Graco GX 19 Compact Fine Finish Sprayer

Written by on October 22, 2016 in Product Reviews, Sprayers with 8 Comments

Graco GX 19: A New Fine Finish Spraying Technology

One of the fun aspects about being product and tool testers is that we get to see and figure out what manufacturers are trying to accomplish with new product launches. We have tested and reviewed a few new tools this year that were introduced to fill gaps in product lines, and one of the tools that has done that the best is the new Graco GX 19 which was launched back in February.

graco gx 19

The new Graco GX 19

This has got to be tricky business for engineers during the research and development phases for a new tool – particularly in the case of Graco, because the GX 19 rolled out as the newest in their legendary Finish Pro line of sprayers.

The flagship of the Finish Pro line, in our opinion, is the 395 Finish Pro II air assisted rig, which Graco overhauled and updated in 2015.

The 395 has been by far the number one most used sprayer in our company’s fleet for all spraying needs both in the shop, field and when traveling around the country for Prep to Finish training workshops. The 395 and the Finish Pro 9.5 HVLP Turboforce have been our dynamic duo for many years for all clear and paint grade finish tasks.

Disclaimer from the publisher:

This tool was provided to us at no cost by Graco for testing purposes. We don’t publish reviews of all products that manufacturers submit to us for testing, but from time to time we highlight new and innovative technologies that are introduced. All product review information we share is objective, honest, unbiased and 100% our own.

Filling the Gap Between HVLP and .5 GPM Pumps

graco gx 19

Compact and lightweight.

That said, we have always seen a gap between the HVLP and air assisted technologies.

Sometimes on smaller jobs, the 395 is more machine than we need, and takes up more space in the truck than we’d like. And there have been times when we felt limited in production efficiency when carrying only the HVLP.

To be clear, it takes at least a gallon or two to make a 395 spray session practical, while the 9.5 specializes in the quart or two realm of product. There are many finishing tasks that fall into the gallon-ish range of consumption.

What is the Graco GX 19?

graco gx 19

We have tested the GX19 on interior and exterior applications on jobs.

It is an airless sprayer. Yes, you read that correctly. There is now an airless sprayer with no air assist in the Finish Pro line.

The Graco GX 19 is driven by a .38 gallon per minute piston pump that is similar to the existing Graco 295 power plant. Before you scoff that spec off as underpowered, lets consider what it really means.

Most of us in the paint business view .5 gallon per minute pumps as the baseline in airless spraying, and we generally go up from there. If a painter has one sprayer, it is probably a .5 gpm  airless skid. But this can be limiting, or at least cumbersome in smaller quantity fine finishing tasks.

The GX 19 makes a compelling case for looking at what happens when you go down in material flow by being specifically geared to run efficiently in that (lower) range of the power band.

Points for Style

For the less is more category, the Graco GX 19 is set up with a 25 foot 3/16” fluid hose, compared to 50 feet and 3/8” on the 395 air assisted (which has an air hose as well). This gives the GX literally half the hose as its larger stable mate, minus the weight of the additional air line.

graco gx 19

A stout but maneuverable gun.

While this makes the hose light and flexible, where it is especially beneficial is in set up and breakdown. It takes less time to fill, empty and clean a smaller hose.

And weighing in at just 27 pounds on a skid style chassis and a well designed carrying handle, the GX is small and portable enough that the smaller hose becomes a real benefit.

Perhaps the most unique feature on the GX 19 is that it is set up as a hopper style unit, with a 1.5 gallon molded plastic fluid basin on top. The hopper has a lid and is very easy to clean. In some ways, it makes more sense to put paint in the sprayer than to put the sprayer in paint. This is another area where this sprayer earns points for efficiency in clean up.

The gun on the GX 19 is Graco’s mesh filtered FTx gun, which is robust along the lines of the classic airless contractor series guns. It is fitted with a flexible swivel that makes the lightweight hose even easier to manage and navigate different angles inside cabinet boxes or other tight areas. The gun produces a soft and fine fan pattern using the RAC style fine finish reversible switch tips and can run all the way up to a .019 orifice for higher viscosity production.

Performance Range

We have found the GX 19 to be competent in both low viscosity clears, as well as thicker products such as drywall primer. Because of its relatively low power band, the unit does very well in fine finish clears, both oil and waterborne.

