A good paint roller can greatly simplify the job of painting the walls and therefore it’s important to look for the best paint rollers for walls.
However, before you choose a roller, it is also a good idea to learn about the different types of rollers for walls available on the market. In addition, you should know about the fiber type of paint roller to use on your walls for best results depending on the texture of your wall and the finish you have in mind.
In this article, we will not only look at the top products in this category but also discuss how to choose the best paint roller for painting your walls and how to achieve a better finish with your chosen roller.
I have also written a section on the different types of paint rollers available out there. Out of which manual and electric paint rollers are recommended for painting the walls and ceiling. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to look at all available options and choose one according to your needs.
If you want to know why a roller is better than a brush when it comes to painting the walls and ceilings as well as choose the best roller available on the market according to your needs and budget, keep reading on.
So, without wasting further time, let’s get started with this guide.
What Makes a Good Paint Roller?
Painting walls is not everyone’s cup of tea. Understanding the basics of this job will help you achieve the desired results. More often than not, if the result reflects more streaking and ugly patterns than a smooth coverage, the culprit is the wrong roller cover.
Paint rollers are recommended for painting walls to make the job easier and faster. However, if you don’t choose the right roller cover, you will end up messing with your walls.
Whether it’s simply a touch-up or a complete project, oil-based or water-based paint, rough surface, or smooth surface, you are going to need professional-grade roller covers.
A good paint roller cover is one that;
- Does not shed
- Is easy to use
- Offers smooth application of paint
- Offers quality finish with no cracking, streaking, and bubbles
- Provides value for your money
- Is affordable
- Is reusable
Some people may be interested in only a few of these options – not all. For example, affordability may not be your top priority but a high-quality finish may be. So, find out which roller cover works best for you by following our guide and also by looking at the products we have reviewed in this post.
Wooster offers a way to find the perfect roller for your walls by specifying the type of paint you’re using, the sheen it offers from flat, satin, or gloss, and the surface you’re painting from rough to very smooth. They also ask if you’re interested more in fast results or quality of finish.
Roller vs. Brush – Why is a Roller Better Than a Brush?
So, you have decided to paint your walls a fresher look. The first thing that comes to mind when we want to paint the walls is whether to use a roller or a brush. Using a roller for painting the walls has a lot of advantages over painting with a brush. Not only does it save time but is also quite economical.
Moreover, if we look at the results, we see that a good-quality roller offers a much better and smoother finish than a brush especially when you know how to use it properly.
A roller provides uniform coats, particularly if you use a foam roller cover on smooth walls. In addition, an entire area can be done within a few hours as compared to a brush that might take 2 to 3 days for the same area.
There are roller covers out there designed to hold much more paint than you would anticipate. These covers make the job of painting walls much easier and simpler. You can use a thick nap roller made from a highly absorbent material to paint textured walls.
Another advantage of using a paint roller is that it is designed for everyone. On the other hand, paintbrushes are meant only for experts or professionals. Seasoned painters know a lot of hacks to create smoother finishes using paintbrushes. But when it comes to a DIYer, it is not as easy as it sounds.
So, if you have decided to paint the walls yourself, the best tool to use is a paint roller. To achieve professional results, you need a roller cover that has been designed for a specific type of job. However, it is recommended to get a paintbrush as well for painting the corners and edging especially if you want to achieve a smooth finish.
How to Get a Smooth Finish On Your Wall?
Nobody wants or expects a rough and bumpy finish when they paint their walls after choosing the products and tools carefully. Although the choice of paint and roller covers plays an important role in determining the final look of your walls, it’s not the only thing that matters.
A rough and low-quality finish is usually a result of not enough preparation on your part. Remember, if there are holes and cracks, they need to be filled up. Remove all wallpapers as well as their adhesive backing and residue and the old paint peel.
Finally, clean the surface with a damp cloth and allow it to dry completely before you apply paint or primer. A primer application is required when you want the topcoat to stay. This is an important step that most people overlook but it contributes a lot to the final look of your walls.
Use the proper tools required for priming the walls before you apply the paint. The same goes for the roller covers and the type of paint you choose.
To get a smooth finish on your walls, you have to start painting the corners and edges with a brush and then use a roller. Check that the paint from the brush is still wet when you start using the roller. A wet edge ensures that there are no lap marks.
Apply the first coat by dipping the roller in the paint lavishly and then painting from top to bottom. Remember to roll up and down the full height and don’t let the old paint dry. It is recommended to paint an entire wall in one sitting.
