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Paint Rollers Buying Guide

If you're painting a large area, a paint roller can make the work go a lot faster. Use this buying guide to help you find the best roller for your specific project.

Types of Paint Rollers

Types of Paint Rollers

When choosing a paint roller, you'll need to purchase a frame and a roller cover. Some rollers are meant to be used only once, while others can be cleaned and used many times. Some rollers are attached to a paint supply, eliminating the need for you to keep bending down and loading the roller with paint. To choose the roller type that's best for you, consider how much and how often you plan to paint.

Standard Paint Rollers

Most rollers include a metal or plastic frame and a roller cover made from a synthetic or natural material. They can be cleaned and used again and again.

Disposable Rollers

These rollers are intended to be used once and then thrown away. You may want to choose this type of roller if you don't plan on painting again soon or you want to avoid the hassle of cleanup (especially if you plan on using oil-base paint).

Power Rollers

These rollers are attached to a paint supply and continuously pump paint into the roller. They are convenient if you'll be covering a large area with a single color. They take more time to disassemble and clean, so they are best for large jobs.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

When choosing a paint roller, consider both the construction of the frame and the type of roller cover you'll need. Roller covers are available in a variety of materials and nap lengths. You'll want to choose a material and nap that work well for the type of paint you're using and the surface you'll be painting. Also consider what size of roller or rollers you'll need; some work well for covering large areas, while other rollers are designed for more intricate trim work.

Roller Cover Material

Paint rollers made from natural materials, such as mohair or lambswool, are good choices if you're working with oil-base paints. Roller covers made from synthetic materials, such as nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two, work well for both water-base and oil-base paints. Foam covers also work well for oil-base paints and high-gloss latex, and they're suited for both smooth and textured surfaces.

Nap

The length of the roller's painting surface is called its nap. Lengths can vary from 1/16 inch to 1-1/2 inches. If you'll be painting a smooth surface, you'll want to choose a short-nap roller. If you're painting a rough surface, you'll want a longer nap. A 1/2-inch nap is a good choice for most walls.

Width/Size

Paint rollers are available in widths from 4 to 18 inches. The mini 4-inch rollers are best for trim work or other small areas. Doughnut-style rollers are used for molding and painting corners. For walls and ceilings, a 9-inch roller works well. The larger sizes will cover larger areas more quickly, but they're heavier and may make you tire faster.

Frame Type

You can choose a paint roller frame that's made from plastic or metal. Heavy-duty plastic or stainless-steel frames work well. Make sure the handle is comfortable for you and has a threaded socket so you can add an extension pole. Or you can choose a frame with a telescoping handle.

Quality

When shopping for a quality paint roller, look for one that has no visible seams and has a beveled edge that will help ensure a smooth finish. Before buying, give the roller cover a squeeze—it should bounce back to its original shape.

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$9.02 $8.11

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$9.82 $8.83

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Purdy
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The Purdy 670093 9" x .5" White Dove Deluxe Dralon Paint Roller Cover is great for repairs and home improvement projects.

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