Refinishing a Deck Part 3: Tools: Brush vs Roller vs Sprayer

Now that you have decided between painting or staining, now is the time to get ready to get started. In order to coat your deck appropriately, you will need to have the right deck refinishing tools to paint or stain your deck. You have three options which include using a brush, a roller, and a sprayer. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so you will want to take the time to determine what works for you and your deck.


A sprayer is a fast way to paint or stain your deck. If you are in a hurry, you can pain your deck in just a few minutes or so, depending on the size. In just one coat, you will have decent coverage. You will also get a smooth finish that is free from brush marks or roller marks. If you have hard-to-reach areas and areas that have narrow gaps, you will easily be able to reach them with your sprayer.

However, there are a few downsides that come to using a sprayer for your paint or stain. Using a sprayer will require you to have a longer time to prep to do the painting or staining, and clean-up will take a lot longer than you expect. In some cases, you will find that you have uneven coverage, especially if your deck is not square and level. If the day you choose to stain or paint is windy, you could end up with poor coverage, and you can have paint and stain on places that you do not want. Another downside to using a sprayer is that if you do not have the experience in using the sprayer, you may find it difficult to use. It takes practice to master a sprayer, so you cannot expect to just go out and start spraying your deck and for it to look good. You may find that you have over sprays, drips, and runs. You may find that you have some areas that have heavy applications and others that are not covered enough. You may also find that you are using more paint or stain than you would in rolling or brushing.


Brushing paint or stain is the traditional way to apply these to your deck. Brushing can help to ensure that you get everything painted well and that you have uniform coverage. You will have the best adhesion to the areas that are stained or painted, and you control where the paint or stain goes. Brushing also allows you to get into tight corners with your brush tip. In addition, you can paint or stain in straight lines on your deck.

With that being said, brush painting does have its downsides. If you are in a hurry and want your deck done fast, brush painting or staining is not for you. This is especially true if you have a large deck. Painting or staining your deck with brushing generally requires at least two coats, more so if you have cracks or other issues with your deck. Another issue with brushing is that it may show brush marks. If you do not want to see brush marks on your wood, you will need to choose another option.


When it comes to deck refinishing, you may decide that you want to choose a roller to roll out the paint or stain. Rolling can allow you to pain at least two times faster than painting with a brush. You will also find that you can paint hard-to-reach areas, especially those tall areas on your deck. Rollers are very inexpensive to get, and they offer very good coverage on your deck, no matter if you are using stain or paint. The downside to rolling your deck is that if you have uneven surfaces, it will not cover well. You may have to go over your deck multiple times. It may also leave roller marks. If you want to save paint or stain, rolling will not be for you as it uses more than what you would with brushing. When rolling the deck, you will also have to watch out for the roller snagging on the edge of the wood of the deck. This can lead to your roller being torn up and it taking you more time to stain or paint your deck.

So how do you choose which deck refinishing tools to use? You can combine all the methods to use on your deck. For example, if you have small areas on your deck, like the posts, consider using a brush. If you have a covered deck, try using the roller to reach those high spaces. For your wide surfaces, like the main surface of the deck, consider using the sprayer. This will allow you to make sure that your whole deck is covered with the paint or stain of your choosing.

If you need help painting or staining your deck in the Richmond area, please give Hetrick Painting a call. They are family-owned and operated and are happy to offer the best customer service in the area. Never paint or stain your deck alone if you are uncomfortable with the process. Hetrick Painting will work with you to ensure that your deck looks amazing.