A photo of a kitchen with beautifully painted cabinetry

Cabinetry can make or break the look of our kitchens or bathrooms. If your cabinets are starting to show their age or are just in need of a makeover, you’re probably thinking about painting or staining them. If you’re DIY painting for the first time, it’s important to be fully prepared, which includes having the right tools for the job.

Paint rollers are a great option for giving your cabinets a smooth and even finish. Unfortunately, the task of finding the best roller for painting cabinets can be tiresome with the variety of options available. This article will help you determine what is the best roller for painting cabinets by covering the following:

Before we answer the question “should I use a brush or roller to paint cabinets?”, let’s dive into some options for the best rollers for painting cupboards and cabinets. If you also plan to paint your doors, check out the best rollers for painting doors.

 

8 best rollers for painting cabinets

There are many paint rollers available, but only some are best suited for cabinets. Here are our recommendations for the best paint rollers for painting cabinets.

1. FoamPRO Fine Finisher Roller

FoamPRO Fine Finish Roller

(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $5.36

Quantity: 1

Size: 4-inch length

Material: High-density foam

Best Feature: Smooth finish

For super smooth coverage of your cabinets, try the FoamPRO Fine Finisher Roller. This is one of the best mini rollers for painting cabinets as it’s made of quality materials to help you apply a smooth, lint-free finish. It works great with enamel paints, urethanes, varnishes, primers, and stains.

2. Bestt Liebco Master Foam 4 Piece Mini Roller Kit

Bestt Liebco Foam 4 Piece Mini Roller Kit
(Image  credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $15.84

Quantity: 2

Size: 4-inch length

Material: High-density foam

Best Feature: All-in-one kit

If you’re new to using a paint roller and need more than just a roller cover, the Bestt Liebco Master Foam 4 Piece Mini Roller Kit is for you. It comes with a paint tray, roller holder, and 2 foam roller covers, so you’ll be able to get started right away. The roller covers are ideal for the smoothest cabinets and can be used with all paint types except for shellac.

3. Purdy White Dove Jumbo Mini Roller Covers

Purdy White Dove Jumbo Mini Roller Covers
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $6.67

Quantity: 2

Size: ¼-inch nap, 4.5-inch length

Material: Woven Dralon fabric

Best Feature: Coverage

This 2-pack of Purdy White Dove Jumbo Mini Roller Covers is great for anyone who wants to be extra prepared. These roller covers are versatile and great for painting in small, hard-to-reach spaces. They’re shed-resistant and can be used with all paints and stains to create a smooth finish.

4. FoamPRO Finest Finish Mini Roller

FoamPRO Finest Finish Mini Roller
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $12.33

Quantity: 1

Size: 4-inch length

Material: High-density foam

Best Feature: Super-fine thickness

For those working on the smoothest of surfaces, opt for the FoamPRO Finest Finish Mini Roller. One of the best foam rollers for painting cabinets, it’s made with ultra fine foam to help apply a lint-free, incredibly smooth finish to your cabinets. It’s an ideal size for cabinets and works with a variety of materials.

5. Shur-Line Ergonomic Sure-Grip Foam Mini Roller

Shur-Line Ergonomic Sure-Grip Foam Mini Roller
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $12.77

Quantity: 1

Size: 4-inch length

Material: Foam

Best Feature: Comfortable handle

If you want to be more comfortable while you paint, try the Shur-Line Ergonomic Sure-Grip Foam Mini Roller. This roller’s handle has an ergonomic design to help your hand feel more comfortable and help you paint for longer, which makes it one of the best rollers for painting cabinet doors. The foam cover works with all paints and stains and can easily paint corners and edges.

6. Wooster Mohair Blend Roller Cover

Wooster Mohair Blend Roller Cover
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $9.16

Quantity: 1

Size: ¼-inch nap, 4-inch length

Material: Mohair-polyester blend

Best Feature: Durability

The Wooster Mohair Blend Roller Cover is another great option for a high-quality option for your cabinets. The mohair and polyester blend helps keep the roller cover durable while also helping it provide great coverage. It’s shed-resistant and works well with a variety of materials.

7. Purdy Parrot Jumbo Mini Roller Covers

Purdy Parrot Jumbo Mini Roller Covers
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $9.24

Quantity: 2

Size: ¼-inch nap, 4.5-inch length

Material: Woven Mohair

Best Feature: Quality

For those wanting a glass-like appearance on their cabinets, these Purdy Parrot Jumbo Mini Roller Covers are a great option. These rollers are made with quality materials that work to give you a soft, beautiful finish. They can be used on a variety of surfaces with latex and oil-based paints, making them one of the best rollers for painting kitchen cabinets.