Graco gx 19

Fully capable in latex.

At the other end of the spectrum, drywall primer for example, the GX 19 delivers the product smoothly, but obviously is not as high production as the old fashioned .5 gpm airless rigs.

So, using it is best suited for smaller room spraying, or repaint spraying because there is less overspray than with traditional airless spraying.

One handy pairing that we discovered for small production based applications is to pair the Graco Jet Roller with the GX 19. This configuration would be ideal for one man spray situations where efficiency and quality are the priority. You literally just have to keep the hopper topped off and you can move around a project easily with clean results.

The GX 19 is also designed with the convenience of the Graco ProXChange pump replacement system making it simple for any pro painter to swap out the pump cartridge kit quickly right on the job, eliminating down time for repairs.

graco gx 19

Highly competent in clear.

The GX 19 makes a great little rig for beginner level painters because it is very easy to set up, operate, break down and maintain. It should also appeal to seasoned spray pros who are looking for a convenient and portable solution for those fine finish spraying tasks that fall between the wheelhouses of HVLP and larger pumps. If you are interested in checking it out, Sherwin Williams is the place to look for this machine.

Final Say

If you decide to pull the trigger on the Graco GX 19, as always, take the time to dial in the machine for the different types of products that you most typically use, and keep a notebook on your settings and tip selections for each product.

graco gx 19

Easy grab and go.

You will notice that it is a different experience compared to the classic airless approach of plug in, crank it all the way up and go as fast as you can. A small spray rig that runs smoothly with no winks or dead zones in the lower power band range allows the operator to work at a more natural and controlled pace while focusing on the quality of the finish being laid out rather than having to scramble to keep up with excessive flow and overspray.

{This article appears in the Oct 2016 issue of APC magazine and is shared here with the permission of the publisher}

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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8 Reader Comments

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  1. Veltman Painting says:

    I could see this pairing well with the new fine finish low pressure tips. I use a lot of hvlp in my shop with the PPS system, but have wanted a hopper sprayer that can sit on my counter off the floor (and more out of the way). This might be a good option.

  2. Troy Stevens says:

    Thanks for the informative review Scott. While the Graco GX19 certainly looks promising, I’m not so sure it’s as revolutionary as they claim. As I’m sure you already know, Titan has had the ED655 on the market for years, and was released to fill the gap between HVLP & Airless. Both the Graco & Titan units have about the same output, with the biggest difference being the Titan is a diaphragm pump, versus the piston pump on the Graco. Still, the ease and ability to quickly remove, repair and replace the pump on the Graco unit is an awesome feature. I could see pairing the Graco RX19 with a higher quality gun for an even better finish. Definitely looking into this. Thanks again.

  3. Robert Eygenraam says:

    Nice review again Scott. I bought a Titan FlexSpray this summer and wondered how the GX 19 stacks up against it as I’m a little disappointed with the ability of the FlexSpray to atomize without thinning somewhat. Also, Isn’t there a hopper attachment available for the smaller graco airless units? (I have a 490 skid.) How would that compare then if you used a smaller diameter hose?

    • Scott Burt says:

      Hi Robert, thanks for stopping by and good questions. If you are talking about the handheld FlexSpray, the GX19 is definitely in a different category. I’m not familiar all the different incarnations of the FlexSpray, so let me know on that. I can say that we haven’t had to thin anything yet with the GX. I do believe there are hopper attachments for some of the skid styles, not sure on the 490 skid specifically. You should be able to get ahold of a local Graco rep to help you figure out if its available. I am pretty sure it is an option on the stand style sprayers, just don’t know if its offered on the skid models as an option. If it is, your theory of that and a smaller diameter hose would be going in the right direction. Your 490 is probably a .47-ish gpm pump, so one key difference would be that the GX is .38 and designed to pump comfortably at lower pressures. Really interesting questions.

  4. Brian Sullivan says:

    Nice assessment of the unit. I always thought HVLP units were to slow and small crafty jobish and smaller units like 395’s were better, tuned in with proper setup.
    This is right in the middle and spot on for numerous applications. Great for a one man gang, cabinets trim and jet roller application.

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