Paint-grade project? Rolling paint on is easy, and allows you to cover a lot of territory quickly. Like any job, it’s important to have the right tool for the job. There are rollers, and there are rollers. Paint roller selection is important. Let’s make sure you’re getting the best roller for your paint-grade projects.
What not to get
When you’re roller shopping, don’t buy the same roller you’d get to paint the walls inside your house. Interior walls typically have at least a little texture to them. Maybe a lot of texture. So you use a roller with some nap. Nap allows the roller to get paint on the high spots and the low spots for uniform coverage. Additionally, since you’ve got a lot of real estate to cover you’re probably using a 12” roller. That’s too big for most woodworking projects.
What to look for
In all likelihood you’ve sanded the project smooth. If you use a roller with a deep nap it’s going to leave paint texture on the surface, undoing the great job you did making the project smooth. Look for a foam roller that’s labeled as a fine finisher. The packaging or product info may specifically say the roller is good for painting cabinets and furniture. Shorter rollers, 4” or 6” long, generally work well for woodworking projects.
Should I thin the paint?
It’s always a good idea to test any finish before it goes on your project, but typically you can use the paint right out of the can with no thinning or addition of products like Floetrol.
If you want to spray…
It’s hard to beat the finish quality you get from a spray gun. If you’re painting lots of projects you might want to consider spraying your paint.