Rolling vs Spraying

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The spray gun stems from the invention of the first airbrush which was patented in 1876 by Francis Edgar Stanley. The first spray gun machine was developed in 1887, predating the roller by almost 53 years.

Spraying on paint requires longer amounts of preparation time to ensure all areas not to be painted, such as windows and floors are taped, marked or covered before application begins. Once spraying has begun, application is faster and can cover larger areas with a uniform and smooth finish.

Most good painters will then “back roll” their spray work, especially on ceilings and walls which will help to further push the paint into the surface pores. This will also give a lighter, textured finish, while ensuring any cracks or joints are also completely filled in. The finished result of “back rolling” also helps to ensure surfaces are easier to “touch up” for years to come.

If you like speed, using an airless sprayer is a great method for painting both interior and exterior walls. In many cases, it’s more suited to exterior jobs as you will have more overspray. It’s ideal for your garage or buildings with large outdoor walls especially when you need it done quicker while maintaining a professional finish. The only thing you need to be careful with when you’re spraying is over spray and paint waste.

However, with a sprayer like the Titan Capspray HVLP or Titan ED 655, you can achieve a more controlled, fine finish with your application on smaller indoor jobs. It’s perfect for smaller trims, interior doors, cabinets, stairs, and other areas that require greater detail and precision. When it comes to painting with a sprayer, you need to think about what it is your painting. For example, you could use this sprayer on interior doors, where you just can’t quite get the same professional finish you need with a roller.

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The paint roller is a traditional method for painting large surfaces such as walls and ceilings to achieve a smooth and uniform finish without the visible brush strokes.

Rolling on paint requires less preparation and clean up time while allowing an easy flow of workmanship. Rolling on paint allows a painter to apply thick, and lightly textured coats of paint.

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Neither using a sprayer or rolling on paint is much quicker than the other when taking into account the relevant preparation and application time. Also, neither method may use more paint than the other considering the efficiency of modern sprayers and the reduction of over spray. While spraying is a great way to paint harder to reach areas, such as cabinets and shelves or uniformly paint detailed items such as lattice, both methods are used depending on the requirements of the paint project and the preference of the individual painter.


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Choosing the right airless tip

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Choosing the right airless tip contributes greatly to the performance of your sprayer, the quality of the finish and the success of your jobs. Tips control the width of the spray pattern; the paint flow rate; and, ultimately, they tell the pump how hard it should work.

With so much being tied to choosing the correct airless tip, it is important to consider the following.

Airless tips are sized using a 3 digit number such as 515. The first number has to do with the width of the spraying fan and the last 2 digits refer to the size of the hole or orifice the paint sprays through.

  • First digit – The spray width (x2 for width in inches) (known as ‘fan width’)
  • Second two digits – The hole size (known as ‘orifice size’)

The diagram below shows what happens when you change tip sizes. In example A, the three tips have the same fan width. As their orifice sizes increase, a greater volume of paint is applied to the 10-inch area, resulting in more paint per square inch. Example B shows three tips that have the same orifice size (.017). As the tips’ fan widths increase, the same amount of paint is applied over a greater area, resulting in less volume of paint applied per square inch as the sizes go up.

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There are basically two types of tips, reversible and flat, ranging in size from 107 (2- to 4-inch fan width for thin coatings like deck sealers), to 962 (18-inch fan width for heavy coatings like driveway sealers and roof coatings).

Flat tips were the first tips to enter the market and are most often used for spraying thin coatings like lacquer, enamels and stains. They can also be used to spray heavier coatings when a supplemental filtration system is being used with the sprayer. There’s a good reason for the filtration system. While flat tips are less expensive than reversible tips, it takes more effort to remove blockages when the paint has imperfections or particles of sand or dirt enter the system.

Reversible tips are designed for ease of use, and supplemental filtration systems aren’t required. Here’s how they work: When in spraying mode, the tip is facing forward. When a blockage enters the system, you reverse the tip by turning it 180 degrees, pull the trigger to spray the blockage out, then turn the tip back 180 degrees and continue working. There are several grades of reversible tips for residential and commercial painting (premium, versatile, value), and there are specialty reversible tips for high-pressure high-viscosity coatings, as well as for fine finishing.

Flat and reversible tips wear about the same, and their gallons-per-minute (GPM sprayed are about the same). The choice between a flat or reversible tip will depend on what coatings you spray, whether or not you want to use a filtration system, and how much you want to spend.

