Introduction to spray painting Using HVLP Equipment

The HVLP course is designed to teach decorators about the use of high volume low pressure spray equipment both with a turbine and a compressor.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry. 


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours

Purpose / Scope

The HVLP course is designed to teach decorators about the use of high volume low pressure spray equipment both with a turbine and a compressor.

The scope covers:

  • Understanding the parts of a HVLP turbine system including the difference between different brands of HVLP turbines
  • Understanding the types of spray guns on the market for HVLP and the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Understanding the difference between a turbine and a compressor and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • How to use the controls on the HVLP spray gun to alter your fan size and fluid amount to gain the perfect finish and a range of surfaces.
  • Understanding paint technology and how to prepare paint so that it can be sprayed using a HVLP system. How different brands vary and looking at product data sheets.
  • How to set up a compressor for use with a HVLP spray gun
  • Understanding the compressor and how to set the correct pressure
  • How to set up the HVLP spray gun with the compressor and using the fluid and fan control.
  • How to set up and use the pressure pot system
  • How to spray a range of surfaces using the HVLP spray gun.

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational groups:

  • operative and craft

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard.

Instruction / Supervision

As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that in relation to this standard they have:

  • A train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate or working towards a recognised teaching qualification
  • Successfully completed training to this standard 
  • At least 5 years relevant industrial experience
  • A verifiable CV
  • Current experience in the industry.


Delivery is in an off the job environment. Suitable areas must be available in the workshops to give enough spraying experience to the students. There needs to be a classroom environment to cover the underpinning knowledge.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes and must comply with relevant legislation.

Materials must be from a range of manufacturers to give the student and understanding of what different brands of paint are like to spray.

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes. A class size of 6 students to 1 tutor is recommended.

The following delivery methods may/may not be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • Classroom
  • Workshop


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment or knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

Quality assurance

Quality Assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the Training Organisation can meet the requirements of the Training Standard. 

Approved Training Organisations (ATOs)will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk based analysis.  They will also be visited annually by the CITB Quality Assurance team.

Renewal / refresher

Non mandatory refresher every 5 years

Approval date


Review cycle

Either on request or in 5 year(s) from approval date.

Learning outcomes

 The candidate will be able to: Additional guidance to support learning outcome

The student will know

  • the parts of a turbine, compressor and guns
  • what different types of spray guns there are on the market and the advantages and disadvantages for each.
  • This include needle sets, turbine types (3 stage, 4 stage etc) and compressor types. This would also include looking at the difference between different brands of HVLP (for example Graco and Fuji) and explaining the pros and cons for each.
  • This includes, conventional spray guns, HVLP and LVLP and also turbine guns.

The student will understand

  • the difference between a turbine system and a compressor system and the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • paint technology so that they can prepare the paint to be sprayed using a HVLP system
  • how to set up a compressor to get the correct pressure at the gun.
  • Mainly pressure and overspray differences however there are price differences too.
  • This will involve demonstrating how much paint needs to be thinned before it can be sprayed using a HVLP spray gun. It will also compare the data sheets of three different paint manufacturers to demonstrate how different paints need to be handled before they can be sprayed to achieve a professional finish.
  • This will look at the controls on the compressor as well as water traps and pressure gauges.

 The student will be able to

  • use the controls on a HVLP gun correctly to get the desired fan pattern and fluid delivery
  • set up the HVLP gun with the compressor and change the settings to get the correct fan pattern
  • set up a pressure pot system and spray a range of surfaces.
  •  The two main controls on a HVLP gun control the fan width and the amount of fluid (paint) delivered when the trigger is fully pulled. Various exercises will teach the student to fully understand each control and how they are used in tandem to get exactly the fan pattern that is needed for a particular surface.
  • Although very similar to setting up the turbine gun there are some differences when using the compressor. The main one being the control of the pressure. Turbine pressure is fixed, and the compressor is variable.
  • Pressure pots are a separate container for the paint which are available in a range of sizes. This allows free use of the gun especially in difficult spaces.


Additional information about this standard

This standard is not only designed to introduce decorators to the use of HVLP spraying systems,it is also designed to help them get the best out of the equipment that they already have in a wide range of typical decorative situations.