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Decorating Ideas

Painting Tips from Hirshfield's

Choosing the proper roller cover

There are two simple things you need to know before you choose a roller cover: 1) the type of paint you’ll be using and 2) the surface you’ll be painting.

When it comes to roller covers, paint is divided into two categories based on the amount of shine the paint provides. In the first category you have all flat or satin paints, stains, and sealers—in other words, coatings with little to no gloss.

The second category covers everything else—all velvet, eggshell, semigloss, and gloss paints, enamels, urethanes, primers, and adhesives. These coatings all have some shine to them, or they are sticky and may pull lint from a roller cover.

Just check the roller cover package, and match the roller to the paint you will be using! In your kitchen or bathroom, you will probably use an eggshell or semigloss paint that is washable and durable. That means you’ll need a shed-resistant roller cover labeled "For All Paints" like the Wooster Pro/Doo-Z® or Super Doo-Z®. In a bedroom or den, flat paints are popular—choose a roller that’s labeled "For Flat Paints" like the Wooster Super/Fab®. When in doubt, ask the paint store personnel for assistance.

Now for the second factor—the surface you’ll be painting. The rule of thumb is, "The smoother the surface, the shorter the nap." The "nap" or "pile" is the length of fabric that sticks up from the backing (similar to the pile of carpet). For example, bathroom walls are typically smooth, so you would choose a roller cover with a 3/16-inch or 3/8-inch nap. The hallway between your bathroom and bedroom with a light decorative texture would be served well by a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch roller. Check the chart for more information.



1/8" to 3/16"

Smooth surfaces like untextured plaster, smooth wood, wallboard, drywall, metal.

3/8" to 1/2"

Medium surfaces like sand finishes, lightly textured plaster or wood, paneling, acoustical tile.

3/4" to 1 1/2"

Rough surfaces like brick, concrete, stucco, textured ceilings or walls, Spanish plaster, cement block, corrugated metal, rough wood.

Get your money’s worth.

Professional roller covers hold more paint to provide faster coverage. They have thicker fabric for a smoother finish (with fewer air bubbles and less lint). They’re made with higher-quality materials to last longer. And guess what? They cost only two or three dollars more than average rollers! Look for professional roller covers like Wooster Super/Fab® or Pro/Doo-Z® to make your job easier and more professional.

How To Paint With A Roller

1. The easiest way to apply paint with a roller is to use a roller tray. The roller should be dipped into the paint well and then rolled back onto the ribbed bottom of the tray until a uniform load of paint has been picked up in the cover. The roller should not drip, but it should be completely full.

2. Roll a vertical "W" pattern, about 2-feet by 2-feet, onto the surface to be painted. This widely distributes the initial heavy paint load. Then roll horizontally across the "W" to fill in a square. Paint from dry areas into wet areas to avoid lap marks.

3. Many people make the mistake of trying to squeeze the last ounce of paint out of the roller by pressing down as the paint runs out. That can cause matting (the roller fabric gets crushed and won’t paint smoothly) and fat edges (thick lines of paint at the edges of the paint stripe). Rolling out too thinly can also reduce proper hiding qualities. As the roller begins to run out of paint, refill it instead.

A roller kit is a handy, money-saving way to get a new roller, frame, and tray in one package. Roller kits are available in many different quality levels, so choose one with high-quality components for the best results.

For more information on how to achieve the best results, visit your neighborhood Hirshfield's.

courtesy of Wooster Brush