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Are you struggling to maintain your airless paint sprayer, especially during periods of inactivity? You’re not alone. Many users face the challenge of corrosion and freezing, which can significantly impact the lifespan and performance of their equipment. Fortunately, there’s a solution: Graco’s Pump Armor. 

With Pump Armor, you can avoid expensive repairs and downtime, making sure your paint sprayer is always ready for action when you need it most. In just a few simple steps, learn how to use Pump Armor effectively to keep your sprayer in top-notch condition, saving you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Learn how to use this essential Graco fluid handling correctly to maximize the longevity and reliability of your paint sprayer. So, let’s discuss in detail here!

graco pump armor fluid

What Is Graco Pump Armor and What does Graco pump armor do?

Graco Pump Armor is a special liquid designed to protect the pump of an airless paint sprayer when it’s not in use. It comes packaged with a convenient nozzle and an 8 oz refillable bottle, making it easy to apply.  It helps prevent the pump from freezing and corrosion during storage and ensure that your investment remains in top condition for years to come. 

Graco Pump Armor storage fluid is available in various sizes, including ounces, 1-gallon containers, 1-quart, and even in packs of two.

Let me share my experience with Graco Pump Armor. It’s been really helpful in keeping my airless paint sprayer in good shape when I’m not using it. Pump Armor protects the pump from freezing and rusting, and it also makes sure all the parts stay lubricated and the seals don’t dry out.

use of graco pump armor

To start, it’s important to prime the pump properly. Contrary to common belief, priming the pump only requires filling it with Pump Armor, not the entire hose line and gun. 

During the cleaning process, I’ve gained valuable insights into how to use Pump Armor properly to maintain the pump. Pump Armor serves as a dual-purpose solution, acting as both a lubricant and anti-freeze agent when undiluted for long-term storage. However, for shorter durations, it can be diluted in water at a ratio of 20%.  It also makes sure all the parts stay lubricated and the seals don’t dry out. 

For the cleaning process, you can use warm soapy water that works well for water-based solutions, while thinner is suitable for solvent-based solutions.

After cleaning the sprayer, I just fill the pump with Pump Armor and leave it until I need to use the sprayer again. The special nozzle helps clear the intake valve when I start it up, making priming easy. Plus, it comes with everything you need, so you’re all set. With Pump Armor, I don’t worry about my sprayer getting damaged during storage, even when it’s really cold outside, especially here in the US.

AspectDetails / Specifications
Compatible ModelsWorks with Graco models like Project Painter Plus, X5, X7, ProX21, True Coat, ProX17 and ProX19
Product SeriesPump Armor
TypeStorage Solution
PurposeHelps maintain sprayer longevity by preventing rust and ensuring easy start-up after storage.
Safety PrecautionsEnsure good ventilation and wear protective gear.
Avoid breathing vapors and skin contact.
HygieneWash hands before eating.
Keep away from food and drinks.
Remove contaminated clothing.

Uses Of graco pump armor fluid – Cleaning Solution for airless paint sprayers

  • Maintains pump lubrication.
  • Prevents internal rust or corrosion.
  • Ensures seals remain supple.
  • Guards against paint residue drying and clogging components.
  • Acts as antifreeze, protecting against freezing temperatures.
  • Extends the lifespan of your paint sprayer.
  • Reduces the need for costly maintenance.
  • Compatible with most pump intake tubes.
  • Easy to use and store.
  • Non-flammable formula for safety.
  • Minimizes waste with minimal evaporation.
  • Suitable for long-term storage of your paint sprayer.

How to use graco pump armor?

graco paint sprayer storage fluid

To use Graco Pump Armor, follow these simple steps:

  • Turn off the power to the paint sprayer for safety. ( Here I used this storage fluid for Graco Magnum X5 sprayer).
  • Adjust the pressure control to the lowest setting. (My recommendation)
  • Open the prime valve to allow proper priming and flushing.
  • Remove the spray tip and guard from the gun for easier access.
  • Get a bucket of water or flushing fluid ready and place the fluid intake tube in it, while positioning the drain tube in a waste bucket.
  • Turn the prime valve to spray and point the gun into the paint bucket.
  • Pull the trigger and power up the machine gradually.
  • I suggest you to increase the pressure slowly while holding down the trigger to flush out any remaining material.
  • Watch the flushing process until water or flushing fluid appears, indicating the system is clean.
  • Turn off the power and release the trigger to safely shut down after maintenance.

