Simple Guide To Use A Paint Roller And How To Clean It

Paint rollers are one of the best tools to paint any household. There are many painting tools available in the market but paint roller is the finest tool any painter wishes to have. If you are wondering about how to use a paint roller, then this guide will help you navigate from that. 

How to Use a Paint Roller

Paint rollers can work best on smooth surfaces and cover more areas. Most often when we think about painting, we think of paintbrushes, but just one roll of this, and it will be equivalent to 100 strokes of paint brushes. It’s fairly easy to paint wood paneling with a roller as well. That’s why it’s important to know more about the paint roller first and then learn the use of a paint roller.

Paint Roller Types

Paint roller comes in different sizes and different naps as well. It depends on where and what you want to paint. Basically they are made from natural or synthetic fibers. The roller cage which is like a skeleton for nap comes in different sizes such as mini to 12 inches long. Smaller sizes are used in wood painting and for wall painting, the perfect size is 9 inches. Here is a list of nap sizes and their use.

  • 0.25 or 1/4-inch size of a nap is used for smooth surfaces like new walls, ceilings, wood doors, and trim
  • 0.37 or 3/8-inch nap for smooth to light-textured walls
  • 0.5 or 1/2-inch nap for most walls and medium rough surfaces, such as textured plaster, and concrete
  • 0.75 or 3/4-inch nap for rough surfaces, such as textured walls and ceilings, textured plaster, and concrete
  • 3/8- or 1/2-inch nap is a good general-purpose roller cover.

Paint with Roller

Once you find the roller type and find the best paint roller for yourself, it’s time to learn how to use a paint roller.

  • Always start from the top with a paint roller. It’s a useful trade because most often, it will drip the paint below. 
  • Make sure to dip the paint roller around halfway through the bucket of your paint. Then run the roller across the grid, it will soak in the paint for a better finish.
  • Start small with a paint roller. That’s the way everyone learns to use a paint roller. Make sure that you paint around 2 to 3 square feet of area.
  • Always keep an eye on the weight and sound of the paint roller. More clicky sound means it’s less heavy which means it needs to reload with more paint.
  • Once the upper part of the wall is complete, make a long stripe from bottom to the top. Then use a zig-zag pattern to cover more areas. Make sure to paint alongside the previous line to make it even.
  • If you are not too comfortable with painting right away, you can try to draw the tradition M. first make a vertical stroke bottom to the top. After that continue to make a diagonal downward stroke. After that make another diagonal upward stroke and complete the M with one last downward diagonal stroke. Once you complete it, now make a horizontal stroke from left to right on the bottom of the M. Keep making a zig-zag like horizontal stroke until the M completely overlaps with paint.
  • Repeat this all around the wall in the house. Make sure to overlap each stroke and paint it 3 or 4 times to complete the paint to make it smoother.

How to Clean paint Roller

Keeping your painting tool in good condition always helps next time. Not just for paint roller, even for cleaning paint brush from cleaning a paint sprayer, it’s important to keep them in great condition. 

  • Paint roller acts like a sponge which means there it must have soak a lot of paint and it needs to be clean from it as well. 
  • Use a putty knife or 5 in 1 tool to scrape off excess paint
  • Make sure to use long strokes, but not hard enough to tear the sponge.
  • Roll it on the wall or in the newspaper to get paint residue out of the roller surface.
  • Clean the roller frame. Put the nap outside and clean the roller frame first. If it’s latex paint then uses dishwasher liquid and if it’s oil-based paint then use paint thinner. Make sure to clean it while it’s wet. 
  • Clean the roller cover or nap by putting it inside the warm water with liquid detergent and submerged in it.
  • Make sure to use the finger to clean out the paint.
  • Rinse it under the water until no paint comes out of the roller cover, then shake it to dry.
  • If it’s oil paint then use the paint thinner or mineral spirit
  • Fill a small bucket that can hold the roller and submerge the roller cover in the thinner.
  • Keep it there for around 10 minutes and then clean it. 

Using a paint roller is not just about painting but it’s about maintaining as well. With this method of cleaning roller paint, not only it will stay clean, but it will work for a longer time.


We hope that this article will help you with using a paint roller. It’s one of the most important tools and whoever learns how to use a paint roller can paint anything with it. Painting is useful but cleaning a paint roller is also important as well. With this guide, now you can paint any wall or ceiling with a paint roller.

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