A painter’s job requires not only skills but also proper equipment.
While skills affect the output of the job, the result can still be enhanced if using the right equipment.
Therefore, the debate as to whether to use paint sprayer vs. roller has been around for a long time.
Especially for interior painting. Choosing between the two has always been confusing.
In this article, we’ll look into each of them closely and see which is better.
Now, Before we start comparing, let’s examine each of them first.
The paint sprayers are essential products that find excellent use in every residence.
They are primarily used for spraying release agents and water-based compounds for various cleaning applications.
They are quite commonly used for paint jobs like painting interior walls, painting the exterior of a house, painting furniture, and much more.
They can also be used to stain different types of woods.
Types of paint sprayers. In general, the paint sprayers are available in two different categories:
This type of sprayer makes use of a pumping action for spraying.
This action helps the sprayer to force the paint via a nozzle in the tip of the spraying gun.
It generates a misty fog that settles down on the surface quickly as it comes in contact with the air.
Airless sprayers are available in different types and designs.
Some companies produce this type of sprayers like Graco, Wagner, Campbell Hausfeld, Fuji sprayers, etc.
Airless paint sprayers are typically used for outdoor spraying, and it can be used with a large or small pump.
It usually gives perfect finish on wooden surfaces, sheds, and metal surfaces.
Furthermore, the airless sprayers are in different forms such as diaphragm pump; piston pump and double stroke piston pump sprayers.
The first type is perfect for the home enthusiasts. The second one is suitable for professional sprayers. The last one is mainly used for construction works.
Air sprayers help the professionals to obtain a smooth and even coat of paint.
Through air sprayers, one can achieve a clean paint.
The main component of this paint sprayer is the air compressor.
The air compressor is used to pressurize the sprayer’s basin. This will force the painting materials into the nozzle of the sprayer and give an even coat.
Based on the type of the application, these compressors are available in different sizes.
Both large and small air compressors are used for a painting application.
Large size compressors are mounted on a cart whereas the small size ones are portable and directly mounted to the spraying gun.
Nowadays, different varieties of portable and handy air guns are available in the market.
The unique part of an air gun is the painting person does not need to have high skills for using the paint.
Next, How about rollers? What are they rolling about?
The rollers are typically used for painting a smooth surface.
Painting rollers are available in different widths, and the width dimension differs based on the painting job.
Paint rollers typically contain two different parts namely the outer skin and the inner frame.
The outer skin of the roller is pushed into the inner frame for the paint and then used on the surface.
Types of rollers. Paint rollers are available in different forms. This also varies based on the painting job.
These types of rollers are specially designed to paint a surface in a particular texture.
The textured rollers feature a special type of foam that contains a unique pattern engraved on them. This texture is painted on the surface.
This type of roller is best for large surfaces such as ceiling and wall painting.
This is the most general type of rollers.
Similarly, these rollers are used to paint walls and ceilings.
These rollers come with a handle that the painter can hold it and paint.
These rollers as their names indicate the design in the form of a mini hot dog.
These types of rollers are mainly used for areas that are difficult to reach while painting.
For example, these types of rollers are used for painting areas like sinks, cupboards, rolling doors, and shelves, etc
Now that you know what both are, It’s time to start seeing which one is better.
Firstly, you might be wondering:
The short answer is yes. Sprayers can use up to 33% more paint than rollers.
A sprayer vaporizes paint, so paint molecules hang about in the air, eventually settle on some other surface than the intended target.
Painting things like a lattice is especially wasteful because you cannot accurately target the individual strips of wood with the sprayer.
An airless sprayer is much faster than an HVLP sprayer (high volume low pressure) but uses considerably more paint.
An airless can gobble up paint at a rate of two gallons a minute.
HVLP sprayers are much more comparable to rollers regarding paint usage.
However, the HVLP still uses more paint – maybe up to 20% more.
It is proved that the sprayers expedite the painting task two to three times.
This is because of the ideal design of the sprayers
Sprayers are the best in coverability.
This is because you cannot use a roller on the surface like curves and corners.
On the other hand, you can use sprayers for covering any surface quickly. They don’t need any filling or coating.