How to flush out the Graco airless pump storage fluid?

To prepare your sprayer for reuse, it’s essential to clear out all the Pump Armor solutions. Here’s how you can do it:

  • First, put the suction tube into a container filled with water, and place the return tube in an empty container.
  • Next, turn on the sprayer and open the prime valve slowly while increasing the pressure. Keep an eye on the container with Pump Armor – once you see it flowing into the empty container, stop the process.
  • Make sure not to let too much water mix with the Pump Armor, as it can dilute the solution.
  • If the pump armor in the container looks clean, you can pour it back into the original bottle for later use.
  • Afterward, turn the sprayer back on with the prime valve open to flush out any remaining Pump Armor with water.
  • Now, your sprayer is ready for action once again.

Do you dilute pump armor?

Whether or not to dilute Pump Armor depends on the duration of storage. If you plan to store your equipment for a shorter period, diluting Pump Armor with water at a 20% ratio is suitable. However, for long-term storage, it’s best to use Pump Armor undiluted, as it acts as both a lubricant and anti-freeze agent.

How do you dispose of pump armor?

Dispose of Pump Armor and its container following local waste disposal regulations (P501).  Avoid pouring Pump Armor down drains or disposing of it in regular household waste to prevent environmental harm.

Graco pump Armor vs antifreeze

Graco Pump Armor and antifreeze serve similar purposes in protecting equipment from freezing during storage. However, there are differences:

Graco Pump Armor:

Specifically designed for use with Graco equipment, Pump Armor acts as both a lubricant and anti-freeze agent. It helps prevent corrosion and keeps seals lubricated during storage, ensuring equipment longevity and functionality.


Traditional automotive antifreeze, usually based on ethylene glycol, is utilized to prevent engine coolant from freezing. While it can provide freeze protection, it may not offer the same lubricating properties as Pump Armor designed for pump equipment. I don’t recommend you antifreeze as an alternative or substitute for pump armor.

Pump armor vs mineral spirits

Can I use mineral spirits instead of pump armor?

Using mineral spirits as a substitute for Pump Armor or other paint sprayer storage protection liquids isn’t recommended. While some individuals have attempted to use mineral spirits or even antifreeze as alternatives, there’s no clear evidence that they provide the same level of protection for your paint sprayer during storage. It’s best to stick with products like Pump Armor that are specifically designed and tested for this purpose to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your equipment.


In conclusion, Graco Pump Armor is essential for protecting your paint sprayer pump from corrosion and freezing. With above mentioned simple steps to flush the pump with Pump Armor after each use, you can ensure its longevity and consistent performance. Incorporating Pump Armor into your maintenance routine is crucial for preserving your equipment and saving time and money in the long run. 


Can I leave water in my airless sprayer overnight?

Leaving water in your airless sprayer overnight is generally not recommended as it can lead to several issues such as clogging, corrosion, and damage to the equipment. It’s best to thoroughly clean the sprayer after each use and flush it with an appropriate solvent or Graco pump armor cleaning solution to prevent any damage or performance issues.

When to use Pump Armor?

You should use Pump Armor to protect your paint sprayer when you’re not using it for a while. It helps prevent rust, keeps the seals working smoothly, and stops it from freezing in the cold. Just make sure to apply Pump Armor after cleaning your gear and before you put it away for storage.

Can you use mineral spirits to clean Graco paint sprayer?

Yes, you can clean a Graco paint sprayer with mineral spirits, but ensure proper ventilation and follow manufacturer guidelines. Flushing the hose with water or mineral spirits helps remove residue effectively.

Can I reuse Pump Armor?

Yes, Pump Armor is typically not reused due to its affordability, but it is possible to do so. When flushing out the Pump Armor from the unit, you can refill the container if the fluid is clean and free from impurities. However, it’s essential to ensure the Pump Armor is clean before reuse. Personally, I often reuse Pump Armor if it meets cleanliness standards after flushing.

Jennifer Marie-Holapaints writer

Jennifer Marie

Jennifer Marie is a general contractor with over the years of experience in home remodeling, DIY projects, and commercial painting projects. Her experience includes working with paint sprayers, painting tools, and other painting supplies. You can follow her on Facebook.

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