Guide to Picking the Right Graco Spray Tip Size and Type

In this article we cover how to select the correct spray tip when spraying, what the number on the spray tip means and what the colour of the spray tip indicates.

Spray tips come in a wide range of varied sizes. When spraying it is essential that the correct size is chosen to ensure the best quality finish. The spray tip you choose determines how much fluid will leave the gun, as well the size of the spray fan. 
There are many advantages to when you select the right spray tip.

  • Decreases overspray  
  • Provides more control  
  • Optimises work times   
  • Causes less material to be wasted  
  • Will save you time and money  

All Graco Spray tips are identified by a 3-digit code.  


The First Number 

The first number indicates the fan width. When you multiply the first number on the spray tip by 2, it tells you how wide of a fan width the tip will create in inches when sprayed at a distance of 12 inches. 

If you prefer to work in cm you can work it out this way: multiply the first number by 5, this will tell you the fan width in cm when sprayed at a distance of 30cm from the surface.

The last two numbers 

The last two numbers of the tip indicate the size of the spray orifice, indicated in one-thousandths of an inch. The higher the number is, the greater the flow with which you can spray.  

It’s the combination of fan width and orifice size that will determine the thickness of the spray.



What size of tip do I need? 

The type of material, as well as the surface you are spraying define what size tip you should use. Use the chart below to choose a tip with an orifice size rated for the material you’ll be spraying.  

How thick is the material? 

It’s easy to pick the tip size when you know the material you’ll be spraying. The lower viscosity (thinner) materials, such as a lacquer or stain, will require a spray tip with a smaller orifice or hole size. Much heavier materials, like latex, require a tip with a bigger orifice.  

What is the best fan size for the job? 

The fan size (the width of the spray pattern) determines how much area is covered with each pass. For a given tip orifice, a wider spray fan delivers a thinner coat, a less defined spray pattern, more overspray, and faster coverage on broad, open surfaces. A narrower fan delivers a thicker coat, a more defined spray pattern, less overspray, and better control when spraying small or confined surfaces.  
To increase productivity and reduce the cost of labour, pick a tip with the correct fan size for the job. In general, a larger fan size increases production with less control, and a smaller fan size decreases production with more control.  

You also need to consider... 


You need to size the tip based on tip rating of your Graco paint sprayer. Not every machine can support every size of tip.  The sprayer must have a maximum flow rate higher than the flow rate of the tip, so make sure the flow rate of the tip is less than the maximum flow rate of the sprayer you are using. The tip will wear faster if you pick one with a higher flow rate, resulting in the orifice becoming larger.  

If you are using multiple spray guns on a job pick a tip size that matches the multiple tip gun rating of the spray machine you are using.  


The colour coding system  

The colour of the tip is also used as an identifier.  

  • General use tips are blue and black. The Blue PAA or the Professional Airless Applicator is a versatile spray tip and is suitable for residential, commercial and industrial sites. They are most commonly used for interior and exterior wall painting. 
  • Fine finish low-pressure tips are green. The green FFLP is designed for fine finishing such as woodwork, cabinetry and metal. They are mostly used for smaller jobs where you need more control.  These are Smart Spray Tips meaning they atomise at a lower pressure. The green LP (Low Pressure) tips also use Smart technology but are used for larger projects like the Blue PAA tips.  
  • Tips for pavement striping or field markings are yellow. They are designed to reduce overspray to ensure sharp lines, with an even pain distribution.  
  • Brown tips are for heavy applications. The brown HDA tips are like a larger version of the Blue PAA’s. These are for larger interior and exterior paint jobs. They are often used for spraying plaster.  

Need more help?

If you need help picking the correct spray tip please call 0113 231 0500 or use the contact form here

Shop our huge range of Graco tips here.

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