Because walls and surfaces come in so many different textures, you need to choose the correct paint roller nap for the wall you are painting. If you use a nap that is too short on a rough surface or textured wall, the paint will not be applied to all the grooves and crevices of the wall. Long-nap rollers used on smooth surfaces will apply a paint layer that is too thick due to the roller's ability to hold a vast quantity of paint in its thick nap.
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Identify what type of surface you will be painting. If painting multiple surfaces, take note of each surface.
Select the type of paint you will apply to each surface. Flat or latex paints require a different nap than enamels or gloss finishes.
Purchase the appropriate paint roller. Short-nap rollers work well on plasterboard, plaster, smooth wood and masonite. They also work great with enamels or gloss finishes on smooth surfaces. Slightly rough-nap rollers work well on textured drywall, textured plaster, rough wood and poured concrete. Also use slightly rough rollers with flat or latex paint. Long-nap rollers are best used on rough surfaces like concrete block, Spanish plaster, shingles and brick.
Tips and warnings
- Using a rough-nap roller on smooth walls will yield an orange-peel appearance. If you do not desire this appearance, always use a smooth-nap roller on smooth walls.
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