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Home Improvement

Best Paint Roller Cover

Besides paint brushes, paint rollers are still the most common means of paint application for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers. Even professional painters, who use airless paint sprayers for new construction and exterior painting, still use paint rollers for interior painting, especially on occupied dwellings and offices. In these cases, the overspray from paint sprayers is unacceptable.

A high quality paint roller will make a difference in the quality and quantity of your work, just like a high quality paint brush will. Specifically, the differences you will see in a high quality paint roller include:

  • The roller will carry a higher volume of paint, allowing you to cover more area before recharging your paint roller.
  • The roller will not “shed” leaving little pieces of the nap stuck in your paint job.
  • The roller will leave a smoother, more consistent paint finish.
  • There will be less paint splatter from the job.
  • The roller will have beveled edges to help eliminate “lines” at overlap points.
  • The roller will last through a number of cleanings, without falling apart.

On this last point, let me say that while many do-it-yourselfers buy inexpensive roller covers and throw them away after one usage, paint rollers and covers really aren’t all that hard to clean and reuse. A good quality roller cover, which is cleaned after every use, can last for years. I have a lambskin cover that I bought more than 20 years ago. While I haven’t used it constantly in that time, I have used it for a number of projects. I am currently repainting my entire house, inside and out, and expect to complete the entire project with this one roller, then clean it up and keep it for the next project.
I am a big fan of lambskin paint roller covers. Personally, even though I was an engineer, I find it hard to believe that man can improve upon what nature creates. However, in all fairness, I must say that some of the newer synthetic materials that have been created outperform lambskin in all but one important area, that of life expectancy. Lambskin roller covers are still the longest lasting on the market.

For the sake of this article, I’ve stuck to 1/2-inch nap roller covers. If you are painting a slick surface, this is too long, you’d need a 1/4-inch nap; likewise it is too short for painting brick or cinder block, you’d need a 3/4-inch nap. However, for the most common paintjob, that of painting textured interior walls, this is the best length.

Purdy 1/2” Nap Colossus Paint Roller Cover, model #140630093

Of all painting equipment brands, Purdy is the most respected by painting professionals. This paint roller has been designed to carry an exceptional amount of paint to the substrate; 1/3 more than standard roller covers. It will lay a very smooth coat of paint on the surface without dripping or splatter. Even so, I'd still use a drop cloth, just to be sure. The roller is built on a polypropylene core for long life. For a synthetic roller, this one will probably outlast anything else on the market.

Wooster 1/2” Nap Pro Doo-Z Roller Cover #RR643

This roller cover is made of high density interlocking fibers to prevent shedding and carry more paint to the substrate. That protects your work on fine finishes. Works exceptionally well with “high-tack” coatings, such as epoxies, urethanes, latex and industrial enamels. The white high-density fabric is designed to resist matting for the smoothest possible finish. The polypropylene core resists water and solvents, ensuring long roller life.

Purdy 1/2” Nap Lambskin Paint Roller Cover 140636093

I’ve got to get at least one lambskin roller cover in this list. Of all the roller covers made, lambskin is the longest lasting, surviving multiple uses and washings. Once broken in, they won’t shed (however, like any roller cover, you need rub it to insure that there aren’t any loose strands, before use). A phenolic core won’t be damaged by water either. If properly cleaned, the only thing that can destroy this roller over the long term is the abrasiveness of the surfaces painted.

Shur-Line 55502S 1/2" Teflon Roller Cover

Shur-Line is the first company to put Teflon® coating on their paint brushes and roller covers. As you can imagine, this greatly reduces clean-up time, and increases product life by insuring that there is no dried paint residue hidden in the roller cover after cleaning. The rest of the roller is designed for long life as well; with fibers melted onto the backing by a patented low melt technology. I’m expecting good things of this roller cover.

Linzer 1/2” RC 700 Nap Lambskin Roller Cover

Linzer 1/2” RC 700 Nap Lambskin Roller Cover

A high quality lambskin roller on a moisture and solvent resistant core. Linzer is known for all sorts of quality wool products, and also produces lambskin roller covers. In fact, most of the “house brand” lambskin roller covers on the market are made by Linzer. Although the manufacturer recommends lambskin more for oil-based paints than latex, most paint professionals and experts would agree that lambskin is an excellent material for all types of paint.

Rich the Tool Man

Before embarking on the current stage of my life, I spent 15 years as a Manufacturing Engineer in both the medical equipment field (medical electronics) and automotive engineering (city transit buses). After that, I owned a small construction company, mostly doing residential remodeling and commercial tenant finishes. I am no longer in either of these fields, but still get my hands plenty dirty as a consummate do-it-yourselfer; working on everything from remodeling my own home to rebuilding my car’s engines. My hobby (when I can find the time) is woodworking; making everything from toilet paper holders, to shelves, to music stands for my own home. My wife long ago gave up the idea that a two car garage is for parking two cars; it is my workshop.

While I cannot claim to having worked professionally with all types of tools, I have worked professionally with some. This comes from my previous careers, where I had to specify, buy and at times live with those decisions. Additionally, I would have to say that my engineering background has given me a thorough understanding of the construction of such tools. So, while I may not have used a particular type of tool personally, I have the knowledge to cut through all the advertising hype and statistics; in order to get at the truth of how well a tool will operate and last.

In my current career as a writer, I've written over 90 books. This includes my own titles and those I've written on contract. I've also written a complete website on how to build your own home.

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