Does the quality of paint or lack of skill cause roller marks? The painter is blaming the quality of paint not his skills.

  • 5
    Blame everything. Roller marks can be caused by paint characteristics, application technique (a.k.a the painter) and by roller quality/construction.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 10:23
  • If you hired a painter, who chose the paint and why didn't he warn that the paint in question stinks before starting the job? Have you seen any other jobs he did? Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 14:57

2 Answers 2



  • Low grade paint
  • cheap roller or dirty roller, that hold paint in crevices (squirt out as paint is applied)
  • low nap - I always use at least 1/2"
  • painting style - basically not varying your strokes, painting unevenly, and the biggest one is pressing down on the roller because paint is low. Not dipping into the paint bin is the cardinal sin. A lot of times when you hire someone and the paint is part of the package this is often the problem. As they try to save on paint costs they make every drop last and you run into issues like this.

Just know that even with the crappiest paint you can get it on a wall without roller marks. This isn't rocket science and you should be able to rectify the marks if you are inspecting while painting, before the paint has dried. But do note if you have roller marks and are using a low quality/thin paint it will be much harder to fix them with another coat as the marks will bleed. At that point you might need a thin coat of primer.



I've never met a roller that I couldn't fix by running it on its edge for a while, and I've never had paint that I couldn't make work right, that wasn't old.

One edge of any given roller will be better than the other. You always finish the coat by rolling once more, in the same direction each time (I find down is easiest), slightly overlapping, making sure your trailing edge is that good side = no lines.

  • Skip that "one-way only finish" step and you'll have 10" swath marks all over, and lines.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 20:47

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