Which Graco Airless Spray Tip Do I Need?

Airless spray tips determine the width of the spray fan pattern, the amount of paint that is sprayed and the quality of the finish. Choosing the correct tip for your airless sprayer can seem a bit confusing without knowing a few basic things about them.

What do the numbers on the tip mean?

Choosing the correct tip size is essential for getting a quality finish, efficiency and optimum paint usage.

This is a handy guide to help you choose your tip size based on the material to be sprayed. The basic rule is to use tips with smaller orifice sizes for paints with lower viscosity and vice-versa.This is only a guide – the actual size(s) needed will vary depending on actual material being sprayed. Also ensure your machine is able to spray the material and can handle the tip size.

Pick a tip that your Airless Sprayer can supply material to
Be sure the tip you want is not too big for your pump to be able to spray. Check your machine’s specifications to be sure. If the tip is too big the paint won’t atomise and you will get a very poor finish.

Which type should you pick?
For thinner materials and where you need a perfect finish we recommend Graco’s new FFLP (fine finish low pressure) tips. These tips allow you to spray at lower pressures giving a finer finish.

Choose the orifice size based on the material to be sprayed

The table below contains example materials along with the recommended tip orifice to use.

Material Orifice Size Group
Varnishes (before low VOC) .009 .011 thin materials
Lacquers (clear coats) .009 .011
Shellac (clear) .009 .013
Stains – transparent .011 .013
Water sealers (thin and clear) .011 .013
Tung Oil (pure thinned) .011 .013
Lacquers (water borne) .012 .014 medium
Acrylics (clear) .012 .014
Acrylics (latex) .013 .015
Varnishes (low VOC) .013 .015
Polyurethanes .013 .015
Stains – solid .013 .015
Enamels – oil-based .013 .015
Latex paint – interior .013 .017
Latex paint – exterior .015 .019
Primers – latex .015 .017
Primers – oil based .017 .019
Heavy Latex .021 .025 thicker
Elastomerics (smooth) .021 .025
Elastomerics .025 .039 thick materials
Fire Retardants .025 .039
Alumastic .025 .039
Block Fillers .025 .039

Avoid using worn out tips

On average a painter with a worn out tip uses 20% more paint and 20% more labour

Don’t forget to replace worn tips

All tips will wear out with normal use due to the abrasiveness of the paint. When a tip wears out the orifice gets bigger and rounder which lets more paint through and reduces the size of the fan pattern. It is time to replace the tip when the fan pattern has lost 25% of its original height.

How to tell if a tip is worn

The spray pattern indicates if a tip is worn. With use the orifice will gradually wear out. The spray pattern loses its height and becomes rounder.