Reload your roller often to make sure it’s never completely dry. Repeat the same for a second coat after the first one has dried. If you consider these instructions carefully, you will get a perfect, smooth finish just like professional painters.
Different Types of Paint Rollers and Their Uses
Paint rollers for walls come in several forms and sizes. Although they are all designed for a specific job or purpose, it makes it all the more difficult to choose the right one among them. If you don’t do some research beforehand, you will end up buying the wrong roller.
Imagine redoing the entire paint job for your walls if you use the wrong roller! So, why not do some research beforehand and find the most suitable paint roller rather than wasting money on multiple rollers?
Here is a list of the most common rollers available on the market.
1. Manual Paint Rollers
These rollers are perfect for painting walls and ceilings because they come with extended handles and the cover can be replaced easily. You can even paint the ceilings with a long-handle manual roller without the need for a ladder.
However, you will experience a lot of paint drips especially if you are a beginner and haven’t used a paint roller before. This problem can be rectified by choosing a roller cover designed for beginners.
2. Pad Paint Rollers
Pad rollers are recommended when you want to paint trims and edges. These rollers come with a flat pad for painting, which is made of highly absorbent material. Since the roller is flat and not round, for the circular motion there are wheels along the edges of these rollers.
These rollers produce very high-quality results as there is no splattered or dripped paint. Beginners may use these rollers because they are quite simple to use and also produce excellent results.
3. Textured Rollers
These rollers are designed to impart a specific texture onto the walls. If you want to create an artificial finish, that is easy to apply, you can use one of these rollers. Look at the variety of textures they offer ranging from wood, grain, tile, and other patterns.
These rollers are usually made of foam because it’s easier to etch a pattern into them. You can use a textured roller for painting a wall or ceiling.
4. Mini Hot Dog Rollers
These rollers are very small in size and shaped like a hot dog. They are meant for painting specialized surfaces like tabletops and areas that are difficult to reach with other types of rollers.
You can also use mini hot dog rollers to paint edges and trims. However, you will have to use them very carefully as there is a high chance of splatters and drips especially if you apply a lot of paint.
5. Electric Paint Rollers
Also known as a powered roller, an electric paint roller will pull paint directly from the gallon making the job easier and faster for you. This is an innovative product that doesn’t require the use of manual trays and rollers that sometimes produce a lot of splatter and uneven results.
Electric paint rollers are portable devices that can be conveniently moved from one place to the other. They come with a hose, as long as 16 feet, to help you paint walls and ceilings without any trouble.
6. Specialty Rollers
If you want to use textured paint, such as suede or stone, it will require a specialty roller for proper application. These types of rollers are not commonly available but a manufacturer may offer them as an extension to their paint kit so that you can achieve your desired results.
Some specialty rollers are also designed to replicate a pattern on a wall just like wallpaper. These patterns are embossed on the rollers and can be used on different types of walls including fabric, paper, and wood.
So, these are the six basic types of paint rollers available out there. You can choose one according to your requirements and budget but keep in mind that specialty and textured roller covers are meant for specific jobs only. Moreover, you may need some extra skills to make them work.
Top 7 Best Paint Rollers for Walls
Brands like Precision Defined and Purdy to Wooster and Wagner Spraytech offer a huge variety of paint rollers for walls. They are designed for different purposes and the manufacturer mentions it on the cover the type of paint their product works best with.
These covers are compatible with cordless, electric, and manual paint rollers. However, you need to make sure that the size of the roller cover is well-matched with the frame.
Electric and smart paint rollers come in two standard sizes: 14-inch and 18-inch. Most roller covers are designed for manual rollers with a size of 9 inches. It will be difficult to find compatible covers if you decide to use power rollers.
Moreover, when using electric rollers, you need to replace the roller covers quite frequently. Ironically, this step makes the job more expensive and also takes longer than expected. The experts suggest that a power paint roller can help you save just about 10-20 minutes of the total time it takes to paint an entire room.
So, power paint rollers may not be for everyone. Keeping that in view, we have shortlisted here the best paint rollers for walls that most people recommend. Some of these are good for beginners, while others produce great results. And there are still others that come at an affordable cost.
Here’s our review of the top 7 best paint rollers for walls to help you make a wise and informed decision.
1. Hynec Technologies All in One Paint Roller Set – Best for Quality
If you are looking for affordable yet high-quality mini rollers, paint pads, roller sets, and everything else needed for a complete renovation, look no further. This product has received a good number of positive reviews from customers owing to its durable materials.
