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Tecnover TR4000P airless diaphragm spray unit

Listed under Blog, Ron Taylor, spray painting Posted Aug 31 2019

Ron Taylor, Traditional Painter for Warwickshire, is a hand painting specialist who has also mastered spraying. He provides a quick review of the Tecnover TR4000P airless diaphragm spray unit he uses for painting kitchens, bedroom furniture and general paintwork.

Tecnover TR4000P airless
Tecnover know how to build a high performance airless spray unit. They even named this TR4000P after a muscle car?

About Tecnover

Tecnover is an Italian company who have been making spray equipment for around 30 years. They appear to be unique amongst manufacturers in that all their airless range are diaphragm pumps. This approach differs from the majority of airless machines currently on the market that use a piston to generate power and push the paint though.

I contacted Tecnover via email about what I wanted and found them extremely helpful and very quick to reply to any questions.

Down to business

First thing you notice about the Tecnover is the weight of it. It doesn’t look overly big but there’s a lot of metal in there. This is their entry level machine and although it is available on a cart it’s the only power range that doesn’t come with a cart as standard. I’d imagine the bigger machines would be unmovable without one. It is a 230V machine so no need for a transformer, no extra weight.

What is it good for? Absolutely…

There is absolutely no reason why this machine won’t spray paint on ceilings and walls. However the hopper limits its use in this regard, unless you have someone filling it as you go. It is available without the hopper (TR4000) but the hopper is easier to use for paint in smaller quantities.

hopper version of Tecnover TR4000P airless diaphragm spray unit
Tecnover TR4000P airless is the hopper version of this spray unit

I don’t use the supplied gun with the Tecnover machine. The supplied gun is a four finger trigger, which I don’t like. Most new machines from all manufactures are supplied with similar guns, so Tecnover are not alone in this. Also the gun uses a different thread for the guard to the standard 1/4”, therefore I use the gun and tips that I already have.

gun used with Tecnover TR4000P airless diaphragm spray unit

You will need an adaptor to use this machine with Graco, Wagner or other brand hoses or guns.

Do you need a degree in setting up an airless diaphragm pump?

I won’t explain setting up the machine. It’s slightly different to airless machines but it’s pretty simple. I didn’t read the manual and got on fine. That is fine, not fire!

Pick a plug, any plug. Italian 2 pin connector and a 3rd party £5 adaptor

How does the Tecnover TR4000P airless run?

Diaphragm pumps differ from airless in that the motor runs constantly even when you reach pressure. An airless will stop when you reach pressure and only run when you pull the trigger. What you find with this machine is the very smooth power delivery. Where some cheaper airless machines may seem to waver when they’re working hard, the Tecnover doesn’t. You set the pressure and power is constant and effortless.

I’m sure the smooth power delivery is down to the diaphragm and this certainly helps when you are triggering on and off in tight areas.

Technical tip – tips

When we spray kitchens we usually use a 208 or 308 low pressure tip.

Depending on the product you can have the pressure around 1000psi.

We have used the pump on large ceilings and it sprays with a 619 tip and 50ft with ease.

Some pumps say they will support a 19 or 21 thou tip, but in use they struggle. This pump has no such problem.

Closing thoughts on the Tecnover TR4000P airless diaphragm spray unit

The power is smooth and constant giving you ultimate confidence in the machine.

On the surface, the machine itself really does look like it’s built to last. I own a couple of other airless machines but this one inspires me with confidence the most in terms of durability.

There are other manufacturers making diaphragm pumps but they aren’t selling them for the price that Tecnover are charging. This sprayer comes at a budget price for this type of machine but you don’t get budget performance.

How does Ron know so much about spraying and brushing water based paint?

If Ron’s online articles about applying acrylic paints were in book form, the pages would be falling apart from over use! How to spray acrylic paint , brushes for acrylic trim paint and airless spray acrylic paint on trim, still stand the test of time. And to view the theory in practice check out his masterclass demonstration on a spray painted kitchen in Warwick.

Finding paint

Ron was onboard with water borne paints way before the mainstream in the UK decorating trade. There has been emulsion paint for walls and ceilings forever. However for woodwork, professional finishes in the UK were always achieved with solvent based paints applied by hog bristle brushes. Having seen what was possible in the US market where acrylic paints have been in use since the 60’s and 70’s, Ron gravitated to acrylic paint for woodwork. He was determined to see it through, and looked to UK manufacturers for waterborne paint – and then abroad again. It was a headbanger time because by the time he was able to narrow down a few paint brands worth using, he exposed another big issue. There was a lack of readily available brushes suited to applying quick drying paint to a high standard!

