Nap length vs. final finish


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Old 02-13-08, 05:06 PM
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Nap length vs. final finish

I hate "orange peel" texture on smooth walls due to a poor paint job. I often see professional jobs in offices, etc. where the latex paint seems very smooth.

Regarding most low sheen acrylic interior paints, usually a 3/8 nap roller is recommended. Often, a shorter nap is recommended with more shiny paints.

Would using a 1/4 inch nap quality roller with a low luster paint result in a smoother finish? I would assume one would have to work very fast to keep a wet edge, etc..

My thinking is "smaller nap equates to smaller stipple"

Thank you for your help.
 
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Old 02-13-08, 05:58 PM
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Really, I think that harsh stipple is more often caused by improper roller technique and cheap paint more than improper nap length.

A a quality "most-purpose" 3/8" nap, such as a Purdy White Dove will not give you too much texture. Yes, you would probably get even less with a 1/4", but they hold so much less paint, you will spend more time reloading the roller.

I expect the biggest cause of unsightly roller stipple is running the roller too dry, or using cheap paint. Also, not sanding your primer can cause excess stipple.

For a pretty darn smooth finish, I would use a quality 3/8" roller (Purdy or Wooster), quality paint, and sand before every coat with a sanding screen. (making sure you remove the dust, of course)

Your painting should not involve any of that crazy N, W, or M pattern stuff. Load your roller, do a single 8-10' stripe, roll back, and then go forwards and back over the previous stripe. Reload, repeat for the next stripe.

For me, this method used a lot of paint, but left me with a pretty darn smooth finish.

SirWired
 
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Old 02-13-08, 06:37 PM
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Thank you.

Is your stripe just one roller width, i.e. - 9 inches?

It seems that your method would result with a thicker paint layer where you start (top, I imagine) and a thinner layer at the bottom, 8 feet away.
 
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Old 02-13-08, 07:31 PM
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The length of nap has less to do with the amount of stipple left than the leveling characteristics of the paint

I use a 1/2" nap when doing work myself, and will switch to a 3/8 if need be when working on a team (so we're all on the same page)
I have not noticed a stipple difference between the two when using proper technique with quality paints and sleeves

1/4 naps are pretty much useless
You still get stipple...it just takes twice as long to paint
 
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Old 02-14-08, 07:06 AM
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Yes, a stripe is one roller-width.

With a quality roller, properly loaded and applied, you will have a consistent coating thickness throughout your stripe.

The trick is to load up the roller to the point where it is almost, but not quite, dripping, and then just kind of "lay" it against the wall. Don't squeeze the paint out of the roller; instead, let the roller do the work. Your only job is to move it up and down, and keep light, even, contact between the roller and the wall. All the roller and wall need to do is touch; the "magic" of capillary action will get the paint to the surface of the roller, and from there to the wall.

SirWired
 
 

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