No announcement yet.

How to clean your paint gun?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to clean your paint gun?

    This could turn out to be a great thread, as there are a lot of different ideas on this subject.
    Let me start off with how I clean mine and you all can correct me and add to.

    First thing to do with a new gun, is THROW away the internal strainers that come with the gun, Give them to someone you dislike that uses a different brand of paint then SPI>

    I am not a believer in tearing the gun down for cleaning, in my book, its just adding to the chance of things wearing out.

    I add urethane reducer, shake and spray out.
    then I add a few more ounces, maybe four and spray until gone and one of the most important things i think you can do is hold the trigger a few seconds longer spray just air after the reducer is gone, this keep stuff from running down and settling in the fluid tip or air cap.

    When the gun does need tearing apart for a deep cleaning, I have a gallon of "Carb cleaner" Berrymans brand, do not buy the other brand as it does not work, think its stp brand, learned that lesson the hard way.

    Cost is about $25 at advanced or pep boys and will last for 5-10 years.

    I disassemble the fun put all the parts in basket and gun case in gallon, soak for 5 minutes and have left as long as a week and never any harm done, same with plastic cups and the lids, do it all the time.

    In five minutes I take my brushes to the parts and slosh in a quart cup of reducer and they are ready to go. this is easy and painless way to clean a gun.
    404-307-9740 OR Text, Tech Line (7 days)
    706-781-2220 Office

  • #2
    i tear down and clean every time. rinse all parts and wipe down with a paper towel and then put it back together and put it in my cabinet . i don't use mine as much as most of you do . one thing i learned many years ago is if you gorilla a gun you will be replacing it.
    SPI Thug !


    • #3
      I put in a few ounces of reducer, and spray it through. Next I throw in some lacquer thinner and use a 1" bristle brush (the white throw aways) soaked in the thinner to clean the inside of the cup, outside, the cup lid and vent, nozzle and air cap, everything. Spray through, add clean thinner and repeat untill clean. Then I use a rag or paper towel with reducer to wipe inside and out. Finish with a splash of reducer, spray though, disconnect air, pull trigger and see if it pisses straight. The throw away brushes last for a bunch of cleanings.
      I put them away with some reducer left in the cup, some recommend to put away dry but I've done it for years without problems.
      I rarely bust them down to clean with the exception of the gun I use for 2K primer. That gun needs the gun brush inside the nozzle. I found round wood tooth picks usefull to get that last bit out of the nozzle, gentle spin with do it.
      I hate a dirty paint gun.
      Ernie F.


      • #4
        I'm a beginner and was told to use lacquer thinner to clean my paint gun. It is a iwata lph-400, not sure if this is wright or not.

        What is the purpose of using reducer to clean the paint gun?


        • #5
          Joe, lacquer thinner will work fine.

          404-307-9740 OR Text, Tech Line (7 days)
          706-781-2220 Office


          • #6
            just don't leave it in your gun. rinse with urethane reducer after it is clean.
            SPI Thug !


            • #7
              Hmmmm. I always take apart my gun Right after spraying and clean everything with Laquer thinner. Never had a problem. My gun is over 10 years old and still looks new (Devilbiss GFG-517). I use the plastic bags in the cup for holding the paint and clean up is very easy.

              Last edited by danford1; 08-26-2010, 08:25 PM.
              Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those that are busy doing it...


              • #8
                My cleaning is about the same as barry's. i fill the gun with reducer/thinner and take one of those round brushes and brush the inside to break everything up. rinse out then fill again and spray out. I use the pps system so all i'm cleaning is the gun. my guns get used just about everyday. I'll tear down and clean over the weekend. Never tried the carb cleaner though, will try that next time i tear down.

                Have a question about spraying thinner out of the gun for cleaning though, maybe barry can chime in? In these new epa rules one of the things is they want you to NOT be spraying cleaning solvent through your gun to clean out. My question is what is the difference in doing that, and spraying paint through them in the booth? They dont really clarify if they mean spraying cleaning solvent through the gun in or outside the booth. I'm guessing they mean outside the booth? I always spray mine in the booth. Not real sure how they could regulate that other than seeing you in the act.


