Graco makes Great Spray Units

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Review by hjt posted 10-02-2011 10:03 PM 14958 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Graco makes Great Spray Units Graco makes Great Spray Units Graco makes Great Spray Units Click the pictures to enlarge them

While this may not exactly be a tool Lumber Jocks might use on a daily basis, I thought it deserved a glowing review.

The Graco Sprayer is a great unit to spray paint or stains. Here I erected my “lean-too” and hung our new interior doors to paint.

In the past when painting doors, I would lay them down across saw horses. However (and maybe it’s just me) I always get a mark on the door from where they laid on the horses. I’d let them dry for a day before turning and still get marks. So I told my wife when she gets new doors that I get a paint sprayer. She said OK!

The results came out great.

After lots of research, I landed on a Graco Sprayer. The reviews of other manufactures of less profession units reported lots of clogging issues. On the other hand, the Graco reviews were very high. Clean up and clogging where not issues from any review I read on Graco. Also, it’s well supported, so even if the big box store discontinues them, the paint companies will be there to support me.

Lots of options such as a variety of tips sizes for wider spray patterns, and roller units too. So in the future when I need to paint the house I can spray or roll on the paint.

I bought my unit at HD. I find that it works well, clean up is rather easy and the results…. Wonderful!

My neighbors liked it so well that they had me spray paint their fences.

-- Harold

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781 posts in 1921 days

5 comments so far

View Fallon's profile


80 posts in 1911 days

#1 posted 10-02-2011 11:50 PM

The X7/LTS17 is just a hair bigger than my LTS 15. No real differences other than a bigger motor (higher pressure, bigger max tip, longer hose length, higher gallons per minute, etc.) & nicer wheeled stand. Oh, and it’s Graco, not Grayco. =-p

I just got a refurbished LTS 15 to stain my fence (got the sprayer last week & finished the fence yesterday actually) & am pretty happy with it. I got a garage sale special Wagner & had nothing but problems, it went into the trash after 3 panels due to a multitude of problems. After blowing a whole $10 on the garage sale special, all my research & talking with sales guys, I realized all the cheap sub $100 guns are pretty much the same. They all get 2, maybe 3 stars at best on any review & have a lot of fundamental design problems. If you want a decent paint sprayer that won’t cause rage and/or fall apart after a use or 2, you need to step up to a $300 model (they actually get decent reviews). I looked at a Titan from Home Depot as well, but ended up going with Graco mostly because of the cheap refirb deal, the pumps seemed similar otherwise.

You can buy all sorts of Graco replacement parts & accessories at any big box store. I had to get a .013” tip for the light stain from the get go, as the sprayer comes with a .015” tip better suited for heavier stuff like latex out of the box.

I got it from , I guess they are under contract to refurbish all of the Graco equipment that gets returned or what not. $175 shipped for a refirb with full warranty instead of $300 + taxes at the big box stores here in town… No brainer. Fast shipping too, I think it showed up on my door step in 2 or 3 days.

I called up CJspray & was informed the X5 & LTS 15 where nearly identical, along with a lot of other good pre-sales info, guidance & support. LTSmostly goes to Lows, x5 to Home Depot & others. The LTS has a SG2 (metal reparable) gun & is rated to 3,000 PSI, the x5 has a SG10 (plastic disposable) or something & is only rated to 2,800. Basically the same, but there is no reason to get the x5 over the LTS 15 when they both sell for $175. I looked at the refirbed Graco Project Painter Plus, but got talked into spending an extra $25 for the LTS 15 which basically has just a little more power. This newer generation of Graco consumer pumps isn’t quite as rebuildable as the older generation (XR5, rerirb going for $240). Basically if the pump goes or wears out, it’s over $100 ($113, or $130 maybe, don’t remember) to replace the pump… At that price you’re almost better just replacing the whole thing. The older models were easier & cheaper to rebuild, but costlier.

