Though being conventional equipment compared to the modern air sprayers nowadays, critter spray guns don’t fall behindhand with any of those.
In contrast, it remains in favor of many spray painters for home projects owing to its simplicity and maneuverability.
The Critter spray 118 Siphon gun has been popular around on the simpler side of spray painting art. You can find the product on Amazon for a fair price.
We’ve got a chance to test this Critter product on our little garage refreshing furniture experiment. It gives a bit of a different feeling from using the aired-sprayers we have on our shelf.
In consequence, we have obtained splendor for our project finish. That is why we recommend this gun to be an addition to your toolbox.
So, let’s take a look at the basic operation and tips for this 118 siphon gun.
A General Look
The product comes out of the box with a mason jar attached to the gun. This container loads liquid in it. The whole unit will tackle an air compressor to provide force and emit the spray to the environment.
This tool and its simplicity fit the purpose of giving a neat finish that you don’t have to spend too much money and effort getting to know about all the specifications.
This Critter spray gun has been unbeatable for the easy maneuverability. Keeping the jar clean is also no hard task.
It leaves no hassle as the paint will go directly from the jar combined with the atomization for smooth stream flow.
How the Siphon Operates
This kit can work a portable trim compressor with a minimum ¾ HP of at least 3 CFM at 90 PSI. The spray diameter can be modulated in ranges from ¼ inch to 4 inches.
The kicker feature is you can replace the standard 16 oz jar by twisting the container off the ring. Hence, you can use different colors or materials of paint to switch during the project.
Note that when opening the jar, you shouldn’t twist in the gun but hold on to the jar lid to peel it off.
The accessories that come with the metal gun include a jar gasket and instruction.
We have read the feedback and we assure you that the use of this gasket with an air inlet to keep the air tightening is working perfectly fine.
This gun can spray lacquers, stains, paints, varnish or other liquids to give an eye-catching factory finish.
What Project does it Work on?
It is absolute to say yes to this Critter gun if you are looking for a wide surface basis. Due to its lack of control, you don’t expect a lot of lugging around.
Therefore, if you plan on recovering your exterior wall, or giving your car a new coat, put this siphon aside.
Regarding garage scale projects, you can excel with this gun. An explanation for it is the mason jar has enough space for only 10 square feet.
The manufacturer advises using this item on medium to small painting. Woodworkers recommend making use of it for renewing antique furniture or decorative plans.
It is as well said to be suitable for arts and crafts thanks to its pleasant operation. You will find this spray gun meets with such stencil work in harmony. In some cases, it can be used for auto-body repair spraying.
We can name some of our completions to suggest to you an idea. We used this Critter gun sprayer for countless projects like spraying cupboard, fences, bed cabinets, and other interiors.
Who to go with this 118 Siphon?
The Critter gun is suitable for all kinds of painters from the professional who have 20 good experience in the job or even the new ones who just picked up the very first Critter gun. It can pair with professional artwork or amateur crafting DIY for fun and anyone in between.
People who prefer the simplicity and something that demands less time and effort to set up should lean on this gun.
As long as you are an enthusiastic DIYer, you should have your own air compressor. With this gun, the machine is inevitable, but you don’t need a too powerful one that costs beyond your wallet.
So, for budget people, this is a sound deal.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Critter Spray Gun
- Critter Siphon is among the most comfortable spray guns in the market. Compared to products in the same price range; Critter 118 poses to have tons of benefits.
- The first advantage is the reasonable size of the jar. The gun itself is a compact equipment with the measurements 8 x 6.9 x 4, weight at 1.6 pounds
- Since sore hands may lead to vibration that leaves unsmooth finish, the lightweight of this item is worth being appreciated. You can handle the gun with one hand to maneuver along the project.
- The removable jar enables you to supply material in another jar with ease. Fortunately, the gun is designed to accommodate different pots.
- Moreover, the gun comes with an entire unit that requires no further assembly except for the jar. The fewer the parts are means it is less likely to lose the components.
- Using the gun is quite simple as you only need to adjust the air supply from the compressor and the height of the liquid nozzle.
- Besides the variety of the material it can spray, the gun has a spray circumference of 0.5 to 2.5 inches.
- One major preference if this jar is it is super easy to clean even though the trigger is said to get gummed up after use. All you need to do is to rinse the device properly before filling the jar for the next project.
- Aside from being a sole sprayer, the gun doesn’t give much of options like HVLP guns and its brothers.
- While the other types are available in different brands and solutions, the Critter has its own niche to be the unique siphon of the simplest concept. Limited choice confines you from more advanced projects.
- But who cares if you don’t bother with more extensive work. It’s probably a good sign because you can’t go mess up with tons of spraying methods. Just fill, spray and clean.
- The gasket is probably one downside you should pay attention to. The problem is it wears out faster than you expect. When the gasket is not in good condition, the mason jar can meet a high risk of dysfunction.
