The “nap” refers
to the length and style of the material on a paint roller. When you buy a pack
of rollers in a store for a
, you will see
that they have various lengths and other information to help you make the right
decision. But if you haven’t used rollers very often before, you may not be
sure what kind to buy. This simple guide will help you choose the right nap for
your project! Let’s take a closer look at the specific nap lengths you can buy
and the types of surfaces that they are made for.
3/16-inch or ¼-inch
These are usually
the shortest naps available and tend to look very compact and flat. Naps like
these are designed to
across surfaces, so less paint is used and the job goes faster. However,
they’re only really effective for particularly flat surfaces. That includes
untextured plaster, sanded wood that’s smooth to the touch, and drywall that
isn’t too bumpy.
3/8-inch or ½-inch
These thicker naps
are a better choice for surfaces that have a bit more texture, which means that
very flat naps may not be able to get paint into all the little crevices,
leading to unsightly mottled appearances. This longer nap can hold and apply
more paint: While not as efficient, it’s excellent at making sure that slightly
rough surfaces get a proper coating. That includes smooth concrete, most types
of drywall, relatively flat wood, many types of acoustic tile, and so on.
If you are
the interior of your home and aren’t
sure what nap type to get, this is usually the best option for the average
in-home drywall and similar surfaces.
¾-inch or 1-inch
may be rougher than usual, so that even average-sized nap lengths can have
trouble getting into every surface, even with a second pass. For these
surfaces, a longer nap length is usually required for effective work. These
lengths are perfect for surfaces like textured plaster, which can look
beautiful but also has sharper edges and contours that need a longer nap. It’s
also a good choice for bumpy stucco, rougher concrete, and woods that haven’t
been sanded down for interiors, like decks or fences.
1 ¼-inch or 1 ½-inch
These are very
long naps that are easy to recognize because they are so larger. Generally,
these naps are only used in very special cases. Otherwise, they soak up too
much paint and make too much of a mess for the typical painting project. But
there are some cases when a very rough surface needs to be painted, and that’s
where these naps can help. One example is brick, which contains many deep
indentations that must also be painted. As you can imagine, most of the
surfaces fit for these naps are exteriors made from rough materials.
Still unsure what
type of nap or other equipment that you may need for your painting project?
Don’t worry, give