The information provided in this section should help you understand why spray tips are so important, how to determine which spray tip is the best choice depending on the spray application at hand and your specific Graco or Magnum sprayer, and some general information on spray tip wear.

Using the appropriate spray tip reduces overspray and provides more control. This means you can save money and complete your painting project faster when you use the right tip for the job.

Spray Tip Size Selection

The size of the tip is determined by three main factors:

  • Coating being sprayed - determines hole size.
  • Surface area to cover - determines fan size.
  • Which sprayer you’re using - determines maximum tip size.

Coating Determines Hole Size

You can determine which spray tip orifice (hole) size to use by the thickness (viscosity) of the coating you will spray. Spray tips are labeled by their hole size in inches.

Recommended Tip Sizes for Common Coating Materials

Tip Sizes Coatings
Light Medium Heavy
Stains Enamels Primers Interior Paints Exterior Paints
.011 X        
.013 X X X X  
.015   X X X X
.017     X X X
.019         X
.021         X

Try the online, tip size recommendation tool.

Spraying Surface Determines Fan Size

Small surfaces (cabinets, fences, railings) require smaller fan widths for:

  • Sharper spray pattern definition
  • Reduced overspray
  • Ability to spray further with less fall-off

Large surfaces (ceilings and walls) require larger fan widths for:

  • Increased coverage
  • Ability to spray closer with less build up

Match Your Sprayer To The Right Tip

The key difference in sprayers is the maximum tip size they can support. Choose your sprayer based on the coating types you’ll be spraying.

Sprayer Maximum Tip Size Supported
Magnum Project Painter Plus .015 inch
Magnum X5 / XR5 .015 inch
Magnum X7 / XR7 .017 inch
Magnum Pro X9 / XR9 .019 inch
Graco 190ES / LTS .019 inch

Start with a tip one size smaller than the maximum tip size your sprayer supports. This allows for tip wear, which increases the tip hole size.

Understanding Tip Wear

Paint Sprayer Tip Wear Chart

Choosing the right spray tip is essential for ensuring a quality finish -- no matter which coating material is being sprayed. However, spray tips will wear with normal use.

It’s important to replace a tip when it gets worn to ensure a precise spray pattern, maximum productivity and quality finish. 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.

Tip life varies by coating, so if a tip is worn, replace it. Extend tip life by spraying at the lowest pressure that breaks up the coating into a complete spray pattern (atomize).

Do not increase the pump pressure; it only wastes paint and causes unnecessary pump component wear.

Recommended Spray Tip Replacement Time:

Latex - Replace after 15-40 gallons (57-151 L)
Oils & Stains - Replace after 35-60 gallons (132-227 L)

Does your tip need replacing? Buy a Graco Spray Tip and get better results - fast.