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How to choose the right roller for your project

How to choose the right roller for your project

If you’re using the same roller for your entire paint project, you’re probably getting very average results. We don’t want that for you! Knowing which roller to use and where will significantly lift your DIY game.

What you might not realise is it’s not just about the roller nap (the thickness of the material), it’s just as important to look at the material type (lambskin, mohair, polyester, foam, etc) and the width of the roller.

How to choose the right roller nap

Medium Nap (on average 11mm)

A medium nap is the most common roller thickness. They are designed to hold good amount of paint. The medium nap will apply an even finish to walls and ceilings around your home without splattering excess paint all over the floor. These naps are available in 4 different materials. Lambskin, synthetic blend, microfibre and polyester.

Perfect for:

Walls  Ceilings

Short Nap (5mm or less)

A short nap means a thinner roller. They are designed to hold a small amount of paint to provide an ultra-smooth finish, especially for water and oil-based gloss and semi-gloss paints. They come in microfibre, foam, mohair and synthetic blend.

Perfect for:

Doors  Trim  Metal  Glass

Long Nap (18mm or more)

A long nap has dense fibres that hold a lot of paint. These naps are used on uneven or porous surfaces (like brickwork, decks, concrete and render) as they enable the paint to penetrate the gaps to give extreme coverage to the surface you are painting. We love extreme coverage. The materials for these naps are lambskin, polyester and synthetic blend.

Perfect for:

Concrete  Render  Brick  Decks

BONUS TIP: The more irregular the surface, the longer the nap required.

How to choose the right material type

  • Lambskin - This is the best quality roller cover fabric. It will leave a blemish free finish and because of its natural oils, it's easy to clean and look after. Lambskin won't be damaged by solvent based paints either.
  • Synthetic Blends - These are designed to mimic the performance of a lambskin roller cover and are an affordable option for a quality result.
  • Polyester - These roller covers are versatile and affordable, but are of lower quality.
  • Microfibre - This fabric has a good pick up and transfer of paint with minimal shedding.
  • Mohair - This fabric is perfect for applying oil based and water based gloss & semi-gloss paints.
  • Foam - This nap provides a fine, blemish free finish. Perfect for high gloss finishes.

How to choose the right roller width

  • 230mm is the standard roller width in the DIY painting world.
  • A 270mm roller will allow you to cover a larger surface area faster and are commonly used by professional painters.
  • 360mm rollers are great for large scale walls, however you will need a larger tray and an extension kit.
  • For tighter areas where you need more control, use a mini roller. These come in widths of 100mm and 150mm.

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