Can You Paint Trim With A Roller?

Applying paint with a roller is much faster than trying to paint an entire wall with a brush.

The only snag is that a full-sized roller is no good when it comes to painting the trim.

Conventional wisdom holds that you should only attempt this with a brush.

While that’s true for finicky moulded trim, it’s fine to use a trim roller in many situations.

If you’re painting trim that’s mostly flat, a trim roller will save time and give you a smoother finish than a brush.

Trim rollers are small paint rollers, no more than three or four inches across.

They’re great for trim, obviously.

They’re also perfect for finishing off small or awkward sections of the wall or for adding stripes and other details in a contrasting colour.

They make it easy to paint around switch plates, windows and other areas that can be a headache when you’re using a full-sized roller.

Trim rollers can help avoid waste, too.

With a brush, you may find that the paint in your tray has dried before you can use it up.

Because working with a brush is harder and more time-consuming, you may find that you have to pause in the middle of painting the trim.

This can lead to uneven areas when you start the next section.

Here are some situations where a trim roller can come in handy for painting.

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Interior Trim

Painting interior trim is a breeze with a trim roller.

Whether your trim is synthetic or wooden, a trim roller makes the job much faster.

Exterior Trim

Work can slow to a crawl once you’ve finished the main exterior paint job and have to set aside your roller.

Instead of laboriously painting all that exterior trim with a brush, break out the trim roller and finish off your exterior trim in half the time.

Panelled Doors

A lick of paint is just the thing to give your interior panelled doors a fresh new look.

Unfortunately, you’ll usually find that a full-sized roller is just too big to fit in those door panels. Instead, you can use a trim roller for an even finish.

A trim roller is especially useful if you’re going to be painting a lot of doors in the same colour.

Wall Protrusions

Anything that protrudes from the wall, like a radiator, a sink, or an old-style electrical box, can cause problems if you’re using a traditional roller.

It’s not impossible but the paint tends to pool or look uneven. It’s also harder to get into all the corners.

Instead, use a trim roller to bring the paint right up to the protrusion with no gaps or spots of thick pooled paint.

Tips For Painting Trim With A Roller

  • Always choose the right paint for the surface and situation.
  • Outside trim needs proper exterior paint.
  • Prepare surfaces before painting. Make sure the area is clean, dry and free from old paint or debris.
  • If you want a ‘finish stroke’ look, brush out the rolled area of trim before the paint is dry.
  • A trim roller is ideal for any situation where you need to paint small sections quickly. For uneven surfaces, though, you may still need that brush.