I had two jobs in mind when I purchased a Campbell Hausfeld air compressor and the general purpose spray gun. I purchased the air compressor first and then the spray gun the next payday. I went with the same manufacturer as the compressor because of their reputation and dependability.
My father had an air compressor in his shop and used several air tools including several from Campbell Hausfeld. I’m not sure if the model of the spray gun is the same as what he had but I know his spray gun was virtually identical to the one I have purchased and been trying out.
I remember that several of his air tools were from this popular manufacturer and he liked to buy this brand even if they cost a little more. They tended to last longer and were more rugged than some of the cheaper ones he sometimes used.
The Campbell Hausfeld DH3800 spray gun is an external mix spray gun for many uses around the home, farm or small business. The spray gun can be used in two modes so you can have two different types of compressor setups with it.
You can use it as a bleeder type or non-bleeder. This really only means that you have air running through the gun at all times when you have it set up as a bleeder and only when you pull the trigger on the non-bleeder. This way you can have it set up to use with compressors that have an air tank (non-bleeder) and one that pumps air continuously without a tank (bleeder).
I have a smaller tank and compressor but the gun still works fine with the spray gun. That is the first thing I noticed about the setup I have. The first job that I have done is painting a wall of a building for a friend. I’m using latex flat house paint on concrete block and it is going fine.
I thinned the paint down and the job has been going quickly. The wall is rather rough and has an odd setup from when they built it. They cut concrete blocks in half and have the rough cut ends sticking out to form a two inch wide strip of concrete running the height of the wall that sticks out about two inches.
This leaves a part of the block that sticks out every two inches the length of the wall, with these little channels in between that need to get painted. Needless to say I wanted to paint this with a spray gun, it would take forever with a brush and would be impossible for a roller.
The gun performs quite well. You can tell quickly when the paint is too thick, it doesn’t come out of the gun real well and if it’s too thin it just runs a lot. I had no problem just pulling the gun out of the box and using it the first time.
This is what I like from a tool, easy to use without much setup. I did read the pamphlet and the warnings. The book says to use both a breathing mask and eye protection. This is a good idea and is not very hard to do.
I was in the military and around guys painting some really nasty paints on missiles without proper protection. This is just the same thing only I am looking out for my own health.
I used the goggles and mask even though it wasn’t that bad, I was outside and there was a little breeze all day. The eye protection did keep my glasses from getting sprayed on some. I took off the goggles and found some small dots on them.
It was just latex paint and comes off with water but it does help with the prescription glasses.
If you are going to use a spray gun inside or in an enclosed space you definitely should use these kinds of protection. If you are using paints or things like lacquers or enamel based paints you should get some really decent breathing masks. A simple mask is effective but you need to get a better one when you use more toxic and harmful paints.
Some of the things that I notice and have no problem with is the tip getting clogged a little bit. This comes to the first point of necessary tools and things to have around when your doing a paint job with a spray gun, other than the protection stuff of course.
You need to keep a pin handy to help unclog the tip. When I was using the gun with the latex paint the tip would get little clumps of dried paint in it. Most of the time I just poked the pin in, with the air off of course, when I pulled the trigger to pull the needle back.
I know why the tip was getting these clogs by the way, I have a small tank on my air compressor, it’s two gallons. I would use the gun for a minute or two and then would have to wait for a few minutes to get the air pressure back up enough to continue painting.
I’m not complaining about the compressor, I knew it was small when I bought it. This is the kind of job that actually requires a bigger tank but I didn’t want to rent one. I used it and would do some other things like clean up the rest of the area I would be getting to later.
It went just fine. I only had to stop twice all day to actually pull the gun apart any to clean it. It had gotten clogged with something so that I had to take the ring and air cap off and remove the fluid tip to get the clog out.
The pin came into play here, too. I had a bucket of water handy and washed out the tip after pushing the needle in a few times. Then back on the gun and back to spraying. It really works that slick.
One thing you will want to get a few extra of before you start your job is some of the small o rings that go on the fluid tip. I messed up the one that came with the gun after only half the day of painting. Luckily I have a hardware store a block away.
I finished for the day and went inside to clean up the gun. But before we get to that some of the other things that I need to recommend to you for some necessary equipment to go along with your air compressor and spray gun.
Walmart sells a kit with some quick disconnect attachments and a hose. If you put the attachments on your gun, hose and your compressor you can quickly and easily disconnect the gun and hoses in a snap.
Like when you have to fill the can with more paint it is a simple job of pulling back on the locking collar of the QD (Quick Disconnect) and the hose comes off the gun. The QD has an internal shutoff valve when you pull the attachment out, it doesn’t let air through the QD if there is not an attachment on it.
These are a great time saving convenience that I really recommend. Some other things you will want to have on hand when you are doing a job like this is rags or paper towels. You will be getting paint on things and it helps to be prepared in case of a spill.
To mix the paint I was using a plastic 5 gallon bucket. I dumped the paint in and added the water. Then used my drill with a paint stirrer to mix. This is handy to use as when I stopped for lunch I put the cover on and the paint didn’t dry out.
I put a drop cloth down to help keep the paint off the asphalt of the parking lot but was not too concerned about making a little mess. The gray wall is so much of an improvement that a little over spray won’t matter.
And that brings up another point, over spray. The gun doesn’t spray much where you don’t want it to. I was using it and there was a little breeze but the gun worked fine and there was very little over spray that I could see. If you are painting indoors or near things you don’t want to get paint on such as vehicles, especially other peoples vehicles, use drop cloths and cover up those things.
I cleaned out the gun using warm water and dish soap, running water through all the parts to get everything clean. I pulled off the air cap and tip to get them cleaned out and pulled out the needle to clean out the body and parts that don’t come off the gun.
A few cotton swabs and a small toothbrush are a great help here. I used them to get the latex paint out of the tip and cap and used running water on the rest. The tip got some clogs in the four air ways and needed to be pushed out with the needle. After you clean out your gun you should leave it open for all the parts to dry out.
Then spray some oil in the working parts to get them lubed up and prevent rusting. Aluminum can rust, and will if left wet. It will be a white powder instead of red for steel but it will rust if left wet. So a quick spray of WD 40 will do the trick.
I have not used the gun for other jobs yet and will be using it soon. I just wanted to let others know that anyone with a small compressor and a good spray gun from Campbell Hausfeld can do some of these types of jobs. Things like painting the deck, waterproofer such as Thompson’s doesn’t need to be thinned, or some outdoor furniture can be simple.
Tackling some other jobs like the hood of my badly peeling mini van is still to come, but that is the other job I got the spray gun for.
I am quite happy with my spray gun from Campbell Hausfeld and would recommend them for other air tools as well as your compressor.
The DH3800 General Purpose Spray Gun is a good all around spray gun for jobs around the home or whatever. My dad used his for painting decks of lawn mowers, truck touch ups and various jobs related to his lawn care business. He found many uses and it was a good convenience to have around.
I’m sure I will find other uses in the future other than these two jobs, I already have my air brush for model building and am dying to start in on some of that.