Blog

The BEST Painting Process for a Luxury Look: Spray, Roll or Paintbrush?

May 4, 2021

Spraying vs. rolling vs. brushing … which technique is preferable? With all the paint options and application methods on the market today come many schools of thought. The real answer is, there is no simple answer. It depends.

Before picking up your paint tools, it’s important to ask yourself some basic questions, such as:

  • “What look am I attempting to achieve with this paint project?”
  • “What substrate (underlying layer) am I painting over?”
  • “What specifications for painting my substrate are listed on my paint can?”
  • “What are the best application practices (for the paint I’ve selected) listed on my paint can?”

The answers to those questions will help guide you to the correct application for the paint you are using in terms of technique, number of coats, roller nap, brush, and/or airspray techniques, attachments and tips for the specific material you plan to paint.

In addition to answering these questions, it’s important to determine the limitations and benefits of each technique, as well as understand the substrates that benefit most from each application type.

Brushing

Benefits:

  • Even coverage
  • Pushes paint into woods’ nooks and crannies
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Precision control
  • Durability
phillipslevel10designdev

Limitations:

  • Slow labor-intensive application
  • Requires multiple coats
  • Leaves brush marks
  • Bumps in the wood, nails, etc., complicate the application

General Applications:

  • Window sashes
  • Detail work such as trim, corners and edges
  • Straight lines
  • Any surface requiring great precision

Rolling

Benefits:

  • Even coverage
  • Greater efficiency on larger areas
  • Nap pushes paint into substrate’s pores
  • More economical than brushing, since the porous nap holds more paint and distributes even layers quickly, requiring fewer coats
  • Easy and quick to load and use
  • No brush strokes
phillipslevel10designdev

Limitations:

  • More expense involved with pans and additional rollers needed up front
  • Cleanup is messy and difficult
  • Inappropriate for small jobs
  • Paint waste from excess remaining in roller nap and pans
  • Nap must be full or you risk removing paint from the wall

General Applications:

  • Fascia and Siding
  • Door trim
  • Interior walls
  • Spraying

    Proper spraying requires a professional to get the right results!

    Benefits:

    • Smooth, glassy application, free of brush or roller marks (for the trained painter)
    • Super fast application; often requires half the time of rolling
    • Applies more paint per coat, so can provide one coat coverage
    • Gets into difficult-to-reach areas

    Limitations:

    • Preparation and cleanup of the sprayer, tips, paint reservoir are time intensive
    • Can be uneven and go on too thick (2-3 times the paint of a brush)
    • The untrained air sprayer faces the risk of drips, runs or overspray
    • Cannot be applied on a windy day

    General Applications:

    • Exteriors
    • Doors, especially those made of metal
    • Cabinetry
    • Gutters
    • Vinyl siding

    In addition to these applications, there is another very effective way to minimize air spray’s limitations and exponentially maximize its benefits on your painting projects that you may not have considered:

    Air Spray With Back Brushing or Rolling

    Benefits:

    • Covers large areas almost as quickly as air spraying alone
    • Great coverage, as this technique pushes paint into the surface’s pores or crevices
    • Better adhesion for a longer lasting application
    • Even coating
    • Glassy appearance

    Limitations:

    • Requires a helper
    • Risk of removing paint from the wall during back rolling if you wait too long to back roll

    General Applications:

    • Very porous or rough materials
    • Blistered or chalky siding
    • Rough Stucco, cedar fencing and brick
    • Wood paneling

    As you can clearly see with painting, one size does not fit all. For best results, since there are so many variables, it’s helpful to employ a professional company to perform your paint project.

    At Phillips Home Improvements, we aim to provide the correct application for your specific substrate, use the proper size and kind of brush, roller nap and airspray tip. We inspect your substrate carefully also to determine whether it needs special treatment such as back rolling. Phillips would love to help you achieve the most luxurious look on your home’s exterior or interior. Feel free to call us for a project consultation at (972) 867-9792.