Advantages to Using a Paint Sprayer Over a Roller

Using paint sprayer

Paint sprayers are very useful for painting large areas quickly. These painting devices are available in different sizes, types, and power ranges, and are very popular because they are so easy to use.

Speed and Accessibility

Painting with a sprayer is much faster than using a paintbrush or roller. The tiny particles of paint emitted from the sprayer ensure complete and quick coverage in every nook and corner of a wall or a piece of furniture. Paint rollers can’t easily access the corners of walls or small spaces because of their shape. Plus, if you try to force the roller in, you will likely end up with scratches on the surface or splotches of wet paint. However, you can eliminate this problem by using a paint sprayer instead, designed to spray a fine mist to get to hard-to-reach spots.

Tip: “While operating a sprayer on a wall takes a bit of practice, using the proper sprayer on furniture or trim work is a reasonable project for any DIYer. The time and work necessary to set up and clean the sprayer usually makes it not worth the effort on small projects," says painting professional Pam Estabrooke of ProTect Painters.

Even Coating

Paint rollers don’t always offer a smooth finish in the end. However, a spray gun does because paint particles form a fine mist, covering all surfaces it touches. This aspect of paint sprayers makes it attractive for spraying paint or stains on furniture, stairs, and window frames.

However, you still need to pay attention to your work. Spraying a wall can cause an uneven finish if the passes are made too close together or if there is too much of an overlap. The higher the sheen the paint has, the more likely these buildups will show. Remember to totally cover the floor, windows, and all trim that you do not want sprayed. Also, make sure that you clean your paint sprayer out completely for the best effect.

Tip: “An HVLP [High Volume Low Pressure] sprayer is a good option for cabinets, furniture, trim, or other small projects," Estabrooke says. "Only the most expensive commercial types of HVLP sprayers are strong enough to handle varnish, lacquer, and sanding sealers. This fact alone usually makes it too much of an investment for a one-time DIY project.”


Paint spray devices are available in different sizes and varieties for use by homeowners, contractors, or professional painters. The two most common types of the sprayers are airless and air models. Air paint sprayers use air compression to eject the paint out. Airless paint sprayers, on the other hand, use pressure to push the paint out. Air paint sprayers are more expensive, and they provide a more even coating of paint as compared with the airless models.

For whatever job you’re doing, buy the best sprayer you can afford. Paint sprayers can cost between $100 and a few thousand dollars. These devices are available in gas-powered, electric, or cordless types. Other than the most common handheld type, these devices are also available for use with a backpack and in portable wheel models.The basic models can usually only handle one type of paint, whereas the more advanced models can be used for many different types of paint and stains. Adjustable models allow you to use paint of different thickness at different times. Portable paint pumps are ideal for small projects, whereas bigger varieties can be used to cover large structures.

Warning: Air sprayers use a lot of pressure to push out the paint. The nozzle can penetrate the skin of fingers or other body parts that get in the way of it, causing an injection wound. Emergency treatment is necessary if this happens.

Pam Estabrooke, district manager of ProTect Painters, contributed to this article.