Paint Sprayer VS Roller

Looking to tackle a furniture makeover but unsure of which furniture painting tools and supplies to use? In this blog post, we will be comparing the two top contenders – paint sprayer vs roller – to help you determine which one is best suited for your furniture painting needs.

These two popular options have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to decide which one is the better choice. Let’s see how they stack up against each other!

photo of using roller and using paint sprayer to paint furniture with text overlay

If you’re an avid DIYer, chances are you’ve come across the age-old question of whether to use a paint sprayer or roller for your furniture painting project.

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While both are reliable tools, each has its own unique characteristics that can make one a better fit for your specific project.

As we’ve used both these methods extensively in painting furniture, tackling this comparison was a no-brainer for us.

We want to share our experience and insights with you so that you can make the best decision and investment.

Let’s take a closer look at their features and pros and cons!

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Painting Furniture with a Roller

For starters, a roller is a great option if you’re looking to paint larger, flat surfaces quickly.

It covers more surface area at once compared to a paintbrush, making it an efficient choice for bigger furniture pieces.

photo of painting furniture using a paint roller

Plus, using a roller minimizes the risk of leaving behind brush marks or streaks on your freshly painted furniture.

It’s also a more cost-effective option compared to a paint sprayer, making it ideal for those on a budget.

You can easily find high-quality rollers at most hardware stores, making it a convenient choice for home projects.

However, using a roller has its downsides too. It may not be the best choice if you’re looking to paint intricate or detailed furniture pieces, as it may leave behind a textured or uneven surface.

It’s also not very effective in corners and tight spaces, making it harder to get a flawless finish on all areas of the furniture.

photo of using brush for corners and edges before using paint roller

For these areas, you may still need to use a paintbrush. If you do decide to go with a roller, go for the mohair mini rollers from Sherwin Williams.

I personally have had great results with them, as they provide the smoothest finish. Foam rollers are another good option, but make sure to look for a shorter “nap” length of around 3/16″.

Again, note that you may still need a paintbrush for corners and detailed areas, as rollers can’t reach those spots easily.

Learn more about the The Best Paint Brushes for Painting Furniture here!

However, if budget is a concern and you don’t mind the textured finish, a roller can be a great tool to get the painting job done!


  • Efficient for painting larger, flat surfaces quickly
  • Minimizes the risk of leaving behind brush marks or streaks
  • Cost-effective option for those on a budget
  • Can easily find high-quality rollers at most hardware stores


  • Not ideal for intricate or detailed furniture pieces
  • May leave behind a textured or uneven surface
  • Not very effective in corners and tight spaces, may still need to use a paintbrush
  • Takes much longer than using a paint sprayer

Our post on the best rollers for painting furniture will give you more detailed information on choosing the right roller for your project.

Painting Furniture with a Paint Sprayer

If you’re looking for a smooth and flawless finish, a paint sprayer is your best bet.

It’s great for painting intricate or detailed furniture pieces, as it can easily reach corners and tight spaces. This makes it a popular choice among professional painters and even DIY-ers.

photo of applying paint onto hard to reach areas using a paint sprayer

Using a paint sprayer on furniture can save you a significant amount of time on your furniture makeovers.

Its quick and efficient application process can cut down the overall time spent on your project, making it an awesome option for those on a tight schedule or with multiple pieces to paint.

However, paint sprayers do require a bigger investment compared to rollers.

They come in at around $100-$200 for decent electric sprayers – those that you can just plug into an extension cord and use.

We have listed the best electric paint sprayers here as well as the best HVLP paint sprayers for furniture here so you can explore your options. And if you’re working mostly with latex paint, here’s our list of the best latex paint sprayer!

Sprayers can also be a bit more challenging to use, especially if you’re not familiar with them.

photo of applying paint onto furniture using a paint sprayer

You may need to spend some time practicing and getting comfortable with adjusting settings and techniques before getting the perfect finish.

Depending on the type of paint for furniture, you might need to thin the paint before using a sprayer, which can add another step to your painting process.

Here’s our how to thin paint for a sprayer guide to help you with this step.

photo of using paint filter and thinning paint for paint sprayer

You also need to make sure to filter the paint properly before using it in your sprayer to avoid clogs or uneven spraying.

But after going through thinning and filtering your paint, you’ll be sure to get a texture-free, smooth, and flawless finish on your furniture!

Drips don’t happen often with sprayers, but if they do, it’s usually due to overspraying or thinning the paint too much. You can learn how to fix spray paint drips here if you do encounter this issue.

But again, once you get the hang of it and find the right settings for your project, using a paint sprayer will give you professional-looking results in a fraction of the time it would take with other methods.


  • Smooth and flawless finish
  • Great for painting intricate or detailed furniture pieces
  • Can easily reach corners and tight spaces
  • Quick and efficient application process saves time on projects


  • Requires a bigger investment compared to rollers
  • May be challenging to use, and requires practice and adjustment of settings/techniques
  • Paint may need to be thinned and filtered before use
  • Drips can occur if over-spraying or thinning the paint too much

Verdict: Paint Sprayer VS Roller?

In the end, the choice between using a paint sprayer or roller ultimately depends on your personal preferences and project needs.

If you’re looking for convenience and cost-effectiveness, a roller may be the better option.

But if you want a flawless finish and are willing to invest more money, then a paint sprayer might be worth going for.

One option can be more traditional, tried, and true, while the other offers a modern-day solution with it’s speed and convenience.

You can totally try using both methods and find what works best for you!

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