It’s important to have the right tools for the job when giving your house a fresh lick of paint. Luckily, there’s a paint roller set suited to every DIY task, whether that's walls and ceilings, furniture or doors.
We've done the research and found the best paint rollers for emulsions, glass paints and varnishes for a smooth, splatter-free finish - even on textured surfaces! With reviews of our 10 favourite paint rollers on Amazon, eBay and Argos, read on to find out more.
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The standard size of a paint roller is 7 inches (about 17.5 cm) wide. This is suitable for most tasks, including painting and decorating most interior walls, ceilings and other fairly flat, non-fiddly areas.
However, if you’re looking to paint very large areas, then perhaps consider investing in longer 9-inch (20 cm) or even 12-inch (30 cm) wide rollers. Painting more quickly over these areas with a larger roller will also help the paint dry more evenly, giving you a smoother, less patchy finish. If in doubt, a 7 or 9-inch roller is a good option for most average-sized rooms.
For large jobs and exterior walls, using a paint sprayer can cut application time in half!
Some of the paint roller sets you may have seen online can be as short as 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. These are great for smaller areas, such as borders or furniture.
If you have an area with fiddly or narrow bits, then a smaller roller can give you the smooth, quick result you want while managing to get into those hard-to-reach areas. Measure the areas are you are looking to paint – a window alcove, for example – to get an idea of the best size, or sizes, of roller.
Foam rollers offer the most flawless finish as they skim the paint over your surfaces. If you have nice, smoothly finished walls, then using a foam roller to apply paint will take your interior decorating to the next level.
However, it is the nature of foam rollers to highlight the texture of your painted surfaces. This is a bonus when you have good plastered walls, but avoid this type of roller if they are not perfectly flat and smooth.
Make sure to use masking tape to clearly define areas you want to avoid while painting
Fluffy rollers offer different nap or pile – that’s the length of the fluffy loops that hold the paint – which makes them good for different surfaces. Unlike the foam rollers, these types are more forgiving as the pile can apply the paint into even small imperfections.
Look for short-pile rollers for painting on smoother surfaces and longer-pile rollers for more uneven surfaces. A quarter-inch (0.6 cm) pile is a forgiving option for most untextured surfaces. Rollers with a 3/8th inch (0.9 cm) nap are good for lightly textured surfaces, and 1/2 inch pile rollers are well suited to medium-level textured surfaces.
Essentially, the rougher the surface, the longer the pile needed to efficiently and evenly apply paint. For most interior DIY jobs such as walls and ceilings, a 1/4 inch fluffy roller is ideal.
Most rollers will come with a basic short handle that can be attached to a pole for greater reach. If you’re painting ceilings or high, hard-to-reach areas, then a long pole will make things so much easier. Forget balancing precariously on ladders or chairs and just get yourself a long handle!
The best long poles will be adjustable or telescopic, meaning you can extend them up to a certain length. When choosing, look for a handle within the reach range you need. Many will extend to 2 metres, although you may be able to find 3-metre poles too.
In addition, we recommend ensuring that the handle has a strong and secure twist lock connection to stop it from closing down again while you’re mid-stroke.
Need extra reach? Check out the 10 best step ladders in the UK!
Every roller needs a good tray to hold to paint ready for the job. Fortunately, this piece of equipment does sometimes come with roller sets, so keep an eye out if you don't already have one. With trays, the main concern to you as the purchaser is whether you’ve selected the right size.
Each paint tray will indicate what size roller they suit, but even if one is not included, they are generally very inexpensive pieces of equipment to add to your DIY arsenal. As long as you look for a sturdy tray that’s the right size (or bigger) than your roller, then you’re set.
Paint rollers are absolutely amazing for making short work of large areas. However, there are areas, notably in corners and other fiddly bits, where a good paintbrush is critical for “cutting in”, a process for covering those hard-to-reach places.
Size-wise, 2 inch (5 cm) wide brushes are ideal for cutting in as they’re just big enough to cover efficiently while still being narrow enough to be versatile. However, probably the most important feature to look for is soft bristles. This helps prevent your brush marks from showing, giving you a much better finish.
Similarly, look for brushes that don’t shed because you don’t want bristles getting stuck in your paintwork! Many of the paint roller sets include a paintbrush for cutting in, but if they aren't up to scratch, you may have to purchase one separately.
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Prestige 7-Piece Roller Set
7-Piece Roller Set for Superb Coverage Over Multiple Surfaces
10PC Paint Roller Tray Set
Great Value 10 Piece Paint Roller Set With Tray
9 Inch Paint Roller Kit
Streakless Roller for Semi-rough and Semi-smooth Surfaces
Seriously Good Walls & Ceilings Set｜102012009
Minimise Paint Splatter When Decorating Indoors
Complete Decorating Project Box
A Complete Kit for Beginners
HD Foam Paint Roller Kit｜AXU/RKW4
A Mini-Roller Set for Use With Oil-Based Paints and Varnishes
Paint Roller HandiRoll 550
Telescopic Pole for Longer Reach and an Integrated Reservoir
Powercoat Paint Roller｜103012000
Ideal for Emulsion Paints, Interior Walls and Ceilings
Adjustable Roller Frame and Sleeve
Adjustable Frame for Rollers up to 18 Inches
Paint Roller Set
Budget Set for Most DIY Painting Jobs
The Hamilton brand is synonymous with quality painting equipment and this set is an excellent example of this. Featuring a screw-fit cage roller frame with a soft grip handle as well as one long pile and five medium pile woven covers, this will give fast, even coverage on your walls.
