how to paint with a roller without streaks

How to Paint With a Roller Without Streaks

Painting is the attempt at beautifying a place and making it more attractive for everyone who uses the place. It is an economic means of redecorating a place. In this guide, you’ll learn how to paint with a roller without streaks.

Painting with rollers is one of the different ways of painting. It tends to make the painting process relatively easier.

However, after painting with a roller, streaks are, sometimes, noticed to be left as a result of the movement of the roller. These streaks can deal a blow to the finish of the paint job.

It is usually not satisfying or defeats the purpose of beautification when there are streaks on the finished job. Professional painters have devised means of painting with rollers giving a finish that has no streaks whatsoever.

These are a few things you can do to have a streak-free painting job using the roller:

How to Paint With a Roller Without Streaks

how to paint with a roller without streaks

Choose a Top Quality Paint

Consider flat or matte finish paint for walls. Better gloss finishes, for instance, semi-gloss or satin, dry with sheen, that shows painting strokes which are not completely blended.

Moreover, plan to invest in the best affordable quality paint since some cheap paints are likely to get dry with streaky finish due to their components.

Inexpensive or unmixed paint and equipment may save you some money at the point of purchase, but then you stand a chance of losing the savings through headaches and frustrations as the quality of the job does not satisfy you at the end of the day and hence, needs to be repainted.

Create an Even Surface

Ensure the surface to be painted is even by any gouge or hole by filling them with the suggested spackling putty. Small quantity placed at the putty knife tip will close most gouges and holes caused by nails.

Once this step is completed, use the putty knife’s flat edge to scrape excess putty to create an even surface for a streak-free painting job with the roller.

Properly Prepare for the Painting Job

The place to be repainted should be properly cleaned and space for moving around adequately made. Use drop cloths to cover flooring and any furniture or electronics around.

Apply painter’s tape or low tack on adjacent trims and walls that will not be painted with similar wall color in order to shield the edges.

Tip: though the use of masking tape is cheaper, it is not advisable as it can damage floors, trims, and walls.

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Cut the Edges

Cut in the wall corners and edges using a paintbrush. Apply a good quantity of the paint on the roller without getting to the extent of paint dripping from the roller. Paint an area alongside the wall edge a foot or two long.

At that moment, move ahead similar distance and apply the paint backward to the painted, wet area. Repeat the process, continually painting from dry to wet area.

When you cut edges of the painted walls, do so in stripe about 3 or 4’’ wide. The portion ought to be sufficiently wide in order to hide the wall edges the roller can’t reach, whilst keeping the paint roller sufficiently far away from immediate walls to stop it from marking and scraping them.

Use Rollers for Big Surfaces

After completing the cutting in, the remainder of the surface being painted can be done using a good paint roller.

Sufficiently loading the paint roller will do great work in keeping your painted surfaces from drips, lap marks, and streaks.

Evenly load the paint roller without leaving any space. Use the edges around the upper part of the paint pan in order to take away excess paint, this ensures the paint roller isn’t dripping when raised.

One more key to removing streaks when carrying out a painting job is to paint on the right track. Rolling up first and then down in one straight line appears conventional, but can lead to a streaked wall if the painter is not careful enough. Optionally, paint in a zigzag pattern.

Paint 3 to 4 square feet of space at once, beginning at an upper part of the area and pushing the roller further from you.

You should do the painting job as though you are creating a capital letter M on the area, thereafter zigzag backward on the area till it is adequately filled in.

Go underneath the first capital letter M next, till the area of the surface is totally painted all the way to the floor. Go backward to the upper part of the area, closest to the initially painted area, and start again.

Carry on in this manner, constantly applying paint from unpainted section towards the painted area.

After painting around 4 square areas, move your roller back on the painted area to balance all the areas to look the same. Afterward, roll on the next area for painting, always remember to use a ladder for any area that is difficult to reach.

Get the Trim Painted

In order to achieve a streak-free slim paint, go with directions as outlined in the earlier section for cutting in surfaces. Paint in twelve to eighteen-inch lengths from unpainted section towards a painted, wet length.

