What Type of Roller Do You Need for Gloss Paint?

If you’re planning a project with gloss-based paint, there’s a good chance you’re wondering what kind of roller you’ll need. There are many mediums for applying paint to a variety of surfaces, from traditional paint brushes to rollers short and long. Knowing what kind of roller you would need for gloss paint is only one part of the project.

When it comes to gloss paints, thinner rollers, also known as short nap rollers, are good to use because they leave fewer bubbles. For gloss paints, the thinner the roller the better.

Learn more about the various types of rollers that will help you with gloss paint. We’ll also go over tips for gloss paint, as well as what else you may need to know.

What Are Nap Rollers?

Nap refers to the thickness of the roller’s cover. When choosing a nap size, knowing what the project entails is a good idea.

Gloss paints are often used for kitchens and bathrooms, so a smaller nap, or a thinner roller, would be ideal. It’s important to keep in mind that the size of the roller will adjust based on the roughness of the surface that’s being painted.

The rougher the surface, the thicker the nap, or the roller’s thickness, will be.

What Are The Different Nap Sizes?

When it comes to rollers, the typical sizes will vary from 3/16-inch to 1½-inch, and the sizes vary depending on what you would be painting.

Thinner rollers, for example, are good to use for smooth surfaces like metal doors or cabinets. Thicker rollers, such as the 1½ -inch roller, are good for brick or masonry.

Different surfaces require different naps to ensure the paint goes on well. If you’re using gloss paint, the roller’s thickness will adjust accordingly.

Generally, however, gloss paints go better with smoother surfaces. The thinner the roller, the easier the paint will go on the wall.

What Kinds of Rollers Are There?

When painting, paint rollers are best used to cover large surfaces while brushes are used for the areas the rollers cannot reach without making a mess. For walls and ceilings, and sometimes the floor, rollers are quick and efficient in covering large areas in as little time as needed.

Rollers are covered in sleeves made of manmade fabric or natural fibres and the rollers are also adjustable in length with handles short and long. The sleeve you would use would depend on the paint being used. Fabric such as wool, which is thicker, is good on rough surfaces. Foam rollers are better used for gloss paint.

What Is Gloss Paint?

When thinking of paint types, there’s a variety. Gloss paint is known for its mirror-like quality and is often used in bathrooms and kitchens. Beyond gloss paints, such as semi-gloss or high gloss, there are also satin paints and flat paints. Each paint type has its benefits and is suited for different projects.

The Difference Between Semi and High Gloss Paints

When it comes to gloss-based paints, the difference comes down to how easy the painted surface is to clean. The more gloss there is, the easier the surface will be to clean. The less gloss there is, the harder it is to clean.

Another aspect of gloss paint is stain resistance. High Gloss paint is more stain-resistant than satin or flat paints. However, it is good to keep in mind that gloss paints are far more reflective. Imperfections show far easier with gloss paints than they would with their counterparts.

What Are Satin and Flat Paints?

Like gloss paint, satin and flat paints are characterized by their sheen. Satin has less of reflective quality than gloss paint but more than flat paint. Like gloss paint, satin paints are good to use in rooms like kitchens.

Flat paints, on the other hand, have little reflective qualities. If you’re looking to hide an imperfection, flat paints are good to go and they also have a warmer, velvet-like appearance that is often considered to be an appealing option.

Which Types of Paint Go With Different Surfaces?

It is always good to know which paint types go best on which surfaces. For projects around the home, some paints go better in different areas. Gloss and satin paints work well in kitchens and bathrooms; these two rooms need paints that can withstand humidity and be less likely to peel. Having paint chips in your food wouldn’t be ideal.

Don’t use gloss paints on ceilings, however. Paints labelled for ceilings are thicker than regular paints and as flat as can be to diminish glares from natural and manmade lights.

Other areas in the house, such as the living areas or bedrooms, or stairwells, are more diversified as far as paint types go. Flat paints or eggshell paints are good to use, and semi-gloss paints or satin can be used as accents.

A Few Tips For Painting With Gloss-Based Paints

If you’re painting with gloss-based paints, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that the finished project has to be flawless because any imperfection will be easily spotted. The second is that high-gloss and gloss paints have to have a primer.

Using a brush with gloss paints isn’t recommended. Sprayers for gloss and high gloss paints are recommended, but using a roller is doable. Applying multiple, thin layers is a good way to go as the paint is less likely to drip.

Know When To Use Gloss Over Satin Or Flat Paint

Knowing which paint to use depends greatly on what you’re painting. One thing to keep in mind is how often that part of the home is used and where the windows are located.

Remember – gloss paints are glossy. They reflect light and imperfections show.

Another consideration is if you’re intending to hide an imperfection or if you are intending to make a room stand out. Flat paints are good for hiding holes and cracks and crevices in the walls. Satin and gloss paints add depth to a room.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Gloss Paint?

Beyond the ability to reflect light and add depth to a room, gloss paints are a great way to add a bit of flair to a room. They work well with other paint types. Applying gloss paints to trimming is a way to accent a room, too.

Gloss paints are durable and easy to clean, which is a good reason to use them in rooms where there may be a good deal of moisture.

One of the major downsides to gloss paints, however, is the simple fact that gloss paints are difficult to apply. They take more time to use and having a primer to coat them with, and sanding them down, is often a word of advice.

Just make sure the dust from the paint is gone before applying the primer.

Regardless of the project that you’re undertaking, gloss paints are a great addition to a project and worth the effort. Rollers are a great way to apply them, as long as you ensure the right roller is used. While applying gloss paint to a wall isn’t easy, the results are more than worth it.

If you make sure you have the right-sized roller and the correct sleeve, you will find that putting your gloss paint into action will be far easier.


Overall, the thinner the roller, the better off you’ll be when it comes to working with gloss paint. Also, make sure to keep in mind that although the task of applying the paint may be difficult at first, it is certainly worth the time.









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