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Choosing the best spray tip for your airless sprayer is HUGE. Spending $25 to $40 is not the cheapest “lets try this” adventure. Lucky for you, Grants Painting an Indianapolis Kitchen Cabinet Painter has tried most airless spray tips in many situations. Read this guide for airless spray tip selection. Also note that some techniques require slightly different spray tips.

Spray Rules Of Thumb

  • The first thing to keep in mind is that the less pressure that you use – the less over spray you will get.
  • Use filters and clean them regularly.
  • Wash out pump after every job, color, problem…
  • With water based products never rely on viscosity changes such as water or Floetrol like product to use a certain tip. If your pump cannot push the paint you need a shorter line or bigger orifice spray tip.

Graco Spray Tips Types

  • Blue – Classic blue spray tips go with the blue duckbill guard. They last the longest and require the most
  • Green FF – Green fine finish give a much better finish than the blue tips but can blow out pretty easy especially with debris running though the system.
  • Green FF LP – Green finish spray tips with the “LP” indicate that they require less pressure. These tips also spray less paint and do not make the process faster but they deliver a finish with less orange peel.

Spray Tip Size Meaning

The tip size number system works the same with most manufactures. You see numbers like 213 515 717. The first number in the set of three numbers is the spray pattern size. It is half of the spray pattern height. So if the first number is a 5 then the pattern will be 10 inches tall. The second two numbers in the set of three is the orifice size. A 13 or 15 or 17 is actually .013 in or .015 inches. The orifice size will be a factor in controlling the amount of paint coming out of the gun and this will change based on how thin or thick the paint is.

What The Tip Size Chart Doesn’t Tell You

The tip size chart is very useful in deciding a tip size. You should gather that the orifice size lets much more paint through when size goes up just one number. The amount of paint that comes through is very much dependent of the power of the pump and the viscosity of the paint. So you must know that there is a HUGE difference between a 211 and a 213 or a 413 and a 415. The thing to consider is really the speed that the paint is being applied to the surface. A 211 will apply the paint about the same as a 413 or 513, it’s just the fan pattern will be double the size. And a 211 will put out paint much slower and with a nicer finish than a 213.

Correct Spray Tip Size For Spraying Trim or Gutterwork

Spraying trim and gutter-work can be very difficult. Spraying either a shiny surface or anything metal with the correct tip is imperative. These are two surfaces that will show any drips or heavy spots like a sore thumb. So use a very small tip like a 211, 213, 311, or 313. Since gutter-work or trim will have many 4 in or 6 in areas the 2.. or 3.. sized tips work the best. To prevent runs, sags, or other defects restrict the flow with a small orifice size like the 11 or 13. Beginners should stick with the 11 sized tips on surfaces that will not be back-rolled. Use of a filter will need to be used or the smaller tip will clog so much it won't be worth it to use a sprayer. Use at least a 100 mesh in the gun and sprayer when spraying with a small orifice size tip.

Correct Spray Tip Size For Spraying Interior Walls

Spraying interior walls should only be done if all items can be masked. Generally a 513 or 515 will do a nice job. Larger sized spray tips can be used with low pressure if the wall is being back-rolled or is on a rough surface that doesn’t need to be back-rolled.


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