Two very imperative keys exist for achieving a painting job that is free from streaks. First is to prevent overloading paint rollers as well as paintbrushes. The second key is painting in workable areas in zigzag style.

Crisscrossing the applied paint will blend paint lines together as well as take up areas with excess paint. What is seen at the end of the day is a professional, smooth and even looking paint job one can be brag about.

Tip: if painting walls alone, an average size room could be completed within 4 hours.  3 additional hours will do the trim painting job i.e. doors, baseboards, frames, and windows.

Materials Needed for This Task

The following items are to be provided and properly used as directed above in order to achieve a great streak-free paint job with the roller:

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  • 3/8” nap roller cover
  • Paint roller with frame
  • Quality paint brushes
  • Paint tray
  • Ladder or strong step stool
  • Flat or Matte paint
  • Putty knife
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint container opener
  • Paint mixing stick
  • Sloping (angled) paintbrush
  • Paint pan
  • Roller frame
  • Spackling putty
  • Drop cloths


Painting With a Roller Without Streaks | Video Guide


How do I keep my rollers from streaking when painting?

Instead of using an up-and-down motion in the same spot over and over again, go up and down once and then move the roller over a bit and repeat the motion. This is one of the painting tips to avoid roller marks that takes care of the marks as soon as they appear.

How do I get a smooth finish with a roller?

Rolling demands a light touch. No matter what roller cover you’re using, always let the paint do the work. Keep the roller cover loaded with paint, and use only enough pressure to release and spread the paint. Pushing on the roller to squeeze out the last drop of paint will only cause problems.

Will roller marks go away when paint dries?

Will roller marks go away when paint dries? – Quora. Generally no. The stipples and ridges will flatten slightly as the paint dries but will not disappear. Using the correct nap roller cover for the surface will help a lot.

How do I get rid of my roller marks?

How To Fix Roller Marks or Excessive Stipple In Paint

  • Make sure the paint is completely dry. Once it has dried, take a smooth piece of sandpaper and sand* paint down slightly until the surface is smooth.
  • Repaint the surface and maintain a wet edge on your roller at all times.

Should you wet a roller before painting?

Before using a roller cover, it should be pre-wetted with water if a latex paint is being used, or mineral spirits for an oil base paint. The cover should then be spun or dabbed with a rag or paper towel to remove the excess liquid.

How do you avoid lap marks when painting?

Lap marks in paint appear as a deeper color or an increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application. Keeping a “wet edge” is the key to avoiding lapping paint. While painting, you need to move quickly enough so, the paint being applied can seamlessly flow into the just-applied paint.

Why does my wall paint look streaky?

Patchiness can happen if you don’t apply enough coats of paint. The number of coats you need depends on several variables, including the color of the paint, the primer you use and the previous wall color you’re trying to cover. If you don’t have enough paint on your roller, it can leave behind patchy areas..

Why is my paint showing roller marks?

More often than not, roller marks occur when you fail to load your roller with enough paint, or have exhausted the paint in your roller and are trying to cover more area than you should. Finally, applying the wrong amount of pressure can cause paint to push out around the edge of the roller, creating a streak.

Why does my painted wall look patchy?

Patchiness usually happens if you don’t use enough paint, or apply it unevenly. Using a touch more paint, and painting in small sections one at a time, usually does the trick. Also, rolling in a grid fashion will get you an even finish too. But, sometimes, changes in the gloss level leave things patchy.

Do you cut in before or after rolling?

You’ll need to “cut-in” the corners and areas around trim with a paintbrush. Cut in the corners before you roll paint on the main surfaces. This means painting both sides of each corner starting about two brush lengths away and painting in to the corner. Use a 2- or 3-inch brush for paints.

Do roller marks fade?

Roller marks, which painters sometimes call “holidays,” are a routine hazard when painting with a roller, and there are many ways to avoid them. When you notice holidays after the paint has dried, you can usually make them disappear by applying another coat after sanding lightly—if necessary—to remove drips and humps.


Painting with a roller without streaks can be made easier by simply following the steps we have outlined in this post.

When next you are to paint, all you need do is to run through what you have learned here and apply the same to make your job look more decent and tidy.

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