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Choosing a Roller

Painting a wall may seem like a simple task, but a closer look reveals several subtleties that are important to understand. When it comes to selecting the tools you need for the job, a good roller is one of the most useful and effective things you can have in your toolbox.

There are three important factors that define the quality of a roller: nap length, roller quality, and nap composition.

Nap Length

The fuzz or fur on a roller is referred to as its nap. The length of nap is measured in inches. Nap length varies from a flat foam, a fine mohair, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″ and more. The roughness of the surface you are going to paint will determine the nap length you will need. Smooth, flat substrates like glass require a flat foam roller or fine mohair. Textured, rough and varied surfaces like stucco need a long one-inch nap that will reach between the peaks and crevices of the surface. Proper nap length will ensure full coverage of the surface you are painting and a full, even finish.

Roller Quality

High quality equipment is important for any trade. Painting is definitely not an exception. When it comes to paint rollers, quality affects the outcome of a paint job.

  • Cheap rollers often lose hair at a faster rate, which negatively affects the finish of your wall. Wherever the roller goes, it leaves hair behind that dries into the paint.
  • Low quality rollers also have nap with poor release. Good release creates an even, smooth finish. Using a cheap roller isn’t recommended unless a painting project doesn’t rely on quality, like a dog house or simple craft project. When it comes to painting a room in your home, a high quality roller is a must.

Nap Composition

The composition of a nap is what it is made of. The type of paint you are using will inform the nap you choose. Rollers are designed for each type of paint or coating you are using. Selecting the roller that is designed for your paint is important in order to get the most from your paint and to achieve the smooth finish you want on your walls.

Additional Tips

  • Check your paint bucket or coating container for their roller recommendation. It is helpful to choose your paint before you buy a roller to go with it.
  • Wrap a new roller in painter’s tape. Remove the tape and the loose hairs of the nap will come off with it. This will prevent initial hair loss on your roller and will give your first roll of paint a smooth finish.

Zenith’s professional painting team is always available to answer your questions at 800-381-4601 and we can get you started with a free estimate.