Rolling Vs Spraying Paint Interior: Which is Better and Why?

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rolling vs spray painting interiors

Should you spray paint or roll paint your interior walls and ceilings? It’s a question that many professional painters and DIYers have been asking for years.

Although paint rollers have been a popular tool for painting projects for many years, paint sprayers are also becoming more popular due to their versatility and efficiency. Choosing the right method for a paint job can make a big difference in the outcome.

If you’re unsure whether to use a paint sprayer or paint roller, keep reading. This post will answer some of the burning questions in the paint sprayer versus roller debate, helping you make an informed decision for your project.

The Difference Between Spraying Paint And Rolling Paint

When it comes to painting interior walls and ceilings, there are many things to think about. From the colours you choose to the type of paint and how you apply it, there are many decisions to make.

These days, there are methods and tools other than brushes and rollers to apply paint. Specifically, paint sprayers are an excellent option for any skill level.

Whilst using a paint sprayer may seem like a better option, that’s not always the case. There are factors to consider, such as the surface you’re painting, its location, and how much time you have. This is why you should consider leaving any paint job to professionals.

Paint Usage

Airless paint sprayers use up more paint than rollers, with about 33% of the paint drifting off into the air. On the other hand, a High Volume, Low Pressure (HVLP) airless paint sprayer is more similar to rollers in terms of paint usage, producing less overspray. It’s worth mentioning that during clean-up, some materials may go to waste and remain in the hoses of sprayers or power rollers.

Project Size

Rollers and paint sprayers are both effective in covering large areas with paint. A paint sprayer is versatile and can be used on flat walls as well as on tricky shapes and corners. On the other hand, rollers are more suitable for large and even surfaces.

Preparation Time and Clean Up

When you’re painting with a roller, you might encounter a few splatters and drips, but it’s not as messy as using a sprayer. Therefore, rollers are more efficient and save time in preparing the area.

Additionally, rollers require less time for setup and cleanup after use. With a sprayer, you need to disassemble all the components and make sure that all the paint is flushed from the system to prevent it from drying and blocking the components.

Paint Spraying Pros

spray painting your interiors

Time To Paint Is Much Faster Than Rolling

The key difference to note here is the “time to paint.” Although the preparation for painting takes some time, the actual painting process is faster than rolling paint.

Can Paint Walls Or Ceilings

Sprayers are a great option for painting walls and ceilings as they apply the paint evenly and with minimal drips. This makes them an excellent choice for popcorn ceilings, which have a rougher texture that can make it hard to achieve an even coat with a paint roller.

Applies Even Coating

Using a sprayer can help you achieve a consistent and even coating. The amount of coverage you get from your sprayer depends on the type of nozzle you choose to use. Most sprayers come with multiple nozzle options, giving you more time to experiment and find the best fit for your project.

Spraying Paint Reaches Where Rolling Paint Can’t

If you’re looking to paint textured surfaces like popcorn ceilings, brick walls, crown moulding, cornices, lap siding, or hard-to-reach places on furniture, a paint sprayer is your best bet. It can reach even the narrowest crevices, which can be challenging to do with a roller.

Read a related post: Best Paint Type for Paint Spraying Walls and Ceilings

Paint Spraying Cons

Not beginner-friendly

If you’re new to painting, avoid using a sprayer. It can be quite challenging to figure out how to operate the machine properly. There’s always the risk of accidentally pressing a button or spraying paint where you didn’t intend to.

Paint Spraying Requires A Lot Of Skill And Practice

If you’re new to paint sprayers, it can be challenging to get the hang of it. Achieving even coverage without drips, runs, or uneven spots requires a lot of practice.

spray painting problems

Requires A Lot Of Prep Work To Prevent Overspray

Spraying paint can be a bit challenging for some people because of the prep work involved. The biggest issue is the amount of preparation that’s needed before you can start spraying. This can include taping and laying out paper to protect your floors.

Paint Sprayers Are Best used In Empty, Unoccupied Spaces

When using paint sprayers, overspray can be a big problem. For this reason, they are best used for outdoor projects or in empty, unoccupied indoor spaces. And whilst using paint sprayers can save you time in the application, it’s not worth the trouble if your masking is not thorough.

Paint Sprayers Can Be Expensive

Some painting methods are more cost-effective than others. Paint sprayers use 30% more paint than rollers. Additionally, some sprayers require an abundance of materials and supplies.

If you’re trying to stick to a specific budget, you may want to calculate how much paint you’ll need. Using paint rollers can help you save more money because they use less paint.

