It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges as a pro painter is meeting your clients’ expectations. While it can sometimes seem like a daunting task — it’s not impossible!
When you need results that shine, most pros agree that combining exceptional paints with the top-quality finish of paint sprayers is a smart start. And, doing so will result in the most efficient, even coating, as well as unparalleled control and versatility… but there’s one factor that can make or break a job — spray tip size!
According to Graco, Inc., a leading manufacturer of fluid handling equipment, you want the spray equipment to distribute the correct coating thickness (also known as ml build) onto the substrate. Sprayer tip size is one of two factors that directly affects the volume of paint applied to a substrate — and can mean the difference between a job well done and a painting nightmare. If you select a tip without considering the substrate and the type of coating, chances are the spray volume will either be too high or too low.
If the application is too thin, paint may end up cracking, rusting, and more, which translates to extra time and labor, as well as an unhappy customer. Apply too much, and you may have to deal with the sagging, wrinkling, etc. that results or improper/longer cure time.
So where should you start?
BEHR QUALITY, PRO PERFORMANCE
First step is to select the highest-quality professional coating for the job. Behr’s line-up of BEHR PRO® Interior and Exterior Paints are formulated to exceed your clients’ expectations and to make your job easier! Here’s the line-up!
BEHR PRO® i300 Interior Paints
- Excellent touch-up, washability = fewer repaints
- Anti-microbial protection from mold and mildew
- MPI-approved commercial specs in all sheens
- Tintable to full range of colors
- Available in dead flat, eggshell and semi-gloss
BEHR PRO® e600 Exterior Paints
- Created to meet the unique needs of paint professionals
- Optimal sprayability, minimal flashing and surfactant leaching
- 100%-acrylic formula
- Excellent hiding power and uniform finish
- Mold- and mildew-resistant
- Available in flat, satin and semi-gloss
BEHR PRO® i100 Interior Paints
- Reliable performance and value for interior applications
- Excellent spray sheen uniformity, even finish
- Easy application helps jobs move faster
- Low-VOC (< 50 g/L excluding colorants), meets national VOC regulations
- Available in eggshell, semi-gloss and flat (wall and ceiling)
Next up, identify which Graco spray tips work best with each BEHRPRO Paint. How? A keen eye and a little math will quickly provide the answer!
Spray tips are typically identified by a three-digit code. Multiplying the first number by two reveals the spray fan width when used 12 inches from the substrate. The following two numbers detail the tip’s opening in thousands of an inch, as well as establishes how much material the sprayer disperses. It’s these two factors — orifice size and fan width — that dictate a coating’s thickness.
With this information in hand, look for a tip that fits the type and capabilities of the sprayer you’re using — understanding that some tips require higher pressure ensure material atomization (check out your sprayer’s product manual for more information). Also, if a job involves using several spray guns, make sure you find a tip size that matches the multiple-tip rating of the sprayer.
Now, you’ve got everything you need to make your work its best!
Dan McDougal, Graco national account manager, said,
Regardless of your job, the right BEHR Paint selection, combined with the appropriate Graco spray tip, will make sure you deliver a beautiful, professional finish for your customers, every time.
Now that you know which spray tips you need, it’s important to keep them clean for as long as possible. Ideas to consider:
Manage pressure settings — Use the lowest pressure you can while maintaining a solid spray fan/pattern. Doing so can reduce tip deterioration and over-spraying , as well as extend pump life — all of which saves you money!
Strain coating. Before spraying, it’s a smart move to strain the coating. This step diminishes /eliminates debris that could clog the spray tip, which not only keeps the spray tip working longer, but allows you to spend less time cleaning and more time finishing the job.
Reverse-A-Clean (RAC) tips are simple to use and can be replaced on the go, without having to remove the tip guard and housing, the RAC tip is, by far, the most adaptable reversible tip available. Even better, clogs can be cleared quickly. All you need to do is turn the tip 180 degrees and trigger the sprayer.
That said, sadly, all good things must come to an end. Even with normal use, the best spray tips eventually succumb to the effects of time, use and chemical exposure. When that moment arrives depends on the amount of use, as well as the types of coatings. A tip should be retired when you notice “tails” on the top edge of the spray fan and/or when the tip starts to separate from the gun. While most manufacturers provide replacement times, tip life varies by coating. Recommended replacement times:
- Latex — After 15 to 40 gallons
- Oils and Stains — After 35 to 60 gallons
It’s important to replace a tip when it gets worn to make sure you get a precise spray pattern, maximum productivity, and quality finish on your project. As illustrated above, when a tip wears, the orifice size increases, and the fan width decreases. This causes more paint to hit a smaller area, which wastes paint and slows productivity.
Now, while you might be tempted to put off replacing a spray tip to save money, keep in mind that using a worn tip not only wastes paint but will likely compromise paint look and performance. Save yourself time, money, and referrals by ensuring you — and your client — are happy!
This article was created in partnership with Graco.