Sometimes when painting with a roller it feels like instead of the roller being circular in the cross-section, it is an oval. Or perhaps the paint is loaded unevenly? I have been loading paint from a tray but dipping it in the paint and then rolling it on the raised part of the tray.

When I move the roller on the wall, I can feel the unevenness although there is little visible difference in the paint applied.

Am I doing something wrong?

  • 2
    Pushing too hard can cause a flat on the roller which feels much like you describe. So push less hard.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2020 at 11:53
  • 2
    Cheap roller cover with a wire roller frame can result in this uneven application.
    – Kris
    Mar 28, 2020 at 12:10
  • 2
    Investing in top quality rollers and brushes, and learning how to care for them, is one of the best things any homeowner can do. Many frustrations can be avoided in doing so.
    – Evil Elf
    Mar 28, 2020 at 12:41
  • 1
    @EvilElf Yeah, I do that with latex. But most of my painting is either LPU or alkyd, and with LPU you'd spend $30 in solvent saving a $20 brush. My response is to use throwaway chip brushes, albeit a froo-froo artisanal version of them with 2-3x the normal bristles. Mar 28, 2020 at 20:53

2 Answers 2


As some have said cheap can be a problem, are you loading the roller with paint evenly and working it on the cross hatched section of the pan? I will roll into the paint lift and back up roll into the paint 3 or 4 times depending on how full the tray is. After loading I roll on the crosshatching or ribbed section lift and roll to even out the load of paint and reduce dripping. With good technique even a cheap roller will provide even coverage and with bad technique the most expensive roller wont make a difference.

As we can’t see what you are doing try paying attention to how you load the roller, this is how my dad showed me decades past and even though I hate painting I can do a nice even job using this method.


Sometimes this can be a cheap roller. But wubba-wubba-wubba application usually means one of two things:

  • When you re-wetted the roller, you did not roll it all the way through/evenly, or did not wring it out evenly.

    • This is highly sensitive to attention and sensitivity, which is what makes it a craft. Not least if the roller is imbalanced it will dislike rotating, and you can feel that. I often pick up the roller, go "that don't feel right" and re-wet it.
  • You wetted the roller properly, but then you paused. Meanwhile, nside the roller, gravity caused the paint to wick from the top to the bottom of the roller. Now it's lopsided on the former bottom.

    • The defense here is to keep the roller moving. Ideally, move quickly from roller tray to work. Making it rotate is usually not an option, so I will slowly flip it end over end - far too slow for centripetal force to throw paint, but not so slow that paint will migrate down to one end and start dripping. Again, it's a craft.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.