spray back roll exterior stain

Exterior Painting – Spraying vs Brush & Roll

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Exterior Painting – Spraying vs. Brush & Roll

A Popular Question Regarding Exterior Painting



spray back roll exterior stain



Spray vs. Brush & Roll

One of the more popular questions I’m asked when providing exterior paint estimates: Do you guys spray or do it by hand (brush and roll)?

Meaning, do we apply the paint to the exterior of a home with an airless sprayer (most common) or by hand (brush and roll).

The Answer:

Most often we spray the largest areas of your home, like the siding. An airless sprayer is ideal for applying the correct amount of paint, quick. Trim, gutters, fascia – depends on the project.

Spraying exterior paint doesn’t mean a drop in quality. In fact, it can mean the opposite. If the operator is experienced with a sprayer, the exterior paint finish will be more even and consistent. On top of that, you get better coverage with a spray application translating to less labor. With a sprayer you are not spreading exterior paint (as with brush/roll) as much as you are ‘laying’ the paint on the surface. Thus, the better coverage. On top of that, your painter should be able to control the thickness of which the exterior paint is sprayed. Too thick and too thin are both bad practices.

Sometimes We Do Both:

With certain projects, like the picture above, we do both. The picture above was an exterior, solid stain on rough-cut cedar siding. This particular siding is very rough with inconsistent texture. In order to push the stain into the nooks and crannies, we spray the material on and ‘back roll’ to push the stain (or paint) into the cedar. A labor-intensive process that shows great results. However, with most exterior repaints, a spray application is just fine.

Rethink Hand Application:

Were you thinking you would prefer hand application, like brush and roll for your exterior paint?

Think again. Your contractor will use less labor on your exterior paint when spraying, resulting in a lower cost. However, the amount of product used may increase slightly. In the end, even a high-quality paint can be more cost effective than 2 hours of labor.

If you hire wisely, your painter will apply a beautiful, even finish that grabs attention. No brush marks!

Concerned About Longevity Of A Single Coat Sprayed?

If you are concerned about the longevity of your new exterior paint, go for two coats. Forget the hand application again. Instead, ask your contractor about spraying a second coat. Highly recommended!

You will need double the paint, however, like I mentioned above, it’s still (typically) cheaper than labor. And your paint contractor will still complete the project much quicker than brushing and rolling.

Bottom Line:

Sprayers are popular for a reason. Hire a true professional and you both benefit from spray application. Two coats is always better than one, but preparation is always king!

Above is a recent exterior stain project where we applied stain with a sprayer and back rolled to push the stain into the rough surface. A.K.A. – Mechanical Application.


Call us today to schedule an estimate for your exterior paint project!

Mod Paint Works | 720.319.6822