HVLP VS. LVMP Spray Guns

The painting industry has flourished a lot in the last few years. The painters now complete a project within hours saving both money and labor cost. Different types of spray guns are used making painting work easier for painters and beginners.

But which gun is perfect and suitable for your work is a question. You may find conventional guns, HVLP guns, LVLP guns, and LVMP guns available in the market.

What are you looking for in your project or which gun is best for your painting job, you have to decide to compare the working principles of these guns.

If you want to learn HVLP vs. LVMP Spray Guns, read this article to the end and it will help you to buy the best one for your job.

HVLP Spray Gun

The HVLP (High Volume Low Pressures) gun uses a high volume of air transferring it to low pressure which causes soft spray and decreases overspray. It also saves money and time.


The HVLP has a high transfer efficiency rate and very little waste rate.

It works better than a conventional gun. It atomizes paint using low pressure more accurately and speedily. It sprays soft and even on the whole surface.

How Does HVLP Spray Gun Work?

The HVLP atomizes the paint releasing an air stream from the spray gun. It divides paint into small particles when the air exits from the nozzle.

There are paint volume control, airflow control, a paint basin, an air inlet, and a nozzle to control the spread of the paint and air pressure.

The HVLP spray gun releases paint into the air stream when the trigger is pressed. The paint is atomized and discharged through the nozzle on the surface.

LVMP Spray Gun

The LVMP (low volume and medium pressure) is referred the spray gun which takes a smaller volume of air than the HVLP gun and creates medium pressure.

This gun is preferred by artists because of its ability to achieve finer detail.


This type of gun also has a higher degree of control over the material being sprayed, so it can be perfect and ideal for delicate work or when packaging needs to be airtight and durable.

How Does LVMP Spray Gun Work?

LVMP operates with very low air volume, so it can work well on delicate surfaces like automotive paint finishes.

The small airflow creates high atomization which is crucial for high-quality finishes on flat surfaces like car door panels, fenders, and more.

With an HVLP spray gun, the paint droplets tend to be bigger making coverage more difficult and less uniform.

What Is The Difference Between HVLP And LVMP?

The main difference between HVLP and LVMP is that Both guns have air caps that are slightly different from each other. But these two guns are almost the same in shape and structure.

#1. Air Cap Of HVLP

The air cap of the HVLP spray gun is highly efficient and fast as 65% of the paint hits its intended target.  This gun uses a high volume of air at low pressure and breaks apart from its coatings.

It also helps with emissions reduction. But it is unable to atomize heavy body coatings such as heavy glues, epoxies, zincs, etc.

#2. Air Cap Of LVMP

The air cap of LVMP has a mid pressure which atomizes a little finer than an HVLP cap and makes it a great choice for wood finishing because wood finishing needs fine atomization.

It also allows similar finish quality as the conventional gun, but it will not atomize heavy-bodied coatings.

The air cap LVMP uses less air than the air cap HVLP but a bit more pressure than HVLP. This is almost 60% more efficient than a conventional spray gun.

So which one of these two air caps is the right for your project, depends on the paint you are spraying, and your goal for finish.

This information about the air caps will help you to best match your spraying needs and achieve the best finish according to your desire without wasting too much paint.

#3. Air Pressure

It depends on the compressor size that provides air to the gun for working well. The HVLP spray guns take more air pressure to spray paint properly while LVMP spray guns take less air and produce medium pressure.

#4. Transfer Efficiency

The smooth, even, and proper spraying depends on the transfer efficiency of your spray gun.

So check how much paint comes out and sprayed it well on the surface. If your gun doesn’t overspray, it is taken best.

The HVLP spray gun’s transfer efficiency is 60-70% which is often considered well for indoor spraying.

The LVMP gun’s transfer efficiency is about 60%, they are almost similar but it provides a finer finish of paint than the HVLP spray gun.

#5. Easy To Use

Both the guns are easy to use as beginners and inexperienced painters can spray well with these guns.

They don’t need to get special training for using these guns because they are very simple.

#6. Environment Friendly

As the LVMP spray gun uses medium pressure, so it is fit for spraying at tight places where it wastes very less pain.

So it is more environmentally friendly than an HVLP spray gun. Further, LVMP has smoother and finer finishing than HVLP.

#7. Paint Usage

The HVLP spray gun works well with oil-based paint because thicker paint like latex clogs in the nozzle of the gun.

While LVMP spray can work with basecoat/clearcoat, lacquers, urethane topcoats, and polyurethane.

As the LVMP spray gun has interchangeable nozzle tips which can handle the thickness of the finish.

#8. Cleaning Process

It is very necessary to clean your spray gun after every use. So cleaning and maintenance of LVMP spray guns are easier and simple.

Although HVLP spray guns can also be cleaned easily, you can be more comfortable with LVMP.

Frequently Asked Question

How Can I Understand LVMP?

It is low volume medium pressure which makes higher transfer efficiency and produces better atomization with less air consumption.

What Size Of Air Compressor Does An HVLP Spray Gun Need?

The HVLP spray gun needs plenty of air, so you should have a larger capacity compressor bigger than DIY home works. For full finishing products, you need compressors at least a 21⁄2 to 3 HP with a 75 liters tank which is almost 20 gallons.

Why Are The Top Main Features Of LVMP Spray Guns?

The top main feature of the LVMP spray gun is that it makes a uniform coating on the surface. It reduces overspray and wastes less paint.

It is a very lightweight gun with higher air consumption. It can be used for all paint and it is easy to clean.


However, if there is no emission restriction, you only need a fine finish, and you can sacrifice somewhat on transfer efficiency, then the air cap of the LVMP gun is a great option.

The HVLP spray gun is the most efficient and will waste less paint. While the LVMP spray gun allows high transfer efficiency with a little finer breakup than HVLP.

So if you are looking for an alternative to HVLP spray guns, LVMP spray guns might be the better option.

Additional Questions

What is the distinction between HVLP and XVLP?

The primary contrast between XVLP and HVLP spray units rests in the pressure at which paint is delivered and the stage of the turbine used. With a single stage turbine, XVLP units deliver paint at a relatively low pressure, typically ranging between 2.9psi to 3.9psi. On the other hand, HVLP units use either a 3-stage or 5-stage turbine, thereby enabling a variable delivery of paint in different air volumes at varied air pressures, anything from 7.0psi to 10.4psi.

HVLP versus conventional spray gun: Which is superior?

Although it utilizes greater air volumes to atomize the paint, HVLP does so at a considerably lower pressure. This lead to a notably higher transfer efficiency compared to a conventional spray gun. The minimum transfer efficiency requirement for HVLP stands at 65%, effectively double what traditional technology offers, making it the more favorable choice for many.

What are the potential drawbacks of HVLP spray guns?

The noteworthy downsides of HVLP spray guns center on their compatibility with paint types and overall cost. Highly viscous paints are not suitable for use with HVLP guns due to the necessity for a thinner coating for optimal low pressure spray quality. Furthermore, HVLP guns tend to have a higher price tag than others on the market despite their superb coverage quality, which is a consideration for budget conscious consumers.

What is the CFM requirement for a LVLP spray gun?

LVLP gun parameters can differ according to the manufacturer, gun quality, nozzle diameter, and air cap. However, generally speaking, LVLP guns call for an air consumption of around 260 – 300 L/min (9.2-10.6 cfm). Therefore, a compressor outputting 1.5 -1.9 kW (2.0-2.6 HP) is typically required. It’s crucial to properly understand these requirements to ensure the effective operation of your LVLP spray gun.

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