Spray Paint Roll Paint Comparison

So, you’re about to undertake the monumental task of painting (or repainting) your home. You’ve got your colors and finishes all picked out, and one choice remains: do you spray the paint, or roll it?

Both methods have their pros and cons. Here are a few factors to consider before making your choice.

How big of an area are you covering?

One of spray painting’s biggest draws is that it’s much faster than rolling or brushing—you can cover a larger area in a fraction of the time. When needing to cover a big surface area, spray painting is likely the best bet.

More intricate detail work will likely still need the closer attention of a brush or roller, but spraying will lay down a solid foundation for you.

If you’re dealing with a smaller area, spraying can still work well—but at that point, rolling on your paint may be more economical. Due to how it applies the paint, spraying may use more paint than rolling does, so for smaller jobs rolling may be the way to go.

What quality of a coat are you looking for?

Doing something quicker doesn’t always mean that it’s done better. If you need an especially high-quality coat of paint, you really can’t go wrong with choosing to roll it on.

Spray painting can leave you with a thinner coat as some of the paint particles drift away in the process, while rolling ensures most of your paint is getting on your surface in one go.

Rolling also allows a little more wiggle room if you’re painting on a not-so-perfectly cleaned surface.

How much texture and detail are present on the surface?

If you’ve got a completely smooth surface, rolling works wonders. If you’ve got a lot of detail or texture on your wall, like popcorn ceilings, elaborate crown molding, baseboards, and the like, spraying may be your better bet.

The thinner coat that spraying offers will lay down an even coat across the surface. Rolling can lead to drips or uneven buildup of paint in the textured areas.

How complicated of a process are you comfortable with?

As earlier mentioned, spray painting is the quicker method—at least when it comes to actual application of the paint.

Setup and cleanup require a bit more effort than just rolling it on.  Spray painting is an “all-in” situation: no setting your paint down and returning to it later.

You’ll also need to make sure you carefully and extensively mask any surface you don’t want to paint.

Despite its many draws, spray painting can be a more intensive process than just grabbing a roller and tray for your paint. Especially if you are not a trained painting professional with years of experience.

What’s your budget for painting?

While spraying paint can save your time and energy, rolling on paint is more economical for the “do it yourselfer.”

As mentioned earlier, paint can be wasted in the spraying process. Rolling ensures you’re using most, if not all the paint, you paid for. Therefore, rolling frequently means you’re spending less on the actual paint and only spending more in terms of time and labor.

However, professionals generally can purchase paint at a greater economy of scale. They may recommend a combination or roll and spray painting to complete the job professionally, but also within your budget.

All in all, both methods have their pros and cons, so which one you should use is very case-specific. Whether you choose to spray paint or roll it—or some combination thereof—picking the right method for your project will leave you with the best possible results!