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Paint Spraying Uses More Paint than Brushing: True or False?

paint spraying uses more paint than brushing
Image credit: Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin, Kadena Air Base

You have probably heard before that sprayers use more paint than brushes. You probably also just accepted this as truth. Why wouldn’t you?

But is it true? While paint sprayers do use paint much faster than brushes, that is not necessarily to say that they use more of it.

Today we will explore the question of whether or not paint sprayers actually use more paint than the traditional brushes.

Read on to find out!

Do Paint Sprayers Use More Paint Than A Brush?

Short answer? Yes. You definitely use more paint with a sprayer than with a traditional brush. How much more is really going to depend on the scope of the project, as well as the setting that you are painting in.

For example, working out doors often wastes quite a bit of paint with the sprayer because the atomized droplets tend to drift away with a stiff breeze.

In general, you can expect to use up to three times more paint with a sprayer than with a brush.

brush painting on wood
Image credit: Creative Commons Zero – CC0, Max Pixel

Why?

Good question. It’s all because of the way that the droplets behave when they leave the sprayer. While most of the droplets are going to land on and stick to the surface, many of them will not.

The lost droplets ultimately account for the difference. With the paint brush, pretty much all of the paint is going directly on the surface. When it doesn’t find its way to the surface, it is usually a result of human error.

Paint spraying has many benefits, but waste reduction is not one of them.

As a result of this factor, using a brush is going to be more cost effective than using a sprayer. However, if you value your time as much as you value your money, a case could be made that the sprayer actually has the stronger value.

While you use a lot more paint with a sprayer, the job is ultimately finished in a small fraction of the time. Projects that take hours with a brush can take minutes with a sprayer.

man spraying paint on wall
Image credit: Creative Commons CC0, Pxhere

Conclusion

So, yeah. Quick answer, right? If using the least amount of paint is your ultimate objective, you will achieve that result with the brush.

However, in doing so, you do forfeit the many advantages that the paint sprayer has over the manual options.

In addition to being extremely quick, the paint sprayer also has the benefit of effortlessly producing high-quality results.
If you are a novice painter, you will probably find that the technique of the brush and roller is much harder to master than the technique of the sprayer.

Ultimately, deciding between the two will be a matter of deciding what you value in a painting method.

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