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Old 05-08-2019, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default Newbie rolling technique question

I started painting professionally part-time a few years ago. at first I worked with a master painter who was in the Union. he wants me to put as much paint on the wall as possible without runs. This goes for cutting in and rolling. So with a roller you need to load up with as much paint as you can. Then keep things in the same width of the roller just going up and down. He says if you hear that sucking sound you are wasting your time. Another Union painter watched me and said I was doing it just right. He also said if you hear that sucking sound you are wasting your time. Perhaps this is a mantra for the Union? More recently I was working with someone who claims to have trained with a very good paint company. He strongly objects to putting so much paint on the wall. He rolls like I did before I started professionally. Rolling and rolling till the roller is almost dry. And then planning on at least two coats. I am beginning to do some jobs on my own and wonder if there is a right and wrong way. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtm12345 View Post
I started painting professionally part-time a few years ago. at first I worked with a master painter who was in the Union. he wants me to put as much paint on the wall as possible without runs. This goes for cutting in and rolling. So with a roller you need to load up with as much paint as you can. Then keep things in the same width of the roller just going up and down. He says if you hear that sucking sound you are wasting your time. Another Union painter watched me and said I was doing it just right. He also said if you hear that sucking sound you are wasting your time. Perhaps this is a mantra for the Union? More recently I was working with someone who claims to have trained with a very good paint company. He strongly objects to putting so much paint on the wall. He rolls like I did before I started professionally. Rolling and rolling till the roller is almost dry. And then planning on at least two coats. I am beginning to do some jobs on my own and wonder if there is a right and wrong way. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you
Umm. Did you say you were a professional? Be the roller young jedi. Be the roller..

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Old 05-08-2019, 08:11 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what a sucking sound sounds like when rolling, but a pretty good painter once told me the paint needs to sound like frying bacon when rolling.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:26 PM   #4
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I would suggest that successfully applying a uniform thickness of paint is the goal. If you want to get technical about it, read the product data sheets on the paint you are using, get a wet mil gauge, and take the time to see just how many wet mils you are applying when rolling, you may be surprised.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:41 PM   #5
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I tell my apprentices if you see the nap of your roller getting smaller then your rolling the paint out too far.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:09 PM   #6
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There's really no way to put paint on thick with a roller. It's just the nature of the beast to lay it on just right. Experience is what you need to figure this all out. Those of us telling you how to do it or how it should sound, well, that's not gonna be as beneficial as just doing it. Two coats, always two coats. Trying to lay it on thick to get away with one coat just ain't gonna cut it unless you're painting the same color in some apartment complex. I would really be concerned with someone's credentials if they didn't know how to lay on paint with a roller.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:24 AM   #7
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A fully loaded roller should go roughly two roller widths or two feet on a standard wall. That being said I've stretched out that, as well as put more on. I wouldn't stretch it out too far and I always quote two coats unless it is the same color. It may vary, but very little in the end.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
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There's really no way to put paint on thick with a roller. It's just the nature of the beast to lay it on just right. Experience is what you need to figure this all out. Those of us telling you how to do it or how it should sound, well, that's not gonna be as beneficial as just doing it. Two coats, always two coats. Trying to lay it on thick to get away with one coat just ain't gonna cut it unless you're painting the same color in some apartment complex. I would really be concerned with someone's credentials if they didn't know how to lay on paint with a roller.
I don't think he is asking how to get it to cover in one coat. He is just trying to learn a technique for rolling. Gymschu is right though, the best way to learn is to start rolling out walls. Pay attention to the finish your getting and adjust from there. There are many different ways to apply paint. Everyone has their own way of doing it. I learnt by paying attention to how others do it and then figure out what worked for me.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:45 AM   #9
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Out here, in the land of texture, saying you should get X amount of area covered, or passes, with one load of paint has little basis in fact. We can be working on anything from a smooth wall, to moderate orange peel, to a heavy knockdown that eats the paint up like nothing. For me it’s more the feel of the roller on the surface that let’s me know that the cover needs to be reloaded. I guess looking at the nap would convey a similar sense of awareness since the cover gets that hard feeling when the nap has become compressed due to losing most of it’s paint. But for me it’s more of a feel thing - along with good old fashioned experience.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:22 PM   #10
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The one thing I can add, that I have a hard time convincing my helpers of, is that you need to let the roller do the work. You should not be pushing against the wall. The goal is not to get every bit of paint off the roller. On an 8 ft wall I usually get about 2-3 roller widths in lenghth before I add more paint to the roller.


