Maximizing performance and productivity on the job site is on every contractor’s mind these days. One simple way to accomplish these goals is to start taking advantage of the benefits of using fine-finish, low-pressure (FF LP) spray tip technology.
What is FF LP?
The FF LP Tip is the latest addition to Graco’s Reverse-A-Clean (RAC) X™ line of spray tips.
This breakthrough technology offers painters specific advantages to get better finish quality in their spray projects, says Dan Johnson, Global Product Marketing Manager at Graco’s Contractor Equipment Division.
To start, the FF LP tips allow painters to spray at up to 50 percent lower pressure than standard tips. That means less overspray.
“Less overspray is an important element because it means less prep and cleanup,” Johnson says. “But lower pressure also delivers more control. Your hand has to move at a consistent speed to deliver that consistent finish, and the lower pressure really delivers more control for the end user applying the paint.”
In addition, the RAC X FF LP tip will enable you to provide your customers with a better look on all fine finish work such as cabinets and trim.
“Say you’re spraying a cabinet door or a box cabinet or a built-in in a house or doing some enamel work with ProClassic® or the new Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel,” Johnson says. “You’re going to get a really nice atomization quality with these tips and you’re going to be able to overlap on doors and surfaces and continue that finish quality on the entire piece.”
That is a bonus no matter how much spraying experience your crew might have.
“For the novice painter that’s just starting to do cabinets, it’s a lot more flexible for their application,” Johnson says. “For the veteran painter, it’s a great method to use for getting the best finish quality on any surface. It delivers really soft, blendable edges that are really easy to overlap.”
You’ll also be able to wait longer to replace FF LP tips.
“One other benefit of this technology is that when you turn down your pressure and use the technology as we designed it, it doubled tip life,” Johnson says.
Another key advantage is that the RAC X FF LP tips can be used on all airless sprayers.
“Finishing jobs vary quite dramatically,” he says. “Whether you’re spraying a railing, a built-in, a cabinet, a door or a trim piece, the one thing that’s consistent is that you’re in pretty tight corners and you’re also moving a fair amount. Say you’re spraying crown molding or trim in a house, you’re not standing in the same area so you you’ve really got to move. With finishing jobs like these, portability is really key.”
That’s crucial when you’re doing small jobs like a single door or a garage door.
“Painting contractors want to be able to deliver the finest finish quality the fastest they can for their homeowner,” Johnson says.
Which airless to use?
A good starting point, Johnson says, is the Graco® Ultimate Cordless Handheld Airless Sprayer.
“This system is perfect for jobs under three gallons,” he says. “It does a really nice job because it delivers in a handheld package the same level of professional finish quality as the larger Ultimate NOVA 395 PC Electric Airless Sprayer.”
For fine finish jobs that require a little bit more volume, Johnson recommends a little bit larger piece of equipment such as the FinishPro GX 19 Electric Airless Sprayer. This system works well for jobs under five gallons – for example, if you’re doing all the trim and doors in a house.
Corded and cordless power options are available in this platform, and it comes with 25 feet of hose.
“When you’re in tight quadrants, hose management is extremely important, because maneuvering through the job site is just as important as the finish quality,” Johnson says.
Low pressure tips don’t only apply to fine finish jobs, he adds. They can also be used for wall coatings and the entire platform of Graco sprayers including the Ultimate MX II 490 PC Pro.
“This platform also works in every Sherwin-Williams coating, whether a thicker ProClassic Acrylic-Alkyd or an enamel like Emerald all the way down to very thin coatings,” Johnson says. “You’ll get the finish quality straight out of the can with this tip technology.”
One final tip
To experience the benefits of the FF LP tip, you’re got to dial down the pressure on your sprayer.
“You can turn it down 50 percent from where you’ve used to spraying with traditional RAC tips,” Johnson says. “If you don’t turn down the pressure, you’re not going to experience all the full benefits of that technology. You’re still going to get a great finish, but turning down that pressure will help with that overspray, help with that control.
“So it’s important to buy the tip, but it’s also important to set your pressure control on the sprayer to the lowest setting where you can get a great atomization.”
For more in-depth advice on selecting the right spray equipment for your jobs, see our story Choosing a Sprayer. Visit the Sherwin-Williams contractor website to learn more about their complete line of spray equipment and accessories.