Choosing the correct roller cover starts with knowing your desired results as well as the sheen of paint you will be using. Once you’ve picked either a woven or knit roller, the next characteristic you want to focus on is the nap height, which is the length of the fibers that extend from the backing and carry the paint to the wall. These are some general guidelines to help you.

For smooth surfaces such as new drywall, choose a shorter nap (3/16” or 1/4″) to evenly apply the paint and maintain a smooth finish. Because a shorter nap picks up less paint, it is common for some painters to use a longer nap for increased production. While this can help speed up your painting project, it is important to note that higher naps may leave a textured look on a smooth surface. Always remember to select a nap height that will provide you with your desired finish regardless of the paint pick up and release capabilities.

Rough surfaces require a higher nap (3/4” to 1 ½”) so the long fibers can reach into the valleys of the texture. Higher nap heights are great for textured plaster or stucco, siding, decks, concrete block, brick, and corrugated metal. Long nap heights offer great paint pick up and release, which makes getting into all the cracks and crevices of the surface easier. A higher nap will provide better coverage on a rougher surface.

Pro Tip

Lower NAP provides smoother finish on smooth surfaces. Higher NAP provides better coverage on textured surfaces.

Next, learn how to properly load a roller cover.

The Wooster Brush Company offers quality roller covers for every project. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact our Customer Service Department.