Spraying vs. Rolling for Exterior Paint

The advantages of spraying vs rolling exterior paint

The Advantages of Spraying Paint for Residential Home Projects

Spraying vs. rolling is a topic that comes up frequently when homeowners are discussing their exterior paint decisions with a professional contractor. At Peak Pro Painting, we believe it is a common misconception that brushing and rolling provides a better quality paint application than spraying, although there are certain instances when a roller can be more efficient.

When to Use a Roller for Painting:

Using a roller does help the coating to soak in and penetrate the wood. Therefore, when using a stain, which is meant to soak into the wood, it is best to use a roller or to spray and then back-roll to force the coating to seep in.

However, paint is meant to sit on top of the wood and protect it by creating a waterproof layer, so it’s unnecessary to try and force it into the wood. Instead, you want to apply a thick, consistent coat on top.

The Advantages of Spraying Paint:

There are several advantages to spraying. For one, it’s quicker and more efficient. Since it takes less time, it’s also cheaper for homeowners who are paying to have it done. The most important advantage though, is that (when done correctly by a professional) spraying creates a more consistent, flawless coat. It doesn’t leave brush or roller marks, which are in fact inconsistencies in thickness.

For instance, when rolling onto a surface, the painter dips the roller nap into his paint tray and has a lot of paint on it initially. He begins to roll the paint onto the surface, starting with a thick coat, which becomes thinner and thinner as he continues to move the roller.

A client brought up a good point recently: that when spraying a side of a home, the spray lines will overlap in certain areas and not in other areas, thus creating an uneven coat. This is absolutely true! Unless it’s done properly by a professional. At Peak Pro Painting, when we spray homes, each spray line overlaps the last one by 50%. Therefore, when finished, the home actually has two coats on it. If you look at the back of a paint can, it will most likely say that each gallon covers 300-400 square feet. But in fact, we use a gallon of paint per approximately 200 square feet.

A final thought when comparing rolling to spraying: take a look at your vehicle and imagine if you were to repaint it. Would you use a roller or have it sprayed, to obtain the most flawless finish?

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