You walk into your Local Hardware store, you need a paint roller. Pretty simple right? Nope. You see the paint roller display and there is a huge assortment of different types, sizes, fabrics, and brands. You realize choosing a paint roller was almost as hard as choosing a paint color!
Paint Roller Covers are Easy!
Paint roller covers are cardboard tubes which have fibers attached to them. They attach to a paint roller frame and are used to apply paints and stains. When choosing the right paint roller the job dictates the tool. Paint rollers are great for speed of application and spreading paint quickly, and evenly.
But what about the Paint Roller Cage?
Paint roller covers attach to a paint roller cage. Choosing a paint roller cage isn't as difficult once you decide on the width of the roller for your job. Paint roller cages come in various sizes, from really small 2" cages, to large 14" cages. If you are doing detail work, or painting a small width area, or it's hard to reach, smaller paint roller cages are great. Small paint rollers are usually called trim rollers or mini rollers and they work well on detailed woodwork, trim, and other small areas. Larger paint rollers usually have a socket so you can attach an extension pole. (Ceilings, high walls, hard-to-reach-places)
Anatomy of a Paint Roller
Paint rollers come in a variety of shapes and sizes; the three main differences are size (the width of the roller) and nap size (the size of the nap determines the paint roller's ability to hold paint). and Material is what the paint roller is made of; different materials are good for different types of projects. The size is straightforward; you want to get one that matches the size of your paint roller cage.
Paint Roller Material
Paint rollers are now available in both natural and synthetic fibers. Mohair covers are great for applying enamel, and lambswool covers are great for alkyd paints. Most likely you won't have to think about this too much because almost every paint roller today is made from synthetic materials. Paint rollers made of synthetic fiber make excellent all-purpose covers.
Paint Roller Nap Size
The most common nap sizes are 3/16" 3/8" 1/4" 1/2" 3/4" and 1-1/4". Each nap size has it's benefits, so choosing the correct one for your project is important.
Smooth Roller Covers: Great for painting floors, walls, smooth siding, and fine finishing. (3/16" - 1/4" nap are the most common smooth roller paint cover)
Medium Roller Covers: Used for sand-textured walls, any surface that is somewhere between smooth and rough. Medium rollers are great for wood that hasn't been sanded, when painting exterior raw wood a Medium roller cover is a good choice.
Rough Roller Covers: Rough roller covers have a 3/4" or 1" nap and are good to use on light stucco walls, rough cut wood, and masonry floors Extra-Rough Roller Covers: have a 1-1/4" nap. They are used to paint blocks, bricks, masonry and stucco.
Texture Roller CoversThey're made to apply textured paints. They're usually made from foam patterns etched into the roller cover's surface. Because they must be able to absorb a larger amount of thicker paint, textured roller covers are usually much larger.
Paint Roller Covers in Summary
Even though there are a lot of different choices, the most common choices for roller covers are smooth and medium. The width of the roller depends on how large of a surface you need to apply the paint to. Next time you need a paint roller cover, visit Gilford Hardware & Outdoor Power Equipment or support your local small hardware store. As always, stay safe my friends!