How to Roller a Wall & Avoid The Framing Effect

Painting walls with a roller is still the fastest and most efficient method of application, giving you the best, most consistent results – you’re simply not going to find a paintbrush that will equal it.

how to best roller a wall

In this guide, our decorating experts offer top tips to help you get the best out of your roller and produce top notch results. 

Begin by using a small paintbrush to paint neatly around the edges of the wall. Cut in carefully with the brush around windows, skirting boards, door frames and other fittings (read our technique guide on ‘how to cut in), making sure to cover curved sections fully with paint, and leaving a brush-width of paint framing the edges of the wall. The brush will give a smooth finish on these edge zones.

cutting in

However, if you were to stop there you would get a "frame effect" because the rest of your wall is to be painted with a roller, which will yield a noticeably different texture.

Our top tip is to buy a small roller (Like a Perfection Midi Roller) in exactly the same fabric as the full-sized roller you are going to use on the wall. Midi RollerUse the midi roller to go over the perimeter again, covering the brush-width of paint. This will remove the frame effect and ensure that the edges have the same finish as the rest of the wall, making for a very professional finish.

You can browse our range of Hamilton Rollers to see which may best suit your purpose)

Now you're almost ready to put some paint on the walls, but first you need to get the paint on the roller; and of course there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this. The right way to load a roller is to roll it through the paint and only roll it forwards on the drip tray. This stops you getting paint building up on the back of the tray and spilling over onto your dust sheet.

Now you're ready to roll the walls!


The use of an extension pole will not only make this job easier, it will reduce the strain on your back as you won’t be constantly bending down to roll the bottom of the walls. (You can view our video ‘Painting Tips: The Framing Effect & Using A Roller ’ to see how to best to use these techniques and get the most from the extension pole.

Extension Pole Roller

When most people start painting, they instinctively start from the top of the wall and then try to spread the paint all the way down to the bottom. Actually, that's no good - it's difficult to get an even finish this way, and you could even strain your back if you are doing a great deal of painting. Our experts recommend starting the roller in the middle of the wall, around eye or chest level, and working up to the top and then down to the very bottom of the wall, using long even strokes of the roller. This will give you fast and even coverage with very little effort and you’ll soon find you’re ready for coat 2!  (This up and down from the middle technique is only applicable when using an extension pole)

Visit our Knowledge Room today for more decorating tips including how to prepare walls, choosing the right equipment and more.

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