Finding the right Graco paint sprayer tips can be confusing in the beginning. There are many different sizes yet they only differ a few millimeters so how much difference does it really make?
The good news is that Graco makes identifying the correct spray tip easier with its color-coded system. Combine this with a little general knowledge spray tip sizes and you will find the best option for the paint job.
Also, think about how vicious the material is and how thick you want to coating to be before choosing the actual tip size. Read on to learn which paint sprayer tip to use and how to use the Graco color-coding system for quicker decisions.
Viscosity and Texture
One of the ways to decide on the right spray tip size is by identifying how big the orifice should be depending on the paint material. The general rule is that the more viscous the material and the thicker the layer, the larger the orifice should be.
Thinner layers and less viscous materials such as stains, enamels, and lacquers are compatible with smaller size tips; generally 0.009 – 0.015 inches. Thicker and more viscous materials such as latex paint, fillers and paint jobs with texture require larger tip sizes and can be greater than 0.035 inches.
This is a very basic approach but might still be good enough for beginner tools and those that are new to DIY tasks.
Airless Paint Sprayer 3-Digit Code Explained
Airless paint sprayer tips are categorized with a 3 digit code which is highly informative. The numbers refer to a different aspect of the tip so it is much more detailed than the guesswork based on paint material thickness.
The first number in the 3 digit sequence refers to the paint spray angle from which the fan width can be calculated. Adding a 0 to the first number gives you the spray angle.
For example, a 2 at the front means a narrow 20 degrees angle and a 5 at the front means a wider 50 degrees angle. The number goes from 1 – 5 with 1 being the most narrow and 5 being the widest angle.
To find the fan width size in inches, multiply the first number by 2. This gives you the fan width when spraying at a distance of 12 inches from the surface.
The final two numbers are the orifice size in thousands of an inch, just as explained in the previous section. For example, a 315 tip means that the spray angle is 30 degrees and the orifice is 0.015 inches big.
Calculating Coat Thickness
When comparing the 3 digit codes of spray tips we can decide which Graco Paint Sprayer tips will create the thicker or thinner coat. As mentioned, we need to also do the fan width calculation.
As an example, take a 315 and a 515 spray tip. The orifice sizes are the same but the spray angle and fan width are different.
The 315 has a fan width of 6 inches wide while the 515 has a fan width of 10 inches wide. When using the same spray paint gun at the same setting, the flow rate will be the same so the fan width is the only difference.
When the flow rate is the same but the area covered is different, the smaller area will have a thicker coating while the larger area will have a thinner coating. In this case, a 315 tip creates a thicker coat than a 515 tip.
Graco Paint Sprayer Tips Color Coding System
As mentioned, Graco has an additional system in place to make choosing the best Graco paint sprayer tips easier. The system is based on 5 different colors as shown in the table below.
|Black||General use, most common materials|
|Blue||General use, most common materials|
|Gray||Heavy-duty use at high pressure|
|Yellow||Thick outdoor coatings (commercial use)|
|Green||Detail work at low pressure|
There are several examples of special Graco paint sprayer tips that are commonly recommended for specific jobs. Here are a few examples.
|Reverse-A-Clean (RAC)||General use, most common materials|
|XHD RAC||Heavy-duty use at high pressure|
|WideRAC||Thick outdoor coatings (commercial use)|
|RAC-X||Detail work at low pressure|
This quick guide on paint sprayer tips will help you assemble the best tool for your next paint job. We advise sticking to the same brand tips and spray guns since these will be the perfect fit.
Graco has a wide range of tips available and have already made choosing the right Graco spray tip easier with their color-coding system. This saves you some time on eliminating the incompatible tips before having to make calculations on fan width and coating thickness.