- The reason is the material used can get dissolved easily by chemicals in the paints.
- The solution to deal with it is to use nylon to cover the jar before screwing it to the gun. Otherwise, you can use the siphon without the presence of the gasket.
- One more minor drawback is this Critter gun isn’t a strong gun for heavy paints. If you happen to use varnishes, use the thinner to liquid down the thickness.
How to use the Critter Spray Gun?
Here is the walkthrough for using the Critter 118 spray gun:
Step 1: Paint
Stir your desired paint and check its viscosity before adding to the jar. You should thin the material so it improves the quality. You can pour the liquid into the container but remember to leave some room for the thinner if necessary.
Step 2: Pre-painting
Fill the jar with your paint and screw it back to the gun. You will have to check the air nozzle to make sure it is aligned correctly with the liquid injector. This task will ensure the stream will go in a straight line.
Step 3: Air Compressor
You can now hook in the air machine, make sure everything is tightened.
Step 4: Painting
Start your project by holding the gun at 3 to 5 inches distant from the surface. Spray from left to right in a steady and average speed to have an even spread.
When you reach the edge of the surface, switch the direction to overlap the previous coat. Begin the next line in the same manner.
You should always pay attention to the jar to see if your paint is running out. If your project is too big for 16 oz to cover, you should have more than one jar with available liquid in it, so you don’t have to interrupt the work for another thinning task.
Don’t wait until the material is completely out. Refill or replace it while it still has some amount to keep the stream as smooth as possible.
Spraying with sufficient paint, it will produce an even finish that improves the outlook of your work. You don’t want to have a flaw mark on the piece of your furniture.
**Tip: pay attention to the thickness of the paint
Another factor that affects your completion would be the application of the material. If the paint is too thick, it may halt the atomization which produces a finish with spatter.
To avoid this situation and improve the atomization, we suggest some remedies:
- Thin the materials according to the manufacturer’s recommendation
- Increase the pressure gradually until achieving better atomization
- Improve the atomization by mixing a paint conditioner and leveling characteristics of the paint
- On the contrary, where the material is thin and loosening, you can try one of these following pieces of advice:
- Reduce the pressure incrementally
- Lower the nozzle steadily to reduce the material siphon action in the tube
- Increase the travel speed
- Hold the gun a bit further from your workpiece
- Sneak spraying tips with the Critter gun
- Coat the hard-to-read area first with a light spray
- Try to keep a constant distance from the project and the travel pace
- Place your craft where you can spray as horizontally as possible. The reason is it can help eliminate runs
- Spray with pressure set as low as possible to avoid overspray
- Keep the atmosphere vent hole free of paint to allow the jar to breathe freely
- To apply stain, lower the nozzle position to reduce the siphon action
- Turn down the air pressure to between 15 and 20 PSI
- Increase the distance from the workpiece to allow better control when shading in the stain
- When spraying with water-based finishes, watch for the potential build-up on the tip of the nozzle. It is better to wipe it away because it can dislodge and become embedded into the finish
- If your last workshop utilized water-based paints, just put the gun underwater and spray out the leftover. That way helps you clean through the tube and nozzle at the same time.
- For latex-based paints, fill the jar with some thinner and screw it to the tool then swish it. The thinner stream goes pass the nozzle taking away the retained particles. Once it’s done, remove the jar, clean the gasket and lid, then seal it again.
1. Can this sprayer work with chalk paint?
Yes. We have tested with this material, and luckily it worked. You can even spray with primer and polycrylic.
2. Can the pancake air compressor with the power of 2.6 SCFM 90 PSI work with this sprayer?
Since the gun won’t take much airflow to produce the streamline, you can absolutely use this setup.
3. Can you suggest an air compressor to pair with this gun?
We used the Harbor Freight Oilless Pancake Compressor 1/3 HP 100 PSI. They work together like a charm.
4. If I spray oil-based polyurethane, how would I clean the gun after use?
You can fill some mineral spirits in the jar and spray with it. Then clean it with soap and water. To dry the tube, blow some air.
Our verdict: is the gun Worth it?
If you think a mere brush can handle your small DIY so you don’t need to invest in a sprayer, you probably will regret it. Painting with brushes is an obsolete method for tiny projects that don’t require convenient organizing.
This gun has beaten the market for the best spray gun at $40. The Critter spray gun is just perfect for the small workshop once you get used to it.
Paint spraying with this gun will leave you a splendid finish you never expect from such a budget tool.
If your DIY stops at garage scale projects, don’t mind investing in this gun with an air compressor (a pancake one should be fine), hose and some couplers.
All in all, you are not in high demand for a multifunctional spray gun, this simplistic Critter can qualify the need.
No matter at what spraying level you are, this straightforward designed gun can surely satisfy any small to medium project.
If you have done any spray painting with this gun alone, share the process and your beautiful masterpiece.