Settling on the right painting technique is extremely crucial when looking to paint the walls in your home. Choosing between the roller and spray painting is usually based on the prevailing client requirements.

Spraying is generally regarded as the faster alternative even though it can only be done after rather tedious preparation work. Rolling on the other hand may be slower but it certainly gives a better quality wall coat when compared to spraying.

Both these methods can however also be used together. In such cases the faster but less accurate spray painting would be used to paint large walls while the slower but more accurate roller painting would be used when there is need to avoid paint spillage on other surfaces.

The following are the main conditions that warrant the use of a spray in painting:

When in need of a fast painting alternative

Spraying is certainly the fastest method of painting. This makes it the best alternative in cases where there is a huge amount of painting that needs to be done within extremely tight deadlines.

spray vs roller painting interior

When painting large interior spaces under remodelling

These are by far the best areas when it comes to applying spray painting. This is majorly because there is usually no need for accuracy in such spaces.

This in turn means that they guarantee a liberal painting experience to the painters since only a few areas such as windows and plumbing fittings are usually cordoned off. Such spaces can also be painted faster through spraying as opposed to rolling or brushing.

When painting surfaces with sophisticated textures

Spray painting is extremely suitable for surfaces with complicated textures. This is because the spray is able to lay down a thin and clean coat on the narrow nooks and crannies.

This is unlike brush or roll painting which usually produces tiny pools of paint when applied on such crevices. Examples of surfaces with detailed textures include cheese ceilings, crown moulding and deep exterior cornices.

When to use a roller

Rolling is by far the best painting alternative when looking to achieve the highest level of quality. This is because it not only ensures greater color consistency but also a thicker coating of paint.

The decision to choose to roll over spraying or brushing is however also influenced by other factors such as cost, surface condition, and preparation timeframe. When all these factors are held constant, rolling becomes most suitable for the following conditions:

When looking to minimally mask

The constrained and detailed nature of roller painting usually requires small scale masking. This is unlike spray painting which typically demands an extremely huge extent of masking as a result of its rather random nature.

Rolling therefore reduces the masking demands in a given space since it does not require all surfaces that are not being painted to be covered in films or clothes.

When exclusively painting interior walls

Roller painting also takes precedence over brushing and spraying in cases where one is looking to only paint the interior walls minus the ceiling.

This is because roller painting usually means that masking the ceiling is normally not required in such instances. A painter can therefore easily exclude the ceiling from the painting process without actually staining it which is more than we can say for spraying.

When in need of a simple and flexible painting technique

The major supplies that are usually required when roller painting generally include a roller, cover, tray liner and paint tray. These are relatively simple to get and use.

Roller painting also provides an opportunity for one to paint in intervals. This means that one can actually paint in shifts thereby affording them some time to rest.

This is unlike spray painting which demands the completion of the said job on the same day it commenced.

When in need of a cost-effective painting technique

Cost-effective painting not only tilts on the price of the painting implements but also on the degree of wastage with regard to the paint. Roller painting certainly outweighs spray painting when this is put into consideration.

This is because it ensures that almost all the paint goes onto the surface in question. Spray painting on the other hand, is actually proven to spill up to 33% of the paint on unintended surfaces.

Roller instruments are also relatively cheaper when compared to the buying and maintenance costs of a paint sprayer.

When painting a dirty surface

Cleaning a dirty surface is usually advisable before commencing painting on the same. There are however situations where this recommendation is not adhered to. In such cases, roller painting is definitely the best painting technique to engage.

This is because rolling is known to enable the paint to go deep into the initial coating thereby joining tighter to the surface. Spray painting does not have a similar effect because it produces tiny droplets which do not bond to each other as tightly as in the case of rolling.

This in turn means that it can only form a thin and weak coating especially when we put into consideration the atomised paint that goes into the air but never gets on the wall.

Using a spray

There are almost as many benefits to be derived from spray painting as there are demerits. Let us look at both below.

Pros

Time-saving

The time-saving aspect of spray painting can never be understated. This is because spray painting usually transfers paint directly from the canister to the surface being painted.

This is unlike rolling and brushing which have to transfer the paint onto the roller or the brush before applying it onto the surface.

Spraying also ensures that the surface being painted dries up faster. This is because it is known to release small spray particles which is normally not the case when it comes to brush and roller painting which release liquid paint.

Simple

Spray painting is perhaps the easiest painting technique to learn. This is because it rids the painter of encumbrances such as refilling and drying of brushes which accompany other painting methodologies.

Accurate

It also ensures a higher degree of accuracy since it can be able to reach the crevices which are usually not accessible when either rolling or brushing paint.

Cons

Tedious

Spray painting can be extremely tedious especially if it is being carried out in a rather large area. This is because it does not allow for breaks after the painting process has begun. This in turn means that it must be completed in a single take.

Limited Quality

Spray painting can at times create uneven coating. This is because of its rather random nature that can result in thicker coating on one end and thinly filled cracks on the other.

Using a roller

Roller painting is a really popular technique among professionals when it comes to painting surfaces.

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The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of roller painting:

Pros

Quality Finishing

Roller painting is usually known to bring about quality finishing by creating even paint coats on the surfaces being painted. This even paint coat gives a more professional look when compared to the rather uneven coating with regard to spray painting.

Minimal Wastage

Rollers generally ensure minimal paint wastage since they directly apply the paint on the surface in question. This is unlike spray painting which can lose close to a third of its painting mist to the atmosphere.

Cons

Limited Reach

The relatively large size of a roller does not usually allow it to apply paint on small surfaces, joints, crevices and corners. These areas can however be reached via brush and spray painting.

Time consuming

Roller painting generally consumes more time when compared to spray painting. This means that it may not help much in situations where timelines are short and strictly adhered to.

FAQ’s

Yes, they do. Professional painters usually use sprayers to apply a thin initial layer of paint on a given surface. They then roll over a thicker painting which ensures greater cohesion by joining the paint particles together.

First ensure that the paint coating has dried on the desired surface. Then paint another coating after lightly sanding the initial one with a smooth grit block.

Yes, it is, especially in cases where large spaces are being painted. In such scenarios, a paint sprayer ensures faster completion of the job by accelerating the speed of the painting exercise.

Spraying paint indoors can only be dangerous if it is done improperly. It is thus advisable for painters to ensure that a space has proper air circulation and ventilation before commencing on painting.

If this is not done, health side effects such as vomiting and difficulty in breathing can occur due to the nauseating smell of the paint.

Timothy Munene
Author: Timothy Munene - Timothy is a freelance writer and an online entrepreneur.