Spraying vs Brushing Paint: Which is Better?


Spraying vs Brushing Paint: Which is Better?

If you spend any amount of time in the painting industry, you’ll hear some surprisingly strong opinions on this topic. These are the main three myths we’ve come up against:

#1: “Spraying makes paint look cloudy.”

False. This can be attributed entirely to user error. Sometimes when spraying, painters will follow the spray with a roller, using a technique called “backrolling”. Cloudiness results from backrolling over paint that is already tacky or nearly dry. The bottom line: done correctly, paint applied with a sprayer is indiscernible from paint that was rolled or brushed on.

#2: “Brushed paint gives better coverage.”

False. Brushed or rolled paint will almost always require at least two coats in order to achieve compete color coverage. This is because brush bristles or the sponge of a roller nap essentially drag paint off your surface at the same time as they apply it, resulting in a streaky or splotchy coverage that allows the previous color to clearly show through. Sprayers avoid this issue entirely because they do not make contact with the painted surface.

#3: “You need a brush or roller in order to push the paint into your siding.”

We’re gonna ride the fence on this one. This is true in some cases, but not always; it depends entirely upon what type of siding you have. For stucco or very rough wood siding, using a brush or roller may be the best way to ensure a complete coating. For milled lumber siding, cardboard composite siding, or Hardibacker, a high-pressure airless sprayer is perfect for coating and will also ensure that any small cracks are completely sealed.

So, spraying or rolling? The debate wages on, probably because there is no right answer. The best thing you can do for your home is to is to make sure you understand all of your options.

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