What to Look for in a Roller Sleeve

  • 4 min read

When it comes to paint rollers, just like paint brushes, they come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Choosing the right one will significantly affect the outcome of your DIY projects. So, to help you choose the ideal roller sleeve for your upcoming projects, here are some tips to keep in mind:

The thicker the nap, the more paint it can hold.

Considering the texture and smoothness of the surface, it's important to assess the thickness of the nap. For rough and uneven surfaces, opting for naps from 15mm onwards is ideal, as they can hold more paint and provide better coverage. Conversely, if you're seeking a roller sleeve for smooth surfaces and DIY upcycling projects, naps ranging from 4mm to 12mm can deliver a smooth and fine finish.

A Better Understanding of Roller Sleeve Naps


Super Smooth and Smooth: Use a shorter nap for smooth and even surfaces such as walls, ceilings, gib board, smooth plaster, smooth wallpaper, and hardboard. These roller sleeves are designed for generally water-based paints, oil-based paints, and polyurethane. They hold a minimal quantity of paint, aiding in achieving an ultra-smooth finish.

Semi-Smooth: If you have textured walls and ceilings or embossed wallpaper, the Semi-Smooth 8mm nap roller sleeve is the best option. This roller sleeve works well with water-based paints, oil-based paints, and polyurethane, holding more paint and providing better coverage and finish on textured surfaces.

Semi-Rough: Choose the semi-rough roller sleeve for imperfect walls, textured plaster, or embossed wallpaper. These roller sleeves come in different materials such as Microfibre, Draylon, and Lamb’s Wool. They are typically used with water-based paints, oil-based paints, or polyurethane.

Rough: Ideal for rough surfaces like plaster, brickwork, stucco, trellis, and blockwork that demand larger quantities of paint for full coverage, the rough roller sleeve features a longer nap, holding a high volume of paint. Haydn offers this sleeve in various materials, including polyester, Draylon, Microfibre, and Lamb’s Wool, with nap sizes ranging from 15mm to 32mm. These roller sleeves are versatile and compatible with water-based paint, oil-based paints, polyurethane, or primers.

Is the Roller Material Relevant?

If you're aiming for a specific effect or finish, it's essential to check which material can meet your expectations.

DIY Polyester: The DIY Polyester is a high-quality, budget-friendly roller sleeve. Its high-density knit design ensures fast and even coverage, holding and releasing more paint to expedite your projects. Haydn offers it in various sizes and styles to suit your needs, ranging from a smooth 6mm nap to a rough 19mm nap. Suitable for water-based paint, oil-based paint, polyurethane, or primers.

Professional Draylon: The premium range of professional Draylon synthetic fabric ensures a smooth finish and holds the perfect volume of paint for your projects. Haydn provides a wide array of roller sleeves in this material, featuring various styles and sizes to meet your expectations—from a smooth 6mm nap to a rough 19mm nap. These sleeves are versatile and can be used with water-based paint, oil-based paint, or polyurethane.

Trade Microfibre: Microfibre technology has revolutionized paint roller sleeves, delivering a finish similar to that of a spray, with no splatter or dripping. These versatile sleeves are compatible with both water and oil-based paints, as well as polyurethane. They are available in various styles and sizes, ranging from super-smooth 4mm nap to rough 15mm nap.

Mohair: Mohair is designed with natural fibres to provide a fine, smooth finish. Thanks to its natural characteristics, Mohair roller sleeves hold a significant volume of paint, facilitating faster completion of your projects. Haydn offers this roller sleeve in three different ranges: Professional (5mm nap), DIY (5mm nap), and Anti-foul (9mm nap). Anti-fouling paint, or bottom paint, is a specialized coating applied to the hull of a ship or boat to inhibit the growth of organisms that can affect a vessel’s performance and durability. The Professional and DIY ranges are suitable for doors, window frames, cupboards, and marine work and can be used with water-based paint, oil-based paint, or primers.

Foam: Foam roller sleeves spread paint evenly, and thanks to their absorption properties, they are ideal for doors and floors when using oil-based paints or polyurethane. Haydn offers this roller sleeve in two different ranges: Professional and DIY.

Professional Wool: Made from lamb’s wool, this roller sleeve holds more paint and produces less splatter compared to most synthetic sleeves. Ideal for semi-rough to rough surfaces like brickwork, stucco, trellis, rough plaster, and blockwork, it comes in a 12mm nap for semi-rough surfaces and a 25mm nap for rough surfaces.

Roof Foam: The Haydn® Roof Roller Sleeves are perfect for painting small areas of corrugated steel, using both water-based and oil-based paints. They are made from foam and are available in two sizes: 180mm (2-bump) or 230mm (3-bump) sleeve.

Are you a DIY enthusiast with a to-do list or a disciplined expert with a busy schedule?

Haydn has designed its roller sleeves according to your expertise and needs.

DIY: A budget-friendly option for everyday tasks at home, available in different materials. Choose from polyester roller sleeves for smooth, semi-rough, and rough surfaces, or opt for mohair and foam materials for smooth and semi-smooth surfaces.

Trade: A superior roller sleeve perfect for both the serious home handyman and the everyday tradesperson. Designed with microfibre technology, it has revolutionized paint roller sleeves, delivering a finish akin to spray painting with no spatter or dripping. These sleeves hold more paint than other rollers, ensuring faster coverage.

Professional: This is Haydn’s premium range, featuring Draylon in Smooth 6mm nap, Semi-Smooth 8mm nap, Semi-Rough 10mm nap, and Rough 19mm nap. Additionally, you can opt for pure lamb’s wool in Semi-Rough 12mm nap or Rough 25mm nap. Mohair and foam sleeves with a 5mm nap are also available. These materials ensure superb paint pick-up, delivering the finest quality finish.

With the right tools, getting the job done is nice and easy! Click here to explore all Haydn products. For more information, feel free to reach out by clicking on the 'Contact Us' tab.

Have a colourful day!