How To Clean an HVLP Spray Gun

A HVLP spray gun is a very import component in the painting industry. You can use it to apply, stains, varnish and all kinds of paints whether water-based or oil-based. How To Clean an HVLP Spray Gun

Cleaning a spray gun is part of essential activity you need to do as part of routine tool maintenance to prolong its durability and service life.

A regularly cleaned spray gun will always give you exemplary performance. It will also save you the cost of replacing damaged accessories or even a new spray gun.

Among the standard cleaning method using a cabinet. It is convenient and reliable and uses less energy in cleaning up the spray gun. It is time saving too.  

See Also: HVLP Paint Sprayer for Latex Paint

Details: How to Clean an HVLP Spray Gun

You can also do it yourself using the many cleaning materials available in the market. However, you have to be weary of the common mistakes that we make in the cleaning process.

Some of this mistakes include, using the wrong cleaning materials or cleaning the spray gun in the wrong way.

For all the different kinds of sprays, the cleaning process is the same. What is most important is understand the basics and know how to go about it

Step 1: Washing the Paint Cup

You should always clean your HVLP spray gun either when done with your project or when preparing a different coat.

This greatly will enhance the performance of the spray gun and help you complete your project faster – even with undercoat paints

To start with, you need to start with the paint cup. This is because it the part that holds the paint as you are undertaking your project. It’s recommendable to clean the cup immediately after finishing the project.

After 3-4 hours, the paint start drying on the spray gun which will require an extra effort to remove it.

The kind of paint you are using will greatly determine the cleaning material that you shall use for the clean-up.  Many professional painters will actually prefer acetone though there is a wide variety for you to choose from.

Open the paint cup and empty all the remaining paint to a disposal can. If it is reusable keep it tightly closed for future reuse.

Fill the cup with the cleaning material or the thinning material of your choice. Close it and thoroughly shake the cup to loosen the paint inside the cup.

You can then proceed to pull the trigger and initiate the spraying process. This will greatly ensure that cleaner material penetrates the interior part of the spray gun and effectively cleaning those parts.

After you are done, use a clean cloth to dry the inside of the cup of any paint residues. Remember to wear gloves are you clean out the cap. 

See Also: Using An HVLP Paint Sprayer

Step 2: Dissembling the Spray Gun

For effective cleaning of the other parts of the HVLP spray gun, you will need to dissemble the whole spray gun.

You can comfortably achieve this by unscrewing the different parts of the gun. You can first start by detaching the paint cup from the gun body.

Secondly, remove the outer air cap followed by the inner air cap. You can then proceed to remove the needle and the springs from the inner air cap.

If you are going to use the cleaning kit, here is the simple process to follow. 

See Also: Automotive HVLP Spray Gun

Step 3: Immersing the components in the cleaner

You can use many solvents to carry out the cleaning process. You can use a thinner but the most preferable cleaner is the acetone.

It is quite effective and works faster than other solutions in case you are an oil-based paint.

You will need a container where you can put the cleaning material or acetone inside. Gently immerse the parts one to avoid breakage and damages to the parts.

I recommend you submerge both the inner and the outer air caps gently – just like with swing set stains. You can then proceed to immerse the gun.

I wouldn’t recommend immersing the needle and the spring because of the high chance of the getting lost in the solution

The acetone or the thinning material will greatly help in loosening the paint in the parts making it easy for cleanup. Leave the parts in the solvent for some minutes for the paint to fully dissolve.

This also allows the solution to penetrate even into the whole part making it easier to clean.

However this is only applicable if you are using solvent based paints. Basically, if you are using water-based paint, you can conveniently clean the parts with just soap and water and you are good to go. 

See Also: HVLP Spray Gun for Woodworking

Step 4: Drying Out the Parts

After successfully immersing and removing the parts from the acetone/thinning material, the paint is dissolved and all that remains are just a few traces on acetones and some loosened elements of paint.

At this point, you may need to use a bristle brush a clean off the loosened paint residues on the parts. Alternatively, you will also need a tooth pick to assist you in removing paints from the grooves

When that is done, you can use a towel to wipe out all the fluids on the part and the part is ready for fitting.  Use the wet towel immersed in acetone to wipe clean the spring and the needle. 

See Also: HVLP Spray Gun for Lacquer

Step 5: Reassembling the HVLP Spray Gun

With a guarantee of cleaned spray gun parts, you can then proceed to reassemble them.

Before everything else, you need to first fix the spring and the needle back to the inner air cap. This can later be followed by fitting the inner air cap into the outer air cap.

Fix the paint cup into the body and finally cover it with the cap and you are good to go. 

See Also: Thinning Latex Paint for HVLP


Whether you are DIYer or a professional, I hope you have learnt how to clean an HVLP spray gun. This will help your spray gun serve you longer and you can use it to complete many projects.

It is important to clean the gun immediately after the project before the paint starts drying up on the parts. Using the right cleaning materials is equally important to avoid clogging up or the paint drying.

Regular cleaning will keep your HVLP spray gun durable and you can carry out more project with it.


Hi there! I'm Jeremy Till, a professional and a partially self-taught spray painter, blogger, writer, and among other interesting things. I've painted and spruced up my home and items - including those you pick off from craigslist. I'll teach you how not to let your painting project go south.

Recent Posts