· painting_tips · 4 min read

Should I use an airless paint sprayer to paint my interior walls?

Learn about the considerations and advice for using an airless paint sprayer for interior walls.

Learn about the considerations and advice for using an airless paint sprayer for interior walls.

Pam Asks:

We are getting ready to do some more interior painting (we have already done part of the house a number of months ago). Here’s my dilemma, and I was hoping you could give me some advice. Although we used rollers to do the rooms we’ve already done, my husband is insisting upon using a power sprayer for the remaining rooms we are getting ready to do. He has never used one before (has used auto paint sprayers, but those are completely different). He just wants to use one now because he thinks it will be less tiresome on his arms than rolling. Last time we painted, I did all the prep work, the taping and masking, and all the cutting in around the trim, and he did all the rolling. And yes, I know it was killer on his arms to do the bigger walls.

But having done quite a bit of research, it seems like using a sprayer for bedroom walls will be more trouble than it’s worth. Between the more extensive prep work required when spraying, the time it takes to properly clean and care for the sprayer before and after each time you use it, the learning curve for good application technique, the mess and headache if it doesn’t work right, it just seems like a LOT of trouble for painting interior walls. He’s not even sure which paint sprayer he should buy and wants me do the research to find one that’s inexpensive but will be effective for the purpose we want it for.

Soooo… from a pro painter’s perspective, what do you think? It is worth it for a novice to use a paint sprayer to paint interior walls? I’m trying hard (but in a subtle sort of way) to talk him out of trying to use a sprayer because I sense a messy disaster coming. Should I keep trying to talk him out of it or will it not be as bad as I’m fearing? Thank you SO much if you take the time to give me your thoughts on this.

Thanks again, Pam

Marty’s Answer:

Hi Pam, Thanks for thinking of me for the exterior paint work. As for the interior, we don’t even spray the walls in an occupied house. It is possible, but the prep required to cover all of the items in the house, the trim, the ceiling, and all of the floors is prohibitive unless you are doing production work. We brush and roll all interior walls unless the house is vacant and we are painting the ceiling and trim as well.

The other thing to note is that even when we do spray walls, we still have to roll them as well. It’s called “back rolling,” and you do it as soon as you spray the walls. Just spraying the walls without back rolling will result in a subpar paint job. It is very hard to get a perfectly sprayed latex wall without lots of experience. On flat walls, you will see lines where the spray pattern isn’t perfect. On textured walls, you won’t be able to get all of the angles without back rolling.

My advice, don’t do it. Use a roller. Some tips to make it go faster: Make sure to use an extension pole. Don’t use the roller without one. It is much faster and easier on your back if you use a pole. Also, use a 5-gallon bucket and a roller grate instead of those tiny roller trays. You can fit an entire gallon in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. You won’t have to refill as much, and it will take half the time.

Alternatively, you can use an 18-inch roller and tray. These rollers are twice the size of a normal roller and will get the job done twice as fast.

Marty Dukes - Dukes Painting and Repair - Tulsa Painters

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