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Poplar vs soft Maple

gcg's picture

Poplar vs soft Maple (post #111338)

I have used poplar face frames and doors for the last couple of painted projects I have done.  I have sprayed the projects with a Zissner waterbased primer and waterbased topcoat.  It seems that the grain of the poplar raises quite a bit and it is very hard to get a perfectly smooth "grainless finish." 

I was thinking of using soft maple on the next set of Kitchen cabinets I am starting soon.  Is maple easier to get a good painted finish?  The price difference is nominal.

I am spraying the cabinets with a four stage HVLP.  Any primer/topcoat recommendations are welcome.  I've been looking at Target and Enduro.  I will be finishing the cabinets in white and want something durable and non-yellowing.  Also, does anyone think a waterbased poly clear coat is worth it?

Edited 8/28/2007 4:44 pm ET by gcg

oldusty's picture

(post #111338, reply #1 of 38)

g ,

       Some Poplar is better than others , usually Soft Maple or / Brown / Silver Maple takes paint with little or no grain showing , depending on how well you scrape / plane / or sand and prepare the stock it is usually much harder as well  .

                       good    luck               dusty

BG's picture

(post #111338, reply #2 of 38)

This article helped me get a nice painted finish on poplar. The key was several primary coats and working those applications before the finish coats. I noticed he says that maple may require fewer primary coats than poplar...

mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #3 of 38)


I use soft maple almost exclusively in the cabinets I build - the exception is the odd job in cherry.

 Is maple easier to get a good painted finish? 

I have painted soft maple with really great results, and I get perfectly smooth, grainless finish like you are searching for. 

Any primer/topcoat recommendations are welcome. 

 2 coats of Sherwin Williams vinyl sealer tinted to match the paint color and a final coat of clear conversion varnish.  You would not need to have the sealer tinted as I believe it also comes in basic white. The conversion varnish is water white and will not yellow or change your white color. And it is extremely durable.

I avoid poplar at all costs because of the grain raising tendencies you have discovered. Too much labor (sanding) to end up with a marginally acceptable finish.

Good luck, and if you need a hand or have any ?'s just ask.


gcg's picture

(post #111338, reply #5 of 38)

Thanks for the detailed response mapleman and thanks to all others as well.

Can the Sherwin Williams paint you speak of be sprayed easily with HVLP? What thinning/additive schedule would you recommend? I'm newer to spaying paint on projects so I'm a little unfamiliar with some of the terms. I always thought of such things as varnish to be clear type coats but apparently you are saying it is a paint of sorts. Am I correct? Thanks again.

mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #6 of 38)


First of all, let me say that this stuff is not for the faint of heart, and most people who don't know how to use it properly shy away from it. However, I personally love the stuff, and I don't think there is anything out there that could even come close to the durability of it. Would I finish a highboy with it? Probably not. Perfect for kitchen cabinets, though.

Yes, the Sherwin Williams (SW) can be sprayed with HVLP. The conversion varnish and vinyl sealer is  part of an industrial line of  SW finishes, so you may not be able to walk into your local store to get it, but my local store carries it.

Both products must be catalyzed, so they will properly harden. Some things to note: The Conversion Varnish (CV) requires a different catalyst than the Vinyl Sealer (VS). So if you go that route, you would have to buy 2 different products to catalyze (about $20/qt - but that goes a long way). Also note that the pot life of these 2 products is 24 hours, so mix small batches at a time, and use what you mix that day.

Conversion varnish: add 1 oz of catalyst per qt (catalyst: V66 V21)

Vinyl sealer: add .65 oz of catalyst per qt (catalyst: V66 V26)

I pay roughly $26 per gallon, for the CV. Tinted VS runs about $40 per gallon. 2 Gallons of each would do about 15-20 cabinets worth of face frames, doors, and drawer fronts, give or take.

The VS dries to a dull sheen. The CV has 4 different sheens: Gloss, Bright Rubbed effect, Medium Rubbed effect, and Dull rubbed effect. On the sheen scale with gloss being 100, bright rubbed is about 60, medium rubbed is about 35, dull rubbed is about 20.

