Brush, roller, or paint sprayer?

Brush, roller, or paint sprayer?

Stephen Taylor

Spray specialist

The QTech guide to 10 decorating jobs that always take too long (and could be done quicker – and better – with an airless paint sprayer). 

The finished job. It’s what the client’s interested in. After all the hours of prep it’s such a shame not to have it painted to perfection. But for many (if not nearly all) applications it is very difficult to achieve perfection with a brush and roller. For some, like the one’s we’ve listed below – it’s well-nigh impossible. 

There’s an easier way to that perfect job. 

Talk to your QTech dealer today about the benefits of airless spraying. And put a smile on your client’s face. 

Ceiling rose and cornice 

The more intricate these are, the more they are noticed – and that includes the quality of the paint job. Getting the paint into every nook and cranny while working overhead is not a pleasant task. And then when you step back to take a look it’s the parts you missed that stare back at you. The solution? Use an airless paint sprayer. In one pass, maximum two it will all be painted perfectly – including all those nooks and crannies. 

Our choice | QTech QT190 airless paint sprayer

Which tip | We would go for an Ultra Finish tip here. They’re ideal for this type of detail work. Size range would be 308 – 312. 

Balustrade, spindles etc 

These were made to be sprayed. After all the hours of prep that inevitably goes into them why would you want to get the paint on less than perfectly? And yes, we know that there’s a lot of masking needed, but in proportion to the time spent on the job as a whole – what is it? The QT190H paint sprayer recommended comes with 7.5m of hose, so you can fill the hopper, sit the machine somewhere safe and work away. 

Our choice | QTech QT190H airless paint sprayer + hopper

Which tip | A narrow fan width is essential here to keep over-spray to a minimum. We’d be using an Ultra Finish tip to ensure the quality of the finished job. Something within the range 208 – 212 would be our choice. If you want an even narrower fan, we suggest you try a 108 – 112. 

Roughcast / pebble dash render 

Every decorator’s ‘favourite’ job. Wrecks your arms, wrecks your equipment. Sure, it looks great when it’s finished, but this is one of those jobs that is crying out for a quicker application method. Use a paint sprayer with enough grunt to get that masonry paint flying, and the job will soon be finished to a standard you could only dream of if you were using a brush and roller. One important tip here, make sure the paint is the smooth type. 

Our choice | QTech QT290 airless paint sprayer

Which tip | We’re looking to get a good quantity of paint on here quickly, so recommending a Contractor tip. Size would probably be in the region of 517 – 521, but worth checking out the data for the specific paint that’s being used. 

Kitchen cabinets 

This illustrates the versatility of an airless paint sprayer. One day it can be spraying walls and ceilings with emulsion. Another day, achieving a high gloss finish on kitchen cabinets using one of today’s specialist paints. The secret is in the tip. The same as you wouldn’t use the same brush for every job, we don’t use the same tip for every job. Here, we’ve paired the QT190H paint sprayer with the hopper attachment with an Ultra Finish tip. The finish that can be achieved is flawless. 

Our choice | QTech QT190H airless paint sprayer + hopper 

Which tip | With a 6” fan width an Ultra Finish tip 308 – 312 would be best. Some guys will go down to a 306 where they are looking to achieve the finest of finishes, but with an orifice that’s only 6 thousandths of an inch this one really is for the experts. 

Metal cladding 

This is a no-brainer for a paint sprayer. Just think of it. Large areas of profiled sheeting. Very often above ground level. Narrow window of time for application due to weather. And finally, consistent paint coverage is essential. Look at one of the larger machines and have it running two guns – you’ll fly through the job at a speed you would not have thought possible. 

Our choice | QTech QT550 airless paint sprayer + 2-guns 

Which tip | Very much dependent on the paint. Use a Contractor tip, as a general guide suggest a 515 – 519 but do check the data sheets for compatibility. Speed is essential here. 


Use a brush or a roller and this can be a physically demanding job. Use an airless paint sprayer, and it’s a breeze. Make sure you pop a QuickConnect® adapter and tip extension onto your gun and you will be able to keep the tip approx 10” from the floor without having to crouch. 

Our choice | QTech QT290 airless paint sprayer

Which tip | A wide fan width coupled with the correct orifice is what we’d be going for here. Probably a Contractor tip in the region of a 517 – 521, but some users may prefer going wider still, say up to a 619 – 621. 


Very popular in industrial buildings, and often for the internal walls of garages and other outbuildings, exposed blockwork is fine until the client wants it painted. It is another one of those jobs that the airless paint sprayer was made for. Unpainted blockwork is not only full of surface imperfections, it also soaks the paint up at an alarming rate. Use a paint sprayer, and you’ll quickly and easily overcome both of these challenges. 

Our choice | QTech QT290 airless paint sprayer

Which tip | Go for a Contractor tip here. Size would normally be in the 517 – 521 range. 

Exposed trunking / ducting 

Increasingly popular. Whether mono-chrome or making use of colour a paint sprayer is essential to effectively do the job. Our choice would be for the QTech QT290C Carry machine here. Despite its smaller size there’s no lack of performance – makes it ideal for situations where you’re working at height. 

Our choice | QTech QT290C Carry airless paint sprayer 

Which tip | It would be good to keep the fan width down a little here for maximum control and to reduce overspray. We’d be looking at using a Contractor tip, a 413 – 417 should do the job. 

Panelled doors 

Doors are one of the most noticed parts of any décor. Often a feature, we get close to them – and that’s when any imperfections show up the most. We’ve got the greatest respect for the guys that can paint these perfectly with a brush – but using a paint sprayer is a genuine alternative, and in many cases, a better one. The degree of control that can be achieved ensures an even coverage of paint over the whole door – with no build up in the corners of the panels, no brush marks. We’ve selected the QT190H with the hopper here – the hopper lends itself to multiple colour/paint changes. 

Our choice | QTech QT190H airless paint sprayer + hopper

Which tip | To ensure the quality of finish that will be looked for use an Ultra Finish tip. Fan width is down to personal choice, we’d go for 8”, so looking at 410 – 414. If a 6” fan is preferred, try a 308 – 312. 

Suspended ceilings 

Sometimes part of a re-furb contract, painting suspended ceilings is full of challenges when using a roller. In many grid systems the tiles are not fixed, and the slightest pressure will push the tile up. Solution? Take the tiles out, paint individually and replace. The alternative? Use an airless paint sprayer. Once all of the light fittings, air conditioning grilles etc have been masked over, getting the paint on is simple – and far more effective. 

Our choice | QTech QT290C carry airless paint sprayer

Which tip | This is one of those jobs where the standard fitment Contractor 517 tip is ideal, unless the spec sheet for the paint suggests otherwise. 

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