As far as the refirb goes… When I pulled it out of the box, it looked great. Iffy on whether or not it could pass for new, as it had faint suggestions of some latex stains, but was equal to or better than expectations. After my first use it is 10 times worse as I couldn’t be bothered to clean off some of the cosmetic oil based stains left on it. When I pulled apart the gun to clean it I found some minor white latex (I was shooting cedar oil based fence stain) traces behind o-rings & in threads. Not enough to cause any problems or concern, but definitely not new. Even if there had been some more minor issues, the $175 refirb was definitely worth it compared to $300 new. After finding out the LTS was marginally better than the X5, I was somewhat depressed when a Retail looking box showed up on my door with X5 on it instead of LTS 15 on it. The pump has the appropriate LTS 15 markings on it, along with the metal gun, so that was more an odd footnote than actual problem (May or may not have bothered with the hassle of getting it swapped for a LTS 15 if it had been a X5 with the plastic gun, not sure).

The documentation was good, I think. The included DVD was really good (didn’t look at the manual much after watching it) and made it very easy for a novice to jump right in with all the knowledge needed to operate the machine, deal with common problems & clean it up properly when done. It also came with a small bottle of pump armor, anti-freeze cleaner protectant you use to store the pump full with when you are done.

The gun tip did end up clogging a lot (probably due to me not filtering the stain), probably averaging once or twice every 8 foot fence section, a couple dozen times in total. However due to the reversible tip design, it was just a couple of seconds to fix it. All couple dozen cleanings together probably took less time than clearing 2 clogs on the crap Wagner. If I’d been smart & put the cleaning lever on the left side (right handed, & was holding the gun in my right) instead of the right, it would have been faster than 1 Wagner cleaning.

Post job cleanup wasn’t too bad, but did take a decent bit of time. One irritation, which is intrinsic to any stationary pump is the waste of paint/stain/solvent/storage fluid when you have to clear out the storage fluid from the pump when loading it & cleaning it out. I think I read the line & pump can contain about a quart of fluid. You can save most of it, but I’m a cheapskate & hate wasting anything. Not a Graco specific issue, but a problem with this type of pump in general.

You should definitely wear long sleeves, pants, eye protection & some kind of respirator. It puts out much less of a fog than the Wagner, but you still don’t want to be covered in & breathing all the chemicals. I have a battery powered respirator, but the batteries are toast, so I didn’t use it… I regret that. Cleaning the stain off my arms (T-shirt, not long sleeves) sucked too. I had some safty sunglasses which did pretty good, full on goggles would probably have been better. I’ll probably need to replace the lenses due to the residue on the glasses though.

The spray job on my fence wasn’t the greatest, but that’s more of a problem with rookie operator error & technique than with the sprayer. I wasn’t overlapping properly & trying to do a full 8 foot panel in 1 pass horizontally rather than 1-2 slats a time vertically. I wised up a third of way through & got better results doing a 3’ section at a time, then even better going vertically for the last third. The quality at the end was MUCH better than at the start due to my learning curve. I’m happy with the sprayer & glad I got a decent model that does not inspire rage (as my wife) like that Wagner did. Only one use so far, but I expect it to last for a couple hundred gallons that CJspray & various documentation indicates it will).

I’d recommend a Graco Project Painter Plus, or X/LTS series without reservation.

View hjt's profile


781 posts in 1921 days

#2 posted 10-03-2011 01:52 AM

Fallon – Yep you are right, those Wagners are nothing but problems – I read lots of bad reviews. Thanks for the spelling corrections, I fix ‘em.

-- Harold

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80 posts in 1911 days

#3 posted 10-03-2011 02:11 AM

No problem. I had experience with a vintage garage sale special Wagner I got for $10. All the reviews for Black & Decker, Ryobi, and everything in the same class were all the same though.

View Mike's profile


307 posts in 1470 days

#4 posted 10-04-2011 12:46 AM

I also have a Graco. I just wish I had more projects to use it on. The thing takes a job from 3 hrs by hand down to under 30 mins. Easy to really clean up too. Great review.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! -

View hjt's profile


781 posts in 1921 days

#5 posted 10-09-2011 02:26 AM

Right on both counts, Mike. It’s fun to use so one has to look for projects to play with. I’m looking forward to painting the house. I’m just not certain if I want to put plastic up on the windows, eves, and so on and spray it, or get the roller? Have you painted the house yet? Do you have the power roller attachment?

-- Harold

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