What Do The Numbers Mean On A Paint Sprayer Tip

Are you confused about the numbers on the paint sprayer tip and what they mean? Well, worry no more! In this article, we will dive into the significance of those numbers and how they can make a difference in the outcomes of your painting projects. We will explore the importance of choosing the correct tip size, the materials used, the spray pattern, and much more. So, let’s get started!

What Are Paint Sprayer Tips and Why Are They Important?

Paint sprayer tips are interchangeable nozzles at the end of a spray gun that control the flow and pressure of the paint, as well as the spray pattern and droplet size. The tip size determines the amount of paint that is sprayed out and the thickness of the coating. A larger tip size will result in a thicker coating, and a smaller tip size will produce a thinner coating. It is essential to choose the right tip size for your project to achieve the desired outcome.

What Do the Numbers Mean on a Paint Sprayer Tip?

Paint sprayer tips are marked with a three-digit code following two letters that indicate the brand and type of sprayer they are designed to work with. The first number indicates the size of the tip opening in thousandths of an inch. For example, a tip marked 517 has an opening of 0.017 inches. The second and third numbers represent the fan width of the spray pattern in inches at a distance of 12 inches from the surface.

How to Choose the Correct Tip Size for Your Project?

Selecting the right tip size is crucial for achieving the desired finish. The appropriate tip size is determined by the viscosity of the paint, the type of surface being painted, and the desired finish. A rule of thumb is to select a tip size that will generate a flow rate of 1 gallon per minute(GPM) for every desirable output. For example, a 0.015 tip size runs at 0.15 GPM, and a 0.021 tip size runs between 0.21 and 0.25 GPM.

What Type of Materials Can Be Used with a Paint Sprayer?

The type of materials used depends on the type of paint sprayer, whether it be an airless or HVLP sprayer. Airless sprayers can work with a wide range of paint materials, from thin stains to thick latex paints. HVLP sprayers, on the other hand, work best with thinner materials, such as stains, varnishes, and lacquers, since they deliver a softer, more controlled spray. Always verify that the selected material is ideal with the sprayer type and tip size.

Understanding the Spray Pattern

The spray pattern created by the paint sprayer tip has a crucial impact on the final result. A fan spray pattern is commonly used for broad surfaces, while an oval or round-shaped pattern is preferred for painting narrow or detailed areas. The orientation of the spray pattern should also correspond with your movement and location to avoid over-spraying or missing spots.


Using a paint sprayer can produce excellent results if used correctly and with the right tip size and materials. Understanding the meaning of the numbers on the paint sprayer tip is essential in selecting the correct tip size, spray pattern, and materials used. Hopefully, this article has provided you with valuable information on the importance of paint sprayer tips and how to choose the best option for your project. Keep in mind the variables involved, such as material type, surface preparation, and environmental factors, as they all play a significant role in achieving the best possible finish. Happy painting!

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