An airless paint sprayer and a roller being used by two painters to apply paint to the side of a building.

There’s been a debate for a long time over whether you should use a roller for your painting job, or an airless paint sprayer. You may be wondering, yourself: What should I work with for my painting job? Well, let’s settle things a little bit and give you an idea of the differences between the two and what’s good for what.

Airless Paint Sprayers

An airless paint sprayer uses a high pressure pump in order to get paint through the hose into the gun. It gives a good pattern depending on the tip you use. They are easy to control and, most importantly, since they don’t mix air with the paint, you have far less paint that gets into the air around you. You can also put your hose directly into a can of paint, allowing for ease of use.

Paint sprayers are also very fast, making a lot of jobs much quicker.

Two major disadvantages come with using an airless paint sprayer, though. The first one is that it uses a lot of paint, and a good chunk of that stays in the hose after use. The second is that you need to be very careful when using one, or you stand to risk an ER visit. Don’t let any part of your body get in front of the tip, as the pressure used to push the paint through the tip can cause a lot of damage.

When to Use an Airless Paint Sprayer

When painting an exterior with nothing nearby

Let’s say you’re painting a house with a lot of things nearby that are not to be painted. Your preparation time can really take a hit. That said, if you just have the house and a clear perimeter, you just have to mask off things on the house itself, not the objects nearby. This makes your spraying a lot quicker.

When priming a new, large interior

When you’re in the early phases of a remodeling, you can really let yourself loose with the canvas. You just have to mask off a few areas and boom, you’re ready to go! At this point in the remodeling, spraying is the way to go.

When there’s a lot of detail or texture

When there’s a ton of detail or texture, spraying’s the way to go. Paint sprayers can work paint into the tiniest crevices to lay a thin coat. You can’t get that with a roller or brush.

Brushes / Rollers

On the flip side, let’s look at paint rollers and brushes. With flat surfaces in mind, a paint roller is your best friend, albeit a little slow. That said, you’re going to want to back brush with a paint brush afterward to get a smooth finish.

Another issue with paint rollers is that you can come out with streaks in your paint. You’ll need to use the V letter technique to cover large surfaces uniformly in the least amount of time.

All this said, a paint roller is always good for indoor painting, and it’s good for the beginner, too! You don’t really have to learn about how to use a roller properly for too long to get good results without injuring yourself.

When to Use a Roller / Brush

When there’s too much to mask

Sure, you’ll need to mask a few things while rolling and brushing, but you’ll be happy when you don’t have to cover half of the painting surface with masking before getting to the painting. You have much more control, in this case.

When you’re trying to save some money

Let’s face it – paint spraying wastes a lot of paint, but when you’re rolling and brushing, basically all of it ends up on the surface you’re painting. Factoring that in with the cost of tools, and you’re looking at a pretty inexpensive painting experience.

When simplicity matters

With rolling and brushing, you don’t have to worry about a ton of painting supplies and where your hand is and so on. Plus, if you want to, you can stop in the middle of a paint job, whereas with a paint sprayer, you have to commit to a full day of painting.

When painting interior walls, but not the ceiling

When you’re painting only walls on an interior, it’s pretty easy to avoid the ceiling when using a roller. There’s no need for masking on the ceiling when you’re painting with a roller inside.

So which is better?

Well, we’re going to be honest. Neither is better than the other, in the strictest sense. They both have specific uses and they’re both really good ways of painting, to be honest. All this said, if you don’t want to handle all of this on your own, you can contact us and talk about our services!