Exploring What Rollers Professional Painters Use

Do you wonder why the walls of an art gallery look so flawless? Like a calm lake reflecting the sky, seamless and smooth. The secret isn’t just in the paint but also in what’s rolling it on – yes, we’re talking about paint rollers.

You might think all rollers are created equal; that couldn’t be further from the truth! Professional painters have their go-to gear, and choosing the right roller is crucial for them to create those perfect strokes.

In this read, you’ll uncover different types of rollers pros use like they’re extensions of their own hands. You’ll discover factors influencing which roller gets picked off the rack – from surface texture to the type of finish desired. And there’s more: common mistakes when selecting a roller (you’d be surprised!), how proper care can extend your tool’s life span, and even environmentally-friendly options!

But this isn’t solely about painting. It’s a plunge into the domain of hue and feel, an investigation of imagination that takes corporeal shape. It’s where imagination takes physical form.

Table of Contents:

The Importance of Paint Rollers in Professional Painting

When it comes to professional painting, tools matter. But the star of the show? The humble paint roller.

Why is a paint roller so crucial, you ask? Imagine trying to butter an entire loaf’s worth of bread with a tiny butterknife – frustrating and inefficient. A paint roller does for walls what that big ol’ butter knife does for your morning toast: it spreads evenly, covers more ground faster, and gives smoother results.

Roller Core: More than Just Plastic

You could be mistaken in assuming that all rollers are the same. At their core (pun intended), they differ significantly based on the material used. Some cores are made from plastic, while others use cardboard or phenolic resin.

The material matters because it affects how much paint the roller can hold, influencing how often you must dip back into your bucket.

Cover Material: Not Just Fluff

Moving onto another vital part – cover material. You have synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon versus natural materials such as lamb’s wool or mohair.
The choice here isn’t about style points; instead, each type works better with different kinds of paints.

Pile Length: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Last but not least, let’s talk pile length—the distance between the core and outer surface of the roller. This isn’t a case of ‘go big or go home.’ In fact, shorter pile lengths are better for smooth surfaces, while longer piles are great for textured walls.

So remember, folks, picking your paint roller is as much about strategy as it is about tool selection.

Types of Paint Rollers Used by Professionals

Professional painters use a variety of paint rollers, each tailored for specific tasks and finishes. Let’s get familiar with the most common ones.

Nap Rollers

Nap rollers are go-to tools for many pros. They’re known for their versatile performance on textured surfaces like stucco or popcorn ceilings. The thickness of the nap varies, which lets us control how much paint gets applied to a surface.

Foam Rollers

Foam rollers, ideal for smooth surfaces, give that coveted even finish without leaving roller marks behind. They’re great when you need precision but aren’t recommended for oil-based paints because they can cause bubbling in your finish.

Textured Rollers

We love textured rollers when we want to add personality to our work. These specialty tools help create unique patterns on walls and ceilings while applying an even coat of paint.

Mohair Roller Covers

If you’ve ever felt a silky-smooth painted surface and wondered about the secret – it might be mohair roller covers. Best used with gloss or semi-gloss paints, these babies provide an ultra-fine finish often seen in professional painting jobs around Indianapolis.

Remember, every project has its perfect tool; knowing which fits yours is half the battle won.

Factors Influencing the Choice of Roller

The choice of roller can make or break a painting job. But what influences this decision? The answer lies in understanding three key elements: surface texture, paint type, and desired finish.

Surface Texture

The first factor is the surface texture. Smooth surfaces call for short-nap rollers that give an equally smooth finish. Rougher surfaces need long-nap rollers to reach into crevices and cover uneven spots.

Type of Paint

Next up is the paint type. Water-based paints work best with synthetic rollers because they don’t absorb water like natural fibers. On the other hand, oil-based paints need natural fiber rollers that won’t disintegrate in solvents.

Desired Finish

Last but not least, is your dream result – matte, semi-glossy or glossy? Different nap lengths create different finishes on walls. For instance, if you’re after a shiny gloss finish for your kitchen cabinets, then a foam roller will be your best bet.


