Top 10 Best Rollers for Painting Cabinets – Reviews 2020

I first used a roller to paint in 2005. I was used to painting with brushes and never really gave attention to rollers. Then, one day my dad found me using a brush to paint a house I had just moved into.

He saw my struggle with brushes and suggested using a roller. That’s when I discovered just how useful the tool is.

A roller has a porous material that holds a lot more paint than a brush. It also transfers the paint better, enabling you to cover a larger area in a lesser time than you would with a brush.

Rollers are also easier to use and more convenient. For flat faces, it makes sense to use them, and only use brushes for the parts where a roller cannot reach.

Over the years, I have bought and used numerous rollers – small ones, big ones, fluffy ones, thin ones, and so on. What I can tell you for sure is that these items are not the same.

While a large 18-inch wide roller can do great for walls, it’d not be very handy when painting a kitchen cabinet. For that, you’d do better with a small roller.

Well, in this post, I am going to help you find the best roller for painting cabinets. These are models that I have personally had an experience with, so I know how useful they are.

Let’s get started.

How to Pick Right Roller for Painting Cabinets

The good thing about using a roller is that you’re able to cover a larger area in a shorter duration than you would with a brush. Nonetheless, rollers are not the same.

Some are easier to use and more effective. Here are some of the things to think about to ensure you get the right roller for cabinet painting:

Width of roller

The roller width refers to the length of the rolling part, which is usually made of foam or fabric. The part’s measurement is typically expressed in inches, with the common dimensions being 3 inches to 9 inches.

The smaller the area you’re painting, the smaller the roller width should be. As cabinets are considered small areas, you want to use a roller with a width of 3 to 5 inches. Feel free to get a wider roller depending on the size of your cabinets.

Roller cover thickness

Roller covers mostly come with a thickness of 1/8 inch to ¾ inch. The rougher the surface, the thicker the roller needs to be. Longer fibers will reach into the recessed or creased surfaces more efficiently than shorter ones.

Frame design

The frame will determine the strength and durability of the unit, so you want it to be sturdy. A fine metal frame would be great. Also, you want it to be easy to use, so look for one with a nice plastic or rubber grip.

Roller cover material

There are various roller cover materials, including foam, natural/synthetic microfibers, and even nylon. Smooth, wooly microfibers are more capable of holding paint and releasing it, which is a good thing.

But they also tend to release lint, which isn’t good. If you get them, ensure they’re well made so they don’t release lint. Foam is better as it holds and transfers paint without leaving any lint.

Let’s now jump into the review.

Our Top 10 Best Roller for Painting Cabinets

1. Bates Paint Roller Set

If you’re just getting started, you’d be better off going for a set that comes with everything you need rather than just purchasing a paint roller.

The Bates Paint Roller Set would be a good start for everything it offers you. There are 11 pieces in the package – two sets of roller covers of different sizes, two roller frames sized differently, an angled paint brush, a high density foam brush, and even a paint tray.

Forget using screwdrivers to open your paint can. The set also comes with a special paint can opener, which works more efficiently than screwdrivers.

That is basically everything you need to get started. All you’ll need is the paint.

And guess what?

The price is unbeatable! Going for less than 20 bucks, this set makes it possible to get started with a low budget. 

Let’s look at the quality and functionality of the different items in the set, beginning with the roller covers.

There are two sets of these – two of them are 9 by ½ inch while the other two are 4 by ½ inch. That makes it possible to cover large areas as well as small areas conveniently.

The covers are naps, made of a fabric material. As the synthetic filaments are thick (1/2 inch), they absorb the paint beautifully. You will love how they paint and the fact that they don’t leave air bubbles or streaks.

The brushes are not as good as the rollers for painting. But still, they come in handy for the difficult corners and areas that the rollers cannot cover.

As for the frames, there are two of these to go with the two different sizes of rollers. I loved the feel and the design of the handle – so easy to work with.

The tray is not the finest quality and it’s not very flat. Yet, it is easy to clean and reuse.

Highlighted features:

  • Comes with everything needed – frames, covers, brushes, tray, opener.
  • ½-inch thick synthetic filaments.
  • Easy to clean and reuse paint tray.
  • Well-designed frames with an ergonomic handle.
  • Nap rollers absorb paint well and don’t leave air bubbles.
  • Economical set – great price.

2. Purdy White Dove Roller Cover

Someone in need of roller covers that load up more paint and apply it more evenly would definitely want to consider the Purdy White Dove Roller Cover.

It is made of a nap that has 3/8-inch thick synthetic fibers. The cover absorbs lots of paint and works great to get lots of material on the surface you’re painting. If you want to move quickly and save time, you will find the cover very useful.