8. Bestt Liebco Tru-Pro Roller Cover

Bestt Liebco Tru-Pro Roller Cover
(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $9.27

Quantity: 1

Size: ¼-inch nap, 4-inch length

Material: Woven fabric

Best Feature: Smooth finish

If you’re working with very smooth cabinets, you might want to try the Bestt Liebco Tru-Pro Roller Cover. This roller cover is made with shed-resistant fabric that uses pickup and release technology to help give you a smooth finish. It’s durable and works with all paints and stains.

 

What’s the best type of roller brush for painting cabinets?

Finding the best type of roller for painting cabinets can be difficult if you don’t know what specifics to look for. To help you find the best roller brush for painting cabinets, follow these guidelines.

Choosing the right paint roller design and grip

The frame/handle of your paint roller plays a role in your capabilities while painting. Here are some things you should look for in a good roller frame:

  • Ergonomic: Handles designed with a comfortable grip will help you paint for longer without discomfort.
  • Compatible: Make sure the roller covers you want to use with fit on your frame.
  • Ball-bearings: This feature will help your roller smoothly apply paint without hiccups.

Choosing the right paint roller length

The length of your roller cover impacts how easily and efficiently you’ll be able to paint your cabinets. These are the most common roller lengths that work best for cabinets:

  • 2-inch to 3-inch: Smallest roller sizes for the smallest/thinnest surfaces. Great options for panelled cabinet doors.
  • 4-inch: Standard mini roller size. Perfect for the average cabinet project.
  • 6-inch: Next most common size. Good choice for larger cabinets.

Choosing the right paint roller cover material for your project

Different materials interact differently with different types of paints and stains. Here are the best materials for painting cabinets:

  • Foam: Has great absorbency and release capabilities; works well on flat surfaces.
  • Mohair: Helps create a soft, smooth coverage on flat surfaces.
  • Nylon and/or polyester: Possesses quality stiffness and durability and helps create smooth finishes.

Choosing the right paint roller nap (thickness) for your surface

Different nap thicknesses are required for different amounts of texture. These are the naps that work best for cabinets:

  • 3/16-inch: Extremely thin nap for the smoothest surfaces.
  • ¼-inch: Thin nap for very smooth surfaces.
  • ⅜-inch: Slightly thicker nap for smooth surfaces with a bit of texture.

 

Best way to paint cabinets: roller, brush, or spray?

If you’ve been asking whether you should paint your cabinets with a brush or roller, you’re the only one who can answer that question. What tool you use depends on your own personal preferences and the specifics of your cabinets. Brushes and rollers are the best choices for efficiency when painting cabinets. Paint brushes work best when painting smaller surfaces, and can even be used to cut-in the edges of the cabinets before painting the remaining surface. Rollers are great for providing the main surface of your cabinets with smooth, even coverage, especially if they’re larger in size.

A closeup of two brushes and a roller covered in orange paint

If you have a lot of cabinets or cupboards to paint, using a paint sprayer can help you speed up the process while still achieving great coverage. However, sprayers can get quite pricey and have been known to overspray from time to time.

Choose a roller if…

  • You’re painting larger cabinets
  • You’re painting the main surface of the cabinets
  • You want to achieve an even coverage

Choose a brush if…

  • You’re working on small cabinets
  • You’re cutting in the edges
  • You’re only painting a small section or doing a quick touch-up

Choose a spray if…

  • You have a lot of cabinets to paint/stain
  • You want to greatly speed up the process
  • You have the money to invest in a sprayer

 

How to paint cabinets without leaving marks

For those painting their cabinets themselves, you’re going to want to do everything you can to achieve quality results. These are some tips for painting your cabinets with a paint roller without leaving brush marks:

  • Remove the doors – If possible, removing your cabinet and cupboard doors and painting them on a workbench or ergonomic surface will allow for more comfort and precision while painting/staining.
  • Protect the area – Use painter’s tape and/or sheets to protect the surrounding surfaces while you’re working.
  • Clean the surfaces – Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt and debris that could appear in your paint or stain.
  • Sand the surfaces – Use sandpaper to smooth the surface and remove only old layers of materials. This will help your new paint/stain stick and look better.
  • Repair any damage – Be sure to fill any cracks or holes to prevent damage to your work afterwards.
  • Apply primer – Coat your cabinets in a primer and let it dry. This will help to better protect your paint/stain and help it stick to the surface better.
  • Use only what you need – Use a paint tray or screen to remove excess paint or stain from your roller. Applying too much at once could cause unwanted blotches, splatter, dripping, or uneven coverage.
  • Use the right painting techniques – Apply your paint or stain in an up and down motion using long strokes. Make sure to follow the grain.

 

Now that you know everything about using a paint roller on your cabinets, it’s time to get started. If you think you’d prefer to hire a professional for your project, the City Painters are here to help. Contact us here or give us a call for a free quote.

Contact Us