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Painting – Brush vs. Airless Sprayer – Pros & Cons

Paint brushes, rollers, and sprayers are all great for getting your paint project finished.

However there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing the right method for painting.

How you plan to tackle your painting task will depend on the project as well as the material being painted.

Read the pros and cons below to determine what will work out better for you.

Paint Spraying Pros

  • Covers big areas fast
  • Smooth finish, no paint brush marks
  • Gets into hard to reach spots
  • Only needs one coat


Paint Spraying Cons

  • Time consuming – covering and putting on masking tape
  • Leaves light and darker patterns by not applying spray paint evenly
  • More paint is used when compared to brush painting
  • Does not adhere as good as brush or roller

Spray painting will require practice if it is your first time. Avoid getting to close, moving to slow, or overlapping to much as this will result in the paint running and dripping.

Once you get the hang of it large areas can be painted easier and faster.

An airless sprayer can make painting fast but it will use up more paint.


Brush Painting Pros

  • More control of where you want the paint
  • Paint can be applied to hard to get areas better than sprayers
  • Paint can be brushed on evenly

Brush Painting Cons

  • Leaves brush marks
  • Requires two coats
  • Time consuming

Brush painting is slower, but it can sometimes get the job done better, such as doing a better job covering up nails and cracks.

Painting with a brush or a roller will save paint, especially with painting projects such as lattice.

While both spraying and brush have their pros and cons, both are eventually useful depending on the project.


Back Rolling and Back Brushing

Back brushing is done by spraying the area then brushing or rolling the paint while it is still wet. This will insure an even layer of paint throughout the area.

By applying this method you can spray the paint to the area fast and work it into cracks, imperfections and hard to reach areas with a brush.

Another advantage with this method is the paint will bond better to the surface.

Back brush only if the area or project you are painting needs it. Most new material will not require any back brushing; material that has been exposed to the elements for years will require this technique.

For nice results spray, back brush or back roll, then spray once more for a nice finish look.

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