Proper Paint Roller Techniques Explained

Many people think that picking up a paint roller is simply an issue of loading it, rolling it and hoping for the best. However, it is a little more complicated than that but there are some easy techniques that be applied during your painting process that will give you better results than just being slap-dash.

‘M’ Shapes

This is the most popular technique endorsed by professionals. Basically, the technique requires and even loading of the paint onto the roller and then rolling the excess paint on the bumpy part of the paint tray to prevent dripping. Then, starting from the lower point of an M shape go directly vertical and then horizontal and create an M shape with the roller. Then, directly along the edge of each part of the M create another M in the same way. Finish the wall using an evening technique of horizontal and vertical strokes. Always begin with the first stroke of fresh paint rolling upwards to stop drips and don’t roll too fast because you will cause splattering.

‘W’ Shapes

A very similar technique, designed for an even and uniform coating. Start in the far corner rolling straight downward and then make a W shape. Once one W has been created use the roller directly next to the edges of the previous W and make a new W with the roller. Again, don’t over load the roller or roll too fast. Also, with this technique is important to not get too much excess paint on the edges of the roller. It’s okay for the corners to get an even coating down the corner seams but when you are paint flat surfaces you will end up with trail lines from the excess paint at each end of the roller and you won’t get a uniform coverage.

Even Loads

When you first lay your roller into the paint tray to put your initial load on to it, drag it backward so that every part of the roller gets an even covering of paint. If you end up with paint bald spots on your roller you will immediately see the results on the wall as you start painting. Make sure your roller has the same amount of paint on all parts of it, using the bumps in the tray to drag away excess load of paint.

Slow Paint

Don’t paint too slowly either. When using a roller the paint exposed to the atmosphere when it touches the wall will begin to dry almost immediately. That is not to say it will be dry in seconds of you having painted it but the process of drying will have begun. So, painting too slowly will end up in the dry paint peeling away with the new paint, so keep an even steady tempo in your roller technique so that all the paint is applied equally onto the painting surface.

 Turning the Roller

Try to avoid turning the roller over as you paint. If the silver handle part is facing to the right, leave it there until you reload. The bristles or pile of the roller will alter direction as you paint and they will lie down a little the more you roll the roller over the wall. So, changing direction in mid roll will cause the pile of the roller to stand up and change its texture. This is a little like vacuuming your carpet. If you vacuum in the direction of the pile it will go flat, but in the opposing direction it will stand up.