The Best Paint Rollers for Different Painting Projects
Paint rollers are essential tools in a painter's arsenal. They speed up the process and make it easier on the painter since one swipe with a roller is equivalent to multiple strokes with a brush. Rollers also produce a smoother, more uniform finished surface while using less paint. Using both rollers and brushes allows you to complete your painting job quickly and with great results.
What Size Roller Do You Need?
Rollers are available in sizes from 2" to 18", with most falling into the 7" to 12" range. To achieve the best results, you'll want to match the size of roller to the size of your project. A small roller is good for drawer fronts and similar small, flat areas, while a larger roller is better for walls and ceilings.
Choosing the Right Roller Cover
Roller covers hold the paint and spread it on the wall or other surface. They come in different naps (or thicknesses) for different surfaces. It's important to match the nap to the type of surface you're painting. The smoother the surface, the thinner the nap.
- Use a ⅛ to ¼ inch thick nap on smooth surfaces
- Use a ⅜ to ½ inch nap for lightly textured surfaces, like drywall.
- Textured surfaces like stucco require a ¾ to 1-inch nap.
- Heavily textured surfaces like brick and cinder block need a 1 ¼ - 1 ½ inch nap to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
You'll also want to match the cover's material to the type of paint you're using.
Roller Cover Materials
- Natural Fibers. Natural fibers like lamb's wool and mohair are the best choice for oil-based paint.
- Synthetic Material. Synthetic covers like nylon or polyester are best used for water-based latex paints.
- Foam. Use foam covers with high-gloss latex or oil paints. This is especially true if you're painting bare wood or other porous surfaces. If you're repainting your cabinets, you'll want to use foam roller covers for the glossy, smooth finish they produce.