The nap is meant for use with a 4-inch roller, and as mentioned, the fibers are 3/8 inches thick. But buying from amazon, you enjoy the freedom of choosing what works for you. You can choose a ½ inch, ¼ inch, or ¾ inch nap.

Also, there are choices of roller sizes between 4 and 18 inches.

When selecting the nap thickness, keep in mind that the thicker the nap, the more ground you can cover with each load.

For a person looking for a smooth finish free of lint, the cover would be a good choice. It is made of woven dralon, which holds paint well and releases it seamlessly without putting fibers on the paint job. The material makes rolling effortless and enables you to put on a high-quality finish.

When looking for a roller cover, it is also good to think about the core. A core that resists solvents and keeps dies from running is desirable. Made of 1 1/2 -inch polypropylene, the Purdy White Dove Roller Cover’s core, is able to do that effectively.

The cover is not foam, but if you’re looking for something that offers good coverage, it will be a good choice.

Highlighted features:

  • Made of woven dralon fabric for a smooth finish.
  • Four thickeness options between 3/8 and ¾ inches.
  • A range of length options between 4 and 18 inches.
  • Holds and releases paint nicely.
  • 1 ½-inch polypropylene core that resists solvents.

3. Foampro 162 Fine Finish Roller

I first heard about the Foampro 162 Fine Finish Roller in June 2015, when I installed new bathroom sinks. I didn’t like the white color; I thought almond would have gone better with the décor. So I bought a couple rollers from Home Depot and got to work.

Little did I know the trouble that was waiting for me. You see, the sink kept breaking down the roller material, and it was apparent that completing the paint job was not going to happen.

So I called a friend of mine who specializes in painting. He explained that the problem wasn’t with the rollers or the sink. It was with the Rust Oleum paint I was using. It wasn’t gentle on the brush.

So what was I to do? Discard it and buy another paint brand? My friend explained that instead of incurring more expenses by buying more paint, it was better to purchase a paint roller that could withstand pressure. He suggested the Foampro 162 Fine Finish Roller.

And guess what? It worked!

The roller covers stayed on while operating the roller, and pulling them off when changing them wasn’t a hassle.

When putting on a new cover, you hear a click and you know it’s secure.

If you’re looking for a roller that will give you a smooth finish, you will appreciate this tool. The foam material leaves a nice and smooth spray-like finish.

While you can use the roller with oil/varnish blends, reuse is virtually impossible. Abrasive cleaners, such as mineral spirit, distort the inner core’s shape, making the unit unusable. So, if you’re looking to use it for varnish projects, you better look for some other roller.

But for painting, the roller works great and can always be reused.

Highlighted features:

  • 2, 4, and 6-inch roller sizes.
  • Lightweight – 1 pound.
  • Leaves a smooth, lint-free finish.
  • Tough material – doesn’t break apart when painting.

4. Bates Paint Tray Set

Are you on a tight budget and you’re looking for an economical option to get started? The set comes with 5 items – a tray, 3 rollers, and a frame. All for a collective price of less than 10 bucks. That’s economical, don’t you agree?

The roller frame may not the best quality, but for the price level, it is surprisingly sturdy. I like the 4-inch long grip, which is designed for easy grasping. It is really easy to work with.

One thing I don’t like though, is that the roller is not compatible with most extensions. If you want to paint a high area, you will probably need a ladder.

The quality of the rollers is what I would call satisfactory. They are made of microfiber material, so they hold paint fairly well. They also release it well, ensuring you’re able to paint quickly.

There are mixed reactions with regards to whether the rollers leave lint. Here’s what I have observed after careful research – the answer to the question of whether they leave lint depends on the surface you’re working with. If you’re working with a rough surface, expect some lint.

But if you’re painting a smooth surface, you can rest assured there’ll be no lint.

The rollers are 4 inches long and ½ inches thick. The ½ inch thickness is good for holding paint.

If there’s something I really appreciated, it is the tray. The unit measures 4 inches long and has plenty of room for putting paint. What’s more, it seems well made and I am positive it will last more than a year with care.

Highlighted features:

  • Sturdy 4-inch long tray.
  • Microfiber roller naps.
  • ½-inch thick rollers that hold paint efficiently.
  • Rollers are shed-resistant when working on a smooth surface.

5. Vanvene Foam Paint Roller Set

First of all, I love the way these rollers look. The white and orange color scheme looks really elegant.

The kit comes with 9 rollers and one frame.

These are small rollers, measuring just 4 inches – a perfect size for cabinets. Getting around those corners and difficult to navigate areas will be a breeze with this size.

