With a paint roller, you can simply pour an ample amount of paint in a tray, roll the paint roller through the paint for even coverage, then spread the paint on the wall to quickly and conveniently cover the surface. The simple design of a roller, with its length, girth, and handle placement, gives you better control for even spreading.
Buying Guide for the Best Paint Rollers
Why buy a paint roller?
Interior and exterior DIY painting projects are simply easier and faster when done with a paint roller. A paint roller can provide a smoother, more professional finish if handled properly. They’re also less likely to cause splatter. They work great for various surfaces and textures as well, including stucco, drywall, and concrete.
What should you look for in a paint roller?
- Length of Roller: A wider roller will paint more area with the same stroke than a smaller one. However, a smaller roller can come in handy when you’re just painting over a small spot or adding a finishing touch.
- Length of Handle: For hard-to-reach areas, a longer handle may serve you well. And yet, mini rollers with shorter handles can be just right for tight corners and finishing touches. There are variations in handle design, as well. Some handles are straight and perpendicular to the roller. Others are off-set for a more ergonomic fit.
- Roller Cover: Depending on the surface of your wall, certain types of roller material may be more effective. There are nap covers and foam covers. Nap covers range in thickness; a thin nap would be best suited for smooth surfaces, while thicker naps would be best for rough surfaces like stucco. Especially for glossy finishes, a foam roller may be a better option over a nap. These foam rollers ensure smooth application but are usually most effective for one-time usage.
When should you buy a paintbrush instead of a roller?
Unquestionably, brushes and rollers have different qualities and reasons to use them. You could benefit from a paintbrush when your focus is on smaller areas, like baseboards, crown molding, or trim around windows or doors where more precision painting is needed. In these instances, paint rollers won’t give you the precision and convenience you want. However, paint rollers are ideal for painting broader and flatter areas, like walls, doors, ceilings, and some furniture.
Our Picks for the Best Paint Rollers
Bates Paint Roller Kit, 11 Piece
This is a complete set with two paint rollers, extra covers, a tray, and two smaller brushes.
Pros: This set comes with what you need in a DIY painting set, including a 9-inch and 4-inch foam roller frame. Each roller has a 1/2-inch nap cover along with an extra one, adding up to four covers in total. They’re great for most walls or lightly textured surfaces. These naps have thick filaments, which hold in a good amount of paint to then spread. Along with rollers, you’ll get a small foam brush, a 2-inch angled paintbrush, and a tray for paint.
Cons: If you already have the basics, you may be disappointed with this kit, as it’s geared more toward beginners.
Bottom Line: When you’re ready to take on a paint job but lack the tools to do so, this complete set will come in handy to get you going.
Pro Grade Mini Paint Roller Tool Kit, 10 Piece
This all-inclusive mini paint roller kit is just what you need to paint corners up high and down low.
Pros: You have to get the corners while you’re painting, too. This 10-piece paint roller tool kit has what you need to make what could be an exasperating project simple. Included in this affordable kit are eight 4-inch by 0.5-inch mini roller covers, along with the mini roller frame and mini tray.
Cons: You may discover that the microfiber sheds more than you’d expect.
Bottom Line: It’s relatively easy to paint a wide stretch of wall surfaces. It’s another thing to achieve a clean-looking paint job in corners and windowsills. With this kit, you can get the job done well.
Wagner Spraytech SMART Sidekick Electric Paint Roller
This electric paint roller is great for big paint jobs you want to get done fast.
Pros: Are you a busy person with a long list of home improvement projects to get started on? Well, check out this electrical paint roller and dream big! Think beyond the living or bedroom walls. This paint roller works on just about any surface. A 16-foot hose with an extension pole makes it possible to reach the edges that are usually far out-of-reach. The roller pumps paint continuously, relieving you from the repetitive task of refreshing your roller. Also, the click-attach arm fits 1- or 5-gallon paint containers make big projects easier.
Cons: If you’re new to painting, you may want to consider other products. While it operates smoothly, the electrical paint roller is simply more complicated by design and may be a bit overwhelming.
Bottom Line: Who wants to spend hours and even days painting expansive rooms breathing in paint fumes, wishing you were doing almost anything else? No reason to suffer; this electric paint roller makes large-scale painting a cinch.
TOURACE Paint Roller Set, 9 Piece
This set includes a paint roller and edger, a small brush, corner cutter, resting tray, and two paint sticks. Just bring the paint and paint tray!
Pros: A cornucopia of paint supplies, this paint roller set includes a big roller, a paint edger, a small brush corner cutter, a paint tray, an extension stick, and a paint mixing stick. That’s about all you need, right? The extension stick makes this kit a great buy. At 27.5 inches in length, you can paint hard-to-reach surfaces and corners easily and safely. In fact, with this big paint roller, you can tackle more than just walls but doors, ceilings, floors, and more. The paint edger roller is made for door frames and windowsills. Finally, you can tackle edges and corners like a pro with the corner cutter.
Cons: Be sure not to overfill the roller, or it will leak. Some people find some pieces lack durability.
Bottom Line: Don’t limit your paint projects! This set can cover a lot of different surfaces and corners beautifully.
TINTON LIFE Rubber Wood Pattern Painting Roller and Graining Painting Tool
This unique paint roller can make painting more exciting.
Pros: Gone are the days when all walls looked the same. With the TINTON LIFE paint roller, you get to color outside the lines, so to speak. Basically, you can add a wood grain pattern to a surface with just this tool. You get two tools: an empaistic wood pattern roller and a grain painting tool. You can simply roll on paint with the empaistic roller to achieve a wood grain effect. Otherwise, roll out a layer of paint, let it dry, then revisit the surface with the graining tool.
Cons: If you’d rather not get crafty, no sweat! You might want to check out the other paint roller products we recommended—no reason to force creativity.
Bottom Line: If you want to add a unique touch to an accent wall, this two-tool kit offers an easy and fun way to do it. This product reminds us that home improvement doesn’t have to be a stressful chore.
A painting project can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t have the right tools. If you’re going to be painting wide surfaces, consider one of these trusty paint rollers.