17 Types Of Painting Rollers

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Paint rollers are the ideal choice when it comes to ceilings and other large areas. They’re simple to use and they allow for the quick application of paint on almost any type of surface. There are quite a few different styles of rollers available, as there are certain factors to consider when choosing one for your paint project. We’ve done the research to bring you all the valuable information about each type.

Not only do paint rollers quickly expand your reach, but they can also help prevent stress on the back by reaching lower areas of walls and corners. Here are 17 of the most commonly used paint rollers:

  1. Polyester Knit Rollers
  2. Soft Woven Rollers
  3. Wool & Polyester Knit Rollers
  4. Microfiber Rollers
  5. Foam Rollers
  6. Merino Sheepskin Rollers
  7. Mohair Rollers
  8. No Nap Foam Rollers
  9. 1/4-Inch Nap Rollers
  10. 3/8-Inch Nap Rollers
  11. 3/4-Inch Nap Rollers
  12. 1-Inch Nap Rollers
  13. 1 1/2-Inch Nap Roller
  14. Mini Paint Rollers
  15. 3-Inch Trim Roller
  16. 9-Inch Rollers
  17. 12-Inch Rollers

As you can see, paint rollers can come in a variety of lengths and covers. Let’s take a closer look at each type of paint roller to determine the type of projects that they are best suited for.

A hand painting wall with blue paint using rollers, 17 Types Of Painting Rollers

Roller Covers

Hand painting wall using paint rollers

While the main purpose of paint rollers is to be able to paint flat surfaces in a much shorter time than that of a brush, they can also be used for painting surfaces that may be a bit difficult to paint with brushes. This is why it’s important to take note of the type of roller cover that you purchased for your project.

1. Polyester Knit

These rollers typically start around $5 to $10. You will probably find these polyester-made rollers more commonly than any other roller since they can work with most paint surfaces that are smooth. They also work particularly well with latex paints; they can be used with oil-based paint as well.

These rollers have a soft texture and the crimps in the fibers of the roller make for easy paint application. You can find polyester rollers in all sorts of roller sizes, starting with mini rollers and all the way up to 12- or 18-inch rollers.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

2. Soft Woven

You can find soft woven rollers online for around $7 to $15 each (and for less if you purchase them in a set). Soft woven rollers are recommended for semi-gloss and gloss paint sheens, as they hold up well against clumping and matting. They also can be used with both oil and latex-based paint.

These particular rollers are especially durable. They are good for use on any type of smooth surface. Their biggest downside would be that they don’t hold as much paint as other roller materials may. 

Check out this roller on Amazon.

3. Wool & Polyester Blend

Wool-based paint rollers are some of the best rollers that you can purchase. These rollers can get be on the expensive side, starting at $10 or more (unless you purchase them in a set). In these blended rollers, half of the material is made from natural wool while the other half is made of 100% polyester. This make-up allows the roller to hold its shape for longer. It also helps to provide a sense of balance during paint applications.

They can be used with water- or oil-based paints. These rollers are fairly versatile and can be used on several paint surfaces. These rollers can be purchased in a variety of sizes starting at 1-inch rollers all the way up to 12 or 18 inches.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

4. Microfiber 

Microfiber covers are a fairly new type of paint roller. You can find these rollers online for about $10 to $20. These rollers work with oil-based and latex paints as well as satin, matte, or eggshell finishes. Their soft texture offers a super smooth finish and is ideal on surfaces that have a very smooth texture.

Microfiber rollers can come in a variety of sizes including mini rollers and 18-inch rollers. The only downside to these rollers is that there is a slight learning curve to get past before using them correctly. This is because they tend to pick up a bit more paint than other materials.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

5. Foam 

Foam rollers are probably the most inexpensive type of paint roller that you can purchase, typically going for about $2 to $5. The reason that they are so cheap is that they are typically “single-use” paint rollers that don’t have much durability past one application.

These rollers are made with high-density foam and are best used to do touch-ups on baseboards, trim, moldings, doors, and cabinets, as well as other small projects.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

6. Merino Sheepskin 

Merino rollers are more on the expensive side, starting at around $25 per roller. These rollers are exceptionally soft and plush, allowing them to pick up more paint than other types of roller covers. Many painters use Merino covers exclusively. They are known to last for several years with proper maintenance and care.

You can find these paint rollers in all sizes, including mini rollers sets as well as large rollers 12 inches or longer. They can also be used on almost any paint surface (though they work best on smoother surfaces) and work well with latex and oil-based paints.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

7. Mohair 

Mohair covers can be found online for around $7 to $15, depending on the brand. These rollers feature natural Angora mohair that is soft and smooth. Unsurprisingly, they offer a very smooth finish and work very well with semi-gloss and gloss paint sheens.

