Last week we had an entire wall of custom-made bookshelves and entertainment center for a client. It was primarily built from MDF stock. We specified Advance semi gloss for this project. We had determined that we would be using XIM uma primer. After all the prep work had been completed we started to spray out the doors with a Graco fine finish tip.
The tip was practically brand new and had only two gallons of paint put through it. I am using my Tritech 7 spray pump for this project. Pressure was at about 1800 psi. Testing the pressure back and forth until the fingers on the spray pattern went away. Unfortunately even with the new tip, both filters on the pump were cleaned and no debris inside them, all of the primer was brand new and had been strained, no other variables to allow for problems, and still we had large fingers on each side of our spray pattern with the pressure turned nearly all the way or all the down or anywhere in between . We decided to spray the doors anyway with this tip. They look like crap with the primer being sprayed. I have discovered that Graco tips have turned to mush and are no longer as good as they used to be. Right out of the package we experience these terrible fingers with most of their tips regardless of size. Without fail every time we buy a new tip we change out the gaskets on the tip guard as well. I do believe it is the manufacturer that no longer manufactures a good tip.
Others will chime in and disagree with my statement. I will say this as far as the quality of Graco. 212 fine finish tip placed 14 inches away from the surface gave us a five and a half inch pattern with heavy fingers during the spray. We switched tips to a worn-out Tritech 211 regular orifice tip. No fingers and half pressure on the pump gave us an excellent result. On Saturday October 30th we sanded everything down and got ready to spray everything with advance semi gloss. The night before I had called around to our local Benjamin Moore shop and had discovered that they were out of Tritech fine finish tips. I then called my local tri tech rep, he took the time to meet me and gave me a fine finish tip at no cost. The next day using this tip was amazing. As always I changed the gaskets on the tip guard and at about 3/8 pressure tested the pattern. The pattern was completely flawless and it measured a true 4 inches at 10 inches away from the surface. I sprayed out two coats of advance, letting it dry in between coats. This was the first time I had sprayed advance with a Tritech fine finish tip. I have sprayed hundreds of gallons of advance with Graco fine finish tips and have noticed that no matter what I am always left with at least a couple of runs after the first coat. When I inspected the first coat using the Tritech fine finish tip I noticed that I had one very small run on such a large project. These built-ins were some wide open areas and a lot of tight little boxes that required quickly spraying as to not to get too much paint on the surface. Most guys know that with advance there is going to be some runs no matter what. It is the most stubborn paint on the market. But it is an excellent product after it has dried.
What I concluded is that Tritech is far superior to Graco. The pumps and the tips are really head and shoulders above Graco. I did speak to my local Graco Rep and explain to him my findings. Of course he disagreed and thought that I was doing something wrong not to achieve results with Graco. I mention to him that I have given Graco the benefit of the doubt with several new tips over the past months. The results are the same with every new tip out of the package. Heavy fingers and a subpar results. Tritech is flawless immediately with the first trigger pull. No longer will I use Graco, I will only use Tritech because my results speak for themselves. We have noticed since switching from Graco pumps to Tri tech, we use less paint and our results have been vastly improved ever since. I am fully confident of spraying Advance regardless of the situation since I now use Tritech fine finish tips exclusively. We pride ourselves on knowing how to spray having been taught by father and grandfather who sprayed as well. They to used Graco pumps since the late 60s. This was my very first tri tech pump and I will never go back to Graco. Tritech is engineered far above any other pump. No I am NOT a spokesman for Tritech, but I am pissed off at how much Graco has gone downhill over the years. Graco no longer matters to me and I will only recommend to anybody who wants to achieve excellent results with less effort, Tritech is the way to go.
Carmine Villani SSR
Alpine Paint Company