How to Select a Paint Roller

Paint Rollers are a fast and convenient way of applying paint coatings to walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.

The paint rollers absorb paint onto the surface of the roller sleeve and then that paint is transferred to the surface that roller comes into contact with. Large areas can be covered using a roller and there are different types and sizes available to tackle different projects. A paintbrush may be required to cut in around the edges.

A paint roller is made up of a frame which is essentially a handle with a cage at the top. A paint roller sleeve is placed over the cage at the top and this makes up the paint roller.

Types of Paint Roller

types of paint roller

As with paintbrushes, there are specialist paint rollers for different surfaces. The main types of paint roller covers are made from either fabric, foam, lambskin and polyester.

Which type of paint roller do you need?

There are different widths and sizes of paint rollers. The smallest size starts from about 90mm wide(radiator rollers) and the largest is approximately 450mm.

When it comes to selecting you to have to bear in mind what type of project you will be painting. If it’s a large job you will want a large roller because you will take a month of Sundays if you decide on a small roller.

Paint Roller Sleeve Materials

There are two main materials that cover the roller sleeve. These are made of either man-made fibres or natural materials for instance wool.

Where projects involve heavily textured walls, the choice would be to select a roller that contains the longest hairs possible on the sleeve cover. The ideal solution for this Mohair, a long hair choice of roller sleeve. You are looking for a larger nap or pile option (the name for the length of hair) on the roller.

Synthetic fibres or man-made fibres are better options for oil-based paints, especially gloss work. These roller covers have a very close pile and are ideal for covering smooth surfaces. Cleaning rollers of this type can be a pain, however.

  • Smooth Foam Rollers
  • Man-Made Fibre Rollers
  • Lambs Wool
  • Short Haired Mohair Roller Sleeves
  • Mohair Long Haired Rollers

Paint Trays

If you use a paint roller you will undoubtedly need a paint tray. The tray acts as a vessel for the paint and comes in handy to hold the roller when not in use. A tip is to cover the tray in cling film before using. Once the paint has been used it can be removed and saves a job on cleaning.

Extension Poles

These can be part of the roller frame or inserted into the frame separately. The extension poles allow the roller to be used at height and in awkward to reach places. Some rollers have extension poles built into the frame but the most common option is to have a pole that inserts into the frame of the roller.

Tips when Buying Paint Rollers

  • Avoid cardboard inner on sleeves. These aren’t worth the hassle (please trust us)
  • Avoid cheap sleeves- the fibres come off and they can leave sightly marks
  • Clean after use thoroughly. You may have some hidden paint in the pile.