Is It Better to Spray Or Roll Exterior Paint?

exterior house painting service
Nick Goebel

Nick Goebel

Co-founder of The Ohio Painting Company®

There may appear to be numerous options if you want to spruce up the outside of your home with a fresh coat of paint. However, spraying paint or rolling it on the wall are two common methods for completing a paint job.

Both require some thought and planning before you begin, but once you do, they both provide distinct advantages for both exterior and interior painting. Understanding the differences between these two painting techniques will allow you to make an informed decision about which to use for future painting projects.

Continue reading to learn more about these two methods, their differences, and when one may be preferable to the other for your exterior house painting project.

Spray Painting

It is a method of quickly applying layers of paint or other materials to surfaces using a special tool known as a sprayer. Traditional methods, such as brushes or rollers, typically cover larger areas faster.

How Does It Work?

The first step in spray painting is to prepare the surface properly. This includes cleaning the surface and removing any dirt, dust, or debris. You may also need to use a primer before spray painting. This will help to ensure that the paint adheres to the surface properly and provides an even coating.

It is critical to be aware of overspray when using a sprayer for exterior painting. Overspray occurs when paint droplets stray from their intended location and settle on nearby surfaces. This can result in unsightly stains or even damage. To reduce overspray, use a low-pressure nozzle and keep at least six inches between the nozzle and the surface you’re painting.

Finally, always wear protective equipment, such as goggles, a respirator mask, and gloves, when using a sprayer. If the paint particles come into contact with your skin or eyes, they can be harmful. Furthermore, use the sprayer only in well-ventilated areas away from open flames.

What Is Roll Painting?

Roll painting is a painting technique that employs a roller brush with several small, rounded bristles. This method is much slower than spraying, but it is ideal for smaller, more detailed areas.

When using a roller brush, use even strokes and work in one direction until the entire surface is covered.

How It Works

Rolling, as the name implies, is the application of paint by rolling a roller across a surface. Various sizes and types of rollers can be used, depending on the desired finish. When compared to spraying, applying paint with a roller results in fewer drips and splatters.

The method produces fewer streaks than brushing. For the best results, many experts recommend rolling two thin coats rather than one thick one. When rolling paint, begin at one end and work your way to the other in a consistent pattern.

Also, stay on the roller to have complete control over its application. While rolling, use painter’s tape to outline edges or cover specific areas. Wear protective equipment when applying paint with a roller, just as you would when spraying.

When to Use a Roller and When to Use a Sprayer

Both rollers and sprayers can be effective tools when it comes to painting exterior paint jobs. However, depending on the type of paint and surface, one may be more suitable than the other.


When you want even coverage and a smooth finish, a roller is an excellent choice. Rollers are typically used on larger surfaces, such as walls and siding. When using a roller, apply an even coat of paint to avoid streaks. Short, even strokes are the best way to accomplish this.


Surfaces with smaller, intricate areas, such as windows, doors, shutters, railings, and trim, benefit from the use of a sprayer. It’s also great for applying primers and sealants. Sprayers disperse a fine paint mist, resulting in a consistent and uniform finish.

Spray painting is especially useful for cabinet painting because it does not leave texture on the surface as a roller would.

Bonus Tips for Exterior Painting Projects

  • Choose the right kind of paint appropriate for the surface you are painting, such as oil-based or latex paint.
  • Prepare the surface: Before painting, clean the walls through pressure washing and make sure it’s dry before proceeding.
  • Use a primer to ensure quality work: Applying a primer before you begin painting is essential for ensuring a good finish.
  • Wear protective clothing when painting, such as goggles, gloves, and a mask.
  • Use proper technique

Call The Ohio Painting Company for Quality Paint Work in Cincinnati, OH

Keeping your residential or business space looking fresh and clean is essential for any kind of establishment. You need to have your premises looking their absolute best in order to entice new patrons as well as retain the ones you already have. While a DIY residential exterior painting project can help you save money, it cannot guarantee a fantastic job.

That is where an interior and exterior house painting service, such as the Ohio Painting Company, comes in.

We have house painters who have been specifically trained and experienced in paintwork as well as the use of high-quality tools and materials. This enables us to provide only high-quality painting services to our clients, ensuring a beautiful and long-lasting finish.

We understand that painting the exterior of your home can appear to be a daunting task. However, our local painters in Cincinnati can make the process much easier and will make a huge difference in how people perceive your home.

Rest assured that we will do an excellent job of breathing new life into every room in your home, be it the common areas such as your living room or more intimate spaces like your master bathroom.

So, call us today at (513) 457-1040 for a free case evaluation on our home improvement services.

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