Consumer GuidesPainting & Staining

Using Modern Paint Techniques

Rapidly changing technology affects every aspect of modern life, even when it comes to painting our homes. Not only are lead- and oil-based paints relics of the past, but the methods used to apply modern paints and coatings have changed over time as well. Understanding all the new products and procedures enables consumers to get the best, longest-lasting paint jobs possible.

Q: I’ve noticed that most house painters are spray painting the exterior of homes rather than rolling or brushing the paint, as was done in the past. It looks good from a distance but it seems that spray painting does not put on as thick a coat or fill in the rough surfaces as well as brushing and rolling.

My last house was painted by brush over 15 years ago with a nationally known brand and seems to be holding up better than other more recently painted houses. When I have my house painted, should I pay extra to have it brushed and rolled on or would I get as good and long lasting a paint job if I supply one of the best quality paints and let the painter spray it on?

A: Your questions bring up many issues about having your house painted these days. Understanding all these different points should help you make a wise decision.

The main reason professional painters spray paint on these days is to save costs on both labor and materials. Quite frankly, it would probably be too expensive for you to pay professionals to hand roll or brush an entire exterior today. However, a spray is a surface application only and does not fill cracks, or seal most rough sawn wood or stucco properly. That is why we always backroll and brush after most spray applications, to enhance the look and achieve a longer lasting paint job. A painter who does not take this extra step may charge a little less than our company, but you are right that in most cases, a spray-only paint job simply will not hold up as long or well.

Spray-only applications are appropriate on smooth surfaces, where rollers or brushes will leave undesirable finishes. These would include smooth lap siding, garage doors, exterior metal doors and some gutters. In these cases, we like to spray on a good quality enamel exterior finish with a fine orifice tipped sprayer to achieve professional factory-finished results.

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