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When I joined the painting field, it was the era of brush painting. No doubt, I still get the best results with brush painting, regardless of the surface. I have painted different surfaces with brushes, such as ceilings, walls, fences, furniture, metals, and so on. After that, sprayers came into the markets and revolutionized the painting field. However, a question is still confusing for many people: spray paint vs. brush paint.

Brush painting is not a fast way of painting and is not suitable for big projects. It’s also time-consuming and demands serious effort for painting. On the other hand, sprayers have made the painting job easier, quicker, and more convenient. You can finish even large projects in minimal time. Spray vs. Brush Painting both have their own benefits and drawbacks that are necessary to know.

Spray vs. Brush Painting

After having years of experience, I’ve shared my personal review about Brushing vs. Spraying Paint. This ultimate guide will address Spray paint or brush, Painting Vs. Spray Painting Furniture and brushing paint. Let’s begin!

Spray Paint vs. Brush Paint (Quick Comparison Table)

Spray PaintingHand-Brushing
The process starts slowly, but once the painting begins, it complete job quicklyStarts quickly but the painting process is slow once it begins
It takes long preparation timeA shorter prep time
A thin layer of coverageA thick layer of coverage
Easy to reach on all areasSome areas are difficult to reach
Much paint wasteMinimal paint waste
Suitable for small and large projects.Suitable for detailed work
It has a smooth finish and no brush strokesThick paints will leave brush marks

Spray Painting

spray painting vs brush painting

You can use specialized spray guns for different spray paint applications. The paint is put in the sprayable can and comes out of a small nozzle. Most painters use them for quick work, convenience, and affordability. A paint sprayer is even used to get a uniform, even, and beautiful satin or high gloss finish.

The surface remains safe from brush strokes and is known as a time-saving method of painting. There are many requirements for spray painting.

For instance,

  • The area must be well ventilated.
  • To examine the finish while painting, the area must have proper light arrangements.
  • In most cases, the surface only needs one spray paint coat, and a few require two coats.

You get higher coverage than using brushes for painting. Due to thin coats, the paint takes minimal time to dry. Also, it’s pretty easy to reach the tight areas with sprayers.


  • It is sometimes hard to reach some areas depending on the spray tip and other parameters.
  • Sometimes only a single coat is good to go.
  • Smooth finish and no brush strokes.
  • The fastest way to paint.


  • It requires long preparation.
  • With highly thick paint, you get uneven coverage.
  • It takes 33% more paint than brushing.

Brush Painting

brush spray paint

Brush painting is where we utilize the paintbrush for painting purposes. It’s a more time-consuming way of painting and not suitable for many surfaces. For example, while painting complete furniture, it’s hard to reach the corners and edges. It requires more time to apply a coat of paint and get a more accurate finish.

Besides all, brushing brings several benefits. You can apply different colors and can paint with less preparation. It’s less toxic, and you can work indoors without ventilation. It means you can get your painting job done without any specific preparation and customization.

I always use premium-quality brushes for smooth painting results. You should practice to prevent uneven finish and brush strokes. A thin coat is always useful, and detailed elements require more effort to complete the project.


  • Provides good adhesion to all surfaces.
  • Even coverage even for complex surfaces.
  • No preparation
  • Brushes are cheap to buy


  • Slow process and require more labor work.
  • Leave brush marks for thick paints.
  • Not good for big projects.

Spray Painting vs Brush Painting: Detailed Comparison

I’ve shared the major difference between spray paint vs brush paint interior in the following:

Preparation Work

Hand-brushing is easy and requires only to prepare of the paint. In short, hand-brushing is quick to start. On the other hand, spraying requires more preparation. It means spray painting has more pre-painting work to do to get started.


Thin paint is very hard to manage when using a paintbrush; otherwise, it will end up with paint drips. Therefore, I always recommend using thick paint for brush painting applications.

In contrast, sprayers are equally suitable for thin and thick paints. You only have to select the right sprayer type and suitable spray caps for spray painting.


It’s one of the most important things to consider. Brushes are hard to reach tight areas and edges. They require more time to paint the complex design furniture, cabinets, door and more. However, spray paint easily reaches tight areas offering extended reach.

