Load the roller cover with paint
Load the roller cover with paint by dipping into the paint about 1/2 in. and then rolling it against the screen. Filling a dry roller cover with paint will require five or six repetitions. After that, two or three dips are all you need. Leave the roller almost dripping with paint.
Roll paint on the wall
Lay the paint on the wall with a sweeping stroke. Start about a foot from the bottom and 6 in. from the corner and roll upward at a slight angle using light pressure. Stop a few inches from the ceiling. Now roll up and down back toward the corner to quickly spread the paint. You can leave paint buildup and roller marks at this step. Don’t worry about a perfect job yet.
Use a quality roller sleeve
A good roller cover is the most important part of your rolling setup.
[av_video src=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yXlKj_EWpE’ format=’16-9′ width=’16’ height=’9′ custom_class=”]
Smooth the paint along the ceiling using a long horizontal stroke without reloading the roller with paint. If you are skilled enough to roll within an inch of the ceiling while rolling vertically, you can skip this step.
Keep a wet edge. Keeping a wet edge is crucial to all top-quality paint jobs, whether you’re enameling a door, varnishing furniture or rolling paint on a wall. The idea is to plan the sequence of work and work fast enough so that you’re always lapping newly applied paint onto paint that’s still wet. If you stop for a break in the middle of a wall, for example, and then start painting after this section has dried, you’ll likely see a lap mark where the two areas join. The rolling technique we show avoids this problem by allowing you to quickly cover a large area with paint and then return to smooth it out—which brings us to the second important painting technique.
Lay it on, smooth it off. The biggest mistake most beginning painters make, whether they’re brushing or rolling, is taking too long to apply the paint. Photo 1 shows how to lay on the paint. Then quickly spread it out and repeat the laying-on process again (Photo 2). This will only work with a good-quality roller cover that holds a lot of paint. Until you’re comfortable with the technique and get a feel for how quickly the paint is drying, cover only about 3 or 4 ft. of wall before smoothing the whole area off (Photo 3). If you find the paint is drying slowly, you can cover an entire wall before smoothing it off.
Get as close as you can. Since rollers can’t get tight to edges, the first painting step is to brush along the ceiling, inside corners and moldings. This “cutting in” process leaves brush marks that won’t match the roller texture on the rest of the wall. For the best looking job, you’ll want to cover as many brush marks as possible with the roller. Do this by carefully rolling up close to inside corners, moldings and the ceiling. Face the open end of the roller toward the edge and remember not to use a roller that’s fully loaded with paint. With practice, you’ll be able to get within an inch of the ceiling rolling vertically, and can avoid crawling up on a ladder to paint horizontally like we show above.
Pick out the lumps before they dry. It’s inevitable that you’ll end up with an occasional lump in your paint. Keep the roller cover away from the floor where it might pick up bits of debris that are later spread against the wall. Drying bits of paint from the edge of the bucket or bucket screen can also cause this problem. Cover the bucket with a damp cloth when you’re not using it. If partially dried paint is sloughing off the screen, take it out and clean it. Keep a wet rag in your pocket and pick lumps off the wall as you go. Strain used paint through a mesh paint strainer to remove lumps.
Scrape excess paint from the roller before you wash it. Use your putty knife, or better yet, a special roller-scraping tool with a semicircular cutout in the blade. Then rinse the roller cover until the water runs clear. A roller and paint brush spinning tool, available at hardware and paint stores for about $8, simplifies the cleaning task. Just slip the roller cover onto the spinner and repeatedly wet and spin out the roller until it’s clean.