Spray gun problems and thinning latex paint- help needed

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I'm using my critter siphon gun for the first time (with Sherwin William's highest quality latex), and I'm getting a spray pattern like this. I then added a conditioner. It didn't help much. Increasing the PSI didn't seem to help (starting from 40psi, which is the lowest mine goes). In fact, it might've even made it worse. Before I try thinning my paint (and potentially ruining it), does anyone have any insight? Can you tell looking at the pattern what the problem is?
q spray gun problems and thinning latex paint, interior home painting, painting
  8 answers
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Mar 22, 2016
    Sorry I don't have a answer to help you.I have the same problem, I will be watching for answers with you. Good luck
    • Allison Smith Allison Smith on Mar 22, 2016
      Hopefully we get an answer! I'm worried my problem is because my PSI is too high...but I can't lower my compressor any further. :-/
  • Dee Dee on Mar 22, 2016
    You need to use flowtrol to thin the paint.
    • See 1 previous
    • Dee Dee on Mar 23, 2016
      @Allison Smith very surprised, it usually smooths everything out. Call the sprayer manufacturer, there may be something wrong with the nozzle control. I know I had a problem with my Wagner and they sent a new part immediately which fixed the problem.
  • Shari Shari on Mar 22, 2016
    When this photo was taken, was the paint still wet, or dry? I just have a basic Wagner airless sprayer so I can't do much adjusting but I had some similar problems with my paint today. When I use my sprayer, I thin my latex paint with just water and although I'm pretty good at "eyeballing" it, I think I got it a little too thin today. It looked somewhat like this when wet but after it dried it was basically okay--not perfect but better than it looked initially. Tomorrow, before I spray a second coat, I plan to add more paint for a thicker consistency and hopefully, I'll get the super smooth finish I'm accustomed to. Do you think your paint could be too thin? I've found some paints are not as thick as others and perhaps the SW paint doesn't need much thinning.
    • Allison Smith Allison Smith on Mar 22, 2016
      It was taken when it was wet, but now that it has dried it looks better. Not great, but better. So, I think it's finally thin enough. The other side of the board that was originally sprayed (paint hadn't been thinned yet) still looked like orange peel.
  • J J on Mar 23, 2016
    My Critter works fine, but I do thin the paint quite a bit.Try thinning just a small batch of paint until you get the right consistently. Lots of thin coats is better.
    • Allison Smith Allison Smith on Mar 23, 2016
      I've thinned it a lot, and still have problems. I resorted to a brush last night in desperation. It still looks terrible, ha!
  • Phil a Phil a on Mar 23, 2016
    Check out this article: http://www.woodcraft.com/articles/699/problem-solving-products-critter-spray-gun.aspx Here's a comment from the article concerning Latex Paint: Finally, I decided to torture-test the Critter with a thick satin latex paint. At 35 psi, even with the fluid nozzle raised to its highest recommended point, the gun sputtered and spit like a rabid cobra. I thinned the paint with about 10% water, and it behaved for awhile. Soon the fluid nozzle began to clog. The solution to this problem was to mix in some Floetrol, an additive that helps paint flow better and extends the drying time. Concerning your too high compressor pressure, you can get an inexpensive inline pressure regulator at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=inline+air+compressor+pressure+regulator Good luck... Let us know how it works out.
    • Allison Smith Allison Smith on Mar 23, 2016
      Thanks, I'll check out that regulator! I had read that article, and have used Floetrol to no avail. :-) will let you know if the regulator helps.
  • Allison Smith Allison Smith on Mar 23, 2016
    Just wanted to thank y'all for your help. I brushed a first coat on last night and the results for horrible. :-/ I'm going to have to sand it down and start over. I also tried my fusion mineral paint in the critter gun today, and it sprayed beautifully. So at least I know it's this latex paint and not my sprayer and not me! Fortunately, Sherwin Williams is going to refund my money. Phew! Now if I can just find a chalk paint shade that matches this one closely and fix it all before Monday!!
  • Allison Smith Allison Smith on Mar 27, 2016
    Gave up on spraying and just used a brush
    • Shari Shari on Mar 27, 2016
      @Allison Smith Originally your paint may have been too thick (my sprayer will spit and sputter with thick paint) but in the end, I suspect you got it too thin. The day after I said I had thinned my paint too much and the paint looked like yours, I added some more paint to the paint cup so it wasn't so thin and then I got the same good results like I normally do when my paint is thinned to the right viscosity. No more "orange peel" spray. Funny thing is, I've done this enough that I KNEW my paint was too thin when I mixed it but I didn't think it would matter that much. WRONG! Since that was the first time you had used that sprayer, it's hard to know for sure if that was the problem but if you do a lot of furniture painting, I would urge you to not give up on the sprayer yet. When you get the paint/water ration right, your finish will be so much better than what you can get with a brush. Faster too.
  • Tandra Harrison Tandra Harrison on Mar 19, 2018
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