If you have taken on a painting project for your home and were disappointed, that is a frustrating experience. You just keep trying to add another layer to fix it. Knowing how to use a paint roller correctly is the difference between an average paint job and a flawless paint job.

The Family Handyman posted this article which provides tips for using a paint roller, and tip number one is a big one:

10 Interior House Painting Tips & Painting Techniques for the Perfect Paint Job | The Family Handyman

Tip 1: To avoid lap marks, roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edgePaint Roller Green

Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.

To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges

Here’s the original post:  10 Interior House Painting Tips & Painting Techniques for the Perfect Paint Job | The Family Handyman

Keeping a wet edge with your roller is only part of the process. This expert painter does a great job of demonstrating best practices and also gives tips at the same time. There is so much more to rolling paint than people think, and this video proves it:

Choosing the correct brush or paint roller for the surface you are painting on is another factor for a good finish. One-quarter to one-half inch nap is good for most jobs, but when you are painting rough textured walls such as cement or plaster, you want to go with a thicker nap. This article is a beginner post for picking out the appropriate roller to do that job:

How to Choose a Paint Roller – dummies

Paint rollers come in various sizes and roller covers come in different coverings, each with a different purpose in mind. To choose right roller you need to consider the size of paint roller you want and the kind of surface you’ll be painting.Paint Roller Naps

Roller cages (the skeletal frame that includes the handle and “ribs” that rotate) and their covers come in several lengths. Rollers are available in mini to 12-inch (and bigger) sizes. The mini (or trim) rollers are good for painting woodwork and other small areas. To work on walls and ceilings, choose a 9-inch roller; the larger sizes are heavier and will make you tire more quickly. A roller cage with plastic ribs holds up better than cardboard cages. Plastic can be cleaned, and it lasts longer than a cheaper version.

You have to select the length of the nap on covers and what it’s made of. Roller nap is made from natural or synthetic fibers. Nap is available in various lengths, so use the one recommended for the surface you’re painting. In general, the longer the nap, the more paint it will hold. Use the following as a general guideline.

  • 1/4-inch nap for smooth or fine surfaces, such as new walls, ceilings, wood doors, and trim

  • 3/8-inch nap for smooth to light-textured walls

  • 1/2-inch nap for most walls and medium rough surfaces, such as textured plaster, and concrete

Read the full post here:  How to Choose a Paint Roller – dummies

 As you can see, there is more to think about when taking on your own painting project than just what color to pick. Most painting contractors have been doing it for so many years, it is just second nature to knowing the best choices. For someone new to the task, though, there are more aspects to consider than you ever knew possible.