Keep in mind that while some of these items are specific to spray application, many also apply to working with any type of airless equipment. These tips aren’t meant to replace proper training with the equipment, but they will help you get better results.
1.Always use a filter .
This is the most important tip I can give for getting good results with an airless sprayer. There are many different types of spray guns on the market, but they all have something in common: filter acceptance. Make sure you check your product information first before buying anything. However, most filters are universal and will fit every Graco airless spray gun.
There are several benefits to using a filter. First, it removes contaminants from the fluid before they reach the internal components of the graco spray gun. If you don’t use a filter, dirt, rocks, metal shavings and other contamination can cause damage to those components and cause poor atomization and fluid break down. The filter will also prolong the life of those components. Second, a properly used filter will prevent clogging and help your gun to run more smoothly .
- Use an under control water filter
This is especially important if you’re spraying any type of paint or other coating that requires dilution (other than water) or is marginal in quality. An inline filter will keep large particles and contamination from damaging the spray gun and help prevent clogging which could cause damage to the components. Even if you’re spraying a high-quality material such as an alkyd enamel , an inline separator/filter is a good idea because it will help prevent issues like color and gloss variations due to materials in the water supply.
- Always clean out your sprayer after use.
Don’t put it away without properly cleaning it first! Cleaning the graco spray gun, hose and tip is essential for optimal performance, and at Graco we recommend using a product such as Interlux 333 Special Surfactant or Interthane Plus as a cleaner so there’s no chance of damage to the internal components.
- Use clean, filtered water.
Not only will clean, filtered water help prevent clogging and operational issues , but it could also save you money because you’ll use less product in your sprayer! If possible, always use a hose that’s dedicated to your sprayer. Hoses used for other purposes can allow particles into the system which will damage paint, stain and coating materials .
- If you’re in an area with high levels of humidity, use a pressure reducing valve to prevent damage from occurring.
If you’re spraying light material or thin coats (such as stains or dew axed shellac), you might find that the spray gun is working too hard. If that’s the case, you can use a regulator to reduce the pressure at the pump . That way, you won’t have to increase your speed or open up the fan width to achieve similar results.
- Be sure that all parts are compatible with your fluid.
The components in your equipment may be sensitive to certain materials, so always check before using them. For example: Some fluids and solvents can damage hoses because they will “eat away” at the material over time – making for an unsafe work environment as well.
- Clean all parts thoroughly after use.
Your parts need to be cleaned with a product that’s compatible with your materials. You should also clean your equipment after each use to prevent the buildup of contaminants that could cause damage over time.
8. Inventory Management System
If you’re spraying a lacquer product, utilize an inventory management system. This is especially true if you’re using multiple products in the same spray gun without cleaning it between operations. Product compatibility and life expectancy will vary widely between products, so it’s not always safe to assume that one product won’t affect another. An inventory management system will help you keep track of what products are in your spray gun and when they were last used.
9. Product Manual
Use the product information provided by Graco. Product manuals for our coatings, stains and other products can be found on our website. The product manual will contain a lot of valuable information about the best practices for using a particular material successfully.
10. HVLP Spray Gun
Be sure to use the right gun for the job . If you’re spraying an alkyd enamel, don’t choose a HVLP spray gun! All graco spray gunare designed and manufactured in-house to provide optimal performance with our products, so choose the product that specifies the application.
Although the tips we’ve outlined are a great place to start, becoming an expert Graco spray gun user takes practice. Make sure you keep using your gun and perfecting your skills; before long, you’ll be able to tackle any spraying job with ease.