Paint Sprayers vs Rollers

Roller or sprayer for painting walls in your home? It's a tough choice. Paint spraying is fast, but only after you conclude with the extensive preparation work. Rolling is slower, but it lays down more of a quality coat than spraying does.

Now when it comes to home improvement projects, you may be wondering: what should I use? Rollers or paint sprayers? To help you pick a side on the paint sprayers vs rollers debate, let’s take a look at their respective advantages and disadvantages.

If you care only about the quality of the painted surface, you cannot go wrong with rolling on the paint. Without a doubt, you get a thicker paint layer and better color consistency than with spraying.

But with so many other factors to consider, such as cost, preparation time, and surface condition, the decision becomes a bit more difficult. 


Of course, you need to cover some areas when paint-rolling, but you can not compare it to the huge amount of cover you will need to do when spraying. Consider that with paint spraying, every centimeter that you don't want to be painted must be masked in film or with a drop cloth. Whatever you decide not to cover when spraying will get painted anyway! Rolling for sure reduces the amount of preparation you will need to do.

You Are Painting Interior Walls Only

Are you painting only the walls and not the ceiling? This factor may tip things in the direction of paint-rolling for you. When you roll on paint, it is relatively easy to exclude the ceiling. There is no need to use masking film on the ceiling when rolling walls. With paint spraying is much more difficult!

You Like to Keep Things Simple

Roller, roller cover, paint tray, and tray liner: these are your four main painting supplies when rolling. Also, with the roller method, it is easy to stop for awhile, so you can do something else, and be back to work when you like. With paint spraying, it is an all-or-nothing project that consumes your entire day.

You Are Trying to Save Money

Paint spraying wastes an incredible amount of paint when the atomized paint drifts away. When rolling, practically every drop ends up on the surface. It is estimated that as much as one-third of sprayed paint ends up elsewhere than the intended surface. Also factor in the cost of tools. All roller items are cheap compared to the purchase and maintenance of a paint sprayer.

You Are Painting on a Dirty Surface

While it is always best to clean the surface before painting, sometimes this doesn't happen. If so, paint rolling is here to save the day. Paint rolling allows you more to finish the job even when the surface isn't perfectly clean. Rolled paint goes down thick on the initial coat and bonds better to the surface. The tiny paint droplets produced by spraying do not connect with each other as well as rolled-on paint. Professional painters have a clever technique that combines the best of spraying and rolling: back-rolling. Paint is sprayed on the wall then is quickly rolled down, fusing the droplets together.

While rolling has its points, paint sprayers do exist for a good reason: they are fast. You may wish to use a paint sprayer if some of these conditions are met:

You Are Priming New, Large Interior Spaces

When the room is in the early phases of remodeling, it is a blank canvas. This canvas lends itself well to paint spraying. You can spray with abandon, masking off only a few key areas such as plumbing stub-outs, electrical boxes, and windows. When a room is at this point of remodeling, it will always be faster to spray than roll the paint.

You Have Lots of Detail Work or Texture

Paint sprayers make short work of complicated textures, such as those found on crown molding, popcorn or cottage cheese ceilings, built-up baseboards, deep exterior textures, cornices, dentils, or masonry.

Paint sprayers have the ability to work into the narrowest crevices, laying down a thin coat. By contrast, brushing or rolling detailed surfaces can result in pooled up paint and drips.

The truth is it’s hard to declare a clear winner in the paint sprayers vs rollers debate because they each have their own pros and cons. 




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