With trim rollers, smaller rollers from 3 to 4 inches in length, there’s a middle ground between the ease of using a roller to broadly apply paint, and a small imprint for more complex areas of a wall or surface. Full sized paint rollers cover a wide area quickly, but you run into trouble anywhere you encounter smaller or more specialized surfaces. Switch plates, doorknobs, trim frames, and any other protrusions from a wall or door space can make roller painting a laborious process. Trim rollers make many kinds of painting jobs easier. That doesn’t mean those using trim rollers will never have to pick up a brush, but these smaller roller designs can be useful in cutting down on the time it takes for an overall painting project, and giving professionals or amateurs a better tool box
TIP: Painting professional Edward Kimble, author of Interior House Painting Blog, adds, “When using a trim roller to paint trim of any kind or a baseboard heater, after using the trim roller, the painter needs to brush out the trim rolled area to leave a ‘finish stroke’ look. Although brushing must usually be done, the trim roller will apply paint much faster than a brush, making the brushing go much smoother and faster. When using a trim roller, the painter can work on a larger area than with just a brush before the paint begins to dry up.”
Here are some popular uses for these handy small roller tools.
Exterior Trim Frames
Painters zipping along the exterior of a building may be using a full size roller on a flat exterior wall space, but trim frames can present a challenge. When the sizes of these frames fit the size of a trim roller, this project can become a lot easier.
All kinds of wooden or synthetic trim and molding can be neatly painted with trim rollers as well.
It can be a little hard to go over any paneled door with a regular roller. The roller width is just too long to be able to apply paint into the small, slight bevels in the panel. These spaces, along with areas around a doorknob, etc. can be more accessible with a smaller trim roller.
TIP: Edward says, “If painting a lot of doors the same color, a trim roller is very helpful, but it is not worth using a trim roller if all it will be used for is one or two doors.”
Electrical Boxes and Other Wall Protrusions
It’s not impossible to do these pieces with a traditional roller, but with a trim roller, there’s less of an issue with the paint on the unused portion pooling up and causing problems. Trim rollers are also good for small clearance areas such as toilets and old style radiators.
Edward Kimble, professional painter and author of Interior House Painting Blog, contributed to this article.