Tool of the Week: Graco Ultra 395 Airless Sprayer

Written by on September 4, 2011 in Airless, Sprayers, Tool of the Week with 16 Comments

Click here for a more recent update from the field on the 395 Ultra

Graco 395 UltraAs we continue to explore dedicated tools for specific repetitive aspects of the painting process, one of the easiest components that requires spreading the largest quantity of materials is walls and ceilings – drywall or otherwise – which necessitates finding a good, reliable airless sprayer for latex. We are looking at the Graco Ultra 395 to see if it delivers the desired experience.

We have been running the 395 Finish Pro air assisted unit for years in alot of shop and field based applications, but the idea of bringing such a fine tuned finish rig out to do abrasive volume work on sheetrock has just never felt right. The Finish Pro can do it, but in our opinion is overqualified and we hesitate to put those hard miles on the same pump that drives our cabinet grade finishing program. To us, it would be like running studded snow tires in the summer. At the same time, running a tired fleet of outdated airless machines for volume work is losing its appeal.

The Rock Rig

The Graco Ultra 395 packs the .5 gpm airless pump whallop of the Finish Pro, but minus the air compressor, G40 gun and digital controls. We are looking for the same effortless chug of the Finish Pro pump, with more compact maneuverability and just downright low maintenance, wide open “move material in the field” attitude – and we will pump dozens of gallons of primer and paint through it in the field right up front during the “feel each other out” phase.

We did the initial set up and dial in back in 2011, and quickly commenced to throwing the Graco Ultra 395 off the deep end in one of the largest, most aggressive and detailed new construction interiors we have ever taken on. Our advances with new tool technology implementation have us motoring away from the complacency of a “stick with what works” mindset. As always, the 395 Ultra experience comes with the usual raw field footage and sharing of discoveries with what we are referring to as “the rock rig.”

Any Graco Ultra 395 operators reading today? Please leave a comment!

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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  1. An Easy Airless Spraying Rig: Graco 395 Ultra : Topcoat Review | July 7, 2013
  1. Maicon says:

    Sorry for the late response (my ipad does not let me post a response and see what I am typing in the window). Anyway, we have a Ultra 395 hiboy for interior trim and finish paint. We have used it for priming when the big dog was down, and it worked but was not great. I have not run solid color through the 395 FinishPro yet, clear only.

  2. Lisa says:

    Hey Scott, I am reading your reviews today 8/11/12 and you seem to be THE GUY to ask. Would the Grayco 257060 be the right airless to use on furniture? I am looking for a fine finish sprayer I am guessing? In the past I had a ANCIENT MONSTER SIZED sprayer which I paid $500 for and it worked for one season then crashed, did I mention it was HUGE? I am looking for a professional unit to spray furniture (tables, chairs, cabinets etc.). I would be using it every week in the warmer months and maybe every 2 or 3 weeks in the colder months. What would be best for me? I do need to keep it at a manageable cost.

    Thanks a mill!
    Lisa

    • Scott Burt says:

      Thanks, Lisa. I am into sprayers as a production and quality resource. I do not have the unit you are referring to, but I am familiar with it. I do not think it is the right one for your needs as described. I do think you would be better served with a fine finish sprayer. The decision is really based on typical quantities you think you will be spraying. If your typical task is less than a gallon, then I would not recommend a pump style airless sprayer. I would recommend an hvlp unit. For example, I would consider this unit to be ideal for any small scale fine finish spraying task, with any type of product:

      http://topcoatreview.com/2012/01/apollo-1050vr-function-and-form/

      I do think you are looking for an hvlp as the solution, as opposed to airless.

  3. Joel Richards says:

    Hey guys,
    I am a small contractor in CO that is starting to take off. I have mainly done painting for about 10 years now. I’ve lined up some commercial jobs that will require some more efficient equipment. I haven’t been able to find many reviews on the Graco 390 and it seems to be sold for cheaper than most. Would you recommend the 390 for a ‘one arrow in the quiver’ rig for a guy doing mainly 2000 sq. ft. tenant finish type work? Mainly just spraying latex and probably some wood finish trim. Is the 395 notably better that is worth the extra $250? Price is a factor but I don’t want the buyers remorse down the road. I was about to spring the $900 at Home Depot for the 210 ES until I started doing me homework, so I guess its not that much more. Any insight you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Scott Burt says:

      Hey Joel

      The 390 is a great little rig, and brings alot of bang for the buck. Its a perfect sprayer for someone who is fairly new to the spray game or an occasional user. If you think spraying is going to be more of a part of your life, I would spring for the 395.

  4. Spuiter says:

    Hi,

    I have a Graco 390, it seems small. Put it packs a punch, its durable.

    Sprayed quite some square meters with it, and any parts that needs replacing you can order.

    I spray color, white latex,Cryll even sprayed special Airless Laquer with it, that needs to be warmed up by temp spray…No problem 🙂

    Disadvantage: Its not on wheels, so every time you have to carry

  5. You don’t have to carry it for one thing archer. Which means you aren’t wrestling hose, a five and the rig, or asking for some help making moving the sprayer a two man job. With a highboy you can hook the five and roll backwards pretty effortlessly.

  6. archer says:

    Simple question, Why people love high boys? Better?

  7. Dean Veltman says:

    Sorry for the late response (my ipad does not let me post a response and see what I am typing in the window). Anyway, we have a Ultra 395 hiboy for interior trim and finish paint. We have used it for priming when the big dog was down, and it worked but was not great. I have not run solid color through the 395 FinishPro yet, clear only.

    • Hey Dean, was hoping you’d find your way into this chat. Kudos to you for keeping a product specific machine. That is a big part of what I am trying to accomplish, dedicated machines.

  8. Rent A Painter says:

    I have a Graco 395 Ultra that I use for trim and exteriors (Wish I had the High boy model), but I wouldn’t recommend it for drywall; I have tried it on New Construction and the results are not the same. For drywall I have a Graco 795 that I use for Light duty jobs. For Heavy duty jobs and Elastomeric I use a Graco GH 230.

  9. Dean Veltman says:

    We have a 395 Graco that we use for our NC trim work. The drywall priming and lids are shot with a bigger pump, an airlessco 1100sl I believe, bought it used and there was so much paint on it I can not read the model number. Probably the equivalent of a 695 or bigger Graco. I like a big pump for drywall, and a highboy for moving the 5ers around and the 100′ of hose on the prime gun. You often want a longer hose on for priming since at prime there is usually only one or two outlets in the house.

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