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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, this is indeed good for a lolrof, but it is indeed a question I need help with.

I've seen professional painters pour the paint into a bucket, drop in a screen, and go.

I'm painting a ceiling and thought I'd give this technique a try. My question is when putting the roller into the bucket of paint, how far do you go? Dunk the roller all the way? Halfway up the roller (i.e., to the point of the hub? Just touch the surface of the paint?

OK, now that you've picked yourself off the floor and wiped the tears of laughter from your face, what's the answer?!?



2,392 Posts
Richard, your question was so basic that I think we should have expounded a little more on rolling technique. As cdaniels said, dip the roller into the bucket to pick up the paint as stated, pull it up and lightly roll it over the screen two or three times, dip again, repeat. The screen is what is going to distribute the paint evenly across the roller nap. Do not apply pressure against the screen/grid.

When the roller is new I would spend a few minutes doing the dip/screen routine. The roller needs to fill, meaning the paint needs to seep down to the core of the roller, to fill the "reservoir". It needs about 10 minutes or so of dip/screen and wall rolling to fill. After the few minutes you can start rolling. When a roller is full, you should get about 1 and 1/2 roller widths out of each roller dip from the bucket. Go slow at first, doing a much smaller area, and redip when the roller starts to feel empty. After about ten minutes of gradually increasing the coverage area the roller should fill, and it should feel like it covers the 1 and 1/2 without difficulty.

Put the roller to the wall and roll straight up and down floor to ceiling, then move forward half the roller width, this is laying the paint on. Then gently go up and down, back and forth to fill it in. Finish by starting where you end and back to where you started to lay off, gently and lightly. On your next dip start right where you left off and repeat the above steps.

  • Try to pick up the same amount of material on each dip, and spread it about the same coverage area, this creates uniform thickness
  • Roll the same general pattern described, don't go this way that way whichever way, no. Up down back and forth.
  • Always maintain a lighter touch, pressure will create roller lines and crush the nap. Maintain equal pressure so the nap is parallel to the wall, or your roller will "cone" on you.
  • Start in one corner and work to the next, no stopping in the middle
  • Always roll back into your covered areas, never vice versa
  • Look back on your finished areas as you go to check on whether your technique needs adjusting, or you have problems

  • Never try to stretch the roller to get just that little extra wall area, rolling it on the screen without dipping will give you enough to get above the door.
  • Never stretch the paint, if the roller runs low you could crush the nap and the roller will be trash.
  • Go back into a finished setting area and put the roller to the wall, for anything. You'll make whatever glitch you're trying to fix worse. Let it dry and fix it later.

I may have missed some things that others might add in, but that should give you some things to think about and get you started toward professional results.
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