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Paint Sprayers vs Paint Brushes: Which to Choose?

Paint Sprayers vs Paint Brushes

Paint Sprayers vs Paint Brushes

When taking on a home paint job, choosing your equipment is the DIY’ers first step. You have two choices: the paint sprayer, or the paintbrush.

Choosing can be a real challenge. The difference in price and performance is immense, and the truth is, different people will benefit from different approaches.

Today we will take a quick side by side look at paint sprayers, and paintbrushes to determine which is right for you.

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite Paint Sprayer for the Money
HomeRight C800766 HomeRight C800766
  • Easy-to-use electric paint sprayer
  • Adjustable settings
  • Easy to clean
  • Our Favorite Paint Brush Set
    Second place
    C900076 Power Painter C900076 Power Painter
  • Much affordable
  • Professional results
  • Premium quality
  • The Paint Sprayer:

    The paint sprayer is going to be significantly more expensive than the paintbrush. It’s also going to be much quicker. Paint jobs that take hours with the brush might take a matter of minutes with a good spray system.

    But there are cons to this method as well. Besides the startup cost, sprayers also feature a bigger learning curve and lots of maintenance.

    While a sprayer in the hands of an experienced do-it-yourselfer will produce a seamless, attractive coating that resembles the work of a professional, there is a lot you will need to learn before you get to that point.

    Sprayer users need to get very good at mixing paints, cleaning out complicated equipment, and selecting appropriate nozzles.

    Shoppers will also want to keep in mind that sprayers struggle under certain conditions, like high winds.

    Even if the wind isn’t blowing through, you should still expect to make a much bigger mess than you might have with a standard brush.

    Even with the cons though, it is usually going to be worth your time to learn how to use a sprayer. This is especially true for people tackling big projects.

    Painting a house by hand is going to feel like it takes a lifetime compared to the expediency of a sprayer.

    The Paintbrush:

    Chances are you are probably a little bit more familiar with the paintbrush. Of course, paintbrushes come in all shapes and sizes, and if you decide to go this route, you will probably need to acquire a collection.

    The biggest pro for a paintbrush is definitely the price. You can get a comprehensive, pro caliber set of manual equipment that is still probably half the price of a good sprayer.

    For smaller projects, like painting furniture, paintbrushes also have the benefit of allowing the user to easily apply refined detail to the workpiece.

    paint brush

    The cons, of course, are obvious. The biggest con that will first come to most people’s mind is the time investment.

    It is also worth keeping in mind that there is a bigger premium on technique when you go the manual route. The technique is also important with the spray system, but because everything is so fluid, you benefit from a much more generous margin of error.

    There is certainly nothing wrong with using a manual brush—pros use these as well. However, if you do decide to go this route, take the time to learn proper technique, and be prepared for your project to take a while.


    The truth is that if you are going to be doing a lot of DIY paint projects, you will really need both a spray system and some decent brushes. If you have ever hired a painter before, you probably already know that they use both, and if you are hoping for pro-quality results, you should do the same.

    If your financial situation does not quite allow you to accumulate lots of different equipment all at once, that is ok. Just keep in mind the basic salient points for each method.

    The paint sprayer is going to be great for high volume jobs, like painting a home. While there are fine finish spray systems, the majority of basic units are going to specialize simply in high output.

    The brush is much better suited for detail-oriented jobs. If you are trying to paint some furniture or a relatively small space, brushes will do a fine job.

    The good news is that regardless of which option you buy, you are going to get a tool that is capable of tackling your project. However, taking the time to determine which option is most suited for your needs will save you some frustration!


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