Large paint roller: 12 – to 18 – inch rollers, a bigger paint roller size. A long nap roller is best used for painting by professional.
Ceilings and Drywall - Medium 3/8″ nap roller covers work best. Walls, Wood, and Metal - Small 1/4″ nap roller covers or foam rollers will produce the smoothest finish. Light to Medium Textured Surfaces - Microfiber rollers are best.
9-inch: These are the best rollers for standard wall painting, as they help you cover a lot of the wall's surface while maintaining control.
Hamilton are a brand associated with the trade and these rollers are possibly the most widely used by professional decorators.
The Medium Pile Microfibre Roller
Probably one of the most popular and reliable rollers on the market, these are designed to apply water-based emulsions, such as matt and silk paints, to internal walls and ceilings.
Foam rollers tend to last a shorter period of time than traditional rollers. They are excellent tools for a painter who does not perform painting jobs on a routine basis. If you are someone who only paints a room every few years, foam rollers are ideal for you.
To choose right roller you need to consider the size of paint roller you want and the kind of surface you'll be painting. Roller cages (the skeletal frame that includes the handle and “ribs” that rotate) and their covers come in several lengths. Rollers are available in mini to 12-inch (and bigger) sizes.
Don't use a bone-dry paint roller
Before you start a paint job, you actually want to wet the paint roller cover with water. “This primes the roller cover to soak up as much paint as possible,” Barr explains.
For matt emulsion, opt for a medium-pile sheepskin roller. Don't use spongy foam rollers with emulsion paints because they create air bubbles in the paint film. A short pile roller is best for extremely fine or flat surfaces.
More often than not, roller marks occur when you fail to load your roller with enough paint, or have exhausted the paint in your roller and are trying to cover more area than you should. Finally, applying the wrong amount of pressure can cause paint to push out around the edge of the roller, creating a streak.
To apply flat, eggshell, or satin paints and stains, a knit roller cover is recommended. Knit roller covers can pick up and release higher amounts of paint than woven fabrics because the fibers have a looped backing with a single pass-through process resulting in a more “open” fabric.
Best Overall: Purdy White Dove Woven Roller Cover ⅜-Inch Nap
You'll get top-notch results, even if you are new to DIY painting. It's truly a multi-purpose roller cover. Use this roller cover with any latex or oil-based paint, stain, varnish, or sealer over walls, doors, trim, cabinets, ceilings, floors, even metal.
Good quality covers are “beveled” and there should be no overhanging fabric. Look for the seam in the roller cover. If you don't see one, then its probably a good cover. If you see any gaps in the cover or loose backing at either end, that means the cover is of inferior quality.
Good-quality rollers have strong handles and metal or plastic cages that enable you to slide the cover on or off without tools. Poor-quality rollers not only require tools to remove a nut at each end--a messy job--but also cause skips and streaks on a surface you are painting. Roller covers vary in quality, too.
3/16 to 1/4-inch thickness is perfect for smooth surface roller covers for painting metal doors, interior doors, trim and cabinets. They work well with semi-gloss or gloss coatings and both oil- and water-base enamels. 3/8 to 1/2-inch thickness is preferable for semi-smooth surfaces such as drywall.
Start at one end, running the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don't let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it's always at least half loaded.
There are several types of roller to suit different paint jobs: foam, mohair or sheepskin, available in short, medium and long-pile. Your choice of roller really depends upon the sort of paint you are using.
Deluxe Mohair Rollers are reusable and are made from a premium blend of red mohair. They come in a variety of sizes, with a 3/16" Nap length (short Nap), and a phenolic core. They are best used with enamels, varnishes, and urethanes on smooth surfaces.
¼-inch nap is best for very smooth walls, ceilings, cabinetry, and other surfaces without texture, including metal. ⅜-inch nap is good for lightly textured surfaces, including most interior walls. ½-inch nap is a good length for moderately textured walls, paneling, and painted brick or concrete.
Generally, latex has a much thicker consistency that oil-based ones. Hence, you will need to thin it first before use to ensure the even and smooth application on any surface.
Do not overfill. Dip the roller lightly into the paint, the paint should cover less than half of the roller. Then roll it backward and forwards on the ramp of the tray to evenly distribute the paint on the roller cover.
A quality roller should last up to 5 cycles before shedding. You can reuse it without affecting the quality of the paint application and over time it will end up paying for itself.
If your time is worth anything, a cheap roller cover is the most expensive tool you can buy. Cheap covers don't hold enough paint, shed fibers on your walls, and in general are a pain to use. We prefer lamb's wool roller covers, but any top-quality roller cover will work fine.
Air bubbles will appear on the surface when working with a foam roller. This is a natural process. It is the air within the foam that is being transmitted onto your surface. Allow for air bubbles to dry naturally (no breeze or wind within the room) and it will vanish completely once dry.
The nap is determined by the surface texture to be painted: 1/4-inch, 3/16-inch: For very smooth surfaces like metal doors and plaster. 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch: For smooth and semi-smooth surfaces like drywall. 3/4-inch: For semi-rough surfaces like wood or a textured ceiling.