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Tips on Exterior Painting Technique: Brush, Roll, or Spray?


Painting the outside of your home is like giving it a brand-new look. But how do you decide whether to use a brush, roller, or sprayer?

Together with the professional painter of Eau Claire, WI, Al’s Painting will take a closer look at each option and uncover the best way to paint the exterior of your house.

Types of Exterior Paint

When painting exteriors, the type of paint you use can make a big difference. Two popular options are oil-based and latex paints (1).

Oil-based paint is often used on wood surfaces. It penetrates better than latex and provides a more durable finish. It’s also easier to clean up after applying and doesn’t require extra primers.

On the other hand, latex paint is more commonly used on masonry or metal surfaces. It has water resistance and flexibility. Also, it tends to be less expensive than oil-based paints. However, it may only last briefly in extreme weather conditions.

Both types of paint need to be applied correctly for the best results. If you need help determining which is suitable for your project, consult a professional painter or contractor first, like Al’s Painting of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Brushes vs. Rollers vs. Sprayers

You’ve got to decide between using a brush, roller, or sprayer for your paint job:

  • Brushes are the traditional tool for painting, and they come in different sizes and shapes that make them suitable for applying paint to all types of surfaces. They’re ideal for getting into small corners and crevices and painting trim work like moldings and window frames.
  • Rollers are excellent for large surfaces since they cover more area faster than a brush can. A roller also helps you achieve an even coat of paint.
  • Sprayers are the quickest way to apply paint, but they require more preparation before spraying away. Depending on your painting surface, you’ll need to adjust your spray gun’s pressure and nozzle size to ensure even coverage.

The type of material you select will ultimately depend on the project. If accuracy is important, go with a brush. If speed is essential, use a roller or sprayer. And if the surface has lots of nooks and crannies, then brushes are your best bet!

Preparing the Surface

No matter which tool you choose for your paint job, preparing the surface properly beforehand is essential. This will ensure a long-lasting finish and proper adhesion of the fresh coat of paint.

Here are five steps you can take to get your surfaces ready:

  1. Clean and sand down any existing paint
  2. Remove any dirt, dust, or debris
  3. Apply appropriate primer and sealer
  4. Patch up any holes or cracks with spackle or drywall compound
  5. Allow the surface to dry before painting begins fully

By following these steps, you’ll be sure to have a well-prepared surface that’s ready for its new coat of paint. You should also ensure you have all necessary tools, such as tape, tarps, drop cloths, and other protective items, to protect surrounding areas from drips and splatter while painting.

Applying the Paint

You’ve prepped the surface, it’s time to start applying the paint. The amount of coverage required and whether or not you want a flawless finish with few brushstrokes apparent will determine the technique you use.

  • Brushes are great for detailed work, such as getting into corners and edging along trim. They’re also suitable for painting smaller surfaces, like window frames.
  • Rollers are ideal for larger flat areas like walls and ceilings; they allow you to cover large sections quickly and evenly without leaving behind many brush marks.
  • Sprayers are the quickest way to apply an even coat of paint over a large area; however, they require more setup time than brushes or rollers and can be messy if not correctly used.

Whichever tool you use, keep a wet edge at all times when painting to avoid lap marks caused by overlapping dry paint.

Finishing Up

Once the painting is complete, it’s time to finish up. Clean up any messes or drips left behind, and make sure that all surfaces are even and smooth. If you’re using a brush, ensure the strokes have been properly blended into the surface. For a roller, check for any excess paint or roller marks on the walls. And for a sprayer, inspect for uneven coverage or missed spots.

Inspect your work from afar to be sure everything looks great. Step back from each wall and take in the overall look. You want to be sure there are no apparent inconsistencies in color or texture once drying is complete. It’s also helpful to take pictures before and after to compare how much of an improvement you’ve made!

Now that everything looks perfect, it’s time to put away your supplies and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! You’ve just completed one of the most challenging tasks of exterior painting!


You’ve completed your exterior painting project and can proudly stand back and admire your work! You are satisfied knowing you chose the right tools for the job, whether a brush, roller, or sprayer. Your hard work has paid off, and as you take in the beauty of your painted home, why not ask yourself, – what other projects can I tackle next? Whatever you decide your next painting project would be, always remember to follow responsible paint disposal methods to ensure environmental safety.

However, if you’re considering a painting project and find yourself unsure about taking it on by yourself, it might be worth considering the ease of hiring professionals like us. At Al’s Painting of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we understand the intricacies of exterior painting and bring years of experience to the table.

If you have some queries and want to consult a professional, contact Al’s Painting of Eau Claire, Wisconsin! As painting professionals, our team will gladly help you with every exterior painting project you need. Click here to learn more about the excellence of our exterior painting service!


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General Question

Frequently Asked Questions

Latex or acrylic paints are your best bet. They will fade slowly and can withstand rain, wind, and sun better than other options.

Painting your exterior walls cost-effectively comes down to the right tools. Try a roller or brush for budget-friendly results that last.

It typically takes a few days or more to paint the exterior of a house. The amount of time depends on many factors, such as size, type of paint, and weather conditions.

When using a paint sprayer, safety is critical! Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing, and ensure the area is well-ventilated. Always keep kids away!

Yes, there's a difference in the quality of finish between a brush, roller, and sprayer. Brush strokes may be more visible with a meeting, while rollers can leave an uneven texture. Sprayers provide more even coverage with fewer visible brush strokes.