How To Choose The Right Paint Roller Cover

Now that you know what makes a good roller frame, choosing the correct roller cover is the next step in putting together a useful paint roller set-up that will make your house painting project less labor intensive.

Paint roller naps are made from a variety of materials and come in many sizes with many specialty types to choose from. All this variety can be very confusing, causing you to buy the cheapest cover on the shelf.

Don’t Buy a Cheap Roller Cover! Instead choose the right one for your needs and save yourself a lot of frustration.

Common Roller Covers

  • Inexpensive Synthetic fiber paint covers are a perfect solution for oil-base paints and primers. Although these covers matte down very easily, they are cheaper. Cleaning these covers can be very difficult and expensive when using paint thinner or other solvents. A better solution is not to clean the cover. Allow it to dry completely before discarding in the trash.
  • Lamb’s wool roller covers hold more paint and produce less splatter than most synthetic covers. These covers are perfect for water base paints and primers. Some people claim that the alkaline compounds in Acrylic or Latex paint will damage the cover, I disagree. Crowder Painting has used premium lamb’s wool covers for many years without any problems.Remember to clean the cover immediately after use with warm water, mild dish soap and spin dry. Never allow the cover to soak in water for days.
  • Mohair paint roller covers are the perfect choice for very smooth surfaces, such as doors. These covers work great with all types of paint and even varnish. Although typically used with oil base enamels.

Specialty Roller Covers

Need a different type of paint roller nap? There are many specialty types on the market.
Sponge/Foam Paint Roller Cover

  • Stippling covers provide a unique finish with house paint and works great with textured paints.
  • Foam covers come in smooth and textured varieties. The smooth covers can be used with oil and latex paints on ultra smooth surfaces. These covers also work well with varnish and enamels.Rag Paint Roller Cover
  • Fabric rollers can be used with a variety of faux finishes such as rag rolling.
  • Stenciled rollers are made from cut foam or rubber with many patterns available. There are single and double roller models on the market.The best results can be achieved by using a double roller.

Thickness or Nap

Choosing the type of house paint roller cover is only the first step. The pile or nap length is determined by the texture of the surface to be painted.

  • 1/8 — 1/4 inch, including mohair paint roller naps, are for ultra smooth surfaces. Use with enamels, varnish, oil and water base paints.
  • 3/8 — 1/2 inch, are for semi- smooth and medium textured surfaces. These can be used with all paints.
  • 3/4 inch is a multipurpose roller nap length that is useful for semi-rough surfaces. This size of roller nap is a good choice for most interior and exterior surfaces; such as siding, walls and smooth concrete block.
  • 1 — 1-1/2 inch thick piles are for the roughest of surfaces, such as rough stucco and split face concrete block.

Choosing the correct roller cover will save you hours of frustration and work. Using the best tools will provide more than superior results; they will last a very long time allowing for repeated use.




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