As for thinning, you will have to do some experimenting with your gun. The CV is a high solids product, meaning it will build fast (I use 2 seal coats and 1 varnish coat on paint jobs) 

For the 2 seal coats (you would be using white vinyl sealer or you can have it tinted to any SW color) I would add .65 oz catalyst and 1.5 oz thinner. I would recommend 2 coats so you don't have to spray 1 super heavy coat.

For my final coat (CV), I use 1 oz catalyst and 1.5 oz thinner per qt.

You may have to adjust the thinner ratio. I use xylene for thinner, you can also use high flash naptha 100 for a little slower drying time.

As for the terminology, while it is called conversion varnish, it is not really like real varnish at all (regular varnish takes a while to dry, this stuff is dry to the touch in a few minutes). It's really more similar to a catalyzed laquer - but not as easily repaired.

Good luck,


Some pdf data sheets:

Edited 8/29/2007 1:39 am by mapleman

CV_data_sheet.pdf33.44 KB
VS_data_sheet.pdf97.29 KB
gcg's picture

(post #111338, reply #8 of 38)


Wow, thanks for the info.  Why do you say people shy away from it?  When you give the mixing ratios, are those ounces in weight or volume?

I've previously spayed water borne finishes because I do not have a "spray booth" but rather my one car garage with a box fan in the window.  It works fine.  As long as I take precautions such as goggles and resparator, are there any other dangers in using this product (for instance can it be explosive like laquer?)

As I said I'm a novice in spraying but I have been doing well with good results thus far.  I'm not shy about trying something like this as long as there is no real danger of using it in my garage. I would also like that as long as it's mixed/sprayed properly that is not overly finiky, difficult, or unforgiving.

mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #9 of 38)


those mixing ratios are by volume, not weight.

I would not recommend spraying anything other than water based finished by using a box fan to exhaust the fumes. This stuff is at least as flammable as laquer. Better to play it safe. I did spray it outside a few times with fair results - the only problem being bugs landing on the finish before it sets up real good. I have a home built spray booth with an explosion proof fan.

I say people shy away from it because it seems complicated, since you have to mix the catalyst, short pot life, etc. I have recommended it before here and seen others recommend it and had a ton of people disagree and recommend lesser off the shelf products. Personally I would not use a water based product in the kitchen, due to the high heat, moisture, grease, etc. Look at the PDF spec sheet for the CV. Sherwin Williams lists something like 27 or 30 products they applied to the finish after a 24 hour cure and not one of them affected the finish. In my opinion, if you want the most absolutely durable product, this is what I would use.

I also do not think it is overly finiky or unforgiving to use. There is no blushing from high humidity like with laquer products.

All said, I think if you are willing to give it a shot and do a few tests to see what settings your spray gun does best with, you will not be disappointed.

I will stress again, though - I don't think spraying this or any other solvent based product in a garage with a box fan for exhaust is safe - so above all else - be careful!

Good luck,


gcg's picture

(post #111338, reply #10 of 38)

Thanks again! Where can I get an fan for spraying solvent based products? How much do they run. I was thinking of making my garage a make shift spray booth on the cheap with some insulation and vapor barrier. Again I would have to put the fan in the window or I suppose I could build it into the wall. Are there any other major ignition sources to worry about?

oldusty's picture

(post #111338, reply #11 of 38)

g ,   Go to the Grainger catalog , they have a good variety of sizes when it comes to exhaust fans .


mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #12 of 38)


make sure you do not have a gas hot water heater or gas furnace located in the garage. Also,  make sure your a/c is not getting return air from the garage - you will suck the fumes into your home.

I bought an explosion proof fan on ebay second hand- about $250. Not cheap, but not as expensive as blowing yourself up either. It's a little on the small side, but draws the fumes out of my booth relatively quickly. You will want to think about how much spraying you will be doing before you drop a few hundred bucks on a fan. I build cabinets for a living, so the cost was justified in my case.



gcg's picture

(post #111338, reply #13 of 38)

Ok thanks.  Ebay or craigs list sounds like a good idea.  The garage is a one car detatched so I don't think I have anything else to worry about. 

Is there anything else that is a must for a makeshift spray booth?  Right now the window where the fan is is on the wall perpendicular to the garage door.  I simply put the intake on the turbine compressor near the garage door and open the door about 4-5" to get cross ventalation and fresh air for the compressor. 

