Should You Turn in Your Paint Brush for a Paint Sprayer?


Which tool is right for you, a brush or a paint sprayer? Both have their pros and cons…

Your paint brush is good for:

  • Coverage that is even and uniform
  • Better control
  • Paint that adheres well
  • Getting into the small obscure places

But on the down side, paint brushes…

  • Are a much longer & tiring process
  • If not used correctly result in visible brush strokes
  • Usually need two coats of paint
  • Just as it’s easier to get into small places, sometimes it is more difficult

Sprayers have pros and cons too:


  • Speeds up your job, it can make your actual painting go twice as fast
  • Can give you a smooth, flawless result

On the flip side:

  • There is a lot of prep work that absolutely must be done
  • Overspray travels everywhere and small paint particles will land on surfaces they weren’t intended for
  • Although brush clean up isn’t fun, cleaning a paint sprayer takes more time.

Even with that said, using a paint sprayer can give you a great finish without the tedium and time it takes to use a brush or roller.

There are a few tips I would like to share with you that will help as you

Paint with a Sprayer:

  1. Before you buy or rent your sprayer, take the time to understand the difference between air sprayers and airless sprayers, so you can choose the right one for you. Airless sprayers require more training, and often aren’t right the tool for a residential project.
  2. Prep, prep, prep. As important as it is to prep correctly when using a brush or roller, it’s even more important with a sprayer. You will want to mask off millwork and windows, as well as entirely cover floors and furnishings, to make sure drifting paint doesn’t settle on these areas.
  3.  paintpreparation-claffeyspaintingPrepare your paint too, by making sure it is well stirred or shaken to prevent the spray tip from clogging up.
    1. If your tip does end up clogging, try twisting the tip about 180°, point it and spray at a piece of paper or cardboard. When it is cleared, replace the tip to its original position, then test to make sure you’re ready to proceed.
  4. Prepare yourself by wearing a paint spraying mask and eye protection – this is a MUST!
  5. How is your technique? Take the time to practice a little…even if you have used a sprayer previously.
    1. You can practice by using water in your sprayer on an area that water won’t harm.
    2. Test your pressure before the actual painting begins, so you have the correct size of spray pattern, look for a full pattern.
    3. Consistently hold your sprayer about 12 inches from your target area, moving the gun parallel and perpendicular to the surface and not arcing or tilting it.
    4. Keep the sprayer moving to avoid holding in one area and causing the paint to run…several light coats are better than a heavy coat.
    5. Your strokes should have an overlap of your passes that are about 40-50% to keep from having a start/stop pattern on your walls.
  6. Even though this is a quicker method of painting, don’t rush it, take your time. Rushing can cause mistakes and waste paint.

If you have a painting job you’d like done, but don’t want to do it yourself,
Call Claffey’s for a free estimate – (425) 888-3634
Claffey’s Painting is a full service painting contractor serving Western Washington, Chelan, Douglas and Kittitas Counties. We have painted over 7000 homes and would enjoy the opportunity to help paint yours. We can guide you through all the decision making processes so you get the right paint for the right job, and the professional job you’re looking for.