How to Use a Paint Roller

Move over brush, there's another tool in town. Follow these three simple techniques for using the roller right.

painting-roller-technique
Photo by Arthur Mount

1. Start with the top half of the wall, so that drips fall on unpainted areas. Dip the roller about halfway into the paint. Run the roller along the grid until the sleeve is nicely saturated but not dripping.

 

2. Work in small zones—two to three square feet at a time—and listen to the roller. It should sound wet. When the roller loses that crinkly, moist sound, it’s time to load it up with more paint.

 

3. Paint a stripe up the wall, bottom to top. At the top, turn the roller sideways, then zigzag it back down. Repeat these steps across the length of the wall, with each new stripe overlapping a three-inch portion of the area already painted. For all types of rooms, most experts recommend two coats, no matter what the paint label says. Dark shades, such as navy, may need three for full coverage.

For more tips, see How to Paint a Room.