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How to paint using a roller

How to paint using a roller
Paint rollers may look straightforward, but painting with a roller is an art form! Here's how to roller paint like a professional
Painting with a paint roller comes with some benefits. For a start, you can cover an area more quickly with a roller than with a brush. However, there are some things to keep in mind. You may need to apply more coats, for example, because the paint goes on quite thinly. Use a foam or mohair pile on a smooth surface and a lamb's-wool or nylon pile on a textured one. 

Painting with a roller

  1. Thoroughly stir the paint (unless it is a non-drip or solid roller paint).
  2. Fill about one-third of the roller tray with paint. Do not overfill, or it will spill.
  3. Dip the roller into the paint, then run it lightly on the ridged part of the tray. This spreads the paint evenly on the roller sleeve.
  4. Push the roller backwards and forwards, alternating diagonal strokes at random.
  5. Do not apply too much in one coat. And do not work too fast, or paint will be thrown off the sleeve and spatter. Try not to press the roller too hard or paint will be forced off the ends in ridges.
  6. Use a small paintbrush to cut in the edges around doors, windows, corners and where walls meet the ceiling.
Paint roller

Using a paint pad

Paint pads are suitable for applying water-based paints. They quickly cover large areas like walls and ceilings and will cope with lightly textured surfaces.
  1. Stir the paint and pour some into a flat tray or the speed tray sometimes supplied.
  2. Run the pad backwards and forwards on the roller in the speed tray or hold the pad flat against the paint in the tray. Do not let it sink below the pile level. If the pad absorbs too much paint it will drip. A pad needs to be reloaded more often than a brush or roller.
  3. Start painting near a corner. Move the pad in all directions with a gentle scrubbing action. Work in strips about four times the width of the pad.
  4. Do not press too hard or paint may be forced off the pad in drips. With practice you should get no drips at all.

Cutting in with a paint pad

As as alternative to using a brush to obtain a neat finish along wall and ceiling edges, try using an edging pad with guide wheels, which is specially designed for the job.
The wheels guide the pad along the ceiling line as you push it along the wall.
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