A paint brush finish with a roller?

The prep work is done. The lining paper is on. But before your wallpaper can take its bow there’s the woodwork to complete. We don’t miss the days when you could spend an entire day applying a coat of paint to doors and skirting boards with a brush. Foam rollers have made glossing a far less laborious task – but how do you achieve a professional finish?

Orange peel finish

A foam roller makes light work of glossing but the finish has a kind of ‘orange peel’ texture to it. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it might not be the finish you want.

One solution is to let the paint down a little (10-20%) with water or spirit depending on whether the paint is water or oil based. Used as a final coat you’ll achieve a uniform, untextured finish. That’s not practical if you’re using one-coat paint (because you shouldn’t really let it down) – and you still don’t get the feel of a brush finish. For that you need…erm, a brush.

Lay off

Roller your door as usual, then switch to a brush to ‘lay-off’. That is, lightly brush the painted surface of the wood in single, flowing strokes following the grain. Not only will you achieve a brush finish, you’ll also remove excess paint, reducing runs and drips.

Allow the gloss to dry completely before you start wallpapering – that way you’ll be able to wash any excess paste from your wood without damaging the paintwork.