The Right Roller Cover for Your Next Painting Job
One reason non-professional painters end up with less-than-satisfying results is because they’ve used the wrong roller when applying paint to the walls. Here’s what you need to know to keep that from happening to you in your next painting project.
What a paint roller cover is made of
There are three components of a roller: the fabric, which is the soft covering material; the adhesive, which binds the fabric to the core; and the hard plastic or cardboard core. While the core and adhesive can affect a paint job, normally it’s some element of the fabric that causes the problem.
Most roller covers that you’ll buy are made of a synthetic material, commonly polyester or nylon or a mixture of the two. Covers also are available in lambskin and sheepskin, which produce better results because they contain significantly more fibers per square inch than their synthetic counterparts. This allows them to hold more paint, release it better onto the walls, and clean up easier.
A final fabric you’ll find on rollers is mohair, which is usually some combination of goat hair and synthetic materials. This type of cover is ideal for painting extra-smooth surfaces.
The right roller nap size for the job
Regardless of the material a roller is made of, if you’re using the wrong nap size (thickness) for the job, results will not be pleasing. The thickness of the material dictates how much paint will be absorbed by the roller as well as how deeply paint can go into a rolled surface. Here are some nap guidelines:
· For very smooth surfaces like metal, some cabinetry and most wood trim, you want a very thin nap, so go with something between 3/16” and 1/4”.
· When rolling on surfaces that are lightly textured such as certain drywalls and woods, a nap thickness of 3/8” to 1/2” is ideal.
· When painting semi-rough surfaces like concrete floors, stucco, most paneling, decks and textured plaster walls, you’ll want to move up to a nap thickness of between 3/4” to 1”.
· For brick, cinder block, very rough wood, plaster with heavy texture and other extremely rough surfaces, go all the way up to a nap thickness of an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half.
How to use a roller like a pro
First, prepare the roller – if you’re painting with latex paint, dip the roller in water then shake it out well. For oil-based paints, get the nap damp with paint thinner or a similar solvent.
Other important tips include: don’t overfill the paint tray; don’t overload the roller; roll with even pressure; keep sufficient paint on the roller all the time.
If you want help with any kind of interior or exterior painting project, Franklin Painting of Farmington, Conn., is standing by with expert crews that produce outstanding results. Get a quote or call with questions: (877) 646-7774.