Young Painter 100% Set Up with SATA Guns and Accessories
By Autobody News Staff
Published May 24, 2023
Head Painter Kaci Sallee received a fast education from great teachers about how to paint a car along her fast track to success. With her SATA guns in her arsenal and knowledge she garnered from multiple painters at Premier Collision CARSTAR’s three locations in Washington State, Sallee was ready to shine.
As of December 2021, she is a full-time head painter at the company’s Olympia location and loving every minute of it.
Sallee, 24, was hired as a detailer in 2018 and held the same position for two years.
Premier Collision CARSTAR
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 11
In Business Since: 2007
Number of Locations: Three
Combined Production Space: 27,500 square feet
In the summer of 2020, she applied for a painter prepper’s position and got the job. She began working with Joe Cairns, a veteran painter, who showed her how to apply paint and avoid many of the rookie mistakes some fledgling painters can make.
“By March of 2021, they let me jump in without a lot of training, but I adapted quickly,” Sallee said. “I was able to go to all of our three shops (Tacoma, Yelm and Olympia) to learn the most I could. Each painter has their own style and sprays differently, and I took what I could from each one.
“I started using SATA guns because my teachers were using them and I wanted to do it the same way. They really liked their SATA guns, so it was a fairly easy decision. Everyone recommended them and I have stuck with them because they do an amazing job. I love the way they feel in my hand and the finished product always looks spectacular.”
Now Sallee uses her SATAjet X 5500 HVLP for bases and clears and her SATAminijet 4400 for UV primers and the occasional spot-in. “The coverage is great and I can usually cover everything with two coats, depending on the colors,” she said. “The more I use them the better I get. I can see some progress every time, which is so encouraging.”
Sallee agreed the three things you want from a spray gun are control, accuracy and comfort. “My hands get a little tired at the end of the day, but the next morning they feel fine and I’m ready to roll out again. I plan on painting for a few years now,” she said with a laugh, “so the way the guns feel in my hands is very important to me.”
Maintenance is never an issue with her SATA spray guns or accessories. “After a few colors, I disassemble and reassemble them and it’s become a routine,” she said. “If I go to a silver from a white, for example, I may have to wash them more often. But in most cases, the maintenance has been easy and doesn’t feel like a chore.”