Painting Basics: How to Use a Roller

Painting your own spaces always seems easier than it is. All you’re doing is spreading paint over the surface of something with a brush, right? But it almost always takes DIY painters much longer than they anticipated to get a project done. Why? Part of it is not possessing the proper equipment that could turn a difficult paint job into a much faster and easier one. Paint sprayers, for example, aren’t often thought of by DIY painters because of cost or because they don’t want to try to operate a machine that is comparatively more complex than your average paint brush and scraper.

Another painting tool often overlooked by DIY painters is the paint roller. Many people think of rollers as only useful for interior spaces and surfaces, but its ability to spread large amounts of paint evenly across a surface need not be relegated to indoor walls only. Professional painters often swear by their rollers as a way to cut down on time and provide a higher quality paint job in the process.

Why Use a Roller?

One other common misconception about paint rollers is that they are only best used on completely flat surfaces, such interior walls, because of fears of uneven paint distribution if they have to roll over shingles or other common uneven outdoor wall surfaces. This is just not true. Rollers are still useful over almost any surface. Even textured surfaces can still be covered quickly and relatively easily with a paint roller. All you have to do is apply some pressure to the roller to make sure the coverage is right.

It’s easier to create an even, consistent coverage of your surface with a roller than it is with a brush. Your brushwork is often visible when the paint dries unless you go over it several times and pay attention to the direction you’re brushing in. With a roller, you can cover the same area with no risk of brush marks in half the time.

How to Use a Roller

Roller marks are still possible, however, just like brush marks, but if you stick to this basic how-to, you can avoid them and paint your surfaces in half the time it takes with a brush.

First, make sure your equipment is ready. Five-gallon buckets with a specialized (and cheap) bucket screen are actually much easier to use than the standard trays you see other DIY-ers else using. This setup is much easier to move without spilling.

Next, before you load up your roller with a good amount of paint—enough to cover a small area but so much that you drip everywhere—decide the best system for covering your walls. If you read the instruction manual of most paint rollers, they’ll tell you to paint in a particular pattern, in ‘W’ shapes or zig-zags. The pattern you want to paint doesn’t matter, as long as you have a systematic, straightforward way to cover a small area thoroughly and move on to the next small area quickly. One simple pattern is simply to paint from the bottom up, and move over about three-quarters of a roller width each time so you’re always overlapping the previous roll.

To find out how a professional paint crew can help with your next painting project, contact Ireland’s Finest Painting today.

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