I don't do this for a living but I have been doing more and more side projects for people lately.   $250 dollars doesn't seem too bad considering the investment in other tools.  A project isn't really done until it's finished (no pun intended)  so as long as I have the money into the tools to build them, I may as well put a little into a proper finishing area.  My shop is in the basement but its not someplace where I really like to finish. 

I really appreciate all the help.

mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #14 of 38)


Hmmm.....let's see. Some people put a filter over  (before) the fan to catch the majority of the overspray. I found with the amount of spraying I was doing that the filters were getting severly clogged rapidly and airflow was being greatly reduced. So I nixed the filter - now the fan blades and motor are covered in gunk, but seem to be working fine.

One other thing I would mention is lighting - which could be a possible source of ignition. Do you have enough natural lighting (windows) to keep from using flourescent or conventional lights? Explosion-proof lighting is available as well - but again it is expensive. I'm no expert so you may want to check the lighting angle out - there may be a safe solution.

My booth is 12 X 20 connected to a small shed. I used clear polycarbonate for the walls and roof, like you would use for a greenhouse. I did this for 2 reasons - one is as long as it is daylight there is no need for additional lighting (I don't even have lights in there). The second reason is in the winter the booth heats up about 10-18 degrees above the outside temperature, speeding the cure time. It has it's drawbacks - in the summer (like now) it's 110-115 instead of 95 in there. But boy does the clear dry fast!

Glad to help, just don't want to see you hurt yourself or blow anything up.


gcg's picture

(post #111338, reply #15 of 38)

Thanks again.  I support you sentiment about me not blowing up!

brucet999's picture

(post #111338, reply #29 of 38)

Don't worry about explosion/fire hazard from lighting or electric fan motor. Minimum explosive limits for paint solvent vapors start around 14% concentration in the air; high enough that you would pass out first before reaching it. For most paints you could not get a flash if you stuck a burning match inside the can, much less in the room.

I built a small spray booth in my garage workshop and cut a 24x24 hole in the wall to mount an old box fan. I have shot many gallons of nitrocellulose lacquer [lowest flash-point material there is]in that booth with no problem. I use a cheap paper furnace filter over the fan to catch overspray. When it gets too clogged to pass enough air through, I simply brush off the excess overspray with a whisk broom.

The only fire hazard to watch out for is certain fast-drying alkyds, especially those based on vinyl toluene resin, that are loaded with driers. With those products, the overspray on your filter can catch fire due to buildup of heat from the drying reaction being held in by the insulation effect of a thick layer of dry overspray particles. As long as the fan is running there is no problem, but I have seen filters in an industrial shop catch fire after the fan was shut down and the cooling effect of the air flow stopped.

oldusty's picture

(post #111338, reply #30 of 38)

Hi Bruce ,

           You may want to use caution in advising that there is no worry in regards to explosion and such from Lacquers and such . 14 % or whatever

     Not only do I know of several shops that have had explosions and fires started while the sprayer was in the room and not passed out but also the residue that can form on the blades of an exhaust fan can and have caused problems when they were scraped to clean them and a small spark from the metal blade caused a disaster even while no fumes were in the air. Have you ever seen a fire started with Magnesium and a striker ? it is highly explosive similar to the compounds found in Lacquers .

   Like a gasoline tank , the fumes and vapors are more volatile then the liquids , the same is true with Lacquers and most solvents .

      I know we can't all do things exactly by the book but as a professional we shouldn't diminish the real hazards that exist to newer users .

                         regards            dusty

mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #31 of 38)


Well said!




oldusty's picture

(post #111338, reply #36 of 38)

   Lee ,

                  Thanks , apparently we all don't share the same opinion on this subject , hmmmm imagine that , ha , ha, ha .

    At least we are talking about a pertinent subject , sort of !

        As  I said I don't always follow all the rules of common sense but I am conscious not to lead others down that road by my words , if you know what I mean .

                 cheers          dusty

brucet999's picture

(post #111338, reply #32 of 38)

I still don't think that a spray booth is a likely source of explosion in a woodworker's shop. A ripped DC collector bag spewing fine sawdust is a more likely risk of explosion than a small spray booth.

Well, Dusty, you caught me in one error, anyway. 14% represents the upper explosive limit of thinners; lower limit is about 2%, which, by the way, is much higher than allowable limits for air quality in factories. In other words, you would feel very uncomfortable breathing solvent vapors before there were enough to cause an explosion risk.

