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How To Choose The Right Spray Tip For Your Project




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how to choose the right spray tip

Did you know that the right spray tip plays a huge role in ensuring you get a perfectly professional paint job? The spray tip not only determines the amount of fluid leaving the spray gun whenever you pull the trigger, but it also determines the width of the spray fan created by the gun.

One of the things you need to look out for when selecting the tip is the sprayer’s tip rating. You need to ensure the sprayer can withstand the tip you want before picking one.

In case you plan on using different spray guns for your paint job, it will be wiser to select a spray tip size that can match your multiple sprayers’ gun tip rating. Keep reading for more information on how to choose the right tip for your spray project.

What You Need in this Procedure

The spray tip allows you to have complete control over the coating depth and fan width, two critical aspects that greatly influence the spray job’s outcome. Additionally, spray tips control paint flow and avoid or result in paint wastage depending on how good they are. The spray tip can determine how cost-effective the paint job is going to be. Thus, having a complete understanding of the best spray tip is paramount for a professional finish and for generally making your life easier. Below is what you need to start the process of determining the right tip for your spray project.


I always recommend knowing the different types of paints for spray guns before starting any paint project. There are many types of paints, and pickling the wrong one can ruin your entire paint job. The paints used with a spray gun include; primers, automotive paints, water-based paints, and latex.As the name suggests, automotive paints are used when painting vehicles. On the other hand, Primers are the paints that you should use when you want to achieve the perfect finish. Primer paints are the paints applied beneath the last paint. They help you get better paint and are the paints I go for whenever I want to achieve the best final color quality.Latex paints may be heavy, but we can still use spray guns to paint them. If you plan to use latex paints for your spray project, I recommend you find the best spray guns to use with latex. Even though you can use roller painters when applying water-based paints, the time spent on the job will overwhelm you. To spend less time and effort, get yourself a spray gun to do the job. Thus, for this procedure of determining the right tip for your spray project, you can use any of the points mentioned above. 

Spray paint tips

Generally, each spray paint tip should have; a plastic handle that is color-coded and shaped, a hole size given in inches, and a four or the three-digit number representing the borehole size, spray angle, and fan width. Additionally, the spray paint tip should have recommended usage and additional abbreviated letters which describe their key features.

And Handheld ultrasonic paint thickness gage

The Procedure

Once you have your paint and spray paint tips, you can proceed with the following steps.

Step 1 : Determine Your Paint Thickness

Determining the thickness of the paint you want to use helps you work out your tip’s size. Knowing the size of the tip controls the amount of paint coming out. The larger the tip, the more paint comes out, and vice versa. Nevertheless, the amount of pressure you apply will also affect the amount of paint coming out. The higher the pressure, the more the paint that comes out. Apply some of your paint on a surface, wait for it to dry, and then use a paint thickness gauging tool to determine the paint’s thickness

Pro tip:

To use the paint thickness gauging device, place it perpendicularly to the area with dry paint. The tool then calculates the distance between it (the sensor) and the body panel behind the paint. This distance is the paint thickness. 

Step 2 : Match Tip Size to Fan Width

Find out the fan width that is ideal with your spray tip. To calculate the fan width, take the first digit on the tip size, and multiply it by two. The result is the fan width in inches. For instance, if the tip size is 515, calculate the fan width, take the first digit (5) and multiply by 2 (5×2) to get 10 as your fan width. 

Pro tip:

The first number on the tip size gives you the fan width when multiplied by two. The other two digits indicate the orifice size of the tip, albeit in thousandths of a single inch. This orifice value determines the amount of paint that leaves the spray tip. Keep in mind that the fan width may differ depending on the pressure you use when spraying paint and the type of paint you use. Thus, take this tip as a general guide because the fan width can vary up to 2 inches.

Step 3 : Confirm If Your Sprayer Tool Supports Your Tip Selection

The last step involves you ensuring that the tip works well with the sprayer tool. This step is crucial because it helps you avoid problems when you start your spray painting project. 

Pro tip:

Choosing tips for spray projects is not an easy endeavor. This is why I recommend you start the process by checking the paint’s manufacturer’s instructions. Most, if not all, manufacturers have already researched the best tip sizes that match their specific products.The more the tip sizes matching the product, the better the control you have over your spray’s quality and finish. 


I hope you benefited as well as enjoyed this tutorial. I compiled this tutorial to help you have an easy time picking spray tips for your spray painting project. Knowing this procedure was vital in helping me accomplish flawless painting jobs, and I believe it will help you do the same. If you have any comments, kindly leave them in the comment section. And, don’t forget to share this article with your loved ones if you liked it.

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