Roller marks are a common interior painting problem associated with 80% of paint jobs. Okay, I’m not 100% on that 80% but I see this problem mostly in houses where the home owners have painted and are either in a rush or inexperienced. You can find these problems in commercial buildings as well where painters have been given very little time to get the job completed. It is almost always caused by a lack of careful roller technique in professional and amateur painter alike.
What causes roller marks?
Well aside from a lack of time roller marks are also caused by sloppy or inexperienced paint roller technique. When a roller is being used to paint a wall the roller first should be saturated with paint (using the paint tray) then that paint needs to spread out on the wall evenly in an effective manner. There may be a few barriers to this process such as using an inappropriate roller sleeve, or sloppy roller handling techniques such as being heavy handed or rushing through the job. Let’s take a look at what we can do to reduce the appearance of roller marks.
Make sure your paint roller is properly loaded
A properly loaded paint roller will help to reduce the appearance of roller marks. When you’re loading your roller with paint the best thing to do is roller from the back of the pan (closest part of the pan to you) down the ‘ramp’ to the well, get the roller slightly saturated (try to get just the sleeve wet) and then move your roller again to the back of your pan rolling it again to the well. Do this a few times in succession and you will soon have a well saturated roller. You will want to make sure there is an ample amount of paint on the roller. When you’re first starting out let your paint roller sit for 5 or so minutes to get the paint well worked into the roller, this will help to make sure you’re never ‘dry’ rolling which can be a cause of roller marks.
Good technique is the best defense against roller marks
When you’re rolling the wall always start from the lower middle section of the wall, maybe a foot or two above the floor and roll upwards. This will minimize splatter and spread the paint from your roller onto the wall. When you reach the ceiling roll back down but on a slight angle so that when your roller reaches the low point of your roll (a few inches above the baseboard or floor) you’ve traversed the roller about half a rollers length away from the initial starting point. Repeat this process, going back up and then on the way down traverse your roller to the opposite side as in the first roll. Finish the area off with a gentle back roll to evenly coat all the paint.
On-going roller care
Do not let paint build up on the edges of your roller as this will promote the creation of lines on the wall. If you do experience paint build up on the edges you can simply tilt your roller and roll these edges onto the wall, once you’ve removed the paint you can roll the lines out. This is easiest if executed in the middle of a roll, the point after you’ve spread the initial loaded roller but before you’ve completely spread your paint out because you’ll want some extra spreading time to remove any appearance of the lines. One tip for reducing paint build up on the edge of the roller is to actually trim the edges of the roller sleeve into a rounded tapered edge, fairly easy with a pair of scissors and can dramatically remedy this problem.
A paint roller is a great device and can really save time when it comes to painting. Reducing roller marks is another step to getting the job done quicker; I hope that this write-up has help to shed some light on productive roller usage!