The Pro’s Guide to Airless Spraying

If you haven’t already gone airless, here’s 3 reasons to start

When purchasing a sprayer, you want to make the right decision. After all, buying a sprayer is a significant financial investment.

Many painting contractors have been increasingly choosing airless sprayers. Garrett Bogart, national account specialist at Graco, explains the three main advantages of choosing an airless sprayer, a couple of models he recommends for pros, and some best practices to keep your sprayer functioning at a high level for years to come.

3 Reasons to Go Airless

Bogart says there are three main reasons that many painters prefer airless spraying. The first is speed: “At Graco, we’ve proven that using an airless sprayer is ten times faster than using a brush and four times faster than using a roller. Airless spray uses less labor and is just a lot faster, so it’s great for finishing jobs in a short window.”

Versatility is another major advantage for airless sprayers. You can use them with a wide range of coatings for both interior and exterior jobs. It’s also easy to transport on job sites and won’t take up much room in your vehicle.

Of course, none of this would matter if your quality suffered as a result. But using an airless sprayer actually improves the overall finish quality of jobs, according to Bogart.

“An airless sprayer will provide a high-quality finish on every surface by delivering an even coat,” says Bogart. “That’s especially important when you’re using premium products or completing high-end jobs. That said, everyone loves the speed and versatility.”

Choosing the Right Model

For those interested in buying an airless sprayer, Bogart recommends a couple models that have gotten good reviews from pro painters.

“One of our most popular options is the Graco Ultimate MX II 490 Stand,” he says. “This unit is extremely versatile. You can go inside a house and spray walls, or—if you want to put a hopper on the front of it—you can use smart pressure control to go spray cabinets too. So there’s multiple different applications for that one unit.”

Bogart says one of his favorite units to recommend is the new Graco Ultimate QuickShot Airless Sprayer. This unit released earlier this year and features industry-leading technology.

“It has the first-ever electric-powered gun with an Instant Response trigger, virtually eliminating spits,” Bogart says. “It also reduces hand fatigue, since it’s the lightest trigger pull and the lightest, smallest airless gun in the industry. Whether you work in commercial, residential, or multifamily, this is the unit for you, because it really is the fastest way to complete all small jobs.”

Both the 490 Stand and the Ultimate QuickShot—as well as many more models—are available at your local Sherwin-Williams store and online.

Maximizing Your Sprayer’s Life

To ensure your sprayer will last for years to come, make sure to clean and maintain it. After all, sprayers are expensive equipment. It’s worth putting in a little extra effort to ensure you get the longest life out of your pump.

One way to do that, Bogart says, is with Graco Pump Armor™, which helps prevent freezing and corrosion, and helps to extend seal life in airless paint sprayers when they’re not in use: “If you put Pump Armor in it, essentially it’s protecting that pump for the next time you go fire it up—particularly compared to water, which can rust, or solvent that can dry out seals.”

Another way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your sprayer is by checking the life of your spray tips and replacing them when needed.

“Worn tips deliver inconsistent coverage and take more spray passes to complete,” Bogart says. He recommends using Graco’s new RAC X Low Pressure SwitchTips, which can spray with 50% less pressure. “What does that mean? Well, 50% less pressure means less overspray, reduced prep and cleanup time, and twice the tip life with a perfect airless finish. There’s a lot of benefits to 50% less pressure.”


There’s good reason so many painters are going airless these days. For pros looking to deliver a high-quality finish in less time—no matter what the environment might be—an airless sprayer is a great choice. For help taking the next steps, talk to your local Sherwin-Williams representative about your business’ needs. They can help find the right model for you and give you the right tools to maintain it long-term.

“At Graco, we pride ourselves on quality and taking care of our customers,” Bogart says. “If you take care of your airless sprayer, then it’s going to last you a long time.”