A Clean Spray Gun is Worth Gold – Properly Cleaning Your Paint Gun

Another important step in auto painting is to properly clean and maintain your tools and equipment. This article is going to emphasize properly cleaning your spray gun.

You Made It This Far
One of the common problems that I have seen as an instructor is students trying to paint with pattern problems. An improperly cleaned paint gun can cause a number of problems, which could have been prevented if the spray gun would have been properly cleaned the prior use. You spent hours repairing and prepping this car, don’t let a dirty spray gun ruin it for you.

It is really simple to prevent many of the spraying problems by proper cleaning. The key is to clean it each time that you use the spray gun. There are different cleaning systems, but they are all designed to remove all coatings from inside and outside of the gun. Once the gun is clean you can wipe it dry and store it for the next use.

No Lunch Breaks
Another thing that you don’t want to do is to finish painting a car and decide to go to lunch before cleaning the gun. If you do, it may be too late. All catalyzed products have a pot life. This is the time you have airbrush makeup once the chemicals are mixed together before it starts to harden. Many of the coating that we use have a 30 minute or less pot life. Therefore, if you finished clear coating a car and decide to clean up and go to lunch, you may come back to a gun full of jell. This makes it very difficult to clean the gun. It now may require a full tear down and thoroughly clean each part. No lunch breaks, clean it immediately after each use.

Cleaning Procedure
Cleaning procedures will vary depending on what type of gun cleaner you have, but I think there a few basic guideline to follow.

Always keep safety first. Wear gloves, eye protection, and a paint respirator to protect yourself from the chemicals.

Poor all left over coatings into an approved container. This may be a recycling system or a container like a 55 gallon drum. If you store this waste, you must treat it like hazardous waste. You will need to have a company like Safety Clean haul it off for you.

Clean the tip and fluid nozzle thoroughly with lacquer thinner and a brush. This is where most of the problems are caused from.

Clean the remaining parts of the gun with brush or put into gun washer.

Put a little clean lacquer thinner into the cup and put the lid on and shake. Then pull the trigger allowing the thinner to run through the gun.

Once it is empty, dry with a clean cloth.

Now it is ready for storage.
Every Step Is A Crucial Part For The Professional
If you will properly clean your gun after using it each time, you will not have many of the spray gun problems. We’ll talk about the different problems and how to correct them in another article. However, properly maintaining and cleaning your tools and equipment is a crucial part of this business. If you want to be the best, you must learn to perform every step properly and to the best of your abilities. That is what it takes to be a professional in this industry.

by Donnie Smith

If you would like to learn more about gun adjustments, spraying techniques, videos, and resources visit my website at Iwata Spray Guns Training. Donnie Smith has been in the collision repair industry for over 20 years and has been teaching it to others for 7 years and is ready to teach you more about auto body and paint repair.

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