Home exterior painting jobs present us with two basic choices for getting the job done: spraying or rolling. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. When we evaluate a project, we have to evaluate a variety of factors to determine the best method. The right answer isn’t always apparent.

Which Method Is Cheaper For A Home Exterior Painting Job?

This is usually the first question we get. The biggest misconception is that spraying is cheaper than hand-rolling and brushing a house. It is true that you can paint a surface much faster with a sprayer than by hand. However, there are two main factors that make the price even out:

  • Prep Work – Because of over-spray, a lot more prep work is usually required when spraying. This means the workers are spending time taping, masking, covering landscaping, and anything else that needs to be done to protect the work area. More materials are also required for the job such as masking tape, plastic, and drop cloths.
  • Paint Quantity – Paint has to be thinned in order to properly flow through a sprayer. More paint is required for the job in order to get proper coverage. Paint is also lost due to evaporation since it is in aerosol form during the application. Spraying can require two or even three times the amount of paint as brushing.

Other Downsides Of Spraying

There are a few other downsides to spraying when deciding on how to tackle a home exterior painting job:

  • Weather – Weather can make spraying more difficult. Excessive wind can cause overspray on a much larger area.
  • Obstructions – Outdoor obstructions can make it very difficult to use a sprayer. Houses that are surrounded closely by bushes and trees are very difficult to prep and mask. It is much simpler to get into these areas with brushes and rollers and not worry about over-spray.
  • Coverage – Sprayed coats go on much thinner than with a roller. Because of this, coverage can be an issue. Some colors may show bleed-through and require extra coats. Rolled or brushed paint goes on thicker so is better at masking surface flaws.

Home exterior painting - when to brush

Are Rolling And Brushing Always The Best Choice For Home Exterior Painting?


No. We probably sound like we don’t ever recommend spraying for your home exterior painting projects. That is not the case however. Every method has a time and place where it is the best choice. Here are three examples of when spraying is the better choice:

  • New Construction – Brand new buildings typically don’t have the same prepping requirements as lived-in homes. Landscaping hasn’t been installed yet. There is no outdoor furniture or other obstructions. The surface is brand new and free of flaws that a roller might cover better.
  • Intricate Surfaces – Some houses have very intricate or complicated detail work. These are very difficult and time-consuming to paint with a brush or roller, sometimes even impossible. Sprayed paint is much easier to get into all the nooks and crannies. Electrical boxes, pipes, railing balusters… these are all easier to paint and look better when sprayed.
  • Large Surfaces – This is the #1 reason when we choose to spray for an exterior painting project. Large stucco houses and commercial buildings have large, flat surfaces. These are much easier and faster to paint with a sprayer than with rollers.

We Excel At Home Exterior Painting

Whichever method we recommend for your home, you can trust that we will do an exceptional job. Our expectations are as high as our clients’. We love painting and that pride shows in our work. We will work with you to decide on the methods that will get you the highest quality results for your home exterior painting project. And our onsite estimates are always free and zero obligation.

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