Made of a premium polyester material, and with a thickness of ½ inch, the rollers are able to hold more paint than a lot of other rollers on the market. The material also releases the paint on the surface you’re painting without a hitch.

When it comes to the ease of rolling, the rollers work really well. They run smoothly, making the job super easy.

When working with rollers, there are three problems that can make achieving a good paint job impossible – spatter, lint, and dripping.

What makes the Vanvene Foam Paint Rollers so desirable is that their fibers minimize these issues. They are dense, high-grade fibers that hold paint well without dripping. And they’re so well woven that you’ll never have to deal with lint.

I love the design of the handle. It measures 10 inches, which is a good length as it extends the reach. And not just that. I find the design and the length so easy to work with and convenient for speed.

Highlighted features:

  • Smaller than standard rollers – perfect for small areas.
  • 10-inch frame.
  • Easy to grip handle.
  • Premium-quality polyester rollers.
  • ½-inch thick naps.
  • 1 frame and 9 naps.

6. Shur-Line 2006698 Roller Cover Refills Set

Price wise, the Shur-Line 2006698 Set is great. 10 rollers going for just over 5 bucks is a great deal. I chose to include this set for the price, but be informed that quality-wise, the rollers are not all that good. Still, they work.

The refills are 4 inches long, so they’re ideal for small area painting. Working with these is actually easy as they are able to cover those difficult to reach areas.

I observed that the covers are not the best for paint absorption. Though they work, they’re not good for speed. You have to keep dipping them in the paint tray.

On the brighter side, they fit nicely and snugly on the roller. I love how they stay on, unlike other models I have seen that keep coming off when painting.

For rollers that cost so little, it’s a surprise to see how long they last. When it comes to durability, these roller covers are good. They are sturdy, so you’ll be using them for quite a while.

How well do they paint, you ask? Well, they are not that impressive in that area. But I found them to work very well with self-leveling paint. With that paint, they will leave your wood cabinets and doors looking slick and smooth.

But there’s one thing you got to keep in mind – these are useless when it comes to recessed parts. I suggest you get a brush for those.

As I have pointed out, the Shur-Line 2006698 roller covers are not perfect. But if you’re looking for a decent quality of roller covers that are incredibly low priced, and you have some good self-leveling paint, these will serve you beautifully.

Highlighted features:

  • 10 roller covers.
  • Ridiculously low priced.
  • Foam-covered ends.
  • Well made and durable.
  • 4 inches long.

7. Magimate Paint Roller Kit

Buying from a seller who cares about you always gives peace of mind. When it comes to customer care, few sellers are like Magimate.

I bought this kit last year. I was researching the best roller for painting cabinets, and I just happened to come across the Magimate Paint Roller Kit. I thought I’d try it for the great reviews it had online. And try it I did.

When I got it, I was amazed to see how it came with everything needed, just as advertised. There was a 9-inch roller and a 4-inch roller, both with frames. I figured I could use the bigger one for larger areas such as walls and use the smaller one for small areas such as kitchen cabinets.

There were 3 small refills and one big one for the big roller. That was great because when the covers got worn out, I wouldn’t have to start shopping for new ones immediately. The refills would come in handy.

The package also included a brush, which I would use for the recessed areas that the roller couldn’t get to. And also, there was a paint tray.

As I inspected the tray, I noticed there was a crack in it that would most definitely leak the paint. I wasn’t sure if I had made it when handling the package or the tray came with the crack. I decided to try and see what the seller would say.

As I didn’t have any way of proving the crack wasn’t due to negligence, I wasn’t sure I’d get a replacement. To my surprise, the seller didn’t even ask too many questions. She shipped a new tray in a day. The new tray was sturdy and crack-free. And it had plenty of room for my paint.

The fact that this is a high-quality product that comes with everything you need and comes from a caring seller makes it worth getting.

You will love the design of the items. The frame for instance, has a rubberized handle that gives you a comfortable grip.

Highlighted features:

  • Tough and durable tray with plenty of room (reusable).
  • Lint-free solvent-resistant roller covers.
  • 9-inch and 4-inch rollers.
  • 4 cover refills.
  • Extra items – masking tape, mixing stick, and brush.

8. Dynamic 4" Mini Foam Roller Zip

Seeking an easy on easy off roller cover that works great for medium to rough surfaces? You might want to think about the Dynamic 4" Mini Foam Roller Zip.

This is a 4-inch roller cover made of thick soft foam material, so you can imagine how effective it is for holding paint. You’ll love how it puts on the paint without dripping or leaving lines/streaks.

