Paint roller buying guide
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter184 guides
- 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
Paint roller sleeves for lacquer
Exterior paint roller sleeves
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
Spiked paint roller sleeves
Roller sleeve materials
Synthetic paint roller sleeves
Synthetic roller covers are particularly suited to applying acrylic-based paints.
Paint rollers with a mixed nap are designed for use with both oil- and solvent-based paints.
Natural fibres can be used with all types of paint and offer a better finish.
Stepladder or stool
Choosing a paint roller to match your room type
Furniture and doors
Furniture and doors should be painted with a lacquer paint roller with a synthetic nap of around 5 mm for the best effect. If you are planning to repaint wooden doors or furniture, we recommend that you choose your wood paint wisely and prepare the surface well. These steps will help you achieve a better finish.
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.
A smooth wall calls for a double-layer roller with a 10 mm nap. If you are redecorating a kitchen or bathroom, be sure to use a special bathroom or kitchen paint to cope with the humidity and to prevent your walls from wearing prematurely.
Outdoor walls and rendering
Exterior walls and masonry should be painted using a nap of around 18 mm. Be sure to choose a roller designed specially for use with pliolite paints to avoid damaging the nap of your roller sleeve. If you are planning to paint on wooden surfaces (such as wooden cladding), we recommend reading our tips on exterior wood paint in order to choose the best protection available.
Render is applied using a stipple effect roller. This type of roller features holes which produces peaks and gives the render its distinctive look.
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.
- Painting tools buying guide
- Paint brush buying guide
- Paint gun buying guide
- Wall and ceiling paint buying guide
- Exterior wall render and paint buying guide
- Bathroom and kitchen paint buying guide
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter 184 guides écrits
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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