Cleaning an HVLP Sprayer

How to Clean HVLP Spray Gun? 5 Step Guide

Have you bought or borrowed an HVLP sprayer and unsure how to clean it? In this guide, we explain exactly how, step by step.

An HVLP spray gun is of utmost importance, especially for DIY spraying. HVLP is an acronym standing for high-volume, low-pressure. It can be used in air gun spraying, and this style of sprayer will save you a lot of time and money.

Cleaning an HVLP spray gun should not be taken lightly. If you have been wondering how to clean HVLP spray gun, don’t worry, we have it all sorted. Take your time. This procedure can last up to an hour, but it is worth it. It will keep your spray gun safe and at maximum performance.

Cleaning an HVLP Sprayer

Common Uses of HVLP Sprayers

Auto refinishing

You cannot ignore the value of a great HVLP paint sprayer gun for auto-repairs. It’s a top refinishing tool that has replaced many traditional sprayers. HVLP sprayer is most preferred as it can be used for the auto refinishing, in the detailed coat painting and the central painting work. It’s a tool used by professionals and home auto-refinishing as well.

Marine finishing

Marine vessels require perfect painting to prevent corrosion. HVLP sprayer is preferred since it can handle both wooden and metal surfaces.

Furniture painting

High precision level is needed in furniture finishing. The value of a piece of furniture is highly attributed to finishing. HVLP propels the paint at low pressure, thus making the sprayer ideal for furniture painting. Low-pressure means you can hold the tool close to the object, thus giving more precision. 

Building painting

HVLP sprayer is better used for architectural work. With an HVLP sprayer the resulting coat is even, and they can thus be used when painting various features throughout the building. The device gives excellent results when used for both outdoor and indoor painting.

Painting furniture with Sprayer

Must Know About HVLP Spray Gun Cleaning

Before starting the procedure, there are several essential things that you need to know on how to clean hvlp spray gun.

  1. The cleaning process is not as tricky as some people might have made you believe. It’s imperative, though, for the spray gun’s quality.
  2. Once the gun clogs, you might have a changed pattern even after thorough washing due to residue build-up.
  3. A clean up for later decision is dangerous for your tool. Once the paint dries, the spray gun clogs easily.
  4. Clean the gun immediately after use.
  5. The cleaning process is more comfortable and less time consuming when repeated.

Top HVLP Sprayer Cleaning Tips

  • Follow the disassemble procedure. Be cautious when disassembling. Every HVLP spray gun is unique, and there is a specific procedure for disassembling each one. Read the manual for your particular model, and it should outline the process clearly. This tutorial from Portland Compressor may help you with this part, if needed.
  • Parts are fragile, so be careful. Different spray guns contain different sets of parts, and every set contains parts that are very delicate and fragile. Take this into consideration as you are handling the parts and following the steps for cleaning.
  • Don’t lose small parts. Keep all the parts in sight till the end. This is a common issue when cleaning the HVLP spray gun. Before clean up, separate the parts which are likely to get lost or can get damaged.
  • Cleaning is essential. While an unpleasant task, careful and thorough cleaning protects your HVLP sprayer in the long term.

Requirements When Preparing for Clean-Up

Now that you are ready to start the cleaning process, gather the equipment and materials you need:

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Toothpicks
  • Buckets
  • Gun wrench – provided in spray gun package
  • Bristle brush – comes with the spray gun package
  • A cleaning solution, and
  • Your HVLP spray gun, of course.

Personal safety should always be of utmost importance. Wear the right gear to protect your skin, eyes, and overall health.

A Guide to Cleaning an HVLP Sprayer

Step 1: Remove and Clean the Paint Cup

The cup is the part that contains the fluid and is likely to have some remains.

  1. Turn the cup anti-clockwise to take it off the nozzle. The nozzle should also be removed as you twist it away from the spray gun.
  2. Put some paint thinner in the cup and close it, then shake it thoroughly.
  3. Spray the solution into a bucket. The thinner does most of the deep cleaning for you.
  4. Finally, you clean up the main body of the cup by running a paper towel with some paint thinner through the cup.

Step 2: Disassemble the HVLP Spray Gun

Now that the cup is clean, unscrew it from the HVLP spray gun to dry separately. Once this is done, disassemble the rest of the spray gun. The disassembling process may vary depending on your particular brand and model of sprayer, so always refer to the manual you got with the product. Below is an overview.

  1. The gun air cup should to be the first part to unscrew.
  2. Next, be careful as you remove the needle, which is very delicate, and loaded with springs. Be very careful.
  3. The separate the gun completely, open up the inner parts, and set them aside.

Step 3: Dip the Parts in a Paint Thinner

At this point, all the parts of your HVLP spray gun should be separate from eachother. It’s time to get them a thorough cleaning.

There are several cleaning solutions you can use, but we recommend a paint thinner. If that’s not an option, you can go for a soapy solution like this one.

Break up any paint residue in the parts as you dunk the outer air cup, inner air cup, and the main body in the solution. For proper soaking, allow at least 30 minutes.

Do not soak the needle and spring, as we will clean those separately.

Step 4: Wipe and Dry the Spray Gun

It’s now time to get the parts out of the cleaning solution. Since the parts spent ample time in the thinner, wiping them will take a shorter period to achieve effectiveness. To do this, wipe them with a bristle cleaning brush. A toothpick can be used should you notice any buildup around the ridges.

Since you didn’t soak the needle and the spring with other parts, apply the thinner to a piece of cotton and wipe the spring and the fluid needle.

Step 5: Reassemble the Clean HVLP Spray Gun

Once every part is clean and dry, it’s time to get them back together.

  1. You start by putting the needle and spring in their positions.
  2. Screw on the inner cap then the outer.
  3. Wrap up the procedure by putting back the gun body and screw up the cap.


For proper functionality of an HVLP Spray Gun, thorough cleaning should be considered an essential part of your HVLP sprayer process. Knowing how to clean makes the procedure easier and faster, and ensures that your equipment stays in top condition for years to come.

For more tips on using your spray gun, learn how to set up your HVLP sprayer correctly here.


  • Todd Davis

    A jack of all trades, Todd has been a DIY enthusiast, traveler, and writer for many years. He has a deep understanding of all types of painting tools and door hardware, and has shared many articles on these topics throughout the years.

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