This painting tool definitely saves time and adds to my bottom line, but cheep roller frames have the opposite effect.
As with purchasing any painting tool, such as a paint roller frame, choose the best possible to provide the best finish with the least amount of effort. With less time spent painting you can have more time enjoying your beautiful work and planning the next room.
Sizes and Styles of Paint Rollers Frames
The type and size paint roller frame to use depends on your project and to a lesser extent on your skill level. You have a choice of sizes from 18 inch down to 3 inches with varying lengths of the handles and different cage or frame designs.
- 12-18 inch roller frames are the big boys of paint rolling tools. These use an adjustable frame, either metal or hard plastic, to hold the roller cover. They might require the purchase of specialized end caps if the covers don't include them at time of purchase. I use these oversized paint rollers for back rolling while painting large new construction jobs, usually interior commercial painting. Because of its size they require considerable effort to use, but can cover large areas quickly.
- 9 inch roller frames are the most common with a wider range of available roller covers to choose from. Professional styles are more heavy duty, with a thicker shank, than cheaper frames and last a long time, even with daily use. This size is perfect for interior walls and ceilings plus is suitable for most of your exterior house painting needs. This is my preferred size roller frame. It is much easier to use than the larger sizes and fits perfectly into a 5 gallon bucket. An essential part of a professional paint roller set-up.
- 6-7 inch roller frames are a specialty item, suitable for narrow surfaces. Such as narrow exterior soffits. Can also be used on wide fascia boards. Excellent for any interior or exterior surface were a wider paint roller is too large.
- 3-4 inch trim roller frames are great for exterior trim boards, but can be used while painting interior areas as well. Trim rollers use covers with the same core diameter as the wider frames. These frames can substantially reduce the time it takes to paint exterior trim as compared to using only a brush. Interior uses include shelving, doors or applying stripes.
- Mini paint rollers are very useful tools. By being much thinner, 1 inch or less diameter typical, they can reach many tight places. These areas can be behind toilets and heat registers. Also they can be used on shelving, cupboards, doors, and any areas where a brush or full size paint roller frame can't reach or paint efficiently. These paint rollers are available in many different styles for specialized uses. Some have very long handles for reaching behind large items. They require the purchase of special roller covers designed for this frame type only.
Options for Professional Paint Roller Frames
Professional paint roller frames are designed to do their job well and last a long time. Plus, they require less physical effort to get the job done. Cheap frames will only cause frustration and more work, often winding up in the landfill after the job is over. So, choose a good frame with the options you need to get the job done quickly and done right.
Preventing Roller Cover Slippage
The part of the frame that grabs and holds the roller cover is called the cage. Most use wires that act like springs to hold the cover and stop it from slipping. Choose a paint roller frame that has an expandable heavy gauge wire compression cage to grab and hold the roller cover. Cheap roller frames use thin wires that don't have enough gripping power.
Another way manufactures use to grip a roller cover is with an expandable metal ring. Both Purdy and Wooster use a similar approach with some of their models. It works extremely well at reducing slippage of the roller cover. Both approaches will reduce the chance that the cover will slip off the frame while in use, very helpful while rolling rough surfaces like stucco. The best are the high end Purdy and Wooster paint roller frames.
Smooth Paint Rolling
Unlike cheap roller frames the best have bearing surfaces at the ends. These bearings produce a very smooth operation and reduce the physical effort needed to use the paint roller. This translates into less pressure on the neck, shoulders, and upper back, definitely a good thing.
Plus the construction of better frames is designed to allow even pressure across the entire covers contact surface. This translates to less roller lines and less time spent re-rolling wet areas to remove the roller lines. Look for thick shanks of over 1/4 inch thick.
Attaching a Roller Pole
The last aspect to consider is the attachment of an extension roller pole to the roller frame. Many roller frames have a threaded end on the roller handle that attaches to the roller pole. This works well most of the time but has a tendency to loosen easily requiring retightening after a short time. I use a different type.
The type I like to use are positive locking roller handles with a pin and lever mechanism that can't come loose. The main manufactures, Purdy and Wooster, use different methods on their professional roller frames. You must use each manufactures roller poles with there frames. This does add to the cost of a good roller set-up but the use of these paint roller frames and extension poles are highly recommended.