Basic Roller Painting InstructionsCo-authored by KristiSwallowChoosing A Roller
The best roller for applying flat latex paint as a projection screen surface is a 3/16" nap white synthetic roller. A 1/4" nap roller is also acceptable but will produce a slightly heavier roller texture.
This type of roller will hold the right amount of paint to cover one vertical strip on a 120" 16:9 screen. You can get these rollers in 9" and 7" widths. I personally prefer the 7" width because it is a but lighter and easier to control the pressure applied across the length of the roller.Application Pressure
It is important to let the roller and paint do the work. It is not necessary to apply enough pressure to squeese the paint out of the roller. Only apply enough pressure make the roller roll. If the roller handle is not free spinning and requires excessive pressure to get it to roll then clean it or replace it. Roll at a nice steady pace that does not fling paint drops at you. Too much pressure will lead to roller tracks in your screen surface. Pressing too hard is probably the most common mistake made when roller painting.Maintaining A Wet Line
This is a very important concept for wall painting as well as screen painting. The paint is applied in vertical strips from top to bottom. Then the gap is blended into the previously applied strip. This method ensures that you are not inadvertantly dry rolling paint that has been on the wall long enough to start drying. You always want to apply paint next to paint that is still wet.Keep It Thin
When painting a screen surface it is important to get good coverage but not to apply too much paint. Too much paint will lead to a lumpy finish, roller tracks, and may also result in runs.Let It Dry
Be sure to let each coat dry completely. For common latex wall paints that means about three hours. If you start rolling the next coat too soon the first coat can get lifted off in clumps and ruin the smooth screen surface we are striving for. If you are applying a polyurethane top coat the I recommend leting the latex base coat dry for at least 12 hours.Flat Paint Rolling Tips
Flat wall paint is very forgiving. Wall blemishes will not be visible in the projected image. It is still advisable to prepare the wall properly and employ painting techniques to produce the most uniform surface possible.
- Load the 3/16" nap synthetic roller with paint.
- Apply the paint in vertical strips. Start at the center of the vertical strip and roll up and down with longer and longer strokes until you are rolling from top to bottom of the screen.
- Apply each strip adjacent to the previous one. Leave only a 1/4" to 1/2" gap between the strips.
- Once the current strip of paint has been applied by spreading it from top to bottom, do not stop the roller on the screen surface. Roll completely off onto the masking tape. If you change roller direction on the screen during the following smoothing and blending strokes, it will leave a texture that is different from the rest of the screen. That discontinuity in the roller texture will be visible in the image.
- Now you will blend the current strip into the previous strip. This is done by continuing to roll up and down while moving sideways across the gap. It should take about 6 up and down strokes to work your way across the gap. Once the roller is completely across the gap then continue rolling up and down but work your way back across the gap. Again this should take about 6 strokes. At this point the current strip and the previous one should be indistinguishable. Stop rolling now and load up for the next strip.
The procedure is repeated until you get to the other side of the screen. Since the last strip will not be blended into a subsequent strip you can put a few more smoothing strokes on it if need be.