While brushes and rollers used to be the norm for painting walls or cabinets, there are now plenty of paint sprayers on the market for DIYers.
But you shouldn’t opt for a paint sprayer because you think it will be faster – especially if you’ve never used one before. A lot of times, rolling ends up being the quicker option.
Like anything else, there are pros and cons to both methods. Here’s what to consider.
Pros and Cons of Using a Paint Roller
Using a paint roller is a fairly straightforward process.
First, you prep your area, taping off surfaces you don’t want paint to touch and laying down plastic sheeting to protect your floors and furniture. Then, dump paint into your tray, apply some to your roller, and start painting.
The downside to using a roller is that it often takes at least 2-3 coats of paint to achieve proper coverage – which can feel like back-breaking work when completing a large job.
But, luckily, you don’t have to do all the work at once.
The beauty of a paint roller is that you can stop whenever you need a break, store your roller in a Ziploc bag in the fridge, and then pick up your project when you have time.
Pros of using a paint roller:
Easy prep work
Simple application process
You can stop at any time and start again when you’d like
Cons of using a paint roller:
Pros and Cons of Using a Paint Sprayer
If your mind immediately jumps to time-saving benefits when considering a paint sprayer, you might want to think again.
While it’s true that a sprayer will get paint on the wall much quicker than a roller, the prep work is quite intensive.
If you’re spraying in a house or around a surface that you don’t want paint to touch, you have to cover it with plastic and tape.
There are obvious pros and cons to both a roller and a paint sprayer. And while you can use these tools for the same applications, you might not want to.
Here are common surfaces and which is better: a paint sprayer vs roller.
Interior walls – roller
Exterior walls – paint sprayer
Cabinets – Either (Depends on size and how much prep work is involved)
Textured surfaces – paint sprayer
Furniture – Either
Ceilings – Sprayer if they are heavily textured, a roller if not
So, is it better to paint with a sprayer or a roller? Using a roller is usually better if you’re painting an interior wall.
With a roller, you’ll have more control, achieve better coverage, and won’t have to worry about overspray.
Spraying makes the most sense when you have a large job to complete, need to cover texture, if your house is empty, or if you’ll be painting outside.
There’s a myth that paint sprayers will automatically save you time on your project, but this isn’t true. If you’re using a paint sprayer in your home, you need to methodically prep the area so that paint doesn’t get where it shouldn’t.
If you’re painting a small area, a roller is the way to go. However, if you’re painting a large or textured surface, a sprayer is beneficial.