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Can I use the same spray gun for primer, basecoat, and clearcoat?

Yes, as long as the spraying is even, the atomization effect is good; clean up thoroughly does not affect the next spraying operation. You can use the same gun to carry out. However, considering the time cost and the effect of spraying, we are recommended to use different guns for primer, basecoat, and clearcoat.


Why? Let’s start with some simple knowledge about car painting.


The composition of the automotive paint is elementary, with a total of three layers, primer, basecoat, and clearcoat.

3 lays of auto paint: primer, basecoat, clearcoat
  • Primer: Mainly play the rust proofing and covering, attached to the top of the metal plate, located at the bottom of the paint, generally appearing as gray, black, white. This layer is not visible on the paint surface.
  • Basecoat: The surface layer, which is the colorful paint, the bright visual display is determined by it, located in the middle layer of the auto paint. Presently, the most widely used paint is regular water-based paint, metal paint, and pearl paint. Among them, metal paint is based on regular water-based paint, added aluminum powder, copper powder, and other metal particles. Pearl paint is adding pearlescent powder, mica flakes, and other substances based on ordinary paint. These two kinds of color paint are visually more beautiful and brighter than ordinary paint.
  • Varnish/Clearcoat: Also known as glossy paint, glossy oil, etc., attached to the basecoat to protect at the same time, but also can give a beautiful feeling. it’s located in the outermost layer of the car paint.

Why using separate spray guns for automotive painting?

  1. Saving time 

The purpose of auto painting depends on the type of gun and the material. Using the same spray gun needs to be cleaned several times, which usually takes a long time. Disassembly and reassembly, from the gun’s needle, nozzle, air passage, airflow cap, every accessory must not have residual paint on it because it will significantly affect the color of the paint in the following process. Therefore, having three guns for different purposes reduces the cleaning effort and allows you to start spraying quickly.

  1. Improving efficiency

The primer paint is more viscous. Spraying requires a thicker paint surface to play a masking role. Using large size spray guns will be better, such as our BFC 1.6mm for primer. Basecoat and varnish painting need to be colored and glossy. Uniform, light, and thin atomizing effect is required. Small size of the nozzle is available, such as our EFC 1.3mm with good handling and long hours of operation will not tire the hands. If using the same gun needs to be replaced when spraying, which reduces working efficiency.

  1. Good Performance

Usually, the color of the primer is black or gray, and if using the same gun, it is easy to cause faint stains when spraying basecoat or varnish if not well cleaned, which affects whole performance. If separate, you won’t worry about such trouble.


Many professional automotive painters always have more than 2 guns to change for different spraying requirements, and at the same time to reduce time wasted on cleaning and replacing the nozzles. However, you can start with an affordable, cost-effective gun for spraying enthusiasts, such as the AFC APR 1.3mm. It can meet most of the spraying situations.

For more information or inquiry, please leave your comments below or contact us directly.

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