Tips on Airless Paint Sprayer Tips

Here are a few tips on airless paint sprayer tips. There is more to airless sprayer tips than you may think. Tips control the spray fan size as well as the amount of paint that comes out. They also do not last forever, but will last longer if you take care of them, than if you don't.


  • Make sure the tip you are using is supported by the airless paint sprayer; too big a tip sprays like a hose.
  • Clean your tip thoroughly after every use using the thinner of the product being sprayed and a nylon brush.
  • Clean your guard too!
  • Always use filters that are recommended for the material being sprayed. Thinner materials need a larger mesh number.
  • Replace your tips at the first sign of wear. Using worn tips will cost time and money.


  • Do not use metal objects to clean your tip or guard.
  • Do not spray at high pressures. Spraying at the lowest pressure possible while still maintaining a consistent fan pattern will prevent your tips from wearing out faster.
  • Do not keep spraying if your tip is leaking. Check to make sure the guard is tightened, then check the seal

What Tip Size to Use?

Ensuring the correct tip size is used with your paint / material will help you get the best finish. Not only will the quality improve, but you will keep the majority of paint on the surface, and reduce overspray and runs.

Varnishes (before low VOC)* .009 - .011 thin materials
Lacquers, clear coats* .009 - .011
Shellac (clear)* .009 - .013
Stains - transparent .011 - .013
Water sealers (thin, clear) .011 - .013
Lacquers, water borne*  012 -  014 medium
Acrylics, clear*  012 -  014
Acrylics 100%, latex int.  013 -  015
Varnishes (low VOC)*  013 -  015
Polyurethanes*  013 -  015
Stains - solid .013 - .015
Enamels - oil-base .013 - .015
Latex paint - interior .013 - .017
Latex paint - exterior .015 - .019
Primers - latex .015 - .017
Primers - oil .017 - .019
Heavy Latex .021 - .025 thicker
Elastomerics (smooth) .021 - .025
Elastomerics .025 - .039 thick materials
Block Fillers .025 - .039

What Guard Do I Need With my Tip?

That depends on the tip guard you have or if you are wanting a new type of tip you may need a new guard to accommodate it. Graco RAC X airless spray tips, LTX (blue), FFT (green), WR (blue) only fit the Graco RAC X guard (blue). Graco RAC IV, RAC 5 (black) and LL5 (yellow) fit the Graco orange tip guards

Why Filters Matter

Gun filters should always be used when available. Gun filters help strain the paint one more time before reaching the airless paint sprayer tip. Not choosing the proper filter can cause small bits of debris to flow through the gun and tip, causing not only tip clogs but also damage as well.

The best way to choose the correct gun filter is to look at the orifice of the tip you are using:

  • Use a 100 Mesh Filter with tip orifice sizes .011" through .015"
  • Use a 60 Mesh Filter with tip orifice sizes .017" and larger