Lets face it; painting can be a tedious chore. Even for people who know what theyre doing, it can be time consuming, repetitive, and just plain boring. However, like many other such tasks, its a necessity to maintain our homes in top-notch condition.
While manual paint application, via brush and roller, is still the most common way to apply paint, modern technology has been applied painting homes and other buildings, seeking ways to make the job both easier and quicker.
Most professional painters use an airless paint sprayer. These high-pressure systems apply paint at a much higher rate than anyone can with a standard brush and roller. However, they are rather pricey for a homeowner, dont do well sitting for years between uses, and require lots of masking (especially indoors) to use them without making a mess. In reality, theyre too much for a homeowner to think of buying.
To fill the gap, power roller systems have been developed. These combine the high-speed pumping benefits of an airless paint sprayer, with the ease of application of a roller. Typically, an average non-professional painter can apply paint in one-fourth the time of using a manual roller.
Theres a few things you need to know about these systems if you are thinking of buying one:
- First of all, they all tend to leak at the connections. You can alleviate this a little by applying Teflon tape to the connections, but making swivel connectors that dont leak at all requires some very expensive machining. Since they cut some corners on the design and manufacture of these systems, to keep prices reasonable, some leaking is normal.
- Theres a limit to how thick a paint these systems will pump. They actually work better with less expensive paints, because those paints tend to be thinner. If you are using high-quality paint, you may need to thin your paint slightly to make it flow well. Just make sure you measure how much you are thinning it, so you can thin the next gallon the same amount (otherwise your color may not be consistent).
- These systems are hard to clean; but they have to be thoroughly cleaned each and every time they are used! Otherwise, you can plan on throwing it away and buying another one. For that matter, avoid buying one that someone else returned; you dont know how well they cleaned it.
- Read the instructions! Yeah, I know, the instructions are only for when all else fails. Well, if you dont read the instructions, and do what they say, youll probably fail. The only problem is that once you fail, trying to backtrack and do what the instructions say, may not work.
The unique thing about Ryobi's system is that it is designed to supply paint to two rollers. That means that one person can be using an edging pad, while another is rolling, making the project go quicker. Read Full Review
Ryobis system is unique in that it is designed so that two painters can work off it at the same time. It even comes with two rollers to work with. The unit constantly recalculates the paint and stirs it. This allows full thickness paints to be used with it, without any problem with clogging. There are two separate paint flow controls, allowing each user to individually set the ideal paint flow for their work. A reversible pump empties the hose and tool of excess paint when the work is done, making cleanup easier. The kit comes with everything you need, including two rollers a corner pad and a cut-in pad.
This is an internal feed unit, from the inventors of the power roller, Wagner. They've come a long way, since their first homeowner units, now producing something that I wouldn't mind using as a professional. The reversible feature on the pump, along with a quick clean connector make for faster cleanups, a great option to have. Read Full Review
Wagner invented the power paint roller, so you'd expect them to rank high in anyone's list. They've come a long way since their first units, which I can clearly remember seeing (and being skeptical about) in the store, back when I was a professional painter.
This unit comes with a variable speed pump, allowing the user to set the paint flow to match their painting speed. It also has an 18-inch extension handle, which is real nice to have. I really like using an extension handle with rollers, because it gives better control, better reach, and lowers operator fatigue. Since this is an internal feed unit, the cores of the roller covers are perforated. The kit comes complete with both 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch nap rollers.
Wagner has developed a reversible feature on the pump, along with a quick clean connector for faster cleanups. Since cleaning one of these units is the worst part of using them, that's a nice option to have.
The best thing about this unit is the "rapid clean" feature, which pumps unused paint back into the can. It also comes with a roller keeper, allowing you to store a wet roller overnight. Read Full Review
HomeRight has produced a really nice unit, with some great features. The best things about this unit are the RapidClean paint saver feature, which pumps unused paint back into the can, and a Roller Keeper which stores a wet roller overnight for continued use the following day (although I wouldnt try leaving it there for two days). The pump is supposed to work with all sizes of paint cans, up to 5 gallon buckets (although they wont fit on the base). The complete kit comes with a 3/8-inch nap roller cover, painting pad for corners and edges, and a 16-inch extension handle.
The Black & Decker unit is much like the HomeRight one. A 20 foot paint hose allows you to paint a 40 foot area, without having to move the pump. Read Full Review
The Black & Decker power paint roller is much like the HomeRight one. In fact, they look enough alike to make one wonder if they came out of the same factory. It has a 16-inch extension handle and comes with a 3/8-inch nap roller. The base is fitted to a one gallon paint can, and can be used with either round or square ones. A 20-foot paint hose allows painting a 40 foot work area, without having to move the pump.
This is a professional unit, designed for attaching to an airless paint sprayer. While not practical for a homeowner, it's a lot easier to use, mostly because of the longer reach. Read Full Review
What we have here is a power roller assembly that is made to attach to an airless paint sprayer. As such, it will really outperform any of the units Ive listed, and really should be the number one pick. However, I didn't pick it as number one, because of the several hundred dollar price tag of the airless paint sprayer. This is what a professional painter would use, instead of an all-in-one power paint roller. Even so, I really dont recommend this type of unit for a homeowner, as youll have a little bit of trouble recouping your investment. However, should you decide that you want the best, this is it. Graco makes some of the finest professional paint equipment available. I have owned their equipment and should the need arise, would never hesitate to buy it again. One of the really great things about these, besides the quality construction, is that they come with a much longer extension handle. I find that working with a 3-foot long handle makes rolling faster and less tiring. While you have the extra weight of the handle, you have much less reaching to do.