What are roller or brush marks?

Brush and roller marks are when the painted surface is dotted with specks and marks that detract from the overall look.

Roller marks are exactly what they sound like — evidence of where the roller or brush was used. It is often caused by putting a second coat of paint on a surface before the first coat has completely dried.

How do roller and brush marks occur?

  • Application of additional paint or re-brushing or re-rolling in areas where the paint has partially dried.
  • “Working” (e.g. applying too rapidly or for too long) paint too much during application.
  • Use of the wrong type/nap size of roller cover or use of the wrong type/size of brush.
  • Applying too thin of a paint film.
  • Painting a hot surface or in direct sunlight.
  • Coating a very porous surface.

How do I fix brush or roller marks?

Using these techniques will allow you to fix stippling paint or to repair roller marks on a painted wall:

  • Make sure the paint is completely dry. Once it has dried, take a smooth piece of sandpaper and sand* paint down slightly until the surface is smooth.
  • Repaint the surface and maintain a wet edge on your roller at all times. Move slowly, and don’t be afraid to use more paint. If you begin to see gaps on the wall as you roll, it’s time to refresh the paint that’s on your roller.

How do I prevent brush or roller marks in the future?

  • If you do this, you won’t have to worry about stippling or roller marks in paint:
    • Use the right size roller cover. Larger surfaces need larger rollers.
    • Use the right style of brush for the type of painting you are doing. For example, a roller meant to be used with acrylic paint will likely not work as well if used with oil-based paint.
    • Use a high-quality paint. Low-quality paint does not stick well and does not look good when the job is done.
    • Buy enough paint for the job. Many people try to stretch out a can of paint over as large a surface as possible, but this results in a low-quality paint job.

As with many maintenance issues, knowledge and good products make it easy to keep any building looking attractive and Fresh Paint has the expertise to restore your project to its glory days!


*Sherwin Williams