​Selecting and Using a Paint Roller Like a Pro

​Selecting and Using a Paint Roller Like a Pro

One of the most important tools in any painter’s toolbox is a good quality paint roller. Faster than a brush, less messy than a sprayer. Using a roller is one of the quickest ways to get that new color you love onto your walls. If you know how to select the right cover for the job and have proper application technique, a beautiful, professional-looking finish is just around the corner. If you don’t? You’ll be left dealing with roller streaks, an uneven finish, and wasted paint.

Selecting the Right Roller Cover

Roller covers come in a range of thicknesses. The right roller cover for the job will vary based on the type of surface you are painting.

  • 3/16 - ¼ inch - For smooth surfaces and/or higher gloss paints. Choose this thickness when painting doors, trim, or cabinets.
  • ⅜ - ½ inch - For painting semi-smooth surfaces like walls and ceilings.
  • ¾ - 1 inch - For semi-rough surfaces like stucco.
  • 1 ¾ - 1 ½ inch - For painting rough surfaces like brick, masonry, and cinder blocks.

Rolling Paint Onto Your Walls

When using a brand new roller cover you should always remove any loose fibers, even if it is advertised as shed-resistant. Dab painters tape against the roller cover to work free any extra fibers. Once your the cover is lint free you’re ready to begin painting.

To load your roller run it through the paint in a 5-gallon bucket fitted with a painting screen or in a tray multiple times until your roller is completely coated. A properly loaded paint roller should have an even coverage of paint. It won’t drip when moved or require much pressure to transfer paint onto the wall.

Apply paint to your walls in a ‘W’ pattern, rolling it on in two to three foot length sections. Shift your pattern to fill in the unpainted areas, overlapping the edges of your previously painted section slightly. Repeat until your wall is covered. Be certain to start at the top of your wall and to work down, and keep the pressure on your roller light. Pressing the roller firmly against the wall will lead to ridges along the edges of your roller lines. If you find yourself pressing harder to get paint on the wall, it is time to reload your roller.

With a little practice and working on a properly prepared surface your walls will look as flawless as if they were painted by a team of professionals. Of course if you run into any trouble, we are happy to lend a hand! Give us a call today to discover how we can transform your Northern Virginia home.

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