Painting Ideas & Tips
  • April 5, 2023
  • Commercial Painting

How to Choose the Best Paint Rollers?

When there are so many possibilities for something as easy as painting your wall, buying paint tools can be intimidating. Your best option is to paint your walls with a roller, which reduces the options. There are several factors to consider when looking for a paint roller. These include the shape and grip of the roller frame, the length, makeup, and nap of the actual brush. This article will let you know how to choose the best paint rollers according to different surfaces.

Choosing the Right Paint Roller Frame

Many beginner painters need to understand how crucial your roller frame and handle are to the effectiveness and quality of your project. The following characteristics of a roller frame are important to look for

  • Functional Design: Handles with a grip designed for comfort will ensure you can paint for longer periods without feeling the strain on your wrist.
  • Ball Bearing: Including one of these in your roller’s frame will make your roller operates well, which will help prevent mistakes.
  • Adjustable Handle: This feature will allow you to extend your roller’s handle when reaching higher wall sections.
  • Long/extendable: Investing in these roller holders is a good choice if you expect to paint many high-up walls.

Choosing the Correct Paint Roller Length

Because it affects both the difficulty and effectiveness of your painting, the size of your roller is crucial to the success of your project. These are the various lengths to take into account:

  • 4-inch mini: This brush size is ideal for working in congested spaces or your walls that need a few touch-ups.
  • 6-inch – 7-inch: Use this size when painting your wall corners or reaching behind challenging objects.
  • 9-inch: These are the ideal rollers for conventional wall painting since they enable you to cover a large portion of the wall’s surface controllably.
  • 12-inch or longer: These rollers are perfect for people with huge walls who wish to paint more in less amount of time.

Types of Paint Rollers

There are five types of paint rollers: manual rollers, pad rollers, textured rollers, specialized rollers, and mini paint rollers. Each is made for a certain job. Knowing how to effectively choose a paint roller for your upcoming project requires understanding these variances.

1. Manual Paint Rollers

The most popular kind of paint roller is referred to as a manual paint roller. They have a simple handle, frame, and rotating metal roller frequently used to paint interior walls and ceilings. The paint roller cover can also be used outside to paint exterior surfaces.

These paint rollers have the disadvantage of being too lengthy for painting thin surfaces like baseboards and doorframes. Manual rollers are one of the more reasonably priced varieties.

2. Pad Paint Rollers

Pad rollers do not roll, even though they are still categorized as rollers. They have a flat pad that absorbs the paint before releasing it in smooth, even strokes onto the desired surface. The shape of these rollers reduces paint splatters, which are frequent with manual paint rollers. However, paint pads only cover the wall, ceiling, or other surfaces with a thin coating. They are more effective at hiding deeper or more bright colours.

3. Textured Paint Rollers

Instead of the roller itself, a textured paint roller is a roller sleeve. Using a manual roller with a textured paint sleeve, you can make original patterns or imitate designs like wood grain, brick, or stone textures. Individual patterns are attached to foam sleeves to give the desired appearance. However, these patterns can be difficult to see on small wall surfaces. Using textured paint rollers on larger walls is advisable to make the pattern easier to notice.

4. Specialty Paint Rollers

A specialty paint roller is designed to produce specialized paint patterns, much like textured paint rollers. Specialty paint rollers are not simply manual rollers with inventive roller sleeves, which is the fundamental distinction between the two varieties. These are specialized implements made by the producer for particular textured paints. Although you are not required to use these rollers with textured paint, they produce better results than more versatile paint roller sleeves.

5. Mini Paint Rollers

A mini-paint roller is the best option when a manual roller is too large to fit into small corners or on thin surfaces. They are available in different lengths, ranging from 2 inches to 6 inches, allowing you to choose the one that best suits the project’s needs. Small-diameter tiny hot dog roller sleeves are used with some smaller rollers. Because of the roller sleeves, tiny diameter, and low pile height, they are also known as mini hot dog rollers. Painting in confined spaces and challenging-to-reach areas, like behind the toilet, is made possible by the thin roller sleeve.

Which Paint Roller Should I Choose?

Rollers for Facades and External Claddings

To paint your facade, choose a specialized roller with a fibre thickness between 17 and 21 mm so that the paint is easier to apply. Regarding the width of the roller, the most used are the large rollers, 18 and 22 cm, since the facades are large areas. As we have commented, the facade rollers are usually polyamide or long and resistant wool, suitable for this surface type.

Rollers for Painting Walls and Ceilings

Choose a medium-short hair roller to paint your walls and ceilings. For smooth walls and ceilings, a grain height of 9-10mm will be perfect, and if you want to paint slightly textured walls, you can go for 12mm thickness. The most widely used width of rollers for walls ranges between 15 and 22 cm. Within the special rollers for ceilings and walls, you will find anti-drop rollers, which usually have a characteristic yellow stripe. There are also Teflon-coated rollers, in which the fibre has been treated with Teflon so that the paint does not adhere so much to the hair, which increases the performance of the paint and makes cleaning easier.

Floor Rollers

To mark or paint cement floors, choose rollers approximately 12 mm thick and as wide as you need. The material comes into play in this type of roller for floors since varnishing a wooden floor differs from marking on a cement one. If you want to paint or varnish a wooden floor, we indicate the most suitable ones at the following point.

Rollers for Wooden Furniture, Doors, and Skirtings

To paint wood, we can choose velour or flocked rollers, specific for enamelling, varnishing, or lacquering, with short fibres (about 5 mm in height) and providing fine finishes. Zero-pore foam rollers are also popular, especially for water-based paints, enamels, or microfiber rollers.

Rollers for Painting Irons and Metals

We will also choose specialized rollers for enamelling with very short hair, microfiber, or flocked as we look for fine finishes. Here the width is determined by the size of the work since it will not be the same to enamel iron furniture or a radiator as a metal sheet. Still, the small mini rollers are widely used for bars, railings, and radiators.

With so many rollers available, here are some suggestions for completing the task and producing an excellent finish.

  1. First, observe the area and make a note that you’re painting. If the wall is smooth, use a short pile roller because a long pile is best suited to rough surfaces.
  2. If you’re using water-based paint, a medium pile woven fibre roller is a good choice, providing good coverage and a smoother finish.
  3. Longer pile rollers absorb more paint and are suitable for uneven or rough textured surfaces. But overloading them can make paint spill.
  4. Smaller rollers are handy for the areas where it is difficult to reach, such as behind radiators or the backside of the pipes.
  5. A foam roller is best for solvent-based paints on surfaces such as doors and skirting. It would be best if you didn’t use foam rollers for water-based paints as they make the paint dry quickly and also form water bubbles on the surface.
  6. Before using your new roller, wash it thoroughly in warm water to remove all loose fibres. This will increase the life of your roller and ensure you get the best finish.
  7. If you’re painting over several days and want to keep your roller fresh, wrap it in a wet towel, seal it tight in a plastic bag, and place it in the fridge overnight. This helps to retain it in good condition between paint jobs.


Choosing the right paint roller is essential to get professional and satisfactory results. Factors such as the material of the roller, its length, and the size of the roller are important for minimizing imperfections, and analyzing the type of surface and the type of paint to be used will determine the appropriate roller for the job. Executive Touch Painters has over 30 years of experience in painting and renovation services in the Toronto area and GTA. Feel free to contact us for a free estimate or call us at (416) 410-0164.