Paint Roller or Sprayer: Which One to Use on the Exterior of Your Home

Three paint cans sitting on ground

Painting the outdoor walls of your house can be a daunting task, due to the size and range of a typical home. Those of you who choose to do this on your own should carefully consider the strategy you’ll use before going ahead with the project. For instance, should you go the simple route and use a paint roller, or should you invest in a paint sprayer? The answer to this question will depend on your unique needs.

3 Reasons to Consider Obtaining a Paint Sprayer

Paint sprayer sitting outside house

It’ll Speed up the Process

Due to this tool’s ability to cover large surface areas with paint at a rapid speed, using a paint sprayer will enable you to paint up to three times more quickly than you’d be able to with a traditional paint roller or brush.

You Can Save Money (And Time!)

This tool can also save you money in many different ways, especially when it comes to your materials. Primer and paint can both be used—in a very efficient manner—in tandem with a paint sprayer. For optimum efficiency, you’ll be able to adjust the sprayer’s nozzle to maximize every single ounce of paint or primer you use on a particular wall.

The quality of the technology will vary by brand and size, but virtually all paint sprayers will come with some standard features that can save you not only money, but time, too.

You’ll Be Able to Use It on Other Surfaces

Aside from taking care of your walls, a paint sprayer is a tool you’ll be able to use on a wide variety of other surfaces in and around your home, such as ceilings, furniture, fences and more.

2 Potential Reasons to Use a Paint Roller

Blue house with three paint rollers leaning against it. Photo from Pixabay.

It’ll Be Easier to Do a High-Quality Job

The fact of the matter is that using a paint roller (instead of another tool) will make it easier for you to complete a high-quality paint job.

This is due to the fact that a roller can cover surfaces more precisely, and penetrate a surface more deeply, than other tools can.  Therefore, the paint will stick to the surface a lot longer. Also, given that rollers can accomplish this “deeper” type of painting job that’s often desired, this may make your walls and ceilings appear more aesthetically pleasing.

Rollers Can Be More Efficient

Even though there are paint sprayers that will allow users to adjust the volume of paint that’s sprayed out, a paint sprayer still isn’t quite as efficient as a roller. You can manage your paint a lot more easily with a brush, as it’ll allow you to use smaller amounts of paint to cover large areas.

So Is a Paint Sprayer Difficult to Use?

Believe it or not, many people shy away from getting a sprayer due to a lack of experience with this type of tool. The truth is, though, that using one is easier than you might think!

Besides checking out the many video tutorials you’ll find online, you can quickly learn to use one by testing it out on smaller objects. This will give you a feel for how the tool works and allow you to determine which settings you prefer.

Another way of testing a paint sprayer is to add water to it and then spray the water on big walls, as if it were paint. This method can give you a better sense of the pressure you’ll need to apply to cover larger areas with paint.

Oil vs. Latex Paint

Paint sprayers are suitable for use with oil-based or latex paint. Both can be applied very effectively, so it’s just a matter of personal taste! It’s important to highlight the fact that oil-based paints can take anywhere from six to eight hours to dry, while recoating may take a full day. In contrast, latex paint will usually take about four hours to dry.

Even though oil-based paint takes longer to dry, some people (including most professionals) prefer to use it due to its aesthetic appeal. It gives surfaces a slick look and typically makes them look much cleaner. However, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. Oil paint tends to become brittle over time, and its color can start to look a bit yellow. It can also be very delicate, so if you choose to use it, you may need to do a repainting job after just a few years.

Water-based/latex paint comes with other benefits that may make it an appealing choice. First of all, aside from saving you time while you wait for it to dry, latex paint is more durable. It’s been proven that his type of paint lasts a lot longer than oil paint, and requires less repainting over the long run.

Another great feature is the fact that you can even use this paint during cooler seasons, if you’re looking to apply it outdoors. Furthermore, new technology has allowed water-based paint to be easier on the environment—especially since its VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content is low—and also protect your house from molds.

Speed or Precision? Consider Your Priorities

Before you start your painting job, it’s important to think carefully about which route is the right one for you. Using a paint roller is a much more simple way of doing things, and to this day, it’s still a very effective one. On the other hand, paint sprayers are typically used by professional painters, given that they take on larger projects and want to get the work done super-quickly.

If you’re looking to control your paint as precisely as possible, then a paint roller may be the best choice for you. Alternatively, you should consider a paint sprayer if you’re looking to save time on big projects that require large surface areas to be painted.

image 1: Daniel R. Blume; image 2: ocean yamaha

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