If you’re painting doors, cabinets or trims, this is the perfect tool for the job. It has been shown to work particularly well for these areas.

I admired the versatility of this unit. Unlike other rollers, which work with a limited range of application, this one is quite flexible. You can use it to apply any types of thin coatings and stains.

The cover applies semi-gloss, polyurethanes, enamel paint, melamine, and even varnishes without a problem.

Fuzz is one of the biggest issues with foam rollers. What I loved most about this particular foam roller is that it doesn’t leave any fuzz. It creates a perfect finish.

If you’ve ever used foam rollers t apply epoxy paints, then you know how difficult it is to apply two coats with the same roller.

Epoxy, being thick and nasty, breaks rollers apart. Apart the Dynamic 4" Mini Foam Roller is quite sturdy. It holds up really well, enabling you to apply multiple coats without leaving foam pieces in the epoxy.

At first, I though 4 dollars was too much for just one roller cover. But having experienced the exceptional quality of the unit, I know it is worth it. While others replace their cheap roller numerous times, your ‘expensive’ unit will still work, in the long run becoming more cost efficient than those cheap units.

Highlighted features:

  • 4 inches long.
  • Thick soft material – perfect for medium to rough surfaces.
  • Leaves a smooth, non-fuzzy finish.
  • Easy on, easy off.

9. Kupoo Paint Roller Set

The Kupoo Paint Rollers are washable and reusable, and if you don’t want to reuse them, they’re disposable.

If you’re looking for good quality roller for painting cabinets, you surely want to check out this set. Why? It offers you great quality at an unbeatable price.

First off, you get most of the things you need to get started. This is an 11-piece set that comes with a roller frame, 6 rollers of two different sizes, and 4 covers.

There are 3 short pile mini rollers and 3 foam rollers that are a little bigger. These are slightly different textures – one is for smooth surfaces while the other is more suited for medium surfaces.

The roller covers are made of a kind of ½ inch thick wooly fabric. These work excellently for rough surfaces. They reach into those creases and the recessed parts.

This variation in the texture of the refills and covers ensures you can work on a wide range of surfaces.

All the refills and covers have a width of 4 inches. That’s a perfect size for cabinets and other items with small faces/walls.

I love how the frame is designed. When it comes to comfort, it is definitely superior to many units out there. The frame is around 10 inches long, which is a good size for easy paint application. Its from edge is 4 inches wide to accommodate the refills and covers.

But what I loved most about it is the grip. It is made of a thick plastic material that enables you to hold the tool not only firmly but also comfortably. Hence, using the roller is a breeze.

Highlighted features:

  • 11-piece set.
  • 3 varying roller textures for different surfaces.
  • Ergonomically designed frame with a comfortable plastic grip.
  • 4-inch roller size.

10. KingOrigin 4-inch 11-Piece Paint Roller Set

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive set of cabinet painting supplies, I recommend you check out the KingOrigin 4-inch 11-Piece Paint Roller Set.

When it comes to getting around fixtures and plumbing, the rollers that come with this set perform outstandingly. The rollers all have a size of 4 inches, which is perfect for that purpose.

What does the package include? First, you get two sets of roller refills, which are suited for different purposes. Four of the refills (the bigger in size) are suited for acrylic painting. The other three pieces, which are smaller in size, are Mohair roller refills.

Both sets of refills are high density and able to provide a smooth finish no matter the surface you’re working with.

The rollers work very well when it comes to holding paint and releasing it evenly, thanks to their high density nature.

Looking for rollers that are easy to clean and reuse? These will do just fine, thanks to their quality fabric as well the solvent-resistant core.

The other item that this pack comes with is a tray. One special thing about the tray is that it is among the deepest I have ever seen that comes with a painting kit. It has plenty of space for holding your paint.

It is given that no matter how good a roller is, it cannot reach all parts of surfaces. To address the issue, the pack includes a brush. You can use this to get to those difficult areas.

No need to worry about what to use to mix the paints. The kit also comes with a mixing stick. It’s ergonomically designed for the job.

And have I mentioned that the price is great? Well, go ahead and check out the product.

Highlighted features:

  • Kit includes everything needed to get started.
  • Rollers have a high-density fabric for holding paint.
  • Sturdy core that resists solvents.
  • Sturdy frame with a plastic handle for comfort.
  • Deep tray.

What Are the Benefits of Using Roller for Painting Cabinets? 