Finding brushes

A small selection of the best of US brushes back in the day. Later on, the Fox paint brush, made in the Midlands and designed by Traditional Painter, Martin Guest, showed them a trick or two!

Sourcing the best paint brushes for acrylic paint was a tricky challenge that took Ron way beyond the boundaries of Warwickshire. From memory I don’t recall a UK brush maker with a clue at that time about synthetic bristles. This is so typical of progress in the UK trade. The (un)intended consequences of hanging on to traditional hog hair brushes was to put a natural brake on the transition away from traditional oil paints to water based paint.

How many millions of words were spouted on UK internet platforms about how rubbish acrylic paint for woodwork was? Too many brush marks or too easy to apply or too hard to apply. Another day there was not enough body or not enough of this that or the other compared to what we know. In one memorable trade meeting I attended in the 90’s, someone said water based paint was rubbish because you can’t apply it in the rain. OK.

Finding a good paint finish

The main issue was painters couldn’t get the finish they wanted, because they didn’t know how. They didn’t have the correct brushes, and / or didn’t know how to adjust the paint flow, nor how to prepare the surface. A host of issues that are now ironed out, but it took a while!

Fortunately the slow adoption of the business opportunity that was water based paint didn’t stop Ron looking. He found Proform and the rest of the expert synthetic bristle brush makers based in the USA. Nowadays there is no “best paint brush” just a wealth of choices to suit all hand sizes, painting styles and tasks. So it is now a world of “preferred paint brush”! Likewise there is a wealth of really good quality acrylic enamels for woodwork and walls. To the point where colour matching is as big a selling point as the quality of the paint.

Finding spray

Air assisted airless
This image is an AAA set-up.

Finding the best way to apply paint for each task is as important as choice of paint to use. A 1″ brush may not leave brush marks but it is no way to paint a wall, ordinarily! And a 2′ sweeping brush is no way to approach a small panelled door. But there are ways to apply a huge quantity of paint with precision – spray guns.

Ron has a list of best spray units with which to apply acrylic paints flat and efficiently and cleanly.

The featured Tecnover model is his preferred one these days for kitchen cabinets, furniture and general woodwork trim.

It’s a journey

Ron has developed a wealth of knowledge about decorative spraying, looking into the potential before there was ever a culture of spray painting in the general UK decorating trade. Ron learned the hard way, having persevered through a very steep learning curve, navigating the marketing hype and false dawns. In the scheme of things, Ron was learning pretty much alone, along with Scot Hindley and a few others around the country. And fortunately he had a steady flow of work to fund his passion, else he might have ended up living alone too!

In recent years there has been an upsurge in spraying in the UK, and the expertise base is growing. There is always a tendency for faster and better, but invariably in the UK, that ends up translated as cheaper and then, not profitable! The public wonder why it is so hard to find a good tradesman? That’s why! Whether the adoption of spraying is for the best or there are more unintended consequences, only time will tell. Ron however is one of those experts who understands the value of what he can do. Invariably his clients see it too and are happy to pay accordingly, to keep everything sustainable.

For hire – a hand painting specialist who teaches spraying

Primarily Ron offers a specialist kitchen painting service to homeowners in and around Warwickshire. He also makes his font of knowledge available to companies who need someone to explain and demo how all things spray work. His perspective is based in the real world, not just in a test lab. Equally importantly, he explains why things aren’t working and how to rectify the issue. And he isn’t wed to any one company so he says what works, not what works for a company’s marketing department.

Is there a best spray gun or spray unit or best delivery technology? No. Tool selection is all about horses for courses, but when spraying, this workhorse Tecnover has swayed Ron over to the way of Tecnover, a lot.

Thanks for reading.

In Warwickshire contact Ron. Or if you need the services of a hand painted kitchen specialist who can also spray to a really high standard, there are several members at Traditional Painter, who, like Ron, can square that tricky technical circle.

Refurbished painted kitchen in Shipston-on-Stour Warwickshire
Refurbished painted kitchen in Shipston-on-Stour Warwickshire. Ron completed this with a combination of hand painted frames and sprayed doors and cornice. To all intents and purposes, the finish and durability are the same, when you know what you are doing.

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