Paint Roller Vs Pad: How to Choose!

DIY’ers often have to choose between different tools to complete projects. For example, you might have to decide whether to use a paint roller or a paint pad when painting. Which application method is best?

Whether a paint roller or paint pad is better for painting depends on the specific project. Paint rollers allow you to paint high areas such as ceilings or walls, while paint pads provide a better finish for particular regions.

This article aims to explain when a paint roller is ideal for a DIY project and when a paint pad has the upper hand.

Pros and Cons: Paint Roller vs. Pad

Some people are unaware that paint pads are an option when taking on a painting job. Both of these choices have their place in different DIY projects.

At first, it might be challenging to see how different paint rollers and paint pads are from one another. Let’s look at some pros and cons to clarify the similarities and differences.

Paint Rollers

Rollers can be handled easily, even by novice painters, and professional painters and DIY’ers alike use rollers to get big jobs done as quickly as possible. 

Depending on your needs, you can choose from different rollers with naps in various sizes.

Pros of using Paint Rollers

· Paint with less effort

Every stroke with a roller gets plenty of paint onto surfaces, which means less work is needed.

· Spend less time painting

Since you can get plenty of paint to walls, ceilings, and any other big, flat surface with a paint roller, you get it done quicker.

· Reach high places

You can purchase a paint roller with a threaded socket to add an extension handle. This is useful when it comes to painting ceilings and high walls. Plus, not having to use a ladder to reach high spots means fewer worries about safety.

Cons of Using Paint Rollers

· Messy process

Paint rollers tend to be messy when used by inexperienced painters or DIY’ers. You can end up splattering paint all over the place. That means spending more time cleaning up the mess with mineral spirits or another cleaning agent.

· High price

Painting with a roller can cost you a lot more than with a paint pad. Not only are you liable to splash a coat of paint all over the place, but you have to keep adding paint to the roller. This will be especially expensive if you use high-end paint.

· Hard-to-get-to spots

Spots that are hard to paint, such as corners and edges, pose difficulties with a roller. Small, irregularly shaped areas will also be a challenge.

Paint Pads

Paint pads have been around for decades, but they are not as common as paint rollers. However, more and more DIY’ers are catching on to how good paint pads can be.

Pros of Using a Paint Pad

· Useful design

Paint pads are user-friendly. These painting tools feature a handle that allows you to utilize them effortlessly. You use the right amount of paint, thanks to the built-in tray. Their design also negates the unwanted splattering that rollers tend to produce.

· Longevity

Paint pads will last you longer than you might expect them to. This is because you can purchase replacement pads when needed instead of replacing everything.

· Smooth finish

Paint pads are known to produce a smooth finish that stands out. This is especially helpful when painting ceilings.

Paint roller on trim

Cons of Using a Paint Pad

· More work

Using a paint pad instead of a paint roller has its advantages, but getting the job done faster is not one of them. This is because a pad with paint gets a much thinner layer of paint on surfaces, resulting in the need to apply another layer.

· Reloading time

Reloading a paint pad takes longer than a paint roller. The difference here is negligible for small jobs, but if you have a lot of painting to do, you will notice it.

· Availability

Since paint rollers are a lot more popular than pads, you might have a hard time finding pads depending on where you live. Thankfully, ordering through the Internet is a good solution, but shipping costs can impact your painting budget.

Paint Roller or Pad?

For most DIY’ers, paint rollers are more practical since they are more readily available and easier to use on many surfaces because of the rolling action. However, you might be better off with a paint pad if you want to focus on a smoother finish for a small area.

Something else you must consider when buying these painting tools is that there are different types to choose from.

Different Paint Rollers

If you want to get a paint roller, you will have to choose the right frame and roller cover.

Roller frames include the handle and the cage, which is where the cover or nap goes. You can purchase long roller frames for tough-to-reach areas. Mini roller frames allow for more precision and let you hit tight spots that would be cumbersome with a long handle.

Choosing the right paint roller cover or nap is even more important than the frame. You will have to consider the texture of the surface you are painting and the type of paint you are using.

A wool and polyester nap can be used effectively on most surfaces, including rough surfaces and other textured surfaces. It also works perfectly with oil-based and water-based paint.

Different Paint Pads

Each type of pad has its pros and cons, including the surfaces they are designed for and their availability.

DIY’ers who want to use a paint pad can choose from foam, microfiber, sheepskin, and mohair options. Foam pads are the most popular.

Conclusion – Paint Rollers vs. Pads

You can use both paint rollers and pads for most DIY painting jobs.

Paint rollers are more popular and readily available, making them a more practical choice for many. However, if you’re mixing surfaces such as walls and trim, you might want to try both of these painting tools in your next project for optimal results.