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Roller Rules: Understanding “Fluffiness” For Best Results

For best results, consider the three equal parts of a paint project: Colour, Paint Product and Application. Some argue that application is actually the most important of the three, so you’ll want to be sure you pair your paint project with the right roller for the job, for better coverage and better results.

Roller “Nap” or “Pile” refers to the thickness of the roller, or the “fluffiness.” Measured in mm’s, common roller sizes range from 5mm (thin) to 19mm (thick).

Thick & Thin

The thinner the roller nap, the thinner each coat will be. This is great for building a smooth finish, for example, on kitchen cabinets. Thinner coats will also dry faster, although this is not always desirable and can cause overlap marks if you aren’t keeping up with faster drying wall paints, which work better with thicker, “fluffier” rollers.

The thicker the roller, the more paint it’s able to pick up. This means fewer trips to the paint tray and a wetter edge for seamless results. On the other hand, if the roller is too thick for the purpose, it can leave an undesirable  “orange peel” effect (the mottled look of dried paint close up).


Benjamin Moore Paints have advanced to dry faster in fewer coats, which means a 13mm or 15mm roller is now the better pairing, compared to years ago when a 10mm may have been the go-to.