Paint roller buying guide
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter177 guides
Paint rollers should be chosen according to the type of paint and surface you're working with. From single-layer rollers to non-drip or lacquer rollers, you have plenty of choice; using stipple effect rollers, spiked or foam rollers, you can apply anything from render to varnish. Read on to find your paint roller!
- Nap type
- Nap length
- Type of application
The main features of a paint roller
Paint rollers are practical for painting large, flat surfaces. The roller itself is made up of a handle and a sleeve, the latter of which can be replaced separately. Your choice of paint roller will depend on the following:
- the type of surface you will be applying your paint on;
- the type of product you plan to apply (paint, varnish, lacquer, render, etc.);
- the result you're looking for.
Choosing a paint roller based on application
Handle and roller frame
Telescopic handle for increased comfort
Opt for a long handle if you need to reach ceilings and consider getting an extension pole – or even a telescopic pole – to fix the handle on. You can also equip yourself with a ladder, stepladder or step stool.
The handle can be made of wood, plastic or a composite material. The last two options are easier to clean, though the cleaning product should be chosen to match the paint used (i.e. water for acrylic or alkyd paint and white spirit for oil-based paints).
Foam sleeves are useful for a variety of applications. You can use them to apply undercoat or simply to freshen up your floors with a lick of paint.
Paint roller sleeves for varnish
As their name suggests, these sleeves are specifically designed for use with varnish. Varnish is a wood treatment product designed to let the material breathe while lending it colour and protecting it from UV rays.
Paint roller sleeves for lacquer
These sleeves are specially designed for any smooth surface to which you wish to apply varnish or lacquer. Lacquer offers a glossy finish.
Exterior paint roller sleeves
Exterior paint roller sleeves feature a long nap in order to fill in the gaps on the surface they are working on; for example, on render.
These paint rollers are often used with a telescopic handle or from a stepladder or stool.
Long nap paint roller sleeves
Short nap paint roller sleeves
Stipple effect paint roller sleeves
Stipple effect sleeves give render its distinctive pattern. These sleeves feature holes which, when rolled over your surface, will create a rough and peaked look.
Spiked paint roller sleeves
Spiked roller sleeves allow you to form a decorative finish on render by creating depth.
Roller sleeve materials
Synthetic roller covers are particularly suited to applying acrylic-based paints.
Synthetic paint roller sleeves
Mixed napsPaint rollers with a mixed nap are designed for use with both oil- and solvent-based paints.
Natural napsNatural fibres can be used with all types of paint and offer a better finish.
Choosing a paint roller to match your room type
Furniture and doors
Ceilings and walls
Team up your roller with a special wall and ceiling paint, adequate floor protection and a paint grid and/or paint tray. Get your hands on a telescopic pole if your job requires it.
Outdoor walls and rendering
Paint trays to masking tape: essential painting accessories
In order to paint your walls or ceilings in the right way – and for a better finish – be sure to prepare your surface properly. A range of painting tools designed to protect, prepare and clean your tools and accessories is available. For your next painting job, equip yourself with the following:
- a protective sheet and masking tape to protect your floors from paint spills and drips and to mark any areas you do not want to paint;
- a paint tray with a ramp to control the amount of paint applied to your roller;
- a solvent to clean your roller sleeves and brushes between applications;
- a protective mask to keep you safe from VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are harmful for health.
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter 177 guides écrits
Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.
Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.
Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.
Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check.
The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job!
What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!
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