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How To Paint Walls With A Roller: Step-By-Step Guide

How to paint walls with a paint roller

Why should you learn how to paint walls with a roller? For starters, it’s a super easy and efficient way to freshen up the look of a room. Before you get started, it’s important to prepare your interior walls and prime them so the paint will adhere better. We’ll also go through the details cutting the edges of the walls and fill in any holes or cracks. We’ll go over all of this in more depth below to make it easy for you. Follow the steps below to learn how to paint walls with a roller.

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Prepping to paint walls with a roller

Before you start painting your walls, you’ll need to do the necessary prep work. Part of that is having all the right materials. Below is a list of everything you’ll need to paint your walls with a roller and do all the right preparation: 

  • Paint roller frame 
  • Paint roller cover 
  • Paint 
  • Primer 
  • Spackle 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Soap and water 
  • Newspaper or cardboard 
  • Paint tray 
  • Paint brush

Cleaning the walls

Start by cleaning the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dust and dirt. If you are painting over glossy or semi-gloss paint, use a light sandpaper to dull the finish. You’ll want to start by removing any dust, cobwebs, and dirt from your walls. You can do this with a vacuum, a damp cloth, or a damp sponge. If the walls are heavily soiled, use a mild soap and water solution to clean them. Make sure you rinse the walls with clean water and let them dry completely before painting. 


Next you’ll need to use a fine sandpaper to remove any bumps or imperfections in the surface of the walls. Fill in any holes or cracks in the walls with spackle or other appropriate filler. Once you can see that the walls are completely dry and smooth, apply a coat of primer before painting. This will help you ensure an even and professional finish.

Priming the walls 

Prime the walls with a good-quality primer. This will help the paint adhere better and create a smooth surface. When you start, prepare the wall surface by filling any holes or cracks with spackle and sanding the area smoothly. Apply a coat of primer to the wall using a paint roller. Make sure to roll the roller in a “W” pattern, starting at the top of the wall and working your way down. You’ll need to let the primer dry for at least two hours. Once it’s dry, you can apply a second coat of primer, if necessary. Again, use a paint roller and apply it in a “W” pattern. Let the second coat of primer dry for at least two hours before painting.

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Cut in the edges and fill in the holes

Use a brush to cut in the edges of the wall, such as around the ceiling, baseboards, door frames, and windows. Then you’ll need to fill in any holes or cracks with spackling compound or caulk. Don’t forget to let the compound dry before continuing.

Prepare the roller

Pour the paint into a paint tray and insert a roller cover onto the roller. Dip the roller into the paint and roll it off onto the tray to evenly spread the paint. Once you’ve done this, you can start rolling the paint onto the wall. Start in a corner of the room and roll the paint onto the wall. Move the roller in a “W” pattern to ensure even coverage. Do you notice a pattern here? Painting in a “W” pattern is key. 

Don’t forget to backroll

To back roll with a paint roller, start by painting the surface with an up-and-down motion. Then, use the roller to go over the area in a crisscross pattern from one side of the room to the other, and then back again. This will help to spread the paint evenly and eliminate any brush marks or lines. You don’t NEED to backroll but we recommend you do because it helps your paint job last longer. We backroll on every paint job we do. If you don’t, your paint will look noticeably faded after just a few years. 

Cleaning up after painting with a roller

When you’re finished painting, remove the roller cover and wash it with soap and water. You can remove excess paint from the roller by rolling it onto a piece of newspaper or absorbent cloth. Next, rinse the roller in warm water to remove any remaining paint. Squeeze out any excess water and shake the roller to remove any excess paint that might be remaining. Once you’ve done that, place the roller in a bucket of warm, soapy water and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. Then you can rinse the roller off and spin it between your hands to remove any remaining paint. Lastly, hang the roller up or lay it on a towel to dry.

Places to buy your paint supplies in Boise

Here’s a list of places where you can purchase everything you need to paint walls with a roller:

  1. Boise Paint & Supply
  2. True Value 
  3. The Home Depot 
  4. Lowe’s 
  5. Sherwin-Williams 
  6. Ace Hardware 
  7. Do It Best Hardware 
  8. Idaho Paint and Supply Company

Conclusion on how to paint walls with a roller

Learning how to paint walls with a roller isn’t difficult. It just takes some time, the right materials, and following the right steps. But it is a lot of work. That’s why a lot of people decide to hire a professional painter. We can do that for you. In fact, we’ll give you a free estimate if you live in the Boise area. We serve everywhere from Boise to Meridian, Nampa, Eagle, and Caldwell

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