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    Painting with a roller

    Summary: Learn how to use a paint roller, what type of roller you should use, tips and advice when using a paint roller.

    Paint rollers are very useful for applying paint to large areas of wall, giving a quick, smooth finish. They are important to the overall quality of the paint job, as brushes leave brush strokes and an uneven finish; this is why brushes should only be used for smaller areas.

    Using a roller

    There are different sizes of roller, and different materials used also. The roller can be detached from the handle so a replacement can be used when it becomes worn.

    • When preparing to paint, you will need to decide on the size and material of the roller. The usual sizes are 4in, 9in and 12in. The one you choose should reflect the size of the wall space you are painting.
    • The main materials that rollers are made from include sheepskin, foam and mohair. Sheepskin has a long pile, so they are good for painting uneven surfaces. They are not suitable for achieving a smooth finish on a flat surface. Foam is the cheapest and is the best for flat, smooth surfaces where a good finish is required. Mohair rollers have a short, strong pile and are good for slightly textured wall surfaces.
    • When it comes to painting the walls, you must have prepared a way of reaching the higher up places. A step-up should be used. You can position two ladders at either end of the wall, with a solid, strong plank that is wide enough to stand on, in between.
    • You need to cut-in the edges of the walls so a neat finish is achieved. This is a coat of paint (approx 2in wide) applied with a paint brush that covers the edges of the walls and around obstacles such as light switches and light fittings. Once this has been completed, you are ready to use the roller to fill the rest of the wall space.
    • To use the roller, you need a tray in which to hold the paint. When you want to coat your roller in paint, dip it in the tray and roll it along the raised section of the tray. Do not overload the roller with too much paint or it will drip everywhere and create an uneven layer on the wall.
    • When using a roller, the technique you should use to apply the paint is to roll the paint in a zig-zag motion, with each stroke overlapping the last. Paint in 1m square sections, starting from the top of the wall. Always make sure you are using the paint in the way the manufacturers instruct.

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