best roller for emulsion

What Is The Best Type of Roller For Emulsion Paint?

When it comes to painting large surfaces, a paint roller can save you a lot of time and energy. However, there’s a lot of confusion about the different paint rollers and how to best use them.

So what is the best type of roller for emulsion paint? Read over this quick guide on how to select the best type of roller for emulsion paint to find out.


What is Emulsion Paint

emulsion paint equipment

First off, you may be wondering what exactly emulsion paint is.

Emulsion paints are water-based with acrylic or vinyl resins that make them more hard-wearing. These acrylic or vinyl resins are suspended in water and as the paint begins to dry they fuse together to create a film of paint on the wall.

This makes it impossible to wash emulsion paint off the wall once it has dried and the shinier the finish, the more hard-wearing it tends to be. Emulsion paint finish can range from matte, eggshell, silk, satin, and full gloss.

Most of the time emulsion paint is used for internal walls and ceilings, but some types are produced specifically for woodwork.


Roller or Brush?

The fact that you’re reading this suggests you’ve already decided to go with a roller rather than a brush. Just in case, though, we’re going to explain how to decide what best to use.

For a larger, flat surface, like a wall, rollers are preferred. Rollers save a ton of time and energy when painting large areas and produce a much more even coat than a paint brush. However, a paint brush should be used when painting edges and corners where rollers can’t quite cover. This is known as ‘cutting in’. POUSE around the HOUSE offers a quick tutorial on how to do this in this beginners guide for DIY painting.

Types of Rollers

types of rollers

Rollers come in two parts: the outer skin which is called a sleeve, and the inner frame. It’s better if the inner frame is made from plastic rather than cardboard.

Then there are two main types of coverings for rollers: natural fibres and man-made fibres. These can either be short pile, which is best used on smooth surfaces, or long haired, which is best used on a textured wall.


Best Type of Roller for Emulsion Paint

best type of roller for emulsion paint

While man-made, or synthetic, fibre rollers are great when using an oil-based paint, emulsion paint should be applied using a natural fibre roller sleeve. This is because natural fibres hold more paint than synthetic ones and splash a lot less.

It’s important to have a roller that doesn’t splash paint when using emulsion paint since emulsion is nearly impossible to wash off once dried.

Textured Surfaces

If you’re painting a textured wall or artexed ceiling, go for a long sleeved mohair roller. Mohair is actually the hair from Angora goats. A lot of professional painters prefer these rollers because they are absorbent.

A more absorbent roller means less time is spent reapplying paint and that will help get the job done faster.  It also helps the paint go on smoothly and evenly.

Lambswool rollers are also great for emulsion based paints for similar reasons.

Although natural fibres like mohair and lambswool tend to be more expensive, they’re well worth the extra expense! You can save and reuse your rollers by storing them in a plastic bag so the emulsion paint doesn’t dry on, and then wash it thoroughly.

Smooth Surfaces

If you’re painting emulsion onto smooth plastered walls, you should use a smooth foam roller sleeve. Foam paint rollers don’t absorb paint the same way as fibre rollers, which is good when painting a smooth surface because a foam roller will glide and dispense paint more evenly.


What to Avoid

Cheap paint rollers should be avoided! They are often created with cardboard tubes, which eventually gets damp to the point of the bristles and foam coming loose.


Roller Sizes

Rollers come in a variety of widths anywhere from 90mm to 450mm, which all have their own purpose. While there’s no exact right or wrong width, just remember that the larger the surface the wider the roller.


Final Thoughts

There are many types of paint rollers for different purposes. Sometimes knowing the best roller for the job isn’t always easy to figure out.

We hope you found this simple guide on the best type of roller for emulsion paint easy to follow and will help you get the job done.

Do you have another suggestion for what the best type of roller is for emulsion paint? Please share with us in the comments below!

best roller for emulsion

About the Author Cole Nemeth

Cole Nemeth is a multi-genre writer who specializes in tutorials, listicles and nonfiction prose. She has an educational and professional background in journalism and public relations. When she’s not happily working away, Cole enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the outdoors and binging Netflix