But, one would have to evaporate about a half gallon of lacquer thinner in a 20'x15'x8'closed room to reach that 2% level.

In a spray booth with a typical 20" box fan moving 2000 CFM, You would have to evaporate [not just spray] more than a half gallon per minute of lacquer to reach lower flammable limits in the booth. That's enough to cover about 144 square feet of wood surface per minute if your spray gun is only 30% efficient. Nobody could spray that much per minute in his basement.

You said, "...residue that can form on the blades of an exhaust fan can and have caused problems when they were scraped to clean them and a small spark from the metal blade caused a disaster even while no fumes were in the air. Have you ever seen a fire started with Magnesium and a striker ?"
Huh? Who said anything about magnesium? And how do you strike a spark from aluminum or plastic blades of a box fan anyway?

You said, "Like a gasoline tank , the fumes and vapors are more volatile then the liquids , the same is true with Lacquers and most solvents ."
Actually, only liquids can be volatile, which means they tend to evaporate. Vapors are not volatile because they have already evaporated.
But, judging by the context, you probably meant explosive, not volatile. Volatile does not mean explosive or even flammable. Water is a fairly volatile liquid and non-flammable chlorinated solvents are among the most volatile of liquids. As to lacquers, shellac and oil-based finishes, I agree that the volatile parts - the solvents - are the primary fire hazards [apart from oily rags and overspray from fast-drying alkyds] but I can't imagine spraying enough of anything in a spray booth to cause an explosion hazard from vapors in the air.

oldusty's picture

(post #111338, reply #35 of 38)

  Bruce T ,

               How do you know what the blades of that fan were made of ? I'm just telling you what happened .

       The reference to Mag was more of a comparison to how explosive in the right circumstances these products can be .

      It seems you may be quoting some statistics from some source but still regardless of the % in the room fumes near a for example , ceiling or any light fixture when the bulb blows (and I've seen it with lights in my shop) can contribute to an explosion and as for my source : after 30 years experience spaying Lacquer on the job in a commercial type application ,not sure about your experience, I consider myself an expert witness in this arena .

     Just because saw dust you say is more dangerous does that make the Lacquer fumes any safer ? 

    Do what you feel is right for you , I'm not a rocket scientist nor a chemist , all I'm hoping for is that you cautiously advise others in this particular area , just to err on the conservative side wouldn't hurt . I hope you agree in general without splitting hairs .

            regards         dusty

                 " knowledge without experience is simply information "


brucet999's picture

(post #111338, reply #38 of 38)

I worked 27 years first in the petrochemical industry and then for paint & lacquer manufacturers, so I have a certain degree of comfort working with the products.

Still you make a good point about erring on the side of caution, especially where advice to others is concerned.

I would re-iterate here as well that anyone spraying fast-dry alkyds or oil finishes should remove the overspray from booth filters as soon as they shut down the fan and put it in water. I have seen booth filters that were heavily encrusted with overspray start smoking and actually catch fire after the air was shut down and heat could start building up.

JMadson's picture

(post #111338, reply #16 of 38)

You could also run a regular motor outside of the booth with a pully system actually spinning the fan in the window. Much cheaper this way.


vincentedwards's picture

(post #111338, reply #22 of 38)

You seem to be very experienced with spray equipment.

I was wondering if you could give me a basic list of equipment that one would need to get started in spraying finishes...
Are there any good books or sources of info that you used when you got started with spraying? I would like to learn more about this so I can decide if I can / should create a
basic spray booth in my shop.



JMadson's picture

(post #111338, reply #23 of 38)

Are there any good books

Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexnor is pretty much the bible.

mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #24 of 38)

Hi Vincent,

I just saw your post, but I am walking out the door to see a relative in the hospital. I will check back in tonight when I get home and make some recommendations. As you can see from my other posts, I tend to get a tad long winded!


mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #25 of 38)


The Flexner book is very good - but I have a copy from the first printing and I don't remember an extensive amount of info on spraying (maybe that has changed, with updated versions of the book). There is also a book dedicated to spray finishing by Andy Charron (sp?) - it is recent and might be of some use - but I have never read it myself. What I know about spraying I learned through trial and error, so some may disagree with what I will tell you, but that's O.K. - different opinions make the world go 'round.

