What Paint Rollers Do Professionals Use?

Whether you’re painting your whole house or freshening up a wall, a good paint roller is a must in order to achieve a smooth, even finish. If you’re wanting to achieve a professional standard of paint application, you’re going to need professional standard tools.

The best type of roller available on the market today is the quick-lock type (also works with screw-type poles), particularly this one made by Wooster.

The roller frame costs a little over five bucks and is great quality, made with smooth-rolling internal bearings and a durable green fiberglass reinforced nylon cage and end caps.

paint roller

For higher and hard-to-reach areas, you’ll want a telescoping pole. Usually, a 2-to-4 footer

and a 4-to-8 footer

are used by professionals, as any poles over 12 feet long will bend too much. Instead, it’s better to use a ladder and a shorter pole.

These Wooster extension poles feature a special bayonet Grip Tip to hold your tools in place, while the hexagonal aluminum inner pole prevents twisting and the outer pole is made of rugged fiberglass for extra durability.

What type of paint roller gives the smoothest finish?

The cover you use on your roller and its thickness (known as the nap) will impact how smoothly the paint is transferred to the wall.

When painting on a normal smooth wall, use a white woven short nap roller to achieve an ultra-fine finish.

Smooth foam roller sleeves are good for painting emulsion onto smooth plastered walls, while synthetic fibre foller sleeves are ideal for use with oil-based paints such as gloss and for painting flat surfaces such as a flush door.

A 1/4-inch nap is ideal for use on smooth walls, ceilings, cabinetry, and other surfaces without texture, including metal.

Using a thick 3/4″ nap roller cover on a smooth wall is not advised as it will produce an orange peel texture, and for this reason, these are best left for textured surfaces.

What is the best paint roller for textured walls?

Textured walls call for a different type of roller as you’re working with a more uneven surface.

Long haired mohair roller sleeves are ideal for textured walls and Artex ceilings, while

shorter haired mohair roller sleeves work well on most surfaces and with most paint types, but you should also adapt the length of your nap carefully to suit the surface you are covering.

Best Paint Roller Nap Sizes for each type of wall:

  • For lightly textured surfaces, and most interior walls, try a 3/8-inch nap.
  • A 1/2-inch nap is ideal for moderately textured walls, paneling, and painted brick or concrete.
  • For heavily textured surfaces, including bare brick, concrete, or popcorn-textured walls, a 3/4-inch nap is best.
  • Use a 1-inch nap and above for painting stucco, cinder blocks, or rough brick.

1/2 Inch Nap vs 3/8 Inch

There are several factors that can play a role in what nap size you chose between 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch

1/2 inch nap is better than 3/8 inch the higher the texture is on the surface you are painting. If your surface has simple roll on texture or no texture at all, 3/8 inch nap will be sufficient. But if the wall is plastered or textured with concrete, you will need a 1/2 inch nap or higher to ensure that you have proper paint coverage.

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What is the best roller to paint a ceiling?

As a rule of thumb, a 3/8-inch nap is the best for painting ceilings, and you’ll also need a telescoping pole, but as we said previously, don’t go for a super long one, stick to a shorter one and use a ladder to get closer to the ceiling.

The True Blue Professional 9″ Paint Roller Covers in a 3/8″ nap are a good choice.

They’re made from microfiber, which is good for painting a myriad of surfaces – just pick the nap length appropriate for your use.

True Blue’s roller covers claim to release 3x more paint than a standard roller cover, allowing you to paint more efficiently, especially when covering a big area like a ceiling. These versatile rollers are tested for use with latex paints, stains, oil-based products, and even epoxies, and will deliver smooth and consistent results every time.

Things to consider when choosing a roller frame:


A roller frame is the main mechanism involved in a roller, and therefore you must choose one that is durable. Roller cages usually have plastic caps at either end supporting the compression metal “ribs” that fit inside a cover and hold it in place as you paint, but you’ll also find frames with sturdy plastic cages.


A well-designed roller frame will have an ergonomic handle to provide comfort when painting for long durations, and it’s definitely worth investing in a roller with a comfortable handle as this will reduce strain on your wrist.

Ball bearings

Ball bearings are what facilitates that smooth rolling movement, and buying a roller frame with good quality bearings will ensure a smoother, and more even, paint finish.


It’s a good idea to ensure the frame you buy comes with threads or clips at the bottom of the handle to allow you to attach an extension pole so you can paint ceilings or the tops of walls more easily.

Paint Roller Tips

Before you get started with your paint project, here are some tips to bear in mind:

  • When attaching the roller cover to the paint roller frame, align the hole in the cover with the end of the frame and push it on to secure.
  • For better reach when painting high places, you can screw on a painting roller extension pole to your roller frame – but don’t go too long as poles longer than 12 feet tend to bend.
  • To avoid roller edge lines, use the rounded end of the foam roller cover.
  • No need to apply excessive pressure when rolling — an even, light pressure is all that is required for smooth results.
  • When you’ve finished, remove your roller cover from the roller frame straight away.
  • If you used latex paint, hold the roller cover under running water and use soap and your hands to squeeze out the excess paint. Repeat this until your roller is clean, but avoid soaking the cover in water.

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