The kit comes with a 9” roller brush and tray as well as a 4” roller brush with its tray. You also get two small paintbrushes to finish off the job neatly. Several accessories are also included to make the painting job easy for you.
The paint rollers offer a smooth finish and are therefore perfect for painting walls. If you want the job to be done quickly with very little mess, choose this kit. Some other features make this choice a preferred one, especially for beginner DIYers and hobbyists.
What We Like
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to use
- Soft and absorbent material
- Several accessories included
What We Don’t Like
- Paint sleeves have been reported to be low-quality
2. NANJA Foam Paint Roller Kit – Best for Painting Difficult Areas
These 4” paint rollers are designed to give your walls a professional look. Made from high-quality microfiber, they are quite absorbent and you don’t need to reload them with paint very frequently.
These rollers are known for their quality as they don’t shed or drip. If you plan on using a glossy paint finish, these rollers will be best suited for the job. They are also suitable for achieving a flat finish. The kit includes 5 foam rollers and 5 microfiber rollers for painting different types of surfaces.
NANJA microfiber rollers are suitable for both oil and water-based paints. On the other hand, foam rollers are best for water-based paints only. The kit is perfect for touching up large areas where brushes won’t work.
What We Like
- The nap is of ideal thickness for walls
- Clean-up is easy
- The fiber absorbs a good amount of paint
- Offer good value for money
What We Don’t Like
- It’s not possible to add an extension handle to paint high areas
3. Purdy 14-inch Wire Mini Roller System – Best for Smooth and Rough Surfaces
Purdy is known for the quality of its products and this one’s no different. It’s not only affordable but has also received many positive reviews. The company calls these rollers the most “lint-free” rollers on the market and it’s not a lie. These rollers will not drop links as you paint your walls, which is one of the most desirable features.
These rollers are ideal for any type of project and any texture of walls. People have found them to be great even on semi-rough and rough-textured walls. However, if you are not experienced with using rollers, don’t use them on rough walls, otherwise, they might start shredding apart.
One thing that some users may not like is its small size. People prefer a larger size or a standard one so the job can be done quickly.
What We Like
- A long handle is very convenient
- Offer even paint coverage
- Good for flat and rough surfaces
- Compatible with latex and oil-based paints
What We Don’t Like
- May not be suitable for beginners
- The size is less than the standard 10-inch
4. SANDEGOO 6 Feet Paint Roller Brush Kit – Best for Women Painters
This kit is good for both beginner and women painters. Painting large areas seems like an easy task with these rollers even if you’re doing it for the first time. The rollers offer nice even paint coverage with no dripping.
Although it is advertised as being reusable, most people have criticized that it is not easy to clean. So, you will have to get rid of it once the paint job is done.
These rollers eliminate the need for a ladder when you have to paint your walls as they come with 4-6 feet long extendible handles. That is why they are perfect for women painters as well because they won’t need a chair or ladder to paint difficult-to-reach areas.
What We Like
- Comes in 4-feet and 6-feet varieties
- Easily washable
- Reusable for future projects
- Gives a professional smooth finish to the walls
What We Don’t Like
- May create undesirable streaks of paint
5. Bates 4-inch Paint Rollers – Best for Smooth and Semi-Smooth Surfaces
If you are looking for a pack of microfiber roller covers that are compatible with almost all paint rollers, look no further. These rollers are durable, easy to clean, and long-lasting. They have been designed to be used with all types of paints and stains.
Microfiber cloth is quite absorbent and these roller covers are recommended for projects when you want to use high-gloss paint. They are not recommended for rough and semi-rough surfaces though.
The good thing about these roller covers is that you can return them to the manufacturer if you face any issues while using them. Moreover, they can be used with all latex and oil-based paints.
What We Like
- Best for light or medium textured surfaces
- Absorbent material
- Economical choice
- Less splatter and no lint
What We Don’t Like
- The size is not perfect for walls but is easy to use
6. Pro Grade Paint Roller Tool Kit – Best for Price
Microfiber roller covers are increasingly becoming popular among the DIY community. The reason behind their popularity is their ability to be used with all types of paints. Whether you want to use enamel, urethane, varnish, or primers, these roller covers will be suitable for all jobs.
Although they are recommended for painting doors and cabinets, you can use them to paint your walls especially if the area to cover is small. However, one downside is that, although reusable, they won’t last a long time and you will have to replace them.
