John Anderson is our expert on staff when it comes to paint questions! We asked him to share some tips on paint applicators — here’s a summary of his pointers…
ROLLERS: There are lots of different rollers to choose from on the market. Nap size makes a huge difference in the finish, so take that into consideration when choosing a roller. The thicker the nap, the more textured the finish. If you are looking for an orange-peel-type texture, you’ll want a thicker nap of 3/4″-1″. For a smoother finish, choose something with less of a nap — 1/2″ or less. We carry a Lint-Free roller made by Purdy. For a few dollars more, it’s well worth the investment for a clean, smooth finish coat.
Rollers are usually not intended to be washed and reused for another paint job…however one pointer for getting repeat use out of your roller for consecutive days of painting the same room is to wrap your roller tightly in the plastic bag in which it was originally wrapped and tie it tightly. If you can’t get the roller into the bag, use a zip-lock bag to seal off the air. You can also soak a paper towel, wring it out, and add it to the bag. This should keep overnight and remain moist enough for you to reuse the next day. Some people even put the sealed roller in the refrigerator over night to slow the drying process of the roller.
PAINT BRUSHES: Paint brushes, on the other hand, are intended to be reused for multiple paint jobs. When shopping around for a paint brush, it’s worth the little extra money to get a quality brush. Cheaper brushes tend to leave bristles and fibers behind on the wall, making for a poor-quality and unclean-looking finish. Purdy brushes are the top of the line brand that we carry. We also recommend Silver Top brand brushes, which are a very good quality for the price.
When using a latex, water-based paint, it is very easy to care for your brushes. Immediately after painting, wash the brush in the sink with soap and water. Hang the brush to dry, bristles down, and then return the brush to it’s original cardboard or plastic cover. To clean brushes used with oil-based paints, you’ll first need to comb the excess paint from the brush. Then, rinse the brush thoroughly in a bucket of paint thinner for approximately 5 minutes. Lay out a surface of paper towels and blot the excess paint thinner from the brushes. Using a second, fresh bucket of paint thinner, repeat this process again 2-3 additional times. It is recommended to do this once again with a third fresh bucket of paint thinner, repeating again 2-3 times. Squeeze the excess paint thinner from the brushes back into your buckets and combine the liquid from all three buckets. Seal and dispose of the used paint thinner. Beat the brushes to remove any addition paint thinner and let dry. Gloves are strongly suggested when using paint thinner.
People often focus on selecting the best paint on the market and then purchase cheap applicators. The quality of your brushes and rollers plays a huge role in the quality of your finished project, and in the ease of application. Investing in high-quality applicators, and in taking the time to properly care for them, will help.