Spray Paint Vs Brush Paint Cabinets

It can be hard to know whether you should spray paint vs brush paint cabinets. 

If you’re trying to save a few bucks on gear, you might opt for using tools like brushes that you already have around the house. 

Read on about why is may or may not be a great idea to brush vs spray paint your cabinets this DIY season. 

spray paint vs brush paint cabinets
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Spray Paint Vs Brush Paint Cabinets Quick List 

If you’re planning on giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh new look, you may be wondering whether you should use spray paint or a brush to get the job done. Both methods have their pros and cons, and which one is right for you will depend on a number of factors. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between spray paint vs and brush paint cabinets, so you can make an informed decision.

Spray PaintBrush Paint
Smooth, Consistent FinishMight Cause Runs and Thick Spots
Thinner Paint Dries FasterDries Slower
Mask Off EverythingNo Masking Required
No MarksBrush/Roller Marks might be Left Behind
Uses More PaintSmaller Paint Budget
Saves TimeCoverage Takes Longer

Which Method Should You Use: Paint Spraying or Brush Paint Your Cabinets? 

If you watch the Pros, they always paint cabinets with a paint sprayer.  But, what if you want to re paint your cabinets and all you have at home is a brush and roller? 

You CAN paint your cabinets that way too.  There are a few differences in your technique and especially in the results you’ll get if you use one method over another. 

Paint sprayers apply atomized paint.  This means that they spray on tiny droplets in a thin layer across your cabinet surface.  You usually get smooth, even results in one coat. 

The paint that is sprayed on is thinner than if you brush/roll it on which means each coat dries much faster.  You’ll be able to use your cabinets sooner, if you spray paint vs brush paint cabinets. 

Because each layer of paint is thin with a cabinet spray gun, there is much less chance of your paint running or gathering into thick spots like with a roller or brush.   

Because rollers place a thick layer of paint down, which you then roll out thinner over your cabinets, there is more chances of the paint being too thick, increased dry time, and an uneven finish.  Without Pro rolling technique, you could end up leaving roller marks on your cabinets too. 

Edges and corners become more difficult to cover evenly using a brush and/or roller combination.  This will add even more time to your cabinet paint job because you have to go back and inspect each nook and cranny for any build up or runs. 

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Downside of Spray Paint Vs Brush Painting Cabinets

Spray paint vs brush paint cabinets does require you to mask off your entire kitchen, walls, floor, appliances etc., so that paint droplets don’t ruin them.  This adds time to your paint job.  But, one pass with your paint sprayer sure makes up for it. 

One pass is like 2-3 coats using a brush and roller.  You can paint more surfaces much faster when using a spray gun. 

Another downside is that paint sprayers use anywhere from 20-40% more paint than a brush and roller alone.  If you have bad technique or your equipment isn’t properly maintained (such as the tips) you might increase your paint waste to 50%.   

Using a paint sprayer can be tricky and requires a certain level of skill compared to a simple paint brush and roller. Paint sprayers are also more expensive than brushes and rollers, so your budget may be a limiting factor in whether you decide to spray paint vs brush painting cabinets.

Why You don’t want to Brush Paint Your Cabinets

There are also some downsides to brush painting cabinets. You might end up with Brush Marks or streaks, which can make the cabinets look less professional. Brush painting can be a lot more time-consuming than spray painting, as you have to cover the surface evenly and wait for each layer to dry before applying the next.

Generally, Brush painting can result in inferior coverage and adhesion to your paint surface compared to spray painting.

Why you Should Brush Paint Cabinets

Brush painting cabinets involves using a paintbrush to apply paint to the surface of the cabinets. This method has its own set of benefits, including:

Brush painting is generally cheaper than spray painting, as you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment. It can be easier to do than spray painting, as it requires less skill and experience. With a brush, you have more control over where the paint goes, and you can easily touch up any areas that need it.

With Brush painting you don’t have to worry about overspray and covering up everything in your kitchen.

Choosing the Right Type of Spray Gun

Also, you have to make sure to choose the right type of sprayer for your cabinets.  Spraying cabinets with an Airless Sprayer can get the job done, but the finish isn’t as smooth as when you paint cabinets with an HVLP sprayer. 

All in all, we recommend an HVLP paint sprayer for the best results on your cabinets. 


The best paint sprayers for cabinets apply the paint evenly.  Your results will look and feel more professional.  Your friends won’t know the difference.     

Paint sprayers are the best way to paint kitchen cabinets.   


Which Paint Sprayer should I use on my cabinets for the best finish?

Check out the best paint sprayer reviews to pick out a paint gun for your next project.