Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.
Graco 495 Paint Sprayer Review
I bought my Graco 495 airless sprayer several years ago for my painting business, and it still performs as good as the first time I used it. If you're a homeowner looking to buy an airless sprayer for a couple projects around the house, you're better off renting a sprayer instead of buying this one (or buying a smaller unit from a home improvement store).
The 495 is a contractor grade sprayer capable of producing a higher output of paint on a regular basis. The pump feeds a little more than half a gallon of paint per minute to the spray gun, which is plenty. If you have a painting business like me, using a professional sprayer, whenever possible, is key to getting jobs done faster and easier. For projects like cabinet painting, or fence staining, I can't imagine doing the work without a sprayer. My sprayer is my money maker. I'll explain some of the features of the 495 that I like and dislike.
The Graco 495 paint sprayer produces a maximum of 3,300 PSI, but I rarely crank the pressure up all the way. This sprayer produces too much over-spray at full pressure for it to be used in an occupied home, without masking everything first, but that's with any airless sprayer in general, not this particular model. For new construction painting, spraying new drywall in an empty house, or spraying a fence in an open area, this sprayer is a production beast with the pressure cranked up.
With the correct tip size and pressure, the paint output doesn't disappoint, even with the pressure turned up half way. Turning the pressure down to the lowest setting results in fingering and an uneven spray pattern.
The newer model is equipped with a digital display for the pressure. The older model that I own doesn't have this feature. This is a nice feature because you can set the pressure precisely for the material you're spraying instead of having to play with the pressure knob.
I use this sprayer for both big and small painting projects. The pressure can be turned down low enough for fine finish painting, or turned up high for production work.
I use my Graco 495 for all of my cabinet painting projects and doors, using the green FFLP (fine finish, low pressure) tips by Graco. With a fine finish tip and the right pressure dialed in, I can achieve an awesome finish with this sprayer. An HVLP (high volume, low pressure) sprayer produces a better finish with less over-spray than an airless sprayer, but most latex paints are too thick for HVLP sprayers, requiring thinning, which can dilute the paint too much.
Unless you're primarily spraying lacquer and polyurethane, the 495 airless sprayer is a versatile option for different painting and staining projects, and over-spray can always be minimized using the right tip size and pressure.
I own the model on wheels, known as the hi-boy. The lo-boy model doesn't have any wheels and must be carried. The vertical design of the siphon tube on the hi-boy makes it almost impossible for paint cans to get knocked over, because the siphon tube is lowered directly into the paint can from above. But on the lo-boy, the siphon tube hangs from the side of the paint can, increasing the chances of it getting knocked over when the can's near empty.
The hi-boy is easier to move around, but takes up more space. If you have a van, or truck with a cap, no problem. The handle does collapse if needed. The weight is about 70 pounds. The bigger Graco models are much heavier and more difficult to lift without another person helping. I have no problem loading and unloading this one.
The lo-boy is small enough to fit even on the backseat of a vehicle, but it's a little heavy to carry around. The hi-boy is the best option for me.
Is the Graco 495 Ultra Max II Worth It?
For a painter, or really anyone who will be spraying frequently, the Graco 495 makes sense, but for the cost, not for someone who only plans to use it on occasion. The pumps in Graco sprayers are built to last. You get what you pay for. I've had mine now for several years and I haven't had any issues other than expected maintenance like re-packing the fluid section and replacing the o-rings.
This unit produces similar paint output to the more expensive Graco models, but is still versatile enough to be used for smaller projects at lower pressure settings. The contractor gun that comes with the sprayer is also very durable. I've dropped mine many times over the years, but it still sprays fine without any issues.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is the Graco Ultra Max II 495 suitable for roof painting with 30 meters of hose?
Answer: Yes, it should be fine.
Question: Would you recommend airless paint sprayers for painting shipping containers? If so, what type of paint would you suggest?
Answer: Yes, the Graco 495 is perfect for spraying shipping containers, especially if you plan to spray more than one. I personally wouldn't attempt to paint a shipping container without a sprayer. Spraying saves so much time. Before painting, power wash everything. Rust spots should be sanded smooth. You can use DTM (direct to metal) paint, but I'd probably use an industrial alkyd enamel for durability. Rust spots should be primed with a rust inhibiting primer. Sherwin Williams has a product called Industrial Enamel. I used it a lot many years ago to paint metal doors and handrails on commercial projects. That might be a good option to consider for spraying the shipping containers.
Question: can I use Graco Ultra Max II 495 for epoxy coating such as Jotamastic 80?
Answer: The Graco 495 can spray many different types of coatings. Check the specifications for the epoxy you're using to confirm it can be sprayed through an airless sprayer. The label on the can itself should also specify the spray tip size to use. A larger tip size is needed for epoxy because it's too thick to pass through a small tip.
Question: Will this spray block filler?
Answer: Yes, the Graco 495 has a larger pump capable of spraying block filler. The maximum airless spray tip size rated for this sprayer is .025. Most block filler can be sprayed with a tip size of .019 to .023, which is below the maximum spray tip spec for the 495.
© 2018 Matt G.
Matt G. (author) from United States on June 27, 2019:
Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.
Alexander Okelo from Nairobi, Kenya on June 27, 2019:
Mark on April 19, 2019:
Thanks for the info as im thinking of purchasing one now .