Get to Know Your Paint Rollers

HGTV Magazine teaches you that swiping on a coat of color is easy when you have the right tool for the job.
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Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Rollers 101

A roller’s nap is the length of its fibers. For most walls, a 3/8-inch nap will produce the best results.

Knit Synthetic

Best for: Drywall or plaster. Nap: 3/8 inch. Because the fibers (polyester, nylon, or a blend of both) are knitted, this kind of roller—the classic go-to—applies paint without leaving lint behind on the wall. Marathon 9"-long polyester-and-nylon-blend roller cover, $7, purdy.com for stores

Microfiber

Best for: Drywall or plaster. Nap: 3/8 inch. Soft, tiny fibers create a smoother finish than a knit synthetic. This type is a little trickier to use—go over a spot too many times and it could pull paint off the wall. Linzer microfiber 9"-long roller cover, $5, homedepot.com

Textured

Best for: All wall types. Nap: None. Meant to mimic a sea sponge, this roller gives walls a dappled, antiqued effect. Paint a base coat with a regular roller, then use this one to put another color on top. Ralph Lauren 9"-long sea sponge roller cover, $15, homedepot.com

Foam

Best for: Smooth surfaces, such as furniture and flat doors. Nap: None . High-density foam glides evenly over surfaces with no fuzzy residue. It comes in different lengths, from mini to standard. Shur-line 4"-long high-density foam roller, $7 for a set of 2, walmart.com

Heavy Duty

Best for: Rough surfaces, such as brick and stucco. Nap: 3/4 inch to 1 inch. Its long, durable synthetic fibers soak up more paint than a standard roller so it can get into the crevices of uneven walls. Colossus 9"-long x 1"-nap roller cover, $9, purdy.com for stores

Corner Roller

Best for: Corners and molding. Nap: None. This compact foam wheel is just the right size for cleanly painting corners. You can also roll it along the spot where molding meets the wall. Purdy Quick Solutions foam corner roller, $5, acehardware.com