There has long been a debate in DIY circles about paint sprayers and paint rollers. The debate usually revolves around which one is better, but that really depends on the situation. If you are, for example, limited in your mobility, a paint sprayer will be the obvious choice. If you are on a tight budget, the paint roller will be the better choice. Here is a quick comparison.
When you are choosing between rollers and sprayers based on expense, you need to consider several factors. A paint sprayer can use as much as 30% more paint than a paint roller. So, you will always have some leftover paint, but that could still mean as much as 30% more spent on paint versus a paint roller. You also need to buy the paint sprayer or rent one. If you have a neighbor who has a sprayer, that part is done for you.
Paint rollers and extension poles are not free but they are less expensive than a paint sprayer. In this case, the paint roller is the better choice.
If you are looking to paint a large area, such as the side of a house, the paint sprayer is going to get the job done more quickly. You will be able to turn up the pressure, widen the nozzle, and cover much more area with a paint sprayer than you would with a paint roller. Also, you likely won’t have to refill teh sprayer as often as you will the paint pan. In this case, the paint sprayer wins.
A textured surface such as wood paneling or a popcorn ceiling can be tricky to paint. You will not be able to apply an even coat of paint on a textured surface with a paint roller. The roller will bounce and roll over the nooks and crannies, or you’ll have to apply so much pressure that the paint will glob unevenly. A paint sprayer lays down an even coat of paint as long as you keep it moving evenly.
For a textured surface, the paint sprayer is the better option.
Painting one room can be tricky with a paint sprayer because the paint is aerosolized. If you aren’t careful about taping over every crack and vent, you could end up with paint where you don’t want it. For painting in a confined space, teh roller is the best choice.