How a Paint Strainer Can Save You Time and Money. Author – Andy Potts July 16th 2020 (reading time 2 mins)
The humble paint strainer is a low-tech, low-cost tool that most spray shops overlook. But it’s a little lifesaver that can improve your paint finish. And because using a strainer adds a quick and easy quality control step into your process, you won’t waste production time and materials on fixing poor finishes.
What is a paint strainer?
A paint strainer is typically a disposable paper cone with a fine nylon mesh insert. You can also buy reusable versions, but you have to wash these out after every use, which adds time to the production process. Filters are available with different grades of mesh, ranging from 400 microns for medium filtration through to 125 microns for super fine filtration.
The idea is that you pour your paint through the strainer to filter out debris such as dried flakes, undissolved pigment, foreign bodies and dust particles that can:
- Clog or damage your spray gun
- Cause imperfections in your paint finish
It’s a simple but highly effective filtration method that will help you to achieve a top-class paint job the first time, every time. If you work with automotive paint or wood furniture finishes, using a paint strainer in your day-to-day operations is a no-brainer.
What coatings can you use it with?
A paper filter is compatible with all types of coating, including:
- Water-based and solvent paints
The paint filtration process and its benefits
You can use a strainer in two ways — on the way in and on the way out.
1. On the way in
Use a strainer as standard when you mix your paint to catch any contaminants that are larger than 190 microns. This will remove any undissolved pigments, dry paint and foreign particles.
Filtering at the mixing stage ensures that:
- Your gun doesn’t clog or get damaged, which would add downtime while you unblock the line or nozzle and it may also produce an inferior finish.
- Your paintwork is free of debris and flaws. No wasting labour time and materials on re-sanding and re-spraying.
Straining at this stage is particularly important if you use a gravity-fed system because it sucks the paint (and anything that it contains) into your gun.
2. On the way out
After your first sift, sit a strainer inside your spray gun to perform a secondary strain of the same material using a finer mesh. This will capture any smaller matter that may block your gun or block the nozzle and disrupt the fan pattern, which would lower the quality of your finish.
The bare essentials
It’s best practice to use a disposable paint strainer at every stage of the spraying process, and because it’s so cheap and easy to do, there’s really no reason not to. But, if you really must cut corners, be sure to strain the final topcoat. It will give you a far superior finish.
Paint filter thicknesses by Colad
Stock up on a paper paint strainers today
Colad’s pack of 10 disposable strainers is popular with our customers here at Ultrimax. Here are some of the product’s key features and benefits:
- Lint-free — to prevent filter contamination.
- Internal mesh filter — particles can’t enter from around the cut edge of the mesh.
- The filter extends into the tip of the strainer — to filter every drop of paint.
- High water and solvent resistance — so that the cone structure retains integrity with all types of coating.
- Available in super fine (125 micron), fine (280 micron) and medium (400 micron).
Learn more about TPS4
Watch this short video to find out more about TPS4 and how it can benefit your paint shop:
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