So for the first 7 yrs of my furniture making experience, I did what most of you are doing now- using a brush for my paints and polys. I was intimidated by the spraying process, the learning curve, the clean up, and yes, the cost. Enter the new Graco Ultra Cordless. Here are my thoughts after using it for a month… …….if you’re still brushing your paint or clearcoat….STOP IMMEDIATELY!! PUT THE BRUSH DOWN!!!!
Now, I’m not going to get into specs, because frankly most don’t care. Most people want to know a few things: How hard is it to use? Do I have to thin the paint? How hard is it to clean? Does it work great? and is it affordable? So lets address each shall we?
USE this tool is flat out amazing. NO THINNING REQUIRED. Pour and spray. Doesn’t get any easier than that. The learning curve isnt tough at all. There are only three possible things for you to change/adjust 1- the Tip, 2- the speed dial, and 3- your movement speed. The more you use it, the whole process slows down for you and becomes second nature. If you get runs, guess what…your just like everyone else. it happens. It may mean your speed is too high or you were moving along as quickly as need.So here a tip: start a little further away and creeping up on it so you can judge the material coming out. Sure you may waste little more material, but its better than soaking your project and running for a brush to clean up all the runs. Also, keep your speed down to around 3/4 to start. Spray across your areas, not at your areas.
Cleaning: So I’ll admit I may be a little more OCD about cleaning my unit, but that said I still clean it in under 5 min. Once you untwist the gun from the liner cup, the gun really only has 2 parts to remove- the fiter cap and the tip itself. Since I use water-based product, I rinse out the liner, the tip, and the filter cap; fill the liner cup with hot water, and spray the water out to flush it. That’s it. You can use mineral spirits if your materials require that, but for me its just water. Pretty simple if you ask me.
Function: This table here was done using the ultra cordless. I sprayed Behr paint-n-primer combo using the 514 tip and then i sprayed Minwax’s water-based oil modified semi gloss Poly with the 110 Tip. As you can see, the finish is top notch. Looks and feels like glass. It has taken my finishing to the next level. No more brush marks. The paint is crisp and the top looks like an ice rink.
Graco has also really made it easy for you to understand what tips to use. Besides a chart in the manual, the tip numbers tell the story by themselves which is very convenient. The first number when doubled is the fan pattern. The second number is the size of the hole for the material. For example: the 514 tip that comes with the unit has 10″ fan pattern and a .014 opening. For me, I’ve settled on the 314 for paints (6″ fan pattern, .014 opening) and now the 210 for clearcoats, (4″ fan, .010 opening) I was using the 110 as stated above, but now that I’m comfortable with the tool and the speed, the 210 actually seems easier to manage. Lastly, but certainly not least is Gracos Customer Service. I’ve found them to be not only helpful, but extremely responsive. I don’t think I’ve ever waited longer than one hour for Graco to respond back on Instagram messenger. It’s impressive.
And now..dun dun dun…..Affordability: Usually I’m very tentative to tell people to buy any product. Whether we like it or not, budget plays a factor in all our lives. I respect those who believe in spending money on quality tools, but for some its just not that simple and I refuse to alienate those people. So here’s what Ive come up with. If you can afford the $516 price tag, I highly recommend the Graco Ultra Cordless. It comes with 2 Dewalt 20v batteries, a charger, a nice carrying bag, and some extra liners. I’ve linked it below for your convenience. Go buy it like now. You wont regret it.
On the flip side, the more affordable Graco option is the Corded True Coat 360 VSP. I cannot speak the the number of available tips, but this gets you up and running and a feel for spraying a finish at an affordable rate. It also has the variable speed to get you comfortable with that as well. Graco has made it easy on top of making a good product.
Go get your spray on and let me know how you like them! Leave a comment below or ask any questions.
Get the Ultra Corless here: http://amzn.to/2yaQK5C
Get the True Coat 360 Here: http://amzn.to/2yd5lOb