Hey There Atlanta!
As a painting contractor the questions we receive are varied and numerous, but perhaps the most common question we’re asked is “brush, roller, sprayer – which is best?”
So often when homeowners seek answers concerning matters of application instead of receiving an unbiased review which weighs the pros and cons of each method, they are bombarded with contractor bias and sales gimmicks. As we’ve previously demonstrated in our post dedicated to roofing and proper nailing method (hand nail versus power guns), it all comes down to the quality of the applicator’s training, supervision and individual integrity.
Like everything related to home improvements, the answer is likely to change based on the individual demands of each project. The methods used to apply paint, stains and coatings are affected by changing technology, as are the very paints themselves. Understanding the various products and procedures used in both exterior and interior painting techniques allows consumers to get the best, longest lasting paint jobs possible.
With that being said, we thought we would take this opportunity to review the pros & cons of the three most common paint application tools: Brush, Rollers & Sprayers.
There is no substitute for a personal touch. Brushes are essential in certain techniques and work well with smaller areas and detail work. However, they do tend to be limited by how much paint they hold. Anyone who has attempted to paint a large area solely with a brush knows it can be tedious, time consuming, arm and back breaking work. The paint brush is the oldest known paint application tool, but for large areas there are better means of application.
Norman Breakery is credited with inventing the paint roller in 1940. Since then much has changed in regards to the materials, but the basic premise has remained the same. Rollers are often preferred on larger, smooth and lightly textured areas like walls. The roller holds significantly more paint than the brush and covers more surface area faster. If the surface to be painted has deep grooves a roller may struggle to reach them. Rollers also are not recommended for detail work.
Many people tend to think of paint sprayers as a recent invention and while they haven’t been around as long as the brush, they have been with us for quite a while and even predate the paint roller. In 1893, Francis Davis Millet, a decorations director for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, was working under a tight deadline and in a stroke of genius invented the paint sprayer. Since then paint sprayers have been improved and seen various takes on the concept including the aerosol can in 1949.
Sprayers tend to use more paint and have an easier time getting paint into grooves and cracks. This ease of accessibility combined with the speed the paint is applied make this application a favored among painting contractors.
It is worth noting that there are different grades of paint sprayers. Should your painter choose not to use a professional grade sprayer, they may need to thin the paint to keep it moving through the sprayer. However, a professional sprayer does not require the paint to be thinned.
While both brushes and rollers require some preparation, paint sprayers require much more. Since there is an increased chance of overspray, professional painters should tape off and cover the areas that are not to be painted.
Perhaps the single greatest advantage of paint sprayers is the time they save. There is simply no comparison when it comes to painting a home by hand as opposed to applying the primer and final coats using a pneumatic sprayer. The time saved translates into savings for the customer and a quicker turn around on being able to enjoy the project.
Striking a Balance
As previously mentioned, we do not believe one technique is appropriate for every situation. We examine the unique demands of each project and recommend the appropriate application method(s) to be used. A quality paint job does not rely solely on the application tool, but also requires detailed preparation in order to ensure the paint lasts.
If you are planning an upcoming painting project and have questions, or would like a free, no-obligation estimate, fill out the form below or call us today and…