I have a new raw plaster jar, as shown below:

enter image description here

I want to paint it using this Gold metallic paint from AkzoNobel:

Levi's - Multipurpose Metallic Decorative Paint Gold

I have these two 10-cm rollers, one of which is microfiber and the other is foam, as shown in this picture:

enter image description here

So which roller should I use for my project (meaning, which one best fits the plaster surface + the paint type I am going to use), and why?

I am excluding using a paint brush to avoid any brush strokes, and I have excluded using spray as I do not have a spray gun.

  • 3
    Different rollers can produce different textures, so the answer is "it depends". What texture do you want to achieve? Mirror finish? Slightly textured? Heavily textured?
    – Elmy
    Feb 26, 2022 at 11:21
  • @Elmy Thanks for you reply ... Mirror finish is what i am trying to achieve, or the closet finish to spraying... so which one best fit my need ?
    – John John
    Feb 26, 2022 at 18:10
  • Spray cans are also not an option? I think you can get the cleanest, smoothest finish by spraying paint, and you won't need a spray gun for it.
    – Joachim
    Feb 27, 2022 at 13:10
  • 1
    @Lyssagal foam rollers actually work very well; the only reason they would smear paint is if you neglected to clean it properly, causing it to stop "rolling" on the handle.
    – Allison C
    Feb 28, 2022 at 14:49
  • 3
    @JohnJohn, a roller is really the wrong tool for the job. For the kind of finish you want, spraying is the right way to do it. You've spend a few dollars on some paint. Don't let that sunk cost drive your decisions for where to go from here. A lot of time, effort, and other materials can be wasted . Spray guns aren't insanely expensive, and you can buy spray gadgets. But the simplest, least expensive solution would be to save that paint for another project and just buy new paint in spray cans.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 28, 2022 at 19:02

2 Answers 2


While there's minimal difference functionally between the two types of roller, for the case you have specified here, covering a curved surface, neither is a suitable choice.

A paint roller is designed to rapidly cover a flat surface without leaving brush strokes; your vase you wish to paint has no flat surfaces at all, and the roller cannot and will not curve around the surface to apply a good coat. You'll get lines of paint, likely with thick globs along the edges of them as paint is squeezed out of the roller by the vase. Ultimately, you'll have a poor result, as this is a case of choosing the wrong tool for the job, regardless of which roller you select.

You have two options for how to proceed with painting. One, you can use a brush. If you want to minimize the appearance of brush strokes, try a foam brush, which will flex around the surface but, as it has no bristles, will leave very minimal brush lines if any. If these aren't available, careful application of the paint using a new, clean, good-quality brush can minimize the appearance of brush lines, but you may wish to practice on another surface with the same paint first.

Two, you can use a sprayer. There are simpler options than a full airbrush or paint sprayer system; the Preval system is one that is frequently recommended to crafters in the US who don't want or need a full airbrush or sprayer system; it's likely a similar device exists in your area as well, as it's effectively a jar with a specially designed can of compressed air attached to it. You'll similarly want to practice a bit with your specific paint so you don't experience uneven application, runny paint, or splattering on your final project. If you invest in a more expensive system, ensure you also take the time to learn how to fully clean the system after use so it will last you a long time, through many projects.

Unfortunately, there's really no way around the fact that a roller is the wrong tool for this job. You can attempt to proceed with one or the other, but neither is going to offer a good result.

  • 3
    I agree with this answer. An even simpler spray solution would be to save the paint for another project and buy new paint in spray cans.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 28, 2022 at 19:08
  • 1
    @fixer1234 you're right, but I've had some strange effects with gold spray cans where the surface wasn't perfectly smooth. It might need particular care in priming depending on the substrate. I haven't seen the same issues with brush metallic paints. (Actually on the fake brass banding on the treasure chest in my profile pic)
    – Chris H
    Feb 28, 2022 at 22:10

It is mentioned that you would like to use it as a gloss finish. Foam would be ideal for gloss shine. But not sure if the roller would be an effective way of using it.


These types of rollers you listed would be used in these manners:

  • Synthetic/polyester fiber are to help not stick together/mat, and not glop paint. Making them effective for water based latex paints. Which is suitable for any surface type.

  • Foam rollers are typically work well with oil or high-gloss latex paints, particularly on porous surfaces such as bare wood. Which the plaster might need a primer prior to covering it with the gloss finish.

Consider the nap
Based off of the rougher the surface the thicker the nap you would want to use. So a nap of 3/16 to 1/4 would be your best option for smooth gloss finishes.

  • 3/16 to 1/4inch is commonly used for smooth surface coverage.

If there are only two options of paint roller covers to choose from, the microfiber cover might be a better option because the plaster surface isn't porous enough to use something like a foam cover. But the foam cover is commonly used to do gloss finishes. So, the question is debatable.

Choosing the right brush or paint roller: https://www.frogtape.com/inspiration/tutorials/projects/how-to-choose-the-right-paint-rollers-and-brushes

Source saying you can use a paint roller with gloss and steps:

Best way to use gloss for paint roller:

Information about nap sizes and roller types:

  • 1
    Thanks for the reply.. but if i am looking for a finish near the finish produced by spraying the paint.. then which roller i should use?, why i thought foam can give the best finish as no strokes will be produced.. and the plaster surface does not have any porous (small holes) on it.. any advice? thanks
    – John John
    Feb 26, 2022 at 18:14
  • @JohnJohn both types of rollers will leave a similar fine texture to the surface
    – Allison C
    Feb 28, 2022 at 14:51
  • @Allison C so can I understand from you that there are no differences between the 2 types?
    – John John
    Feb 28, 2022 at 16:00
  • 1
    @JohnJohn there's minor differences, but you're going to get a textured finish either way. Moreover, rollers are designed for flat surfaces, so you'll get more lining with them than you would with a brush.
    – Allison C
    Feb 28, 2022 at 17:08
  • 1
    Downvoting for two reasons. 1: This answers the title of the question but not the body of it. 2: A substantial portion is plagiarized from homedepot.com/c/ab/best-paint-roller-for-your-projects/…
    – Allison C
    Feb 28, 2022 at 17:26

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