Now, as you're mastering trigger control, you've also got to keep concentrating on your stroke and overlap (kind of like chewing gum and walking at the same time). Remember that improper overlap will result in a streaky appearance on the surface, so maintain that 50 percent overlap. At the same time, you've got to pay attention to your stroke. As I stated earlier, your spray strokes should be made with a free arm motion, keeping the gun at a right angle to the surface at all times. Arcing your stroke will result in uneven coverage and excessive overspray. If your nozzle is arced at a 45-degree angle at the beginning or end of your stroke (versus a 90-degree angle), you'll be losing about 65 percent of your sprayed material as overspray; the gun always has to be at a 90-degree angle to the surface for proper coverage!
Spraying The Tough Spots
Here's the proper technique and sequence for refinishing tough spots. Difficult areas like edges and corners should, for the most part, be done first. When spraying an edge or corner, you should aim the gun directly at the center of the area so that half of the spray covers each side of the corner.
Hold the gun an inch or two closer than normal, or if you prefer, turn the fan adjustment knob a turn or get a smaller fan and "feather" the trigger for better coverage (either method will reduce spray pattern size). If you choose to hold the gun closer, your strokes will have to be made faster to compensate for a normal amount of material to be applied to a smaller area.
When spraying curved surfaces, remember to keep the gun at a right angle to the surface at all times (just as you would with any surface being sprayed), and follow the curve, all the while remembering to maintain the correct overlap. While doing this isn't always physically possible, it's the ideal technique to produce a better, more uniform finish.
When spraying narrow surfaces, you can switch to a small "touch-up" gun, or use your standard gun and an air cap with a smaller spray pattern to avoid readjusting your gun. Though smaller "touch-up"-type guns are usually easier to handle in restricted areas, your full-size gun can be used by reducing air pressure and fluid flow and by feathering the trigger.
Gun And Equipment Maintenance
Keeping your spray equipment clean and in good working order plays a huge part in achieving good refinishing results. Wiping the outside of your spray gun may help it stay looking fresh and new, but it's keeping the inside clean that's really important. As you've undoubtedly noticed from a few of my previous photos, I have a couple of spray guns that look a little worse for the wear on the outside, but I assure you, I do spend my clean up time making sure they're spotless on the inside. So, here's the correct way to clean your spray gun so it'll always be ready when you are:
First, remove the air hose from the gun and loosen and remove the gun and cup cover from the cup and let any remaining material drain back down out of the pick-up tube into the cup. Pour out the remaining material and properly dispose of it (never return any leftover catalyzed material to the original container when there is still non-catalyzed material in the original can. Even a small amount of catalyzed paint will contaminate the unmixed material causing it to gel up and harden over time, rendering it useless). Then, wash out the cup with clean solvent (lacquer thinner works great) and wipe it out with a clean cloth. Then, fill the cleaned cup about halfway with fresh solvent, re-attach the cup to the gun, and spray the solvent through the gun to flush out its fluid passages.