I was helping my cousin do some interior painting this weekend and realized how little the average person knows about proper painting techniques. Oftentimes I struggle to think of topics about which to write because I can’t think of anything that people don’t know. I guess I have been over thinking it. I’m going back to the basics for my readers.
How to choose a roller
When choosing a roller, there are three factors that you must define: nap composition, roller quality, and nap length.
Nap refers to the fur on the roller. Composition refers to what the nap is made of. When choosing what type of roller to use, you need to know what kind of coating you are using. Alkyds, acrylics, polyurethanes, and lacquers all require a different roller nap. You use specific rollers for some coatings because the stronger chemicals can cause the nap to melt. Also, using a roller designed for the coating causes the paint to load and release better, which yields a better finished product.
Manufacturers label the packaging to specify for which coatings are compatible with the roller. A sure fire way to choose the correct roller composition is to choose your paint first and then choose a roller that works with it.
Not all rollers are created equal. Like with most things, the adage “you get what you pay for” applies to rollers. The difference between cheap and expensive rollers boils down to two characteristics. Cheap rollers tend to lose more hair while painting. These hairs end up on whatever you are painting and dry in film. This is ugly and unprofessional. In addition to this, the nap on cheap rollers typically doesn’t offer good release which renders a less smooth finish. The only time I recommend using the cheapest roller available is when you are painting something where quality is not a factor – like a dog house.
Professional painters Trick of the Trade: Before using any roller, put the roller on the frame and wrap it with painter tape. Remove the tape before you start painting. This pulls out the loose hairs and prevents them from ending up on your substrate.
Nap length is the last factor you must determine when choosing a roller. Nap length is measured in inches and range from foam, mohair, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″ and more more. What determines the length of the roller nap is how rough of a substrate you are painting. If you are painting something super smooth like glass, then you should use a foam roller. If you are painting something very rough like stucco, use the longer 1″ nap. By using the right size nap, you ensure that you apply an adequate film of paint and get the smoothest possible finish.
I hope that this answers any questions about how to choose a roller.
President of GreenWave Solutions, Atlanta painting company and house painters. GreenWave Solutions offers the best painter services in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Dunwoody, Decatur, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Brookhaven, Duluth, Grant Park, Inman Park, Buckhead,Milton, Midtown, and more!
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