One of the most useful painting tools, many will agree, is the paint roller. Before its invention people had to paint the walls entirely using a paintbrush. This not only took a very long time, it also left an unsightly finish. Once the paint roller was invented, it did not take long before people started to improve on the design. Today we have a wide variety of rollers to choose from, amongst those is the 18” roller.
Most people, exposed to the 9” roller for years, laugh at the absurdity of the 18” roller when they first see it and dismiss it as a tool for use only by professionals and in very specific circumstances. The truth is that it is just a larger roller, enabling anyone who wields it the power to paint large spaces very quickly. That said, it is certainly not a small painting tool and along with the obvious advantages, there are disadvantages inherit to its design.
Read on to discover a few pros and cons of using an 18” paint roller.
The Pros of an 18-inch Paint Roller
There are a number of advantages to using an 18” roller; the obvious one is that an 18” roller applies paint a lot faster than a 9” roller. Large projects that have a lot of square footage to be coated benefit the most from this tool, an 18” roller provide and incredible improvement in production rates when employed on these projects. It holds more paint, has a larger surface area and thus covers a greater distance and spreads paint faster than a traditional 9” roller.
Applying paint straight out of a paint tray (a very large paint tray in the case of an 18” roller) is only one of the benefits and common uses for this roller. Another common use is for back rolling after a surface has been coated with an airless sprayer. It is an efficient way to back roll large areas and many professionals put the 18” roller to use daily for this purpose.
Sure, the 18-inch roller is in use by the pros, but is an 18” roller the ideal tool for your painting project? If you have to roll out a 5-gallon bucket of paint, have ample working space (this is a big roller), and have some muscle the answer is a definite yes.
Cons of Using an 18-Inch Paint Roller
Once again, let us start with the most obvious point of discussion. This is a big, heavy roller. If you don’t have the muscle necessary to use this tool for extended periods of time, it might not be for you. Using an 18” roller for a single day might boost production, but if you have a 7-day paint project and you’re out of commission for the remaining 6 days you might as well have used the 9” roller. This is especially the case when painting ceilings as weight of the paint and the tool add up quite a bit, leading to an inevitable painkiller at the end of the day to deal with the cramped shoulders and neck.
Another disadvantage of using the 18” roller is cleanup. Typically, these tools are not priced in the buy-it-toss-it range so it is a good idea to clean them, that said most common cleanup tools and practices are not made with the 18” roller in mind. For instance, spinning this roller out can be a bit of a headache if you don’t have a large garbage can nearby. You can make do with a garbage bag (better make sure it has no holes in it) and someone helping you to keep it open but it is not something that can be described as an easy task. In addition, maneuvering an 18” roller under a faucet in a pristine high-end luxurious kitchen is not for the faint of heart.
When it comes to deciding on the ideal time to pick up the 18” (or its slightly smaller cousin, the 14” roller) you can always check in with us. Most people overlook this roller as a professional’s tool only, but the ability to roll out large areas quickly makes this roller a great addition to any DIY painter’s arsenal.