When to use a paint roller vs. paint brush

Do-It-Yourself

The paint brush and paint roller have two very different functions, this means that selecting the right tool for the job is very important. Here are a few facts to help you decide what paint tool to use for your project!


Paint Brush

  • Used to cut in and out of smaller and more detailed areas, including trims, corners, and edges.
  • Brushes are small and flexible – they work well when controlling paint.
  • Also used to create a textured effect with brushstrokes.
  • Before using a brush verify the type of paint you are using as well (need help choosing the right brush? – read more)
    • Nylon or polyester brushes are perfect for latex (water-based) paints.
    • Natural brushes are good for oil-based paints, varnishes, and stains.

Paint Roller

  • Ideal for bigger ideas such as, walls, cielings, and large furniture.
  • The porous surface of the roller holds much more paint than a brush and distributes an even layer of paint much faster.
  • Different finishes can be achieved with different rollers:
    • Rollers with a smooth surface will produce a smooth finish.
    • Rollers with a thick or fluffy surface will create a more textured finish.

Find more How-To Guides!

How to pick the right paint brush (Read Now)

How to clean paint brushes (Read Now)

How to paint trim and moldings (Read Now)

How to keep your paint tools fresh (Read Now)

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