Vessels, Sleeves & Frames: The correct roller system for the task

There are three pieces of equipment needed when embarking on a painting job using rollers, and each element has a different purpose and a selection of options. It is important that you know the difference between each option as it can affect the quality of the finished job.

Paint Vessels

Vessels or trays, hold the paint. There are various options available depending on what type of task is being carried out. The standard 9" roller tray is most commonly used, and this can be bought with a shallow paint reservoir for smaller jobs or a deeper version for covering larger areas without the need to refill as often.

For painting doors and frames, there is the option of the mini roller which can be easier to handle and is more commonly used for glossing or reaching areas where space is at a premium.

Tradesmen often tend to use a paint scuttle that can hold far more paint and is therefore ideal for covering large areas (like our prestige 15L bucket). It incorporates a scraping area to allow you to get an even amount onto the roller. The important point here is to use the vessel that you feel most comfortable handling and always be aware of the safety aspects, particularly when using ladders.


The Roller Sleeve

There is a roller sleeve design for each painting task and two main roller sleeve types: Knitted and woven.

A knitted roller tends to clog and can be time-consuming to clean. It can also create a stippled effect on the painting surface whereas a woven roller has a more open texture; is easier to clean and gives a finer, flatter finish.

Along with the different designs of rollers, there are rollers for each task. A short pile roller will give a smooth finish when used on a flat surface, such as a door or plastered wall. A long pile roller is more suited to a rougher surface such as textured paint, or a blown wallpaper finish. There is also an extra-deep pile roller available which is designed for painting surfaces such as masonry. The difference between them is, the deeper the pile on a roller, the more coverage, so it is important to select a roller that suits the task.

All of our rollers are 1.75” core, the industry standard for the professional market. This core size offers a sturdier foundation with little bend and more roller fabric compared to the 1.5” core options.


The Roller Frame

The most commonly used frame is the cage frame. This has a single arm, and the roller sleeve is fitted by pushing it over the cage. The cage frame is suitable for most tasks as it has either a tapered fit or screw fit on the handle that allows a roller extension pole to be fitted. The extension reduces the need for ladders, therefore, enhances safety. Using the screw fit option is preferable as it will not loosen, which can be a problem with the taper fit design.

For ceilings and floors, there is the double arm frame. The advantage of this design is it is more stable and helps create an even finish as pressure is equalised across the roller sleeve.

Using a roller painting system is a fast and efficient way of creating a smooth, well-covered finish on virtually any surface. Following the advice given above will ensure that you choose the correct tools for the job.



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