ROLLING YOUR SLEEVES UP
What is a roller sleeve?
Roller sleeves are a fabric or foam bonded onto a core, which is then slipped onto a frame attached to a handle so it can be loaded with paint prior to laying on the surface.
The reason for using a roller is that the average person does not have the dexterity to use a brush in such a way to avoid drips or marks. A roller will also cover more ground at a faster rate than a brush.
How do you get the perfect finish using a roller sleeve?
Although a roller lays on paint evenly, it does not apply as thickly as a brush. Through our research over many years in the paint application industry, we have compared low quality with high quality rollers. We have found that a good quality roller could roll out a sufficient amount of paint to cover 2m2 more area than a low grade roller sleeve. Meaning that, a good roller will achieve much higher thickness with the same effort or will cover a greater area using one dip of the roller.
The primary purpose of good coating tools is to apply coatings evenly and at the correct thickness. It’s not just for appearance – an uneven thickness of paint can lead to problems of adhesion because of expansion and contraction. Sufficient coats must always be applied to build up the recommended thickness of paint for the desired finish to the product.
As the roller leaves an orange peel texture, we recommend using a slightly loaded paint brush to lightly brush over the surface area. This process is known as tipping, which removes air bubbles caused by fast roll-on operations.
How to know if you are using a good quality roller sleeve:
A good quality roller will keep its fluff because of the way in which it is manufactured.
Roller Sleeve Information Sheet
Take a look at our roller sleeves information sheet.CLICK TO READ MORE
The manufacturing process heats a plastic core to near melting point and then bonds on the fabric; there is no glue involved. Even if the plastic-cored roller sleeve is dropped into a can of acetone, the fabric won’t loosen. The fabric on some plastic-cored rollers imported from Asian countries will break up, so it is important to specify a high-grade brand.
Our top quality Linzer brand rollers are manufactured in the United States of America. They have woven fabric bonded onto a plastic core. Waterford Paint Accessories are the only importers and suppliers of Linzer roller sleeves in New Zealand.
Which roller sleeves to use in the Marine Industry:
It is perfectly possible to achieve an excellent result by coating the hull of your boat using a brush and a roller.
Marine painting usually involves enamels and semi-gloss paints which show any blemish so a perfect finish is more important; flat or matte paints are more forgiving.
The small diameter 100mm wide rollers known as ‘nook and cranny’ sleeves have the fabric glued on and will last for only a short period of time in some marine paints. These, along with the small 75mm wide rollers, are useful in small areas. The medium format rollers, 180mm wide, suit most marine applications and are the most commonly used in the industry. This standard size is because the larger 230mm wide rollers can squeeze the paint out in the centre when working on curved surfaces.
It is important to apply the correct film thickness to achieve the best performance out of antifouling.
As hulls require a smooth finish, it is important to use a top quality fabric roller. Aggressive antifouling solvents can dissolve the glue used to bond a low quality roller sleeve, which could leave bits of fabric in the paint work. By using a top quality roller sleeve, the job can be completed with a high quality finish and with the use of fewer rollers.
We recommend using the Linzer Pro Edge Professional roller sleeve in either the 5mm (RC 100) or the 10mm (RC 101) range.
Open-cell foam rollers can leave microscopic bubbles in the paint film. Tipping off is not viable since it can leave brush strokes as the solvent dries in the paint very quickly. It is important when applying varnish with an open-cell foam roller to do so slowly to alleviate bubbles.
A better option for varnishes would be closed-cell foam or mohair roller sleeves.
Foam sleeves should not be used for 2-pot products.
We recommend using the Linzer Project Select foam roller sleeve in the 4mm (RC 227) range or the Linzer Deluxe Quality mohair roller sleeve in the 4mm (RC 112) range.
It is important to remember that if you have a boat valued at $150,000 and you have just spent $400 on paint and $100 on protection equipment and masking tape – if you then spend $15 on a roller sleeve and paint brush, your paint job will look like it cost $15. Spending appropriately on brushes and rollers, and provided the job is completed properly, it will look like a million bucks.