Wondering why you should get a roller for painting your cabinets? Here are some of the benefits you don’t want to miss out on:

  • Speed – a roller absorbs more paint than a brush. Also, it transfers paint to the surface more efficiently. A single stroke of a roller could be equivalent to 20 strokes of a paint brush. Using a roller for the faces and a brush only for the hard to reach parts, you can reduce a 2-hours job to a 30-minutes job.
  • Ease of use – holding and using a brush is a hassle. Holding and using a roller, on the other hand, is much easier, even fun for some of us.
  • Evenness – uniformity of the painting is something we all can agree is important. While achieving it with a brush is a daunting task, achieving it with a roller is a lot easier even with basic training.
  • Versatility in surfaces you can paint – with a roller and the right paint, you can paint almost any surface, even liquid decorative plaster.
  • You avoid brush streaks – one of the biggest challenges that brushes present are streaks. With a roller, you get to avoid the problem. Avoid pressing too firmly against the surface to avoid creating lines at the edges.

How to Take Care of And Maintain Rollers?

You just bought the best roller for painting cabinets. You spent over 10 bucks for it. After you’re done painting, are you going to just throw it away, knowing you might need to paint other items soon, or are you going to keep it securely for later use?

Well, the way to ensure the roller can be reused is to take care of it. How so? By cleaning and storing it. And that’s what we’ll focus on in this section. Here are the steps to follow:

Disassemble it

It’s easier to clean the roller cover and the frame/cage separately. So, detach the roller from the frame. To do that, you will either have to pull off the cover or unscrew it.

Scrape off the paint

Remove as much paint as you can from the roller by scrapping it off. A putty knife or the edge or a bucket should come in handy for this.

Make a cleaning solution

Get three buckets. The first is where you will rinse the roller before cleaning it, the second is where you’ll clean it, and the other is where you will rinse the roller.

Add warm water to all three containers. To the container where you will clean the roller, add two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent.

Get down to cleaning

Dip the roller in the first bucket and rinse it, trying to get off as much paint as possible. From there, put the roller in the bucket that contains the cleaning solution. Wash it thoroughly with your hands, also trying to get out as much paint as you can.

Now get a brush and use it to scrub the roller’s surface. This will help get off more paint, but be careful not to ruin the roller’s material. The bristles of the brush should not be too rough/hard.

Once that is done, now put the roller in the third bucket that contains clean warm water. Press the roller with your fingers and if possible, wring it to rinse it clean.

If there’s any leftover paint or soap, drain the water and add more warm water into the bucket to rinse the roller again.

Another option for rinsing would be to use a garden hose. Place the roller on a pole/stick and spray it with the hose. This strategy is very effective especially when the water is under pressure.


If you’re using an oil-based paint, then just using water and soap will jot suffice. You need a specialty paint cleaner. Check the paint label to know what solvent to use for removing the paint.

Some common paint remover solvents include paint thinner, denatured alcohol, and mineral spirit.

After washing the excess paint off using the methods described above with water and detergent, prepare the solvent.

Add the solvent to a tray and dip the roller in it for a few minutes. By soaking in the solvent, the paint will loosen and become easy to remove with warm water.

Dry and store the roller

Once you’re done cleaning and rinsing the roller, dry it with paper towels and then put it in a warm place where the excess moisture can evaporate.

Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as that can lead to drying and flaking, which will ruin your roller. The ideal way to store your roller is to put it in a plastic wrap and place it in a sealed off space or in the refrigerator.

For Your Information ( FYI )

What size of roller should I use for painting cabinets?

The best option is a small size unit with a width of 3 to 5 inches. Such a roller navigates the small areas much better than a big roller would.

What type of roller material provides the smoothest finish on cabinets?

There are many roller materials from nylon to foam and microfiber. If you want a smooth finish, it’s best to stick to microfiber and foam. For cabinets, you want the thickness of the roller to be between 3/8 and ¾ inches.

Should I paint kitchen cabinets with a roller or a brush?

Both. Consider using a roller for the faces or the flat parts that a roller can paint, and then use a brush to reach the recessed parts that a roller cannot reach.

What should I do to get a smooth finish free of streaks?

Prepare the wood by washing it. If the surface is rough, use sandpaper to smoothen it out. Then, use the right paint – not too thin or too thick – you want a good consistency.

Then, use a roller to apply it as it works better for avoiding streaks. Don’t press the roller too hard to prevent formation of two lines at the edges.

Should I use a foam roller to paint cabinets?

A foam roller is actually the ideal choice for painting cabinets. It holds and transfers the paint very well, and also provides a good finish.

Is a microfiber roller good for cabinet painting?

A microfiber roller absorbs and holds paint beautifully, leading to few chances for spatter. That being said, microfiber rollers are known to leave lint, so ensure you get a high-quality unit to avoid this problem.

Is it necessary to prime my cabinets prior to painting them?

Cleