Create Eye-Catching Sprayed Finishes on a $299 Budget

Another pump you didn’t know you need

We’re happy to report there are awesome sprayers out there, for any budget. Thanks to advancements in technology, even experienced painters on a budget can create eye-catching finishes. But if you think producing high-end finishes means shelling out for more dough, think again.

Graco Tradeworks 150 is an essential component sure to enhance any system, and it’s affordable. Read on to see how Graco Tradeworks 150 fared in comparison to higher-end airless paint sprayers and see why we declare the tiny pump our favorite.

We took possession of the $299 Graco Tradeworks 150 18 months ago and we can’t wait for this pump to reach end-of-life so we can tell you about the life it lived. We never thought the little pump that could would still be operational today for how much we use it, but it is.

Having a wide range of airless pumps at our disposal—the popular Graco 395, to the 395 FinishPro, to the Graco Mark IV—the Graco Tradeworks 150 gets our finger action the most. John and I have been dragging around the pump more than anything lately. Its compact, lightweight design makes it the no brainer option for countless spraying tasks. In fact, John will be adding the Tradeworks 150 to his arsenal in the coming days.

HOW WE USE IT

The Tradeworks 150 is an auxiliary pump. We don’t ask the lil guy to move 60 gallons of primer on a whole house prime, instead, we selectively use the pump for smaller tasks. Its lightweight and short 25′ hose makes it the ideal sprayer to get in and out fast. With a garden-hose type connector on the suction tube—clean-up is short and sweet. The pump is often used to spray between 6-8 gallons on trim and doors for new construction homes. The short 25′ hose will have you moving the pump and paint at least 3 or 4 times but its so easy to do with the handle and  short hose length. We drop pressure before moving any pump, anywhere. Consider a 50′ hose if you plan on purchasing the 150 for spraying full houses on a regular basis.

PUMP MAINTENANCE

Keep the pump clean by using the garden hose. The cleaning method does not require the pump to be on. Simply connect the garden hose, flush it, switch the prime valve, flush it and make sure you hear the ball spinning freely and the water runs clear. The 150 does not require throat seal fluid.

PUMP LIFE

I believe the pump life is suppose to be 150 gallons, we were never able to get a definitive answer from Graco on that. I can tell you we are beyond 150 gallons with ours.

Enough about all that, this review is about creating beautiful sprayed finishes on a budget.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

From spraying doors, to walls, to trim—the Graco Tradeworks 150 is fully capable of laying down fine finishes without orange-peel. The 150 produced finishes every bit as nice as the FinishPro 395 for a drop in the bucket but don’t be mistaken, the 150 is no FinishPro 395 and lacks the added value of extreme control of the spray pattern and overall pump-life. You’ll need to pay dearly for that.

*The top 4 photos were sprayed with Graco (FFT) Fine Finish Tips (green), the last 2 photos were spayed with a Graco RAC5 311 (black)

GRACO Tradeworks 150/Airless Sprayer
VOLTAGE 120v, 60hz
MOTOR OUTPUT 1/2 hp DC
WEIGHT 16 lb. (7.3 kg)
MAX TIP SIZE .015 in
MAX DELIVERY RATING .27 gpm (1.0 lpm)
MAX PRESSURE RATING 3000 psi (207 bar)
CONTAINER CAPACITY 1 gal. / 5gal.
MAX HOSE LENGTH 75 ft. (22.86 m)
MAX HOSE INCLUDED 25 ft. (7.62 m)
POWER CORD LENGTH 6 ft. (1.83 m) Plug end lights up
SPRAY GUN INCLUDED SG3/Swivel/RAC5 (515) tip
Proven, Reliable Piston Pump Design

*The Graco Tradeworks 150 was provided to us for review by Graco until end of life.

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12 Responses
  • kevin Reply

    Hi Jack. Let’s say you’re spraying 15-20 doors, new construction. How do you set the doors up for spraying? We usually screw 2 1×3’s about two feet long on the bottom of each door, stand them up in the empty garage and spray them there. Thanks

  • jackpauhl Reply

    Head over to flickr and you’ll see some photos of our staging. Here is the direct link http://bit.ly/mBefPA

  • miket Reply

    Can the 150 handle a 3/16 hose?

    Would you switch to a 15′ hose if you did smaller houses or apartments?

    How long is cleanup on the 150 compared to a 395 or a pro shot?

    • Jack Pauhl Reply

      Mike, We never tried any hose other than the supplied 1/4″ hose mainly because the Tradeworks is used for lower volume. We also have the ProShot and 395. Early on I contemplated connecting two 6′ whips, never did though.

      I would not switch to anything less than 25′. It works great. I think anything shorter will make you feel too tethered to the pump.

      The 150 cleans faster than the ProShot but close. Much quicker vs the 395

    • matthewmensing Reply

      Hope someone helped you out by now? The sprayer needs a minimum of 25′ of hose or you could damage the pressure control valve on the unit. The 150 also needs a 1/4″ hose maximum in order for the pressure control to work properly. Cheers.

  • miket Reply

    A smaller hose also holds less paint. However if you switched to 3/16 x 25′ then you’d have more ounces of paint in the stock 5/8 ID suction hose than in the new 3/16″ line lol. I suspect that suction hose is oversized for spraying the rated quart a minute.

    I just found some companies make 1/8″ x 50′ hoses! i cant imagine how small a tip you’d use that for lol. Actually how do you calculate the maximum length possible for each diameter for a given flow rate?

    I’ve never used less than 50′ of hose so i was wondering how short you can go, I suppose it depends whether you spray per room or if you go down hallways and more than one room.

    Im surprised that the 150 cleans faster than a handheld. That’s good news.

    My fathers dinosaur sprayer got stolen so now we’re thinking of getting a larg sprayer for production and a small one for trim and maybe a handheld too.

  • miket Reply

    I found a pressure loss calculator http://graco.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/27947/0/filename/Pressure+Loss+Calculation+%28Rev+B%29.xls

    I think the suction tube could be downsized to 5/16 or 3/8 ID.

    What is the ID of the Pro Shot suction hose.?

    With a 3/16’x25′ hose the psi loss can be 30psi which is similar to a 1/4″x75′ hose. With a 1/8″x25″ hose the psi loss can be 200psi. Im not sure if the smaller hoses will make the pressure pulse to much.

    Basically a few hose changes could reduce the half a quart in the machine to a quarter of a quart in the machine and the hoses would clean out faster.

  • miket Reply

    I Screwed Up my calcualations.!

    Had wrong unit of viscosity and getting much bigger psi loss results. However i’ve also found the limitations of the of that calculator so i might try a 3/16 hose and see when it works and when it doesnt, Dont think i’ll mess with the suction tube but might buy thje high boy version which has a shorter suction hose.

  • Alex Reply

    Hi jack,
    Do you have to used a hvlp sprayer for a smooth finish on trim and doors and windows or this pump will do all that and walls with the same finish quality?
    Regards.
    Alex.

  • david Reply

    nice review and very helpful site for a DIYer like myself… i just bought one of these from SW a few days ago and was searching for some info when i came across your site. they are currently on sale at SW for $250 while supplies last until december 31. they also have rebate for $30 to bring final price down to $220 or ~ $100 total off regular price which was hard to pass. i have not had a chance to use it yet since i am waiting on some wainescot molding that i ordered to re-module a bedroom… do you recommend purchaising a graco rac x guard for new ff tips or does the incl rac v suffice? seems difficult to find ff tips for v. i also have a proshot ff i bought off ebay few years ago that i enjoy. thx

  • Don Barry Reply

    It’s been discontinued by SW!

  • Brian Havanas Reply

    The Graco Tradeworks 150 is listed in the current Pro Buy on sale right now.

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