DIY How To

Paint Rollers

Rollers really come into there own when you have a large wall or ceiling to paint. Choose the correct type for the job and you should achieve a finish as good as a brush or pad. Rollers are normally associated with emulsion paint but can be used for solvent based paints.

Applying paint using paint rollers

Foam Rollers

These are the cheapest but only really suitable for emulsion. Don't overload it as paint tends to drip easily from foam.

Top TipYou can use a foam roller to apply wallpaper paste, when applying the paste directly on to the wall.

Synthetic or Mohair Rollers
These are usually more expensive than foam but give a better finish. They are suitable for all types of paint and can produce a really smooth finish when using gloss.

Synthetic and mohair rollers come in a variety of pile lengths and thickness. If painting a smooth surface choose a short pile, where as when painting an uneven or textured surface choose a long pile.

First paint a band around the edge of the wall or ceiling where the roller won't be able to cover, usually a 50mm (2") brush is suitable. Brush out the edge of the paint to feather it so a join is not seen. Only paint a band around the wall or ceiling you are about to paint, don't be tempted to do all the walls and ceiling as you have more chance of seeing a joint, if the band of paint has dried.

Top TipTo save cleaning the rolling tray after use line it with kitchen foil before use.

Load roller

Fill the paint tray and load the roller by rolling half the pile through the paint, then moving up the slope roll on the ramp several times to spread the paint evenly over the pile and remove any surplus.

Roller zig zag strokes

Paint walls using zig zag or crisscross strokes in all directions to cover the area. Continue until the roller runs dry. Do not allow the roller to spin at the end of a stroke otherwise you'll end up splattering paint on the floor and adjacent walls.

Roller parallel strokes

To get a thorough even coverage run back across the area with parallel strokes. If using a gloss paint finish with vertical parallel strokes.

Roller ceiling

To cover ceilings it is best if you can build a platform. Two stepladders and a scaffold board or similar will make a good platform. Work away from the window and cover in bands about 1m wide. Some rollers have a hole in the handle for an extension pole. Although it is less easy to control the roller it means a platform is not necessary.

Safety AdviceAn elevated platform can be hired for decorating ceilings. This makes the job easier and safer.


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