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3 Popular Misconceptions about Paint Application

Should you use a brush to apply your paint or should you spray it on? One of the prevailing misconceptions about paint application is that brushing is somehow superior to spray-on methods. In fact, many homes and business owners mistakenly opt for brush application because they have heard from one source or another that it is the preferable method. But in many situations that simply isn’t the case. 3 Popular Misconceptions about Paint Application.

But from where did this popular misconception arise? Why do most consumers think that brushing is better than spraying? Here are three of the most common rationales we come across in regard to spraying vs. brushing.

  1. Brushing is Better for Adhesion

    Many people seem to think that brushing or “working” the paint in by hand with a brush is the only way a new coat of paint will properly bond to the substrate. This is false. When you are painting over an old coat of paint, the new coat simply needs to bind to the old coat – and the new paint doesn’t have to be worked in by a brush to achieve this adhesion. When applying coat directly to a substrate, the paint usually just needs to soak in. In this case, any application will do. In fact, you can do more harm than good trying to work painting too hard. The fact is that adhesion is much more about surface prep than it is about the application method.

  2. No One Ever Sprays Houses

    Also false. Houses are actually sprayed all the time. It is only in certain extenuating circumstances that houses are commonly brush painted. For instance, smaller contracting companies typically don’t have spray equipment and the safety gear to go with it so they will more than likely opt to brush paint houses. Another reason you may see contractors brush instead of spray is the size of the house. Sometimes, the time it takes to set up (window masking, compressor setups, plugging in hoses, etc.) for spraying will not be worth it if the house is small. Spraying saves a lot of time on large projects but may end up taking more time on smaller ones.

  3. Spraying Causes Premature Peeling

    You guessed it; also false. In reality, peeling paint is most often caused by moisture absorption – not by the application method. And whether you brush or spray will have no bearing on whether moisture transfer occurs. Lack of surface prep, however, does have a lot to do with moisture transfer. Another factor that can cause peeling paint is low-quality building materials. If you are painting directly onto pine trim, clapboard, or other low-grade surface materials, you are likely to encounter premature peeling.

3 Popular Misconceptions about Paint Application

Home Remodeling Tips

Getting back to the question of “why do most consumers think brushing is better than spraying?” there is always the possibility of running into a contractor who doesn’t know what he/she is doing. While all of the aforementioned conceptions about spraying are certainly false, at the end of the day brushing is favorable to spraying if your contractor doesn’t know how to spray properly. And if the contractor doesn’t thoroughly prep the surface, spraying won’t save the day.

Furthermore, it’s easier to see the flaws of unskilled spraying as opposed to unskilled brushing. So it’s easy to see why people think brushing is better than painting. But the bottom line is that spraying can be a better option in the right situations; and as long as the contractor is experienced.