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Old 05-09-2019, 01:41 PM   #11
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The V, N, or W pattern, often suggested when rolling a wall, is intended to apply the appropriate amount of paint in order to achieve the correct WFT when back rolling. The pattern option will depend on the roller sleeve thickness, paint solids by volume percentage, and wall texture. A wet film thickness gauge available at most professional paint stores takes the guess work out of rolling.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The V, N, or W pattern, often suggested when rolling a wall, is intended to apply the appropriate amount of paint in order to achieve the correct WFT when back rolling. The pattern option will depend on the roller sleeve thickness, paint solids by volume percentage, and wall texture. A wet film thickness gauge available at most professional paint stores takes the guess work out of rolling.
If they know what one is anyway!
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:25 PM   #13
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It all depends on how porous the substrate is, how good the paint is, how cheap the roller cover is, etc. You have to kind of learn how to compensate by experience i guess. Or buy good paint and good roller covers. And prime porous surfaces. Or use a coat of Marquee.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:24 PM   #14
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I am usually less concerned about how the paint is applied, as to what the finished results/texture looks like. Your method will eventually figure itself out, although long W,N,M's are all good application approaches. For a ceiling a prefer a random pattern, as it is less noticeable than long parallel lines.

Lay it on fast, and then backroll slowly (lightly) until texture is 'consistent' and 'uniform', with no obvious streaks, patterns, trails, or ridges.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:03 PM   #15
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Looking back, I have to admit, it took me a REALLY long time to learn how to roll proficiently...
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Martin the Painter View Post
The one thing I can add, that I have a hard time convincing my helpers of, is that you need to let the roller do the work. You should not be pushing against the wall. The goal is not to get every bit of paint off the roller. On an 8 ft wall I usually get about 2-3 roller widths in lenghth before I add more paint to the roller.


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I totally agree. I have had guys bend the roller frame before from pushing too hard. I'm always telling them that they don't have to worry about material cost so use some paint! Ive noticed that guys who are used to rental work (this used to be me till my old boss beat it out of me) try to stretch the paint. Don't be afraid of the paint, we are painters after all!
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrushPro View Post
A fully loaded roller should go roughly two roller widths or two feet on a standard wall. That being said I've stretched out that, as well as put more on. I wouldn't stretch it out too far and I always quote two coats unless it is the same color. It may vary, but very little in the end.
That may seem true on a 7.5' or 8' high wall, what about a 10 or 12' or higher wall?
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:51 PM   #18
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It's figuring out the difference between dry rolling/mashing and loading the roller enough so you aren't.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:19 PM   #19
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Thanks for advice! This was just what I needed. The first "Master Painter" (as he likes to call himself) and the other union painter were wrong in their teaching. They just want to cover everything in one coat with Promar while giving a two coat quote. Even over significant color changes. I was amazed this actually worked, but you had to get the Promar on very heavy. The "sucking" sound they were referring to was the usual "bacon frying" sound. Meaning any sound at all. The second supervisor was right. My rolling in one coat was too thick and didn't have a good texture for smooth walls.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:52 PM   #20
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The only intelligent thing my old boss, 162 IQ Lou, ever said to me was: "Don't be afraid to put it on- we're not afraid to buy it." Those are magic words all painters should hear. You want to know that somebody up there cares that the job gets done right and that you're not busting your butt so they can make more off of materials and your labor.
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