 stages of atomization zone

If the gun head and the spraying surface are at the proper distance, the atomization zone has the most uniform, fine particles, and small flyaway area. For instance, we often spray the topcoat with a low-pressure spray gun. The best spraying distance is 170-200mm if the HVLP type is 150-170mm to form the best atomization performance.

2. Painting requirements and environmental conditions influenced the spraying distance.

If the air compressor is far away from the object, connecting a long air hose is necessary. And if the spraying air hose is too long, the air pressure will be reduced, especially in the absence of a regulator, so it is not good to control the distance; At the same time, with the thickness of the paint required, the need to spray primer or topcoat. The primer requires thicker paint so that you can get closer; the basecoat requires a lighter, thinner, more even paint so that you can get a little further away.

3. The characteristics of paints required the spray distance

  • Water-based and solvent-based paints: 

Water-based paints have high requirements in temperature. Because of its easy volatility, too hot or too cold can easily affect the spraying performance. Too close distance will lead to hanging; the effect is not good too far. Solvent-based paint requirements are relatively low, so a certain distance can be sprayed very well when controlling the distance, as long as the appropriate environment.

  • Basecoat and clearcoat paints:

Basecoat paint is mainly the role of coloring; spraying distance is not easy to easily cause color differences. And clearcoat is the role of varnish, brightening, for the paint requires a higher density, so the spraying distance is generally closer so that the formation of the film the brighter.

PRIMER BASECOAT CLEARCOAT

4. Experiences of painters required the spray distance

A skilled and experienced paint master, his control of the spraying distance is perfect, while the control of the speed of each move is also very regular, just like the installation of the program of the spraying machine. This way, the sprayed paint surface is the most uniform and translucent. By judging the spraying target and setting the distance, the paint is saved, and the efficiency of the spraying master is effectively improved.

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