                • #9
                  Barry taught me the carb cleaner trick years ago.. It is my go to way of doing things.. Right now I have 4 guns setting on the work bench that have been dirty for months since I finished the last overall car.. Clear, base and epoxy all sprayed thru them.. Yes they are dirty!!

                  Years ago I cleaned mine immediately as Shine does, however now I am more lazy to be honest and wait until i need to spray something again before I take the time to clean them up..

                  My point is you cant beat the carb cleaner trick for nothin
                  Number one reason for failure in small /new business is treating the money like it is yours.... Quote from Shine!!


                  • #10
                    I throw a couple ounces of lacquer thinner (reducer is a little rich for my blood) in the cup and slosh it around then pull the trigger and let it drain (no air hook up) in a cup for dirty thinner. I repeat this a second time and then remove the cup and clean it and the lid using thinner and a toothbrush style bristle brush. Wipe them both down with clean thinner on a shop towel and set aside. Next I remove the cap and tip and place in clean thinner to soak while I run a bottle brush through the top portion where the cup attaches and then use the toothbrush on the tip portion. Wipe down with clean thinner on a shop towel then clean my tip with a small bottle brush, rinse and reinstall on gun. Clean the cap and reinstall then put cup back on gun and add some clean thinner and rinse one last time. If I plan to use the gun soon I leave the thinner in there however I drain it for long term storage.

                    One thing I did was replace that plastic cup I had with an aluminum one - big improvement as far as cleaning goes.
                    Romans 10:9-13


                    • #11
                      thinner will eat your gun up if you leave it in it.
                      SPI Thug !


                      • #12
                        This started getting talked about about 8-9 years ago and that is to force every shop to have a gun cleaner.

                        I'm like you, corn-fused because what if you spry 0-VOC urethane reducer through the gun, does that make it legal?

                        In the booth, as long as you have exhaust filters, I can't see the difference, like you pointed out.

                        I have proven over and over, if the EPA will just let me be, I can screw up my own paint jobs! I can send them proof. if they want it!
                        404-307-9740 OR Text, Tech Line (7 days)
                        706-781-2220 Office


                        • #13
                          I have used a gun a whole half dozen times. Notice I said A gun, which shows my inexperience. But one thing I have been doing is I have a separate cup that is clean. As soon as I am done spraying I put the clean cup on and spray about 1/2 cup of clean lacquer thinner or more through the gun. That way the gun is seeing only clean thinner. I spray it in and around the cup I just sprayed paint with so that I can get the paint cup clean. I also spray onto clean paper towels in order to make sure the outside of the gun and cups are clean. So basically while cleaning the inside of the gun I am cleaning everything else. I thought this approach was clever but if it is actually dumb, let me know!


                          • #14
                            Alan, I like your idea of switching to a clean cup but you may be leaving some paint inside the gun. After a couple of sessions with epoxy primer, doing batches of small parts to get used to the Iwata, I did your cleaning process. Out of curiosity (and Shine's recommendation) I took the gun apart. OK, mostly apart. I took the cap off and then the nozzle. There was a little paint coating the inside of the nozzle and the needle. I took the needle out and cleaned the nozzle and needle with acetone and some tiny bristle brushes (gun cleaning kit from Harbor Freight). The Iwata comes with a small bottle of oil I assume is used to lubricate the barrel part of the needle so I lubed it and re-assembled the gun. Probably wouldn't have had a problem for a few more sessions but I think you have to at least take the nozzle off to check for paint before you put the gun away.

                            Alan, I have no more experience than you -- just more screwups. If you ever have the urge to spray latex paint with a spray gun, buy another gun you can afford to throw out. Ask me how I know...
                            Click image for larger version

Name:	Painting Cropped.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	19.1 KB
ID:	61808
                            Last edited by Bob Heine; 09-19-2010, 07:23 AM. Reason: Picture added


                            • #15
                              q-tips are your friend. one other tip. DO NOT use an oil drain pan for cleanup. big time waste. i have a 6x9 pan from a salad bar.
                              SPI Thug !