OK - basic equipment:

Compressor, Spray Gun. I will add a good filter to this list.

For the compressor - you can spray with these little pancake or hot-dog type compressors (the ones with the very small tanks), but they are really best suited to driving nail guns. I would recommend something with a 20-30 gallon tank if you were to do any regular amount of spraying. This will drive nail guns, provide plenty of air for blowing off equipment/projects, and spray fairly well. I use a 30 gallon Husky compressor from HD (I'll probably get shot for saying that!). I have had no problems with it since I bought it 5 or so years ago and I drive it hard. A larger compressor (60-80gal. tank) is only needed for certain applications (more on that later).

Compressors basically come in two types: direct drive and Belt drive. Belt drive is generally much quieter, and since the motor and compressor head are separate, they can be replaced individually should the need arise. Usually if a direct drive compressor craps out then it's off to the dump.

Spray guns types: Conventional, and HVLP (High volume low pressure).

HVLP guns normally require a compressor which produces a higher CFM, as they are "greedy" and consume a high volume of air. If you already have a compressor, and you want to use a HVLP gun, you will need to find a gun that requires a minimum CFM that your compressor can produce. In other words, if you compressor puts out 7 cfm but you buy a hvlp gun that requires 11 cfm, you won't be driving the gun with the proper amount of air. It may still work, but you may not get proper atomization. Generally, the larger (60-80) gal. compressors produce a high enough volume of air to drive these guns well. But a compressor that large is a big investment. I am not saying you can't use a smaller compressor with a hvlp gun, but unless you match the gun to the cfm output of the compressor, you are not getting the full potential out of your equipment. 

On the other hand, conventional guns require much less air and you can get by with a much smaller compressor. Drawbacks? Most people will tout the fact that hvlp uses less material, thus saving you tons of money. Personally, unless you are spraying $180 per quart custom auto paint (think Jesse James) this is not much of an issue for the average person looking to spray finishes. And I set my gun up so there is as little overspray as possible (almost none) so I feel that is a moot point. I do most of my spraying with a conventional gun. Why? Because I get great results, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Now, within gun categories you have suction (siphon) feed and gravity feed. Suction guns have the cup on the bottom and gravity guns have the cup on the top. This is purely a matter of personal preference. Most gravity guns have a .6 quart cup. Most suction guns have a 1 quart cup. I prefer to have a little more material in the cup so I am refilling the cup less often.

So, what compressor should you get? Only you can decide. Let us know exactly what you need to do with a compressor and we can steer you in the right direction. The problem most people have is they are trying to spray high quality finishes with these little tiny compressors - as I said before you need to match the compressor up with your gun.

And what type of gun should you get? A conventional gun will allow you to get high quality results with a smaller (less expensive) compressor. I would recommend a high quality conventinal gun with a large assortment of tips/needles. Some finishes will require different tip/needle sets, and having a gun with an assortment will allow you to have the most flexibility. Stains will use the smallest tip, laquer might be a medium size tip, and the conversion varnish I spoke about earlier in the thread will use a larger tip than the stain/laquer will. Stay away from cheap Harbor Freight type guns that are $50. You will eventually need a part and with those cheap guns parts are non-exisent. I believe Devilbiss makes a finish line gun that comes with 3 to 4 tip/needle sets for about $150 - $175 give or take. Get a good quality gun (no need to spend $600, though) and if you discover spraying is not for you, provided you clean the gun well after you use it, you can sell it on ebay and get most of what you paid for it back. Buy a harbor freight gun and if you don't like spraying, throw it in the trash because you won't be able to give it away.

OK, this is getting long. Let us know what types of finish you plan on spraying (so we can recommend a gun, and tip/needle sizes) and let us know what else you plan to use the compressor for. From there we can get you a little more info on what's good and what you will or won't need.


Hastings's picture

(post #111338, reply #26 of 38)


I too have recently started spraying. I studied Andy Charron's book, which is quite helpful and is really helpful when it comes to trouble shooting.

I bought a Leonardo gun for about $150 with 3 tips (1.3mm, 1.4mm and 1.5mm). It is HVLP gravity fed, i.e., with the cup on the top. I have a Craftsman compressor with about a 30 gallon tank. It is about 20 years old. I spray outside, under a WalMart canopy ($75). I get away with this because the material dries in about 5 minutes.

