Tips on interior painting by roller

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ January 15, 2011

Painting the interior walls and ceiling of your home doesn't have to be a terrible misadventure-unless you want it to be! As with most home improvements, if you use the proper tools, then all you need for success is to apply the proper techniques. Even if you employ a time-tested painting technique, the job may not turn out well if you buy the "el cheapo" brand of rollers.

Have you priced a professional set of rollers, reach handles and a screened bucket? The entire set-up can end up being less than $25. Using a cheap roller, a short or wimpy extension and a sloshy paint tray can spell spatters, uneven paint and a cleanup job you hoped to avoid.

Paint like a professional

Ever watch a painting contractor at work? You won't see many working from a paint tray. Most use a five-gallon bucket and a paint grid. The grid is a metal screen that attaches to the top of the bucket and fits down the side into the paint. Keep the paint supply to the halfway mark of the bucket. You dip your roller into the paint, then drag it across the paint grid. The grid removes excess paint and you're ready to roll.

This way there's no dragging those sloppy trays around as you work. You carry the bucket by the handle and at the end of the day, you slide the screen into it and cover the top security with the bucket lid. End of story.

According to Family Handyman, it only takes four or five dips into the bucket and screen to load the roller properly the first time, then only a couple of dips to keep it charged with fresh paint.

For the ceiling, attach a metal-core extension pole. Poles come from 36 inches to 18 feet, so find the right one for your room. You can also use a threaded broom handle in the roller, but why bother when the extension is the right tool, has a non-slip grip on it and doesn't cost that much? Metal-core poles give you even more control where you need it.

Painting by roller is straightforward. First paint the perimeter with a brush and get the corners where a roller won't fit. Then start at the edge of your brush strip, rolling in overlapping lengths down the wall or across the ceiling. Get rolling!

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