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You’ll want to consider two things when deciding on a tip size — what type of surface is being painted and the coating being applied. Here’s how it works:

  • Fan width: For large surfaces, like walls and ceilings, you’ll want a larger fan width for wider coverage of the area (8 to 24 inches). For smaller surfaces — like deck boards, cabinets and fences — you’ll want a smaller fan width (2 to 8 inches).
  • Orifice size: Generally, when the coating is thin, you’ll want a smaller orifice. When the coating is thick, you’ll want a larger orifice. Below are recommended orifice sizes for various types of coatings, based on a typical 12-inch distance from the surface with an 8- to 12-inch fan width.

The airless sprayer tips available on the market today make it easy for users to find a sprayer tip for any type of project. Whether it’s putting the finishing touches on a DIY cabinet project, or spraying large buildings for commercial renovations, or rendering a professional paint job for a steel bridge, there are numerous situations that call for specific sprayer tips. With knowledge of tip codes, it’s easy to navigate the large market of sprayer tips and understand exactly what fan size and volume of output to expect from any given tip. Understanding the orifice size and how it affects the pressure and rate at which paint comes out of the sprayer housing helps to extend the life of the tip for as long as possible and to ensure that the project at hand gets the right amount of pressurized paint.


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The basics of Airless Spraying – Advantages of Airless Sprayers

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Advantages of Airless Sprayers

Airless sprayers provide an easy and economical way to apply coatings. Professional contractors prefer to use airless sprayers for several reasons, the most popular being:

Speed—airless spraying is faster, thus, more jobs can be completed in less time, using less labor. Airless spraying is up to 10 times faster than brushing or rolling.

Quality—airless sprayers produce an even coat of paint on all types of surfaces, leaving a consistent and high quality finish.

Versatility—airless sprayers can be used for a wide range of coating materials, including interior and exterior jobs, and can easily be transported from job site to job site.


Research conducted by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), an association of painting contractors and related industry professionals, indicates that airless spraying can save painters between 50% and 75% of their painting time. Airless spray is:

• At least 10 times faster than brush applications
• At least 4 times faster than roller applications

Using a brush or roller application might seem cost-effect ive in the short-term,but in the long-run labor can cost at least twice as much!


Airless Spray for Uniform Coverage

It is important to consider how much faster spraying is compared to other methods. Equally important to your customer is how spraying gives a consistent quality finish, even over rough surfaces.

Airless spraying allows you to:

Finish jobs quicker
— Finish within short weather windows
— Stay on a job site from start to finish, saving set-up labor
Complete more jobs with less labor (fewer people headaches)
Provide a consistent mil build so coatings perform better
Apply a smooth quality finish


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The basics of Airless Spraying – Coatings

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Architectural coatings are primarily decorative coatings used to coat anything from homes to commercial and industrial buildings.

Protective coatings are primarily corrosion control coatings used to coat anything from bridges to water towers, preserving concrete and steel. Often these coatings are two-component materials.

The majority of coatings are sold at paint stores, generally to professional painting contractors.

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Virtually every coating contains four basic components:

Binder, Resin, or Polymer—holds together the other components prior to application and forms a protective film on the surface (the
surface is also called a substrate) to which the coating is applied. Binders can be oils, varnishes and proteins.

Pigment—fine solid particles that hide the surface providing decorative colors and sometimes corrosion resistance. Raw umber, a type of iron ore, is used extensively as a pigment and is olive green in color.

Solvent—helps the flow of the coating material and aids in application. For example, water is a solvent for sugar. However, in many coating formulations, a chemical referred to as a solvent, may not be dissolving anything, but simply diluting or thinning the formulation.

Additives—in general, manufacturers put additives into coatings for one or more reasons, including aiding in manufacturing, enhancing application characteristics, or improving the properties of the coating once it is cured. For example, some additives help prevent mildew from forming once the coating has cured.

Paints and other coatings are rated by the volume of solids they contain. While virtually everyone in the architectural coatings industry refers to the “low,” “medium,” and “high” solid content of coatings, there are no set amounts or limits placed on these categories. A typical set of values for coatings is:

• Low Solids = 20-30% solids
• Medium Solids = 30-50% solids
• High Solids = Up to 100% solids


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