An up-close look at two hot applicators

by Jake Poinier

iStock_59669130_XLARGENap, width, and core dimensions are critical aspects of choosing a roller, but let’s take a closer look at two premium roller fabrics that could make a difference in your ability to apply finishes quickly and easily.

Numerous manufacturers offer microfiber options in their roller lineups. These man-made fabrics are made up of incredibly tiny fibers, so they’re particularly suited for smooth surfaces to achieve spray-like finishes with semigloss and high-gloss paints. The newest entrant into the microfiber arena in the U.S. is Proform Technologies’ Picasso roller, which features the company’s standard orange-and-gray color scheme.

“The difference with our roller is that it’s an Italian microfiber; the highest quality there is,” says Carrie Lefforge, Proform’s director of operations. “It performs better than any standard microfiber, absorbing really well, packing tons of paint into it, and then it also cleans very well.” Lefforge says the product has already experienced rapid growth in the UK market, where it launched.

Purdy’s Colossus roller line also traces its roots to Europe, becoming popular 25 years ago, before the company brought it into the U.S. market. The Colossus uses a polyamide (nylon) fabric that combines high capacity with minimal dripping and spattering, making it ideal for heavy-duty usage.

“The way the polyamide works, it’s almost like a bunch of paint brushes with split ends, giving the fabric a lot of surface area to release the paint onto the wall,” says Bruce Schneider, marketing manager and training coordinator at Purdy. “Nylon is abrasion-resistant, so it can last for years if you’re painting smooth surfaces. It also has good memory—if it mats down, it recovers more quickly than lamb’s wool.”

Paint pros should be aware that Purdy brushes can’t use as aggressive a cleaning process without damaging the yarn, so you want to wet it and spin it out a few times before the first use.

“The beauty, though, is that the Colossus gets better the more you use it,” Schneider adds.


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