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Home Painting Alamo – Comparing Brushing, Rolling and Spraying

Should you use brushing, rolling, or spraying when you are home painting in Alamo? Which of these methods is really “best” is one of those topics that everyone has an opinion about and it seems that all of those opinions are different. Let’s compare the features of each.

Brushing is the tried and true traditional method. Brushes come in all widths, lengths, and prices. They can be wide and have a big sturdy handle for painting large surfaces or be narrow and have smaller, more easily maneuvered handles for doing fine work in small areas. There are even specialty brushes, for instance a brush with almost no handle, which allows painting confined areas like the inside sides of a set of rails. Brushes are the only choices for detail or “cut in” work around soffits, windows, doors, other openings and trim like baseboards or crown molding. In fact, brushing will almost certainly need to be the method used where two surfaces come together or on any other surface that requires a good edge but doesn’t lend itself to masking.

Rolling is for large, flat surfaces. Rollers are actually two parts, the roller itself, which is basically a handle and a moving spindle to hold the cover, and the roller cover, which is what actually holds the paint and applies it to the surface. Roller covers are both reusable and disposable. Rollers covers come in a variety of naps from thin to thick and fluffy and are made of an assortment of materials from polyester to microfiber to lamb’s wool. The different naps and materials allow rollers to be used on a wide variety of surfaces with efficiency. Both the type of surface and the type of paint will be factors when choosing the thickness and consistency of the nap for the roller cover.

Rollers are both wider than the widest brushes and hold more paint. A much larger area can be covered without having to go back to the paint bucket. They can also have very long handles and extenders, which allows for painting high up areas without a ladder. Rollers, like brushes, come in different widths and can be used for smaller areas, but they are at their best on wide-open surfaces like the middle of the wall or a fence or other extended surface.

Spraying is a relative new technique and most of the arguments about how to paint center around sprayers. A sprayer is a machine that uses a compressor to take paint from a bucket or other reservoir and spray it out as a fine mist. It can, without a doubt, cover a much bigger area much quicker than either brushing or rolling. Sprayers have also vastly improved in the last few years so that even a relatively inexpensive one will spray paint evenly and without having to thin or otherwise put additives into the paint. Sprayers can also be adjusted to do smaller surfaces, but fine control and overspray are still problems. The work area must be carefully masked or draped and the air must be calm, which is not always the case when home painting in Alamo. Sprayers are also not cheap and must be taken apart and cleaned between uses or paint colors or types. There are differing views as well, of the quality of sprayer coverage of a surface. Many argue that a sprayer just cannot get into porous or rough surfaces and must be “back rolled.” Back rolling, while slightly faster than rolling on the paint, does involve going over the entire area again with a roller to make sure the paint gets into the pinholes and valleys of a surface.

So which is best? An experienced painter can brush on paint very quickly and accurately, but rolling still goes faster than brushing. Sprayers are even quicker if used on very large, solid surfaces, but again accuracy and fine detail are a problem, and coverage seems to be an issue. Neither rolling nor spraying is good for small spaces or are they good for detailed work and cut work must still be done with a brush. Each of these methods has its uses. The mostly likely scenario is that you will use two or more of them on any given project when home painting in Alamo.


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