Choosing the Proper Painting Roller

Sound Quality Painting Home Office

How to Choose the Proper Paint Roller

The two parts to a paint roller include the handle (also called the frame or cage) and the furry cover, also known as a sleeve. Choose a good quality handle that feels comfortable in your hand and has some substance. Use the highest quality covers. Contact Sound Quality Painting for more help with all of your painting decisions.

To test a roller cover, roll the cover in your hand. The nap of a good roller has an even consistency, with no bumps or flat spots. Tug gently on the nap. If any fuzz comes off, find a better cover.

Nylon Roller Covers.

These covers are suitable for most paint jobs. They are available in short, medium, and long-medium nap, and they are an appropriate choice for walls and ceilings. Long nap is especially suitable for painting concrete, brick, or other rough surfaces. Short nap can provide a smooth finish for very flat surfaces. Short nap covers hold relatively little paint, so more effort goes into frequent reloading of the roller and keeping a wet edge. Nylon covers can be stored wet from day today during a paint job by wrapping them snuggly in a heavy garbage bag or in a plastic kitchen bag.

Lamb’s Wool Covers.

These are expensive, high quality rollers. If you thoroughly clean and carefully dry a lamb’s wool cover, it can be used for many paint jobs. These covers produce a distinctive, slightly stippled effect. Some people like the finish, but others do not.

Doughnut Rollers.

These small one piece foam rollers are good for moldings and corners. Some painters find them indispensable, while others do every job with only brushes and a standard 9-inch roller. Small foam rollers are inexpensive, so try one.

Trim Rollers.

These are useful for painting trim work, cabinets, and vanities because of their size. They leave a stipple like the rollers do.

Power Rollers.

Power rollers are devices that pump paint from a can or reservoir through a specially made roller body. Most units will include paint pads as an accessory. The idea, which is a good one, is to eliminate the 50 percent of rolling time that a painter spends getting ready.

There are three types of power rollers commonly available.

  • One employs a small dolly which holds a can of paint and a pump. The dolly rides along behind you as you paint. The problem is the dolly is pulled along by a hose which can get in the way.
  • Another model of power roller holds the paint in a reservoir which you sling over your shoulder.
  • A third type of power roller sucks paint out of the can and into a long roller handle. You push the handle like a syringe to force paint into the roller.

Power rollers are for latex paint only. When you finish hook up the pump to your utility sink faucet or an outside hose faucet and run water through the whole apparatus.

Roller Pans.

For interior work, choose a deep, sturdy metal roller pan. Stay away from flimsy metal and plastic pans. Most shrink-wrapped kits consist of a poor quality brush and roller in a cheap pan, and these do not provide good results. At the store pick up the pan and twist it. If it pops in and out of shape, do not buy it because the metal or plastic is too thin. In general, a deeper pan is best as it allows you to get more work done between refills.

Roller Screens.

Rather than use a pan, consider a metal roller screen that fits into a large bucket. These are your best option for exterior work. Paint stores sell handy 2 gallon square buckets that can hold a roller screen and have a lip for pouring paint back into a can. Because of their shape, they do not move or spin when hanging off a hook on the side of a ladder.

Extension Handles.

For painting ceilings or exterior siding such as Texture T-111 (“Tee one-eleven”), you need an extension handle for your roller. Many painters like to use an extension to minimize bending when rolling walls. You can keep the roller tray on the floor and step forward to move the roller on the wall. Some painters claim that using an extension handle on walls is easier on the shoulders. Unlike other equipment you don’t need to buy the best one you can afford. Some aluminum handles have a telescoping feature that allows you to adjust the length of the handle. Check the couplings on these models for smooth operation and buy one that feels sturdy when extended.

In general, most quality paint stores can answer your questions about painting supplies. The experts at Sound Quality Painting can help you out as well.


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