Mohair covers can also be purchased as mini rollers, 1/2-inch rollers, or in larger sizes, such as 12-inch. It’s important to note that these rollers pick up a lot of paint, so they typically only require one coat of paint when used. This is very beneficial if you are worried about coverage or using expensive paint.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

Roller Cover Pile Depth

The nap length of the roller refers to the thickness of the roller. Smoother paint surfaces require thinner roller naps while other surfaces will be more suited for rollers with thicker naps.

8. No Nap Rollers

No nap rollers can be purchased rather inexpensively, some even starting at $2 per roller. These rollers don’t have fibrous materials as other rollers do, but instead, have a dense foam material. The rollers are often used to paint areas such as cabinets, moldings, trim, doors, and furniture.

No nap rollers work well with gloss and semi-gloss paint sheens and can be used with latex and oil-based paint as well. They’re commonly used for priming drywall, as they allow a very smooth finish. These rollers can be found in all sizes.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

9. 1/4-Inch Nap Rollers

These rollers work well for painting smooth surfaces such as plaster and metal doors. They can work well with gloss and semi-gloss paint sheens and can be used with both latex and oil-based paints as well. You can purchase them online for anywhere from $3 to $10. These rollers can be found in all cover materials and sizes including mini roller and 18-inch lengths.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

10. 3/8-inch Nap Rollers

These particular rollers can be used on smooth or semi-smooth services such as drywall, ceilings, or well-sanded wood cabinets or furniture. They usually cost anywhere from $5 to $10 depending on the brand. They can be used with primers, eggshell, and flat paints.

The rollers can also be used with semi-gloss paints, however, gloss and high-gloss paints should be avoided. It can easily produce the “orange peel” look. You usually find these rollers with average-sized frames of at least 6 inches or more.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

11. 3/4-Inch Nap Rollers

These rollers work best for areas that are on the rougher side, such as textured (popcorn ceilings) and wood. The thicker nap on them works well to apply the paint evenly on the surface. These rollers typically start at around $4 to $10. They can be used for both water-based and oil-based paints, and work well satin for flat paints. The rollers can be found in all cover materials and sizes, including mini roller and 18-inch lengths.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

12. 1-Inch Nap Rollers

These rollers are perfect for heavily textured surfaces such as brick, rough wood, and stucco. While they can be used on smooth surfaces, they are not ideal for them. You can usually find these rollers online for around $4. They can be found in all cover materials. They’ll usually come in larger roller lengths of 10 inches or more.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

13. 1 1/2-Inch Nap Rollers

This is the thickest nap that you will find on a paint roller that isn’t a specialty roller. They will typically be more expensive than other rollers and usually start at about $10 to $12. These rollers are best for painting surfaces such as cinder block, brick, and concrete–in other words, considerably rough surfaces. They are typically found in larger lengths starting at 10 or 12 inches.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

Roller Length

Industrial worker using roller to paint walls

The length of the roller that you purchased will depend on your skill level as well as the project that you are working on it. Naturally, smaller projects will be better suited for smaller roller lengths, such as 4 to 7 inches. Larger projects will fare better with longer roller lengths of 14 inches or more.

14. Mini Rollers

Mini rollers are used to reach in between tight spaces such as doors, shelves, and cabinets. They’re also commonly used to fit behind floor-based heater sources and toilets. You will usually find these rollers available in polyblends, mohair, or foam. You can purchase them for as little as $2.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

15. 3-inch Rollers

A tad bigger than mini rollers (and normally at the same price point), 3-inch rollers are perfect for painting molding, trim, and other small interior areas. You usually find them available in foam, polyblend, wool, and mohair covers. They can significantly reduce the amount of time that it would take to paint a small area with a brush.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

16. 9-inch Rollers

These rollers are probably the most common roller length available. They usually start at around $5 and are considered heavy-duty paint rollers and are typically used on large areas such as entire rooms or office spaces. 9-inch rollers work well for interior walls as well as exterior surfaces. You can use latex and oil-based paints with them. They are considered a staple item in a professional paint setup. You will find them available in all types of covers as well as naps.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

17. 12 to 18 inch Rollers

Rollers that are 12 to 18 inches long are normally used for large projects such as complete home renovations, large rooms or offices, or exterior surfaces (such as commercial paint jobs). You can find these rollers for about $3 online. The frame on these rollers is usually adjustable.

Check out this roller on Amazon.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has provided you with more knowledge on how to choose the right paint roller for your project as well as various factors to consider. Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How To Paint A Front Porch In 4 Actionable Steps

What Wall Paint Colors Go With Dark Brown Furniture? [5 Best Options]

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