How to make decorative paint rollers

Updated February 21, 2017

You don't have to buy expensive speciality rollers to create decorative faux finishes. In fact, homemade texture or decorative paint rollers can work better than the commercial variety because many faux finishes rely on applying a random pattern of texture to your walls, and commercial texture rollers apply paint with a set pattern. You can adjust the pattern of your homemade rollers as you work, adding more variety to your design. All you need to get started are a few basic roller pads and some standard household items.

Place a roller pad with 1-inch or thicker nap (padding) on a roller frame. An old pad that has been used and not thoroughly cleaned (so some of the tufts clump together) works best for this.

Stretch and twist rubber bands around the pad at a variety of angles, creating clumps and random patterns with tufts and lines.

Apply paint to your walls with this roller as you would with any roller, but slightly adjust the rubber bands periodically as you work to renew the texture.

Fluff up the nap with a comb if it becomes too flattened to give you a good texture.

Dampen and squeeze out one or two rags, about the size of standard hand towels. Terrycloth rags are great for rough textures, while T-shirt-type rags work well for softer textures.

Wrap the rags loosely around a standard roller pad on a frame.

Secure the rags with rubber bands at random angles and positions so the bands add to the texture.

Pull the rag out from the rubber bands in some places so it has puffy spots and even a few loose ends that will flop around as you paint, adding to the texture.

Apply the paint as you would with any roller. Puff up the rag or tuck it under the rubber bands as necessary to keep the texture fresh as you paint.


Press lightly rather than heavily as you roll to avoid needing to refresh your roller's texture.

Things You'll Need

  • Thick-nap roller pad
  • Roller frame
  • Rubber bands
  • Comb
  • Roller pad (any thickness)
  • Rags
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About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.