Paint Roller Cover Guide


Using a paint roller will save you time and energy on your next project, but which roller cover is right for you?

Rollers will create a smoother finish than brushes and are less likely to splatter. When choosing a roller cover, it really comes down to the material used and the thickness of the cover. Here's a quick breakdown!


Paint roller covers are made from three main types of materials: lamb’s wool, synthetic fabric, and foam.

  • Lamb’s wool roller covers are perfect for oil-based paints and painting on any surface texture
  • Synthetic fabric covers work well with water-based paints and painting on any surface texture
  • Foam covers are ideal for oil or high-gloss latex paints and work best for smooth or textured surfaces

Cover Thickness

Roller covers are typically available in 3/16 – ¼-inch, 3/8 – ½-inch, ¾ - 1-inch and 1 ¼ - 1 ½-inch thicknesses. Each thickness is designed for a different purpose. Standard wall rollers are 7 to 12 inches wide, while specialty rollers are generally 2 to 18 inches wide.

3/16 – ¼-inch

  • Works best on smooth surfaces
  • Metal doors, interior doors, trim and cabinets
  • Great for semi-gloss or gloss coatings
  • Ideal for use with both oil-based and water-based enamels

3/8 – ½-inch

  • Medium (semi-smooth) surfaces
  • Use on painted or unpainted walls
  • Perfect for walls and ceilings

3/4 - 1-inch

  • Ideal for semi-rough surfaces
  • Great for stucco

1 ¼ - 1 ½-inch

  • Works well on extra rough surfaces
  • Use on brick and masonry, cinder blocks or chain link fences
  • Use for painting cinder block and chain link fences

Let Valu help with your next painting project!

Stop by any Valu Home Centers location, and one of our knowledgeable associates will get you the right tools and paint to finish the job.