Asked on Oct 27, 2018

What kind of roller should I get?

MK McDonaldMEGBetsy


It's a fiberglas door and the paint color is a gloss deep red. I've read that using a roller is better than a brush to get the smoothest surface, but then at Lowe's I see foam rollers and ones that aren't foam and they all say they do the best job. What kind of roller SHOULD I get? Or is a roller the best tool to use?

13 answers
  • Em
    on Oct 27, 2018

    Brush for insets if you have them are a must. (panels) Either brush or roller will work. Regular nap is fine. Large or small is fine. It all comes down to preference. The roller goes quicker especially if the door is flat.

  • Gk
    on Oct 27, 2018

    I like the small white dense foam rollers. They will give you a smooth finish. However--you do want to make sure that you don't keep rolling over and over your paint as this will leave roller marks if you decide to go back and touch up--I would think even more so with glossy paint. Do a thin coat pf paint--and let it dry very well before you do the second coat. The paint should level itself to a nice smooth finish if you can stop yourself from touching up before it dries!

  • 2dogal
    on Oct 27, 2018

    Yes - Gk hit the spot with foam rollers - Use a good quality angled brush for the insets if your door has them. The better quality the paint and primer, the smoother your door will look. Do not try to brush or roll the paint too thin.

  • Steven
    on Oct 27, 2018

    Make sure you take the door off it's hinges. Lay flat on a pair of wood horses. The sides of the door are really critical as if you do it and there's too much paint your door could be permanently closed for good. Preparing the door for painting is also very important. If possible contact manufacturer for suggestions. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  • Diane
    on Oct 27, 2018

    Love the color. I have to wait for my new doors. This house was built in the late 70s. So HoLLow doors, for the exterior? #@**. Plus the doors are a half inch short. I know, go figure why ANY home builder would do this. Happy painting

  • Patricia Hewitt
    Patricia Hewitt
    on Oct 27, 2018

    We restore houses and I found that spray painting the outside doors is the best way to go. Lay door flat on saw horses with an old blanket on them, take off all the hardware, tape off the windows if applicable and sand. Clean off dust with a tack cloth and you’re ready to spray. If you need to give them a second coat make sure to lightly sand and clean before doing so. This is very important. It takes several days (making sure one side is completely dry before turning the door over) but it’s worth it.

    • Cathy
      on Oct 30, 2018

      If spray painting make sure you do the sanding between coats, I skipped that step and I have a rough texture on my door now.

  • Adelaide Webb
    Adelaide Webb
    on Oct 27, 2018

    What if your door is steel?

  • Deb K
    Deb K
    on Oct 27, 2018

    Hi, I prefer the fluffy rollers, mainly because the foam ones seem to track where you have rolled them and, this then causes you to chase your work and slows you down greatly.

  • Louise
    on Oct 27, 2018

    Now I'm so confused. Two men who work at HD told me to use foam rollers, telling me they'd give me a smoother surface. Then people here also say foam but others say not foam. How's a person to make a decision? I painted some kitchen cabinets a few years ago with oil paint and used foam rollers. Most of the paint looked fine but some places showed the roller lines and I think that's because I went over the paint too much like someone on this post about warned about. I have a sprayer that I bought a few years ago but have never used. It seems like the clean up of it is a chore. I like simple things. I LIKE simple things but few things seem simple once I get started on it. Sigh. Woe is me. 😩

    • Louise
      on Oct 28, 2018

      I had my neighbor, supposedly a professional painter, paint my inside bannisters last February and by April the paint was wearing off. I had to re-do part of it myself (and I must say, it STILL looks great!!!), so I've sworn off hiring a painter for anything that has to look really nice. :-(

  • Joyce Fuhrman
    Joyce Fuhrman
    on Oct 28, 2018

    Make sure you use a primer first. I don't like roller marks or brush strokes so I paint with a roller and then I use a brush that has very little paint on it and make a brush stroke from top to bottom in one stroke. I continue going from top to bottom. It is very smooth that way because you don't have thick and thin areas of paint. Of course, in some areas you have to use a brush.

  • Betsy
    on Oct 28, 2018

    Hi Louise: To add to the cacophony, I submit this video of a guy painting his door:

    Good luck!

  • MEG
    on Oct 28, 2018

    Living alone theres no way I can remove the doors in order to paint them by myself and don't want to hire someone to do it. Ive painted my front door while its still up with no problem. Also had a pro painter do it this way too. Don't put too much paint on roller in order to avoid drip marks. Less is more. Rather do several coats with a thin coat than deal with paint drips. Let each coat dry in between. I prefer the sheepskin rollers. They absorb better than the foam rollers. Do inserts first if you have then on the door that the flat areas.

    • Louise
      on Oct 28, 2018

      I'm lucky that an acquaintance is very good about helping me with jobs I can't do well by myself, like removing this heavy door and putting it on a large, super sturdy table for me to paint it on. I painted my current door while it was hanging, tho. That was a few years back.

  • MK McDonald
    MK McDonald
    on Oct 29, 2018

    There’s no way in H-E-double hockey sticks, that I would take my door down just to paint it. I’ve painted pots beautifully while still on their hinges and my painter, Kevin, touched up all my exterior doors. And as far as roller, no roller, etc. Use what the manufacturer of the paint company’s tips on their website. Then call a highly

    rated Painting Crew for some free advice. Then it’s all up to you to decide what’s best.

    The only painting tip I might say to you, is to work with thin layersas it’s easier to add more paint than to have to take it off.

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