Paint Rollers Pros

paint rolling interiors

Easier Than Spraying Paint

Applying paint with rollers is one of the most straightforward painting methods anyone can do. All you need are a roller, paint and a paint tray.

To prevent drips from hitting the floor, make sure not to overload your roller with too much paint. If you’re new to painting, it’s better to put less paint on your roller to avoid any mishaps.


Concerning the expenses, the biggest investment will be the paint itself. However, the equipment needed for the job is relatively affordable.

Depending on the size of your project, you may require various roller sizes. Also, you’ll want separate trays for different paint colours. Fortunately, most paint trays are quite affordable.

Doesn’t Require Much Equipment

To roll paint efficiently, you don’t need a lot of tools, just paint, a roller, and a tray. As a new painter, it’s essential to focus on masking and taping well. Doing so will provide you with more flexibility if you make a few mistakes while painting.

Easy Clean-Up

You only need warm water and soap to clean the roller. Remember to clean it before the paint dries so you can reuse it in the future. You can also clean the brushes using warm water and soap.

If you forget and leave the roller out with paint, get a new one instead of trying to salvage it. Purchasing a new paint roller won’t break the bank.

There’s A Roller Extension For Hard-to-reach Areas

If you have high ceilings, you can invest in a roller extension or get a long roller suitable for the job. This way, you can paint areas that a sprayer can’t reach. But remember, the higher your roller is from the ground, the trickier it becomes to manoeuvre it.

Rolling Paint Cons

painting preparation

Best For Interior Use Only

It’s worth noting that a roller requires less preparation time and skill. Unlike a sprayer, you won’t need to cover or mask off surfaces you don’t want to hit. That said, paint rollers are only good for interior painting jobs.

May Have To Catch A Lot Of Drips

As a new painter, you might encounter some drips while you paint. Whilst you can catch those drips to achieve a smooth coat, it can be quite challenging.

To make your job easier, it’s a good idea to ask someone to help you out. You can have them watch your back as you paint and catch any drips as you roll. This way, you can focus on the painting without worrying about the dripping issue.

May Not Apply As Evenly Compared To A Sprayer

Using a sprayer produces more consistent results than rolling paint. With a roller, you may end up with different amounts of paint on it each time you dip it into the paint tray. Consequently, you may roll over one area of the wall more than another, resulting in an uneven coat

Doesn’t Work Well In Small Grooves Or Cracks

Rollers are a great tool for painting, but they have their limitations. While you can purchase rollers in various sizes, they may not be able to reach small or intricate areas.

Using a regular paint roller on a textured surface like a popcorn ceiling can be quite a challenge. The uneven surface can make it hard to apply the paint evenly, especially in all the nooks and crannies of interior spaces.

Not Ideal For Popcorn Ceilings Or Textured Areas

To apply paint, rollers require a smooth surface to achieve a smooth finish. Textured surfaces like popcorn ceilings and porous surfaces such as brick and concrete require a sprayer to achieve a smooth coat.

home project best by pros

Why You Should Leave Interior Painting To The Pros

Painting is a task that seems easy to do, but only a few can execute it flawlessly. It requires specific equipment and techniques to achieve an excellent painting job. Depending on the interior’s condition, there is some prep work that might be involved that you may not know about.

Professional painters have access to high-quality equipment and years of experience that allow them to complete interior house painting jobs quickly and accurately. This is something that a DIYer may not be well-equipped to handle. Hiring a professional painter ensures that your house will look its best and that the job will be completed efficiently. Contact us today! 


Is It Better To Spray Or Roll Interior Paint?

If you’re looking to paint a large area quickly, spray painting is the way to go. It’s perfect for exterior walls and other areas where you don’t need to be super precise. But if you’re working on interior walls and need to avoid getting paint on other surfaces, roller painting is your best bet.

Is It Better To Spray Or Roll Interior Ceilings?

While many painters may use a roller for painting a ceiling, it’s not always the best option. If you’re planning on painting the entire room, using a paint sprayer is a much more efficient choice, especially if the ceiling has a heavily textured surface. So, if you’re looking to save time and effort on your next painting project, consider using a paint sprayer instead.

Are Paint Sprayers Worth It For Interior Walls?

If you’re planning to give your home’s walls a fresh new look, an interior paint sprayer is a great option. It’s faster, cleaner, and more efficient than using traditional brushes or rollers. This is especially true if you’re flipping a house and need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.