What Paint Roller To Use For A Smooth Finish

A paint roller is a tool used to apply paint to various surfaces, including walls, doors, etc. It usually features an absorbent material that easily spread the paint on the surface. 

There are various types of paint rollers. Some paint rollers are ideal for certain types of paint and surfaces. Using the right paint roller will help the painter to achieve a smooth finish easily.

Besides, paint rollers offer outstanding outcomes and aesthetics. They are impactful in delivering a painting project more productively while saving time and producing enhanced quality and looks. 

Rollers come in many different sizes ranging from 2″ to 18″. Most rollers have sizes of 7″ to 12″. 

Roller Paint Tray

Roller trays:

These are plastic dishes that have paint tipped into one end. The roller is being immersed in the paint. Surplus paint that drains from the roller keeps dropping on the tray’s flat surface. 

Besides, if you want to avoid consistent cleaning of the tray, you can line it with cling film. The cling film can be disposed-off after using that particular color.

Roller Frame:

A large number of roller frames feature hollow or threaded handles. It enables the painter to add an extension pole into the handle. Hence, you can reach high ceilings, including the top of the tall walls.

How do I get a smooth finish with a roller?

Paint rollers are a handy tool in creating patterns and effects on surfaces. There are also special roller sleeves that help in applying thicker paints and mixes. 

Roller sleeves with patterns being carved on them give a very unique stippled effect to walls. These roller sleeves are referred to as “stenciled rollers.” 

They are generally produced from rubber or cut foam.

As said earlier, there are numerous and various types of paint rollers. They are all peculiar in where, how, and when they are being used. 

In choosing the appropriate paint roller that will offer a smooth finish to your wall, you need to explore the available types of paint rollers and paint you intend to use for your job. 

Gloss and emulsion are popular types of paints that are mostly used in buildings worldwide. Paint rollers also fit for a particular surface.

For instance, surfaces like Artex ceiling textured walls and flat surfaces have certain paint rollers that deliver smooth finishes to the surface.

However, if you intend to get a smooth finish with a roller, you need to attach a strong roller cage with a high-quality roller cover. 

You will also need to buy a lamb wool cover. The wool helps to absorb and transfer the paint evenly. If the roller nap is thicker, you’ll be able to attain more texture on the finished wall. 

A 3/8 to 1/2 inch nap works well in achieving smooth surfaces.

How to choose the correct paint roller for your job?

It’s more effortless and fast when paint rollers are being used for painting instead of paintbrushes. Rollers are suitable for use while painting with gloss and emulsion paints. Most paint rollers are tagged with the type of paint that it’s most suitable for.

In this regard, smaller-sized rollers are specifically designed to work with radiators.

For larger surfaces, rollers with flat surfaces are well suited. However, it requires using a paintbrush or paint pad to cover edges and corners. 

This is because these rollers can’t fit in the little space you want to paint. Hence, using a brush or paint pad will help you deliver a smooth finish to the surface.

Rollers come in different width sizes, which vary from about 90 mm wide to 450mm. 

They are all ideal for a particular use. However, there is no appropriate or inappropriate width for any painting project. As a painter, you need to know that the bigger the surface, the wider the roller.

However, paint rollers typically have two (2) parts. This includes;

The roller cover: This is the part that absorbs the paint and transfers it to the surface.

The roller frame: This part is being attached to the roller cover.

Identifying the Type of Paint Roller that is ideal for Different Surfaces:

Paint rollers have various coverings that are dipped inside the paint for application. Three (3) among them includes;

Wool or natural fibers: These include lamb’s wool and Mohair, which is great for oil-based paint.

Synthetic roller covers: These include nylon and polyester, which are best used for water-based latex paints.

Foam: Foam roller covers are suitable for high-gloss latex or oil paints. It’s perfect for painting bare wood or other porous surfaces. Foam covers also offer a glossy and smooth finish if you are repainting your cabinet.

Paint roller covers come in different sizes. They are available in various naps. Each nap is ideal for certain surfaces. 

So you must correspond the nap to the type of surface you want to paint on. Thus, the smoother the surface, the thinner the nap should be.


Heavily textured surfaces that include brick and cinder block require a 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch nap to allow the roller to fit into various edges and corners.

Roller sleeves:

They are characterized by cardboard tubes to which the skin is being attached to. The cardboard can get wet and break down, which enables bristles and foam to work loose. 