I have been spraying a catalyzed lacquer and vinyl sealer from Sherwin Williams.

Initially, the results were just awful! Lots of orange peel and dry spray. Kevin, a Knots contributor, helped me with getting the mix right for humid and hot conditions.

After feeling somewhat despondent, I kept going and found the results beginning to improve. Although I am a spraying newbie, I am getting very pleasing results with the the lacquer. I am soon to spread my wings to another S-W opaque coating.

The key was practice and playing with the variables until you find something that works. While books will help, I don't think there is any substitute for just doing it. I would have loved to have had an experienced person over my shoulder, but I had to work through with trial and error (mostly error!). It took me six weeks to get it right on some face frames!

I offer this as encouragement to go ahead and try it.



vincentedwards's picture

(post #111338, reply #27 of 38)

That was a very helpful response!

I plan to mostly spray varnish and lacquer... and some stain.
I agree that a higher quality conventional gun sounds best.

I have used a double action airbrush in the past, so I think this
will come quickly because a spray gun is basically a very big airbrush.

I was actually getting close to buying a compressor for my shop to drive brad and nail guns. A medium unit sounds good. Is the Home Depot unit better than a craftsman?



mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #33 of 38)


You will have to check the craftsman compressor - I have not seen one that is belt drive, but I haven't been in a sears store in quite some time. If they do have one, it will have been made by someone else. If you find one that is belt drive, try to find out who makes it, then you can get a better comparison between brands.

Lowes has the Kobalt brand, HD has the Husky brand. IIRC, both are made by Cambell Hausfield. My Husky was made in USA, but I bought it quite some time back. Like I said, I have had no problems with it. The craftsman direct drive will work, but once you compare a belt drive comp. to a direct drive, you will never buy a direct drive again. They really are quite noisy.

A 30 gallon comp. will give you plenty of room to grow. I know people who have painted cars with a 30 gal. Takes a while to catch up, but it will work. Nailguns are no problem, and you could also use some pneumatic tools such as sanders, etc. You may want to look for a 30 gal upright, they take up less room.

As for a gun, I will look at some of the guns that come with an assortment of tips/needles and let you know what looks like a good deal, as well as good quality. I mentioned Devilbiss earlier because you can get parts from Sherwin Williams stores easily(they are a distributor).

I'll be back in touch in a few days, I'm back to the hospital to see Mom.


Hastings's picture

(post #111338, reply #28 of 38)


Another really helpful post — Thank you!

A question for you:

Although I have been pleased with my $150 gun, what benefit would I get from a step up in price. It seems that the next jump would put me in $400 territory and top-of-line is $600.

As a newbie, what differences would I notice? What benefits would I get? Are the differences only appreciated by the pros?

Thank you again for your help.


mapleman's picture

(post #111338, reply #34 of 38)


Being cost-minded (not necessarily cheap) I'm not sure if a $400 gun would be a great increase in quality, or a $600 gun.

I will confess to never having used a top of the line Sata ($600), but I have used some $300 guns and have not seen a marked difference from my Devilbiss ($150). The high end guns are a tad lighter, which equates to less fatigue when spraying for long periods. It all boils down to how well they atomize the product. Depending on what you are currently using, a more expensive gun may or may not do a better job.

Spray guns are like underwear, stores won't let you return them once you have "tried them on". So it's hard to do a comparison, unless you know someone who can let you try one out. I too have been tempted to get a top of the line gun, but I can't seem to let go of old faithful. I am coming to a point where I need to have a back up gun, and I will likely get a better gun similar to the one I have - but I'm not going top of the line unless someone can tell me "I use the same thing you do and I use this gun and it's better because...."

There is a ton of info on, and lots of choices. Too many. But if you sift through all or most of it, they do a good job of comparing all of their guns, and they are not afraid to let you know when a lower priced model does as well as a higher priced one.

Sorry, this probably didn't answer your question very well. If you are satisfied with your results, I would be tempted to keep what you have. If you are not, and you have exhausted all possibilities and determined it's your gun, I would upgrade slightly. I think going straight to the top of the line, you may realize it's not worth 4 X as much as your $150 gun.