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The Truth Behind Rolling UCI Paints and Airless Spray Paints
July 22, 2021 at 4:00 AM
Image of a paint contractor hired through a referral service in Fort Lauderdale, FL

This question has come up all too often at board meetings. The "old-fashioned" belief that rolling yields a better paint job than spraying is just a fallacy.

The combination of both is the proper way to apply UCI paint on fresh or painted stucco. The following will explain the process of spraying and back rolling and why it is the preferred method for paint applications, especially on stucco surfaces.

When most people think of "spraying," they visualize utilizing an air pressure sprayer with a pressure pot and air compressor, like the way a car is painted. This "old-fashioned" style of spraying may be okay for painting cars (in an enclosed spray booth environment) but has no similarities to the type of equipment or methods used when repainting the exterior of buildings.

Today's modern spray equipment utilizes an "airless" high-pressure system. The UCI paint is pumped directly from the paint bucket at high pressure (3,200 + PSI) onto the substrate that is to be painted. The high pressure and direct force of the paint minimizes any overspray and applies the paint to the surface with precision and uniformity.

When coating non-smooth stucco, a second painter follows directly behind the spray man. Using a lamb's skin roller, he/she spreads the paint evenly on the substrate, forcing it into all the "nooks and crannies." Unlike the bucket-only rolling application, the amount of paint millage (thickness) decreases as the applicator continues to roll out the paint, producing an uneven thickness in the finish coat. Airless spraying will apply more UCI paint uniformly to a substrate than just rolling.

Windows and other non-painted surfaces are first cut around with brushes and "boxed-out" so that neither the roller nor the sprayer need get too close. All non-painted surfaces are, of course, thoroughly protected.

A professional UCI paint spray person will do a cleaner, neater, and more efficient job than a person simply rolling paint out of the bucket. The overall application process is better when sprayed and back rolled than when just rolled out of a bucket. All our UCI paints are formulated for "airless" spray application.

In summation, this manufacturer's preferred method of paint application is a spray and back roll technique wherever possible.