The great thing about microfiber rollers is that they are very absorbent. Nevertheless, they will work best only on smooth surfaces. Since they glide effortlessly over a smooth surface, even newbies can use them without any worry.
What We Like
- Can be used with water-based and emulsion paints
- Comes with a money-back guarantee
- Quite affordable
What We Don’t Like
- There is a paint splash to deal with
- May not be suitable when you have to paint huge areas
7. PILOT FISH 17-Piece Paint Roller Set – Best for Ease of Use
Polyester roller covers are excellent for beginners DIYers and professional painters alike. They are super easy to clean and once dry, they can be reused. They are designed to offer a smooth finish on flat surfaces.
You should know that polyester rollers work best on smooth and semi-smooth surfaces only. If you try to use them on rough surfaces, they won’t give the desired results. It is also advisable to clean and dry the surface before you apply paint on it using one of these foam roller covers.
The kit includes everything you need to paint the walls professionally. The accessories include a heavy-duty paint tray with the capacity to hold extra paint.
What We Like
- Very easy to use
- The kit includes small and large rollers
- Professional results
- Work with all types of paints
What We Don’t Like
- Tend to slide off the wand
How to Choose the Best Paint Rollers for Walls?
Here is a step-by-step guide for you to choose the best paint roller according to the nature of your job.
Step #1 – Know the surface you’re painting
To determine the nap (the thickness of the roller cover) as well as the material, you first have to see the texture of the surface you’re about to paint. Is it a rough surface, a smooth one, or something in between?
Usually, the surface of walls is divided into four categories: very smooth, smooth, rough, and very rough. Find out which category your wall belongs to and then make an informed decision regarding the paint roller cover.
If you buy the wrong roller cover not suitable for the type of surface you’re painting, you will never get the desired results.
Microfiber rollers are recommended for textured walls. For smooth and semi-smooth surfaces, the experts advise using foam roller covers. Flat walls usually require a short pile roller and you can choose any material in this case.
Step #2 – Choose the right paint roller frame size
There are three standard paint roller frame sizes. And these are 4-inch, 9-inch, and 18-inch. For larger areas like walls and ceilings, large rollers are preferred. A 4-inch roller is usually ideal for painting doors and furniture.
These sizes are for manual paint rollers only. For electric or powered rollers, only two varieties are available: 14-inch and 18-inch.
If you are just touching up the walls for a smoother look and feel, even a 4-inch roller will do. But for larger areas to cover and to paint them quickly, large paint rollers are recommended. A 9-inch roller cover is considered the best choice for walls.
Step #3 – Choose the right paint roller nap
Paint roller covers come in varying thicknesses, materials, and colors. The absorbent material that covers the tube is made of woven or knotted materials, such as polyester and foam. Some roller covers are also made of wool and microfiber. The thicker the material, the more paint it will absorb.
Thick paint roller covers are recommended for rough surfaces and they are ¾” in thickness. Medium nap rollers, which are 3/8” in thickness are recommended for ceilings and drywall. For walls, the experts recommend using small nap rollers, which are ¼” in thickness.
Step #4 – Consider the material of the roller cover
To decide on the material of the roller cover, you not only have to consider the surface you’re painting but also the type of paint you plan on using. Some people want to use glossy paint, which comes with a very high sheen.
To avoid showing more lint from the roller, it is advisable to use a cover that is shed-resistant. Woven roller covers usually offer the best lint-free finish.
Flat and satin finish paints are best used with knit roller covers. However, woven covers are also good for these types of paints. If you plan on using varnish or enamel, go for foam and microfiber roller covers.
Almost all roller cover manufacturers offer different varieties of covers meant for different purposes. So, choose a product carefully and don’t forget to read the instructions on the cover, especially the type of paint it is recommended for.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Paint Rollers for Walls
So, this was our roundup review of the top 7 best paint rollers for walls recommended by the experts for painting walls. We chose all types of materials from microfiber and polyester to foam roller covers so you can choose a product based on your painting needs as well as budget.
They are all recommended for different types of finishes and results and therefore you can now easily make an informed choice. Make sure you read the step-by-step guide to choosing the best roller cover before finalizing a product because that will help you narrow down your choices and arrive at a reasonable choice.
If you want to paint your walls the professional way, you have to get yourself the right tools for the job. A paint roller can make the job easier especially if you choose the right brand and the right size. Paint rollers are affordable tools but choosing the right one will ensure that the result is just as expected.
Choose the one that seems right according to the budget you have set and other factors. Don’t forget to look at the pros and cons so you make an informed decision that will go a long way. All the best!