Ingenuity and innovation are what drive industries forward. For the DIY painting industry, that means upgrading the standard paintbrush or paint roller to a power paint roller.
The idea is pretty simple. By offering a pump that can send paint to a roller, you spend less time going back to the tray to load up on more paint.
In a perfect world, an electric paint roller could save up to 50% of the time you spend painting the average room.
In reality, many electric paint rollers have design flaws that cause more problems than they offer in benefits.
Here are the top-rated electric paint rollers that are available right now, including three Wagner Power Roller models and 1 Ryobi Power Paint Roller.
|Wagner Smart Sidekick Power Roller||3.6||$$|
|Ryobi Duet Power Paint System||3.0||$|
|Wagner Cordless TurboProll Paint Roller||3.6||$$|
|Wagner Roll 'N Go Power Roller||3||$$|
It is important to differentiate between 2 paint roller designs: an “electric” or “power” paint roller and a “smart” paint roller. These different types of paint rollers offer you different methods of getting the paint to the roller.
A smart roller offers a hollow tube within the handle of the equipment that can supply paint to the roller.
A power roller is a paint roller with a pump, which uses air pressure, or some other form of electric supply to run paint through a hose to the roller.
Electric paint rollers bring the awkward factor up to 11. They also don’t really save painters that much time compared to the traditional roller. The only real benefit that is immediate is the elimination of a paint tray.
You have to do everything else with a power roller that you would with a standard roller.
There are generally 14-inch and 18-inch models available. As with the standard roller, you’ll need to paint with a brush in tight corners and lines to prevent splatter.
In a standard 120 square foot room, you might save between 10-20 minutes on your total painting time.
If you have several rooms to paint and you want to get things done in a single day, that means you’ll be able to paint about one more room with an electric roller compared to a standard roller.
With the costs of a power paint roller to consider, it is easy to see why many consumers see a greater value in the traditional painting methods in this category.
Then there is the cleanup process. With a traditional paint roller, you just take off the used roller and throw it away. With an electric roller, you are forced to clean all of your equipment at the end of the day.
By the time you’ve finished cleaning, you have likely lost all of the time savings you just gained by going with an electric roller.
Electric paint rollers are a good option to consider if you can check off these three specific items for your next DIY project.
Even if you can tick these three items off, keep in mind that you’ll likely be applying a primer with different equipment before you apply the paint with the power paint roller.
You must also have the paint hose be part of the consideration process. Not every painter is comfortable with a long hose that dangles from the handle of their roller.
It can feel cumbersome and can even get in the way when painting high walls or ceilings.
Some people are just done with the traditional paint roller. It can be messy. You’ve got those trays to deal with all the time. At the same time, the cost and problems with an electric paint roller are equally bothersome.
In the middle sits the smart roller. This different type of paint roller utilizes a paint tank that is in the handle of the roller itself. You press a button and paint flows to the roller.
Some smart power roller models are called automatic paint rollers because they are pressurized so that you can keep painting overhead while the roller does the work for you.
Here are the problems that come up with a smart roller system.
To sum up the average consumer experience with smart paint rollers and electric paint rollers takes three words: “Not Worth It.”
Now let’s be fair here. When going over the public reviews, there are some common complaints that are usually easily preventable.
When you receive a power roller (or a smart roller, for that matter), there is usually some assembly required. If the assembly is not performed correctly, then the paint roller will not work as intended.
Missing parts are one of the biggest issues we all face when ordering items online. Not every manufacturer is good about ensuring all needed parts are included. What do we do if that happens?
We often become impatient and try to use the product anyway instead of initiating a return or a request for the missing parts.
And that can mean bad news, especially for DIY painters.
As for those who rate electric rollers in the 1-star range because of carpet or flooring damage, here’s the question to ask: why didn’t you cover your floor with plastic or a tarp?
Any painting equipment can drip onto the floor if it gets too much paint on it. Even if a valve malfunctions, the plastic preserves the floor from damage.
The issue of cleanup, however, is a legitimate complaint. Every power roller model requires at least 60 minutes of cleaning work, so it can be reused the next day.
That’s a lot of time if you’re only painting one room. You could legitimately spend more time cleaning the equipment than actually painting.
That’s why the scope of the project must be a top consideration. If you’re only painting one room, then an electric paint roller is probably more equipment than you need. Go for a traditional roller instead.
If you’re painting an entire house, however, or have an extensive exterior that needs to be painted in a day, then an electric roller does make some sense.
The best models in this category are priced above $200. That cost does not include the motor or compressor that is necessary for the equipment as well.
Because this is powered equipment, you’ll need the same safety equipment that you’d wear with a paint sprayer. Whether you are spray or roller painting, you need to wear a good respirator and should probably be wearing safety goggles as well.
Affordable models, especially smart rollers, are in the $30-$50 price range. Some units are about $120 for all the equipment you need to get started.
These models are typically beneficial for specific jobs, so be sure to review all of the manufacturer’s recommendations before getting started.
The best electric paint rollers can be a good investment if you’re aware of the negatives this equipment is known to produce. Use common sense when painting with it and protect your floors. Wear safety equipment. Do more than paint one wall with it.
You receive more control over the paint. These sprayers can also be used in more environments and can be used with more paint types when compared to electric rollers.
The choice is really up to you. Just don’t settle for the fake positivity about this technology that you’ll find elsewhere. Power rollers can be good to own if you have the right job for them to do.
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