Roller sleeves are perfect for use when considering oil-based paints. Among which is the gloss painting of the flush door. The more the nap gets tighter, the more smoothness you get. 

However, it’s best if you were ready to get rid of the smoother roller sleeves away. This is because they are extremely difficult to clean.

The lamb’s wool that is used on roller sleeves is ideal for emulsions. They can hold a larger volume of paint than synthetic sleeves. Moreover, they don’t splash the paint.

Roller sleeve from Mohair is the best choice for many surfaces when used with different length naps. 

You can also use them with varnish. Mohair is usually used with gloss paints. However, it’s also perfect for oil-based radiator paints. You also need to avoid buying cheap paint-roller sleeves.

Long Haired Mohair Roller Sleeves: These are suitable for textured walls and Artex ceilings. On the other hand, a smooth foam roller is being used to paint emulsion on a nice smooth and plastered wall.

Shorter Haired Mohair Roller Sleeves: They are great for many surfaces and paint types. It’s necessary that you carefully choose the length of your nap to fit the surface you intend to cover.

Smooth Foam Roller Sleeves: These are perfect for painting emulsion onto smooth plastered walls.

Synthetic Fibre Foller Sleeves: These are perfect for oil-based paints such as gloss and for painting flat surfaces such as a flush door.

Lambs Wool Roller Sleeve: These are being used with emulsion-based paints.

What is the best quality paint roller?

Paint rollers are available for sale on many online stores like eBay, Amazon, Aliexpress, etc. A large number of painters make use of rollers as its cost-effective and easy to use. 

Thus, when you choose the right paint rollers, you’ll be able to offer unique aesthetics to surfaces.

Therefore, you should ensure that the roller you are about to purchase is durable, high-quality, and handy.

Below are among the best paint rollers that you can consider when buying your next rollers.

HomeRight PaintStick EZ-Twist C800952.M Paint Roller:

This roller makes it extremely easy to paint ceilings and walls. Also, It provides adequate reach, which helps in completing paintings without mess or drips. It also possesses a twistable and long-lasting handle.

Bates Paint Roller:

This is an inexpensive paint roller set that influences the quick and efficient completion of painting jobs. Buying this product comes with a comprehensive set consisting of a paint roller and brush, among others. 

It’s a pro-quality product that is known to be durable and to offer a superb paint finish. Moreover, it’s handy and easy to clean.

STANLEY Home Paint Kit:

This product comes with many kits that you can use in painting your home walls and ceilings. The kit includes a paint roller, tray, and so on. The paint roller covers are made of fabric with high-density. This enables the roller to hold a huge volume of paint and spread it evenly on the surface.

Work Tools International 57646 6-Inch Premium Foam Paint Roller Cover and Frame:

This roller features concave ends, which help eliminate any lap lines and give the roller a feathered-edge on both sides. It offers a finish that is similar to spray works.

They are produced with an amazing construction that’s ultimately tight-celled to hinder bubbling and stippling. More so, this possesses lightweight and can be used for a wide range of painting applications. 

Katzco Paint Roller: 

This paint roller product is suitable for various painting applications. Its roller frame fits all brands of roller covers that are of the same size. It also possesses a solvent-resistant core that provides long-lasting durability and smooth action that offers swift painting jobs. 

Why is my paint roller bumpy?

When you buy one of the best paint rollers, you can always be guaranteed its durability. Paint rollers become bumpy after it has been using for painting jobs on several occasions. When it becomes bumpy, it glides in irregular movements, limiting you to have a smooth finish.

It may even transfer some bumps to the surface, which affects its appearance. However, if you want to remove bumps on surfaces after painting, you need to follow the instructions below;

Using a 150 grit sandpaper, lightly sand the affected area, then tack the walls. Wipe the area with a cloth to get rid of dust. 

Proceed to repaint the area while maintaining a wet edge. This implies that you shouldn’t allow the paint to dry till you’ve finished repainting the wall.


We have looked at paint rollers and those well suited for a smooth finish. This post has adequately provided ample information that should help an amateur painter in their selection. 

Make sure you have well-studied and researched the surface and the type of paint you are going to use. In most cases, you will need to buy multiple paint rollers, as the need of switching rollers rises many times.

Also, don’t forget that paint rollers aren’t for single use! Take care of them properly, and they will last for many months if not years.

We highly suggest you read another relevant article, which is based on What Roller To Use For Primer.