Rollers don’t involve operating costs. Whether it is an airless or air sprayer, you need to spend more operating cost.
Sprayers can spread the paint on the skin if working on high pressure.
With airless sprayers, you have to be careful not to let any part of your body get too close to the tip.
If you find your skin coated with paint, you must seek immediate medical attention.
Even with an injury that doesn’t look too bad, you still want to have it checked as most coating materials contain hazardous toxins.
Also, you can’t be able to reuse the foam roller after the first use. But, the sprayers have features that last for a long time.
This is because rollers are available for manual handling whereas a sprayer needs electrical support or a battery charge to operate.
Rollers are perfect only if you’re a professional who knows how to use it without getting numerous lines.
They can also cause your arms to strain because it requires you to perform the up-down motion while you paint.
Aside from that, you’ll have to exert effort for the paint to stick on the surface! That means the longer you work on a project, the more exhausting the painting becomes.
However, Let’s check out the case with a paint sprayer. They’re light and easy to control, your arms won’t strain so much.
Plus, you need only one arm to move it around, allowing you to switch arms when the other needs to rest.
Despite all that, paint sprayers can be uncomfortable because they leave paint almost everywhere especially on your body and nearby objects.
That’s why you have to cover up everything—including yourself. Wearing gloves, safety goggles, old clothes, and a mask might not be that comfortable but they’re necessary when using paint sprayers.
With them, there’s fast application of paint. Therefore, the drying process can be completed faster.
Paint sprayers allow you to finish painting an item in one afternoon instead of a weekend.
You can’t do this with rollers as you’ll have to coat again and again to reach the desired results.
Each pass of a paint sprayer will give you the same result as that of three to four passes of your roller.
Another factor affects the time is the amount of paint you can store in your roller. You can’t store much as the paint will drip, requiring more time and effort.
It would usually be thicker where you initially landed the roller and got thinner as you go on.
This means that you have to make extra effort to even them out. However, even doing that would not yield to a completely smooth finish.
The paint sprayer lets out a fine mist of paint so that it covers the area it encounters. As a result, the finish is a lot smoother and even.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of a paint sprayer vs. roller is that it can do not only the roller’s job but also that of the paint brush.
Rollers are ideal for larger flat surface.
It would be inappropriate for small areas as well as for nooks and corners of walls. For these, you would need the paint brush.
They can’t be used for small areas such as the corners of walls, which of course, require paint brush.
Well, it is a different story with paint sprayer.
Spray painters can easily deal with any project; big or small, flat surfaces or not.
You can have a roller and a paintbrush in one tool!
How cool is that, right?
Wait. One more thing you need to know.
While it is always best to thoroughly 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 leeway 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.
Here’s how you do it:
For example: 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, rolling detailed surfaces can result in pooled up paint and drips.
We have finished all the comparisons between paint sprayer and roller. It is not the end.
Sprayer or roller? It’s time to decide!
Rollers work best on smooth flat surfaces like ceiling and walls.
So, if you’re only painting one moderately sized room, the roller is the way to go. You’ll have it done in a snap.
But for the trim, you should choose a sprayer with a fine finish 215 or 315 tip.
Using a roller to paint trim like baseboards is very unwieldy and a brush just doesn’t cut it if you want a professional finish.
Rollers are likely to result in a stippling effect. With brushes, the brush stroke will be visible.
If you don’t have an airless system, try a small portable HVLP, which is easy to use and can get into the nooks, crannies. It can handle the finer details of the trim.
If you’re painting multiple rooms or one giant room, then it’s worth breaking out your airless system for the walls and using the roller just for the ceilings.
Use a roller to do ceilings because sprayers tend to leave lag marks.
If you paint furniture and stain different types of woods, go for sprayer.
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.
What should you use? Interior paint sprayer or roller?
Based on this article, rollers are best for smooth flat surface and moderately sized room whereas, sprayers are suitable for larger room and small corners.
It seems that paint sprayers are more advantageous to use for interior painting.
However, do consider what tool can make you more productive.
Don’t forget to consider your budget as well!
Whatever your decision will be, do yourself a favor and invest in a high-quality one.