How to Add Texture Using a Paint Roller

paint roller with blue paint in tray
What You'll Need
Framed paint roller
Medium-nap - stippled, or stenciled roller cover
Regular paint or oil-based texture paint
Eye protection
Fall protection on ladders

Paint rollers are great for achieving smooth painted walls, but-- did you know that they can help you add texture, too? To achieve a textured wall, all you need is some textured paint and a roller, or some regular paint and a textured roller. Follow the simple steps below to get started on your next painting project.

Step 1 – Choose Your Paint

There are many types of paints you can use to achieve a textured wall surface. You can use regular paint if you choose to use a textured roller, as described below in Step 3, or you can choose a textured paint with a regular roller.

In addition, you can use a mixture of joint compound and water with a regular roller. You should follow the directions on your product Generally, it will direct you to mix the compound with a little bit of water until it’s the consistency of a milkshake. And, the larger the roller nap, the greater texture you will get with this method.

Once you’ve chosen your paint type, empty it into a paint tray and get ready to begin painting.

Step 2 – Use a Paintbrush to Cut-In

Next, take a paintbrush about 2 inches thick, and dip it in the paint. Cover the edges and corners of the walls just as you would with regular paint, using a paintbrush to get into small spaces. This process is known as cutting-in. Use even strokes and avoid over-brushing, which will thin out the texture.

Step 3 – Choose a Paint Roller and Method

Now, paint the remaining wall space by choosing your desired paint roller and texture method.

If you choose to use textured paint or joint compound and water, you can use a regular roller with a medium-nap roller cover. Roll on the paint in long, even strokes in one direction for uniform texture, and as near to the corners as possible to help even out the brushstrokes done cutting-in with a paintbrush earlier. Do not overlap previously painted areas or the stipple texture left by the roller will be uneven.

If you would prefer to use regular paint and a textured roller, check out the two other options below.


Stippling is a technique in which the paint roller is used to create a texture. It is best done with thick oil-based texture paint and a framed paint roller. Apply the thick paint with the help of a standard roller frame covered with a stipple roller cover.

Stencil Rollers

Another technique to add texture to the paint roller is to get a stenciled roller. Stencil paint rollers have raised patterns on the rubber of the roller. Just put the roller in the texture paint tray and roll it until it is completely covered with the paint. Then, start rolling the stencil roller on to the wall to imprint the pattern. Every time you wet the roller with the paint, the roller must be aligned with the previously painted area so that the pattern is continuous.