Wasting of Paint

No one wants to invest more in buying paint; therefore, it’s crucial to consider this fact. Brush paint has very little wasted paint and requires less amount of paint to complete the project. In comparison, the sprayer wastes a lot of paint and needs more paint for the job.


We can complete the painting work rapidly once we get started. The reason is that the sprayer works faster than manual work. Likewise, brushing is hard and slower once the painting begins. In my experience, you can complete painting four walls compared to brushing only a single wall at the same time.


If I talk about the budget, the paint brushes are very cheap, and everyone can buy them. However, different sprayers are available at different prices. You need a good investment to buy a sprayer than brushes. It’s also possible that you have to buy different sprayers for individual applications.

Spray Paint vs Brush Paint Fence

A fence is considered in outdoor painting, and most people ask: is it better to spray or roll exterior paint? Painting a fence is a challenging task, but the choice of method ultimately depends on the wood fence paint. Airless paint sprayers are highly recommended for fences because they provide a high-quality finish.

Spray Paint vs Brush Paint Wood

Spray paint for table

Brush painting is time-consuming, but you get an intricate finish on most wood types. Hand-brushing is convenient and requires less paint than spraying. It does not require much experience; even a beginner can perform this task without any trouble. On the other hand, spray paint on wood doesn’t stick too long. If I specifically talk about painting furniture, hand-brushing is the best way between spray paint vs brush paint furniture.

Spray Paint vs Brush Paint Walls

Spray paint and brush paint both look fine but spraying on the walls is a quick process. The paint sticks to the wall’s surface more than hand-brushing. You also get rid of the uneven finish and brush strokes indoors. There will not be an issue of paint drips while spraying. Lastly, it requires less cleaning.

Spray Paint vs Brush Paint Cabinets

Paint brush for furniture

Cabinets are complex; therefore, it’s good to go for spray painting cabinets. You always get a quality finish using a high-quality spray gun with minimal preparation. Save your time, and paint cabinets using the most efficient spraying method. In contrast, brush paint cabinets require more effort and time to complete the project.

Spray Paint vs Brush Paint Cost

If you rent a sprayer, it costs about $40; however, buying a brush is cheaper. Similarly, it utilizes 33% paint than painting with a brush or roller. It means the project expenses increase if I use a sprayer. Brush painting waste is very little and almost negligible. From the overall comparison, spray paint cost is higher than brush painting. Find out the average cost to paint a room.

Spray Paint vs Brush Paint Metal

Spray painting is best for metals. Metals are not like ceilings, bricks, or concrete walls; therefore, spray paint works best for them. It’s hard to reach the different tight spaces and corners of the metal piece, but spray paint makes this job a breeze.

How To Get The Best of Both Techniques

You have observed that both are better than one another depending on several factors. However, I offer you a good solution to get optimal results using both methods with wisdom. We will utilize the old techniques but implementation will be of using the latest technologies.

Using a combination of back-brushing and airless spray gun is a vital choice. In simple terms, back-brushing means apply the paint over a surface already painted. You won’t need to get help from another person. This technique will help you paint another coat with a brush before drying. This way, the paint reach to all the corners, cranes, and edges by giving better adhesion.

The primary purpose of using hand-brush is to apply more paint easily. In short, you can finish most projects quickly using airless spryer and back-brushing. This technique eliminates many painting issues and always end up with efficient results.

Conclusion On spray paint vs brush paint

You have seen that spraying and brushing paint brings benefits and drawbacks. Brushing is an economical process but time-taking also. On the other hand, spraying is convenient but requires a good initial cost. Therefore, list your requirements before choosing between both. We hope this comparison of spray paint vs. brush paint will help you make the right decision.

FAQs On spray painting vs brush painting

Is it better to spray paint or brush paint?

Using a sprayer or brush depends on numerous significant factors, i.e., preparation, budget, coverage, and time. If you want to paint timely, quickly, and conveniently, a sprayer is the best choice. Otherwise, brushing is an economical solution for all kinds of paints.

Does a paint sprayer use more paint?

According to my experience, spraying paint utilizes 30% more paint than paintbrushes or rollers. It increases the overall cost and waste of the paint, whether painting indoors or outdoors.

Is it better to spray or brush trim?

Trimming is a challenging task. It requires a lot of additional work with a sprayer. I always recommend to use a brush for trimming as it delivers efficient results. Almost 95% of professionals use brushes for this purpose.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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