  • If you’re uncertain about which roller to use for different textures or types of paint – just ask. There’s no shame in seeking help from professionals at Flora Brothers Painting, who have years’ worth of experience under their belts.
  • Avoid using cheap materials, as it could cost more time to fix mistakes than doing things right from the start with quality equipment.

Benefits of Using the Right Roller

When you’re all set to start painting, picking out the right roller can make a world of difference. The type of roller used directly influences both efficiency and finish quality.

Picking the correct roller lets you get more done in less time. For instance, larger rollers hold more paint, letting you cover vast areas quickly. Family Handyman. But remember that bigger isn’t always better – small or narrow rollers are perfect for tight spots and precision work.

Better Finish Quality with the Right Roller

The texture and appearance of your final paint job heavily depend on your choice of roller. For example, foam rollers give smooth surfaces, while nap rollers offer textured finishes. Bob Vila’s guide on best paint rollers.

If it’s an ultra-smooth look you’re after for furniture or cabinets, go with foam. On rougher exterior walls where durability is key? Nap’s got your back.

Saving Paint (and Money) by Choosing Wisely

The proper selection also helps save money because when used correctly, they absorb enough paint without causing waste through overloading or drips.

In short, using the right tool doesn’t only help achieve stunning results; it makes sense economically. So next time you have a painting project at hand—be it Flora Brothers Painting contractors tackling a large-scale commercial job or DIYers venturing a home revamp—remember, the right roller can be your secret weapon to painting success.

Common Mistakes When Choosing a Roller

Selecting the wrong type of roller can lead to less-than-perfect painting results. One common mistake is using a low nap roller for textured surfaces, resulting in uneven coverage.

A second pitfall is picking a cheaply-made roller. These tend to shed fibers into your paint, creating an unsightly mess on your walls. Remember that quality tools give better outcomes and last longer.

Ignoring Paint Type

Some DIYers make the error of ignoring the paint type when choosing their rollers. But different paints need specific rollers for optimal application.

For example, latex-based paints work best with synthetic rollers, while oil-based ones pair well with natural fiber options.

  • If you’re unsure about which one to get, always ask at your local hardware store or consult with professional painters like us at Flora Brothers Painting.

Neglecting Surface Texture

Surface texture significantly influences how smoothly paint applies and dries out. Rough surfaces need high-nap rollers; smooth areas require short-nap versions.

  • Mistakenly using one instead of the other will result in an unattractive finish – we don’t want that now, do we?

Lack Of Maintenance

Last but not least, neglecting maintenance. Rollers aren’t single-use items – they should be cleaned after each project to keep them performing optimally.
A dirty roller can cause streaks or color mixing if it’s not thoroughly cleaned between jobs.

At Flora Brothers Painting, we understand these common mistakes and how to avoid them. So, let’s start your next painting project on the right foot.

Care and Maintenance of Paint Rollers

Keeping your paint rollers in top shape isn’t rocket science, but it does need some attention. To maximize the effectiveness of your paint rollers, proper care and maintenance is essential.

Cleaning is Key

A clean roller is a happy roller. So, don’t let the paint dry on the roller after use. It’s best to clean it right away.

To do this effectively, scrap off excess paint using a putty knife or similar tool. Then rinse the roller under warm water if you’ve used water-based paints like latex or acrylics.

If oil-based paints are involved, though, mineral spirits will be needed for cleaning. Here’s an easy guide that helps with cleaning.

Drying Your Roller

Once cleaned thoroughly, allow the rollers to air-dry completely before storing them. Don’t be tempted to speed up this process artificially; excessive heat could damage the fibers of the cover material.

The Right Storage Matters

Your freshly cleaned and dried rollers deserve good storage. Wrap each individually in plastic wrap or store inside sealed plastic bags to prevent dust accumulation.

Remember: standing upright when stored can deform their shape over time—so lay those babies flat.

Say Goodbye When Needed

No matter how well you care for them, rollers do have a lifespan. If the nap starts to wear down or if it’s shedding fibers onto your paint job, it might be time to retire that roller.

At Flora Brothers Painting, we believe in using top-notch tools and keeping them in great condition—because even the best painters need their tools at their finest.

Eco-friendly Paint Rollers

When it comes to painting, professionals at Flora Brothers Painting have noticed a growing trend towards eco-friendliness. More and more painters are turning to eco-friendly paint rollers. But why is this change happening?

The Appeal of Eco-Friendly Paint Rollers

Eco-friendly paint rollers appeal because they’re designed with sustainability in mind. Constructed from recycled or biodegradable components, these rollers cut down on trash and lessen the environmental impact of your painting ventures.

Another big plus is their durability. These green tools often last longer than traditional ones, making them a smart choice for the environment and your wallet.

Taking Care of Mother Earth One Roller at a Time

Besides being cost-effective and durable, using eco-friendly paint rollers helps conserve resources by reducing landfill waste. Many conventional roller covers end up in landfills after one use.

This isn’t just about feeling good; it’s also about doing our part for future generations. We need clean air to breathe and healthy ecosystems for survival – simple choices like this can make all the difference.

A Few Brands Leading The Charge

  • Purdy: Purdy’s White Dove line uses high-density woven fabric that holds more paint while causing less splatter – perfect when you’re trying to keep things neat.
  • Shur-Line: Their eco-friendly rollers are made from recycled plastic and cardboard cores. Plus, they’re recyclable after use.
  • Wooster Brush: Wooster’s Pro/Doo-Z FTP roller covers deliver a professional finish while being green – it’s a win-win.

In conclusion, as professionals in the painting industry, we’ve found that using eco-friendly paint rollers is an easy step towards more sustainable practices. Not only do they help us take care of our planet, but they also deliver exceptional results on the job.

The Impact of Roller Cover Material

It’s like picking out clothes for the weather; you must match your tool with the job at hand.

Synthetic Covers

Synthetic covers are often made from nylon or polyester. They’re known for their durability and versatility, but don’t assume they’re perfect for every task. Think of synthetic covers as having many uses but not excelling at any task.

If you’ve got a rough surface or an exterior wall, synthetic covers can be your best bet due to their toughness. This Old House has some great insights on this.

Lamb’s Wool Covers

Moving onto lamb’s wool covers – these guys love oil-based paints. Like how certain foods just taste better when cooked in butter, oil-based paints seem to go smoother with lamb’s wool rollers.

A word of caution, though: while lambswool is high-quality and durable, Family Handyman warns that it might leave lint behind if not prepped properly.

Microfiber Rollers

Last but not least, we have microfiber rollers. Imagine these as the luxury sports cars in our garage of paint tools – sleek finish, precision handling (of paint), and premium performance all rolled into one package. They work wonders on smooth surfaces where quality is paramount.

Just remember, every project is unique. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different roller materials until you find the perfect match for your painting task. After all, we at Flora Brothers Painting believe in getting it right – and that starts with choosing the right tools.

FAQs in Relation to What Rollers Do Professional Painters Use

What paint roller gives the smoothest finish?

A high-density foam roller provides the smoothest finish. They’re ideal for glossy paints and doors, cabinets, or other surfaces where a super-smooth look is desired.

What brand of paint roller is the best?

Purdy’s rollers are often touted as top-notch by pros. Their durable design and variety in naps make them a favorite among professional painters.

Do pro painters reuse rollers?

Yes, professional painters usually clean and reuse their rollers. Good maintenance practices help prolong a quality roller’s lifespan while saving resources.

What is the best roller thickness for painting walls?

A medium 1/2-inch nap works well for most interior walls. It holds more paint than thinner options, making it efficient while delivering an even coat.


So, we’ve delved into the world of professional painting and uncovered what rollers professional painters use. We learned that not all rollers are created equal.

We discovered how surface texture, paint type, and desired finish heavily influence a pro’s choice of roller. The right tool can make a big difference in efficiency and final look.

We highlighted common mistakes when choosing a roller – it’s more than just picking one off the rack! Proper care is key to longevity; environmentally friendly options also exist for those mindful of sustainability.

At its core, selecting the perfect roller isn’t just about painting – it’s an art form itself!

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