Boasting reduced fibre loss thanks to the thermobonding technology used to create the covers, it delivers a smooth finish every time. If you are looking for quality equipment that will give you that professional edge, you've found it. It includes spare roller covers, too, and the price is very reasonable for this kind of quality.
This 10-piece set really covers most of your bases when it comes to doing your own painting. With two rollers of 4” (10 cm) and 9” (23 cm), it’s got your small fiddly areas and your larger, flat areas covered! Two covers with a 1/2” (12 mm) pile for each size are included, making these suitable for most indoor jobs on fairly smooth surfaces.
This is a great set with everything you need for painting a room, for example. The paint rollers are fantastic all-rounders suitable for all types of paint and will easily connect to click-in type extension poles for more reach. If you’re after convenience and great value, then this set is a great choice for you.
This paint roller from Rollingdog is a great all-rounder that’s perfect for painting larger surfaces such as walls and ceilings. It comes with a sturdy frame and a fluffy, 1/2” (12 mm) roller cover suitable for semi-rough and semi-smooth surfaces.
A great roller for a variety of painting tasks, the shed resistant cover can be used with both oil based and water based paints. For an affordable price, you'll receive a robust quality product that gives a smooth, streakless finish.
Comprising a 9” (23 cm) paint roller frame and four medium-pile roller sleeves, this set is suitable for the majority of indoor painting jobs. Not only does the frame boast a soft and comfortable handle, but the roller covers included are engineered to minimise paint splatter while being more forgiving on less-than-perfect surfaces.
A good option if you’re in the market for quality, value-for-money painting tools, you can’t go far wrong with this set. It’s from a range of Harris painting equipment, and the Harris extension pole is compatible with these roller covers for even faster coverage of large areas.
The Coral Complete Decorating Project Box includes a 9” (23 cm) roller featuring Coral’s lightweight HEADLOCK frame for security. Other accessories include a roller sleeve, a brush and tray, sandpaper, a dust sheet, masking tape, a sponge and even disposable gloves.
Making sure you have the right equipment for the job is important, and this set from Coral has all the tools you need – bar the paint – to get transforming your walls. With good quality tools at a very reasonable price, this is a great choice if you want a no-nonsense bit of kit that’s going to help you with the task at hand.
This mini kit is perfect for use on smooth surfaces to achieve that ultra-professional finish. Excellent for use with oil-based paints and varnishes (although it’ll be fine with emulsions too), this set comprises two small 4” (10 cm) high-density foam roller sleeves alongside a frame and tray.
If you need to paint a small area like around a window frame, skirting boards or other narrow bits, then this is the way forward. Foam rollers such as this can give you that flawless finish on smooth surfaces (don’t forget to sand first!), so this set is ideal if you really want to take your DIY up a notch!
The HandiRoll makes quick work of painting large areas. It has both an integrated paint reservoir that contains 550 ml of paint and, cleverly, a power trigger that pumps the paint onto the roller to reduce the need to keep reloading it.
With a 23 cm wide roller and 12 mm long pile, this roller is ideal for more textured surfaces. The adjustable handle also extends your reach without the need for wobbly stepladders when painting high walls and ceilings. If you are looking to make bigger jobs quicker, easier and tidier, then the Wagner Handiroll 550 is a brilliant option.
This option comes with a longer than usual frame of 25” (63 cm) and one fluffy cover suitable for smooth to semi-smooth surfaces. Ideal for emulsion paints, this 9” (23 cm) roller is designed to tackle interior walls and ceilings quickly and efficiently. It is compatible with Harris screw-fit extension poles and replacement sleeves can be purchased separately.
Claiming to give 30% better coverage when compared to other Harris rollers, the Powercoat efficiently holds paint within its fibres and doesn’t splatter it while you’re applying it – a great benefit when painting ceilings! This is a good, solid option from a trusted brand. However, for some users, the frame can be heavy, particularly when painting high up.
For larger areas, using a wider roller will help with a more rapid application. This adjustable frame will take rollers between 12 and 18" (30-45 cm) wide, so you can paint entire walls or ceilings quickly. The frame is lightweight and adjustable, but it supports both ends to give it extra stability, which is important with wider rollers.
As this set contains just the frame and roller, you would need to then choose a separate handle, but this has the benefit of giving you the flexibility to choose exactly which components you need for the task at hand. However, if you want an all-in-one product that’s ready to go, then this is not the option for you.
The Hynec paint roller set offers great value and contains two paint rollers (4" (10 cm) and 9” (23 cm)) to cover larger walls and ceilings as well as smaller areas such as windowsills and skirtings. It also includes a large tray and brush for cutting in, so you have pretty much all you need for most DIY painting jobs around the house.
If you’re in the market for a decent roller set for beginners and budget is an issue, then this is a good pick. However, we have ranked this set lower in the listings as the sleeves are not compatible with other brands of roller frames.
Written and researched by Sonata Winchester
No. 1: Hamilton｜Prestige 7-Piece Roller Set
No. 2: WALKERSWARE ｜10PC Paint Roller Tray Set
No. 3: Rollingdog｜9 Inch Paint Roller Kit
No. 4: Harris｜Seriously Good Walls & Ceilings Set｜102012009
No. 5: Coral｜Complete Decorating Project Box
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