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How to choose a paint roller?

How to choose a paint roller

Starting a new painting project and not sure which paint roller to use? Read on to find out how to choose a paint roller for your project.

How to choose the correct roller fabric:

Choosing the correct roller type is important to get the desired result and a good even coverage of paint.

Rollers are made with two main types of fabric , knitted and woven. Knitted fabrics are the more traditional type and were originally made to simulate natural sheepskin. This type of fabric is very dense and picks up and holds paint very well. Its ability to disperse paint is not so good, the dense knit of the fibers make releasing the paint harder, this makes the roller very difficult to clean.

Woven fabrics offer many advantages. The open weave of the fabric picks up and distributes paint very efficiently. This open weave is also much easier to wash out. The construction of the fabric is far more durable than the knitted rollers making them harder wearing and less liable to shed fibers.

When you’re trying to figure out how to choose a paint roller you need to consider the surface to be painted; is it rough , smooth, or semi textured? What type of paint is to be used; water based or oil based? As a general rule the rougher the surface the longer the pile of fabric. So, a rough cast wall would need a long pile roller and a smooth interior wall being painted with eggshell paint would need a short pile roller.
General advice can be found on the packaging of all good quality rollers.

How to choose the correct roller pile height:

There are four main pile heights available in roller refills:

  1. Extra Long Pile (usually 25-28mm) – For use on rough cast work where the longer pile can reach in to any crevices and ensure a good coat of paint is applied to the surface.
  2. Long Pile (usually 18-22mm) – For use on semi-rough to smooth exterior surfaces with emulsion and masonry paints.
  3. Medium Pile (usually 12-14mm) – For use on smooth/semi-smooth interior surfaces (walls and ceilings) with emulsion paints.
  4. Short Pile (usually 4-8mm) – For use on smooth surfaces where fine finish is important. This can be used to apply both oil and water based eggshell and gloss paints.

If too long pile is used it can lead to the paint not being properly dispersed which will give a patchy uneven finish. A long pile roller used on a smooth surface will leave a noticeable “orange peel” effect.

All good quality rollers describe the paint type and surface they are designed for on the packaging. Choosing the right pile height of roller will give a professional finish.

Peter Samuel has been in the brush trade since 1985 where he has been active in markets such as Italy, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. As a result of his involvement in mold injection and brush-making machine companies, he gained comprehensive knowledge of brush-making, not only understanding filaments but all other aspects of the product, including how to manufacture it. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he has built a company that produces high quality paint brushes and paint rollers and is at the forefront of technological advances in filament performance.

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