Paint Sprayer Vs Spray Paint

Paint Sprayer Vs Spray Paint – What is the Actual Difference?

So, you feel like it’s high time you gave your furniture or the walls of your house a new life? That’s nice! But you’ve got one problem, you are not sure whether to use a paint sprayer or spray paint, right?

We understand the dilemma you are in. After all, both tools allow easy and clean application of paint on most surfaces. Not to mention, they tend to do a faster job when you compare them to paint rolling and other methods.

But which one is better and is it worth getting any of them? In this paint sprayer vs spray paint guide, you can find out what exactly they are and their actual differences.

What is Paint Sprayer?

paint sprayer basics

A paint sprayer is simply a tool designed to help you expel paint onto the surface being coated through a small orifice. In simple terms, this is a device that allows you to apply an even coating of paint on various surfaces.

And as it turns out, paint sprayers for home spray painting are available in different types. Therefore, you must choose one that is suited for the type of paint you plan to use and your job.

Some of the common types of paint sprayers include airless, HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) sprayers, and compressed air sprayers. As for the airless sprayers, they work by pumping out paint under very high pressure through a specialized hose.

HVLP paint sprayers use a high volume of air but at a low air pressure to propel your paint from the nozzle onto the surface. Compressed air sprayers, on the other hand, are designed to expel the paint using compressed air.

Is it worth getting a paint sprayer?

Yes. A paint sprayer is a very useful and powerful tool as far as painting is concerned. Below are some of the reasons why it is worth getting a paint sprayer.

  • Does a faster job

If using a paint sprayer, you can finish your paint job much faster compared to using a roller or a brush. This is because the sprayer is designed to expel tiny droplets of paint at high pressure. As a result, you get to paint a wide surface at a faster speed.

  • Smooth finish

With practice, it is very easy to achieve an even coating when using a paint sprayer rather than brushes or rollers. This happens because the sprayer tends to form a fine mist.

  • Better accessibility

When you want to paint the corners of your walls or tiny spaces, it is worth getting a paint sprayer. Because of its shape, it can allow you to paint every nook and cranny with ease.

  • Easy to operate

A paint sprayer is very simple to use whether you are a professional or an amateur. You just need to attach your paint to the sprayer, and you will be good to go.

What Is Spray Paint?

spray painting basics

Also referred to as aerosol paint, spray paint is a type of liquid paint that comes in a pressurized hand-held can. It works by spraying a coating through the air onto a surface through a spray nozzle.

You just press the paint’s valve button, and the spray paint will release a mixture of paint and a propellant. And in the end, you will have a smooth and even coat.

Like paint sprayers, there are different types of spray paint products. One of the most common types is the general-purpose spray paint which you can use on a wide range of surfaces and materials. You will also come across spray paints such as lacquer, epoxy, high-heat, chalkboard, enamel, acrylic, frosted, and oil-based.

Additionally, spray paints come in various textures and finishes, from high gloss to metallic, glossy, satin, semi-gloss, and matte. Therefore, you can easily achieve your desired look.

Is it worth getting sprayer paint?

The answer is yes. Compared to using other types of tools for applying paint, a sprayer paint is better and for good reasons, including:

  • Saves on time

A sprayer paint allows you to do just a few passes over your desired surface and you are done. So, you don’t spend so much time. Even better, the paint gets to dry faster since it is expelled in the form of tiny particles as opposed to liquid form.

  • A more even and wide coverage

If you use spray paint, you will love how it distributes paint more evenly, thereby ensuring a professional finish. It also enables you to coat a wide surface within a short time.

  • Cleaner application

With spray paint, you don’t have to worry about the risks of splattering or spilling the paint on other surfaces. This is because the spray paint nozzle is designed to spray small amounts of paint on the surfaces and in aerosol form.

Paint Sprayer Vs Spray Paint: What Is The Actual Difference?

spray paint vs paint sprayer

Still wondering whether to get spray paint vs paint sprayer? Let’s check out their actual differences so you can have an easy time deciding which tool to get.


A paint sprayer does not come with the paint. This means you need to buy the paint and the sprayer separately. As for the sprayer, you can either choose airless, HVLP or compressed air sprayers. Basically, the sprayer comes with a reservoir where you can add your paint.

Spray paint, on the other hand, comprises a pressurized container with paint inside. Therefore, you won’t have to buy paint once you have your spray paint.

Mechanism of Working

Another difference between these two devices lies in how they work. For example, a paint sprayer works by turning your liquid paint into many atomized, tiny droplets. However, if using an HVLP or compressed air sprayer, you will need a large capacity air compressor. 

When it comes to spray paint, it works by mixing liquid paint with pressurized gas inside the can. Simply, the paint comes ready to use. However, your spray paint will come with a ball bearing that serves to mix the paint when you shake the can. And when you press the nozzle, it releases the paint in a fine mist.

Size of the Project

Unlike spray paint, even a small paint sprayer can hold a high volume of paint. So, if the size of your project is extremely big, you will find a paint sprayer more appropriate for the job. It is more economical for paint jobs such as large pieces of furniture.

A small spray painter, on the other hand, is best suited for small to medium jobs. All those cans can quickly add up if you are working on a large project.


For most types of paint sprayers, you will need an air compressor which can be quite bulky. As such, you will find the device less portable.

But when it comes to spray paint, the cans are relatively light in weight. You can even slide a couple of cans in your backpack.


Overall, when it comes to getting the smooth look you want with paint, there is nothing better than a paint sprayer or spray paint. Both devices are easy to use, offer better accessibility, save on time, and provide a cleaner application compared to using a paint brush.

So, if you are wondering whether it is worth getting a paint sprayer or spray paint, the answer is yes. That said, we recommend using a paint sprayer for larger projects. But if you want portability, you should consider sprayer paint or an airless paint sprayer.

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