Which is the best method of painting: brushing or spraying?

Although spraying on paint and primer is quicker, there are disadvantages to doing so. In this post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both brushing and spraying so that you can make a decision based on information when you need to repaint.

Spraying method

An airless sprayer is by far the quickest way to apply paint. Although you can quickly paint an entire wall in minutes, doing so doesn’t always guarantee a high-quality finish. Some benefits of using an airless sprayer include:

  • It takes incredibly little time to complete an application.
  • It just needs one coat of paint.
  • It results in a completely smooth finish with no brush or roller marks.
  • It can help you access difficult-to-reach areas.

Wouldn’t it make sense to spray everything all the time? Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks that come with this method:

  • It requires long preparation and cleanup time
  • It sometimes provides uneven coverage.
  • It needs two or three times as much paint as brushing.
  • Painting on windy days isn’t possible.
  • It requires experience

If you don’t have a lot of experience using an airless sprayer, applying paint with one can be difficult. Airless sprayers, like any other tool, require considerable practice before you can produce a smooth, uniform layer of paint. Over-spray, drips, and runs are common for beginners. They’ll have an uneven coat with some heavy paint build-up and other areas that are simply too thin.
Spraying requires considerably more paint than brushing or rolling. A lot of that extra paint doesn’t even end up on the house. A majority of it is unused and gets wasted in the hose line or as over-spray.
Even with these issues, some tight spots like around utilities can’t be done cleanly without spraying. Moreover, the speed of this method is unmatched.

Brushing method

Brushing can be a love/hate relationship. It’s slow and time-consuming, but nothing gives us more control than applying paint with a decent brush. Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of brushing, just like we did with spraying. The advantages are the following:

  • It gives fantastic control over the process.
  • It has strong adhesion.
  • It provides an even, consistent coverage.
  • It is superior at delivering paint to tight spots and crevices than spraying.

So far, it appears that brushing solves the core issues we had with spraying, so always brush, right? Not quite. It also has the drawbacks like:

  • Applying paint with a brush is a slow, tedious process.
  • You may need two or more coats.
  • It sometimes leaves brush marks behind.
  • Certain obstacles make it difficult to apply.

A brush gives you more control than any other tool. Cutting in tight corners and painting straight lines is simple with a brush–something that would be impossible to do with a sprayer. When it comes to detail work, using a brush is the best way to get the job done right. Yes, it is time-consuming, but you’ll get a smoother, more uniform finish and increased adhesion than with spray alone.

How to get the most out of both methods

After careful testing, we have found that the best way to apply paint is through an airless sprayer combined with “back-brushing.”
Back-brushing is the act of brushing over paint that has already been applied with a roller or sprayer.
Using this approach, you may apply the paint rapidly and brush it in before it dries. By back-brushing the paint, you ensure that the paint gets into all of the tiny spaces, smooths out the coat, and helps it to stick to the surface better for a longer-lasting paint job.
The main reason why using a brush slows you down is that you can only put a limited amount of paint on the brush itself. By spraying and back-brushing, you can cover large areas quickly and with little wasted product. You get the advantages of both systems while mitigating most of the drawbacks.

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