The Graco Ultra cordless sprayer takes less time to set up than a spray rig, is easy to fill and clean up, and yields professional results on small jobs.
A roller or brush can never replicate the glass-smooth finish of a prograde airless spray rig. The only downside is the time it takes to set up before painting and clean up after you’re done. I’m a remodeler, not a professional painter, so I typically get asked to paint a few doors or
the odd cabinet or piece of furniture. I needed a way to save time on my small spray jobs, so I bought a Graco Ultra cordless airless paint sprayer. It’s a true airless tool, made to spray heavier-bodied latex and oil-based paints, and is capable of spraying about 1 gal. of paint per charge of the 2-amp-hr. De Walt 20v Max battery. The tool uses a piston pump that can be swapped out with only a screwdriver, just like full-size rigs.
The Graco uses the new-style green FF LP tips. “FF LP” stands for “fine finish, low pressure.” These tips are designed to provide a pro- quality finish at 50% of the pressure of regular airless tips with less overspray. Paint is supplied from a plastic liner (about $2 apiece) that can be washed out or tossed after use. The liner fits inside a hard plastic support that threads onto the sprayer housing, but leaves room for you to squeeze the bag to push air out through a one-way valve in the lid. Setup couldn’t be easier: You fill the disposable liner with material, squeeze the liner to purge the air, prime the pump, and then set the switch to spray.
I have tried handheld sprayers in the past, but they were more toy than tool and yielded questionable results. Not so with the Graco Ultra. I got a sable-smooth finish with minimal learn- ing curve, and the FF LP tips had noticeably less overspray. I was able to spray eight raised- panel interior doors in 30 minutes. To me, the Ultra really shines when it’s time to clean up. I rinse the paint-cup lid, clear the purge valve, and swap in a clean liner. A quick shake with clean water, a few seconds of priming to rinse the pump and spraying to clear the tip, and the sprayer is ready for the next job. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
If there is a drawback to this tool, it’s the weight. At a few pounds, it’s considerably heavier than an airless spray gun and hose. That said, there’s no hose or cord to drag around, and because the sprayer only holds a quart of paint, it’s not for whole-house projects that would require many refills and extended use. If you’re like me, and have a lot of small spray jobs, this is the perfect sprayer. It provides a professional finish with a fraction of the setup and cleanup time of a full-size model. It’s a no- brainer for a remodeler, and I bet more than a few pro painters have one in their arsenal for working on small jobs.
Photos: Courtesy of Graco
From Fine Homebuilding #291
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