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Should I Spray or Should I Roll? Interior Painting in Cincinnati

We’ve all taken on a painting project and, somewhere in the middle, thought, “there has to be a better way to do this.” Questions abound for the amateur painter. Should you tape off surfaces or cut-in with just a brush and a steady hand? Should you use oil-based paint or latex? What roller nap is best? Even professional painters have their own preferences about how a room or surface should be prepped and painted. One question we often hear is about paint sprayers. We see the pros using them on our favorite home renovation shows, and they look like a fantastic time-saver. Many wonder if the cost, prep, and clean-up associated with paint sprayers is worth the advantages that come with them. If you’re planning some interior painting in Cincinnati, and are thinking about purchasing a paint sprayer, here are a few things to consider.

Types of Paint Sprayers

Not all paint sprayers are created equal. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages for a homeowner. Choosing the right sprayer will depend on your situation and what the goals are for your specific project.

Air Compressor Guns


Air Compressor Gun

Air compressor guns use air from an air compressor to spray paint from a hand-held reservoir cup onto a surface. Just because you have an air compressor sitting out in the garage, however, doesn’t mean this is the right choice for you. Air compressor guns don’t handle thick paints very well and may require the paint to be thinned. Additionally, overspray (the paint that goes into the air and not onto the painted surface) can be a real problem with this type of applicator. It’s not uncommon to find more paint in the air than on the painted surface. For this reason it’s not the best option for interior painting in Cincinnati.

Airless Sprayers


Airless Sprayer

Airless sprayers are the most common type used by professionals like the ProMaster craftsmen. Rather than using pressurized air, the paint itself is placed under pressure, often higher than 2000 psi.  These sprayers are often used for interior applications, and though they don’t have as much overspray as air compressor guns, they will require quite a bit of prep work to keep the rest of the interior protected. They can begin around $300, though high-quality units can run well over $1000. Many models are capable of handling latex paints right out of the can without any thinning.

High-Efficiency Airless Sprayers


High-Efficiency Airless

High-efficiency airless sprayers have the same functionality as an airless sprayer, but reduce overspray and create a smoother finish. They do this by using special tips on their guns that allow for the paint to be placed under much less pressure. Both airless and high-efficiency airless sprayers use a variety of tips to create wider or more narrow spray, depending upon application. While there will still be plenty of prep work involved when using these sprayers, overspray will be cut in half. This makes a huge difference when keeping an interior clean. Cleaning airless sprayers after use, however, can be a bit of a chore.

Cup Sprayers


Cup Sprayer

Cup sprayers are the DIY-warrior’s friend, as they are light, easy to use, and don’t require a ton of clean-up. The paint is held in a cup attached to the sprayer itself, and the sprayer usually plugs into an electrical outlet. They are also affordable, with many being available for less than $100 (battery operated units can be much more expensive). Their spray patterns usually aren’t as customizable, and overspray can sometimes be an issue. While these may be useful for some smaller interior projects, tackling large-scale interior painting projects isn’t their forte.


The greatest advantage paint sprayers have to offer is the time they can save you when tackling interior painting in Cincinnati. Painting a typical interior door may take half an hour or more by brush. The same door can be done in less than two minutes with an airless sprayer. Baseboards and trim can be done in a fraction of the time needed when brushing. Even the least-expensive cup sprayer can tackle a 10 foot interior wall in about five minutes. What’s more, if used properly, they will offer improved coverage, and can eliminate the need for multiple coats with a roller.


There are surfaces in your home where seeing a brush stroke here and there isn’t the worst thing in the world. There are others, however, where it’s just not acceptable. Cabinets, cabinet doors, interior doors and trim are all surfaces that need a silky smooth finish to look their best. This is where paint sprayers shine. When applied properly, sprayers can give a much smoother and even finish than brushes or rollers. They can also give your walls a smooth finish, though many people prefer the light texture offered by a roller.

Prep Work

Ahh, here it is. The downside to spraying when doing interior painting in Cincinnati.

Prep work.

The stories are true. There is an immense amount of prep necessary when spraying the interior of a home. All areas where you would normally cut in have to be taped and papered. Floors must be covered. All furniture and possessions must be draped in plastic and taped to seal. Depending on the size of your project, you could be looking at hours of prep. And that’s just the property itself. The individual doing the painting may choose to wear a painter’s coverall, and anyone in the area should utilize a respirator when spraying. Clean up on airless sprayers is an absolute necessity to keep them in working order, and that may take some time, as well.

Before spraying your interior, you should consider all of these issues and decide whether spraying is the right choice for you.

Should I Spray or Should I Roll? Interior Painting in Cincinnati

Whether you brush, roll, or spray is really up to you. Most professional painters will tell you, however, that on larger projects it is almost always faster to spray at least some of the surfaces, even with the prep time included. You may also get a better result. Many people choose to spray their ceilings, trim, doors, and baseboards while rolling their interior walls. Regardless, be sure to make the best decision for you and your project. If you do use a sprayer, be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions for the best result.

Let’s be honest, though, nobody likes painting. There are better ways to spend a weekend! If you want to skip the hassle of brushing, rolling, spraying, and prepping, no problem. Just contact ProMaster! Our craftsmen would love to help you make your interior space look its best. Simply use the form at the bottom of this page, or call 513-322-2914 to hail a Home Repair Hero!

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