Clearly a paint sprayer cannot be beaten on a very large wall in an empty room when the ceiling is being painted the same as the wall.

Likewise in small rooms with carpets and furniture plus lots of windows the time take to mask everything is a lot greater than the time to paint with a paint brush (or roller).

I have never used a paint sprayer, what size area do I need to make it worthwhile?

3 Answers 3


There's no hard-and-fast rule. It's merely a break-even point where the extra preparation and cleanup time exceeds the time saved by the device. And of course the more skilled you are, the less your prep and cleanup time are.

For someone who has never used one, I'd guess that the break-even point is something like this: If you're painting entire rooms, including the ceilings, then use a sprayer to paint all the ceilings at once, with no need to worry about overspray at the edges. Then brush/roll the walls.

If you're just painting the walls, just brush/roll them. Rolling is really pretty fast.

If you're painting the exterior of a house, use a sprayer to do the field (The siding or brick or whatever makes up the bulk of the house) then brush paint the trim.


This is one of those questions that really doesn't have a good answer. I will comment on a couple of aspects.

A good quality airless sprayer is expensive. Even a basic model can cost $300 or more. A good pro model is $500 plus.

The small paint in the head types are iffy at best and don't do a good job if tilted at any severe angle, like when doing ceilings. They are also very loud, vibrate a lot in your hand and are fatiguing to use. They typically only hold a pint to a quart of paint.

A good high pressure airless sprayer takes paint directly from the can 1 or 5 gal, and has hoses, 25ft to 50ft to the spray head. They also have interchangeable nozzles for different types of paints and stains and to control spray width.

If you are only doing a few rooms, I doubt it would be worth the investment to purchase one. You may consider renting if the job is large enough.

Keep in mind, even though you can spray out a room or even do a whole house very fast with a sprayer, you still should over brush or roll to get a good finish. It does take some practice to get the feel of using a sprayer. I use one often and absolutely love it. I always have a second person to over roll immediately while the paint or primer is wet. It is extremely effective shooting PVA primer on new sheetrock before trim and floor coverings are are installed.


Well, I'm new here and I'm just waiting around a bit to see if I get an answer on a question I just posted. In the meantime I’ve just been checking things out a bit and found this question. I’ve also just sprayed the interior of my home and it was the first time I ever used a sprayer. My home is an extremely extensive remodel which I am doing as an owner builder. That’s me.

Are you buying one? I rented one. 200 bucks a day. I sprayed all of my Tasmanian Oak ceilings gloss white in one day. The WHOLE house, two cotes plus primed the walls of the whole house. I ran into a little trouble getting an extension wand for my higher ceilings so had to get it one more time for a couple of hours to finish the next day. This meant I had it for another day for two hours work which included dry time.

I have a shipping container on my land with the kitchen and pre-hung doors being stored in it and I thought what the hell, I pulled out all of the doors (12), took them off the hinges and sprayed them all in about ten minutes once I set them up for spraying. I let them dry and hit them with a second coat. That took another ten minutes. I would have NO PROBLEM renting it again for just 20 minutes of door spraying. Well worth every penny. They look like they were factory sprayed.

So I guess what I’m saying is it all depends on the job. If you do it just watch a couple youtube videos just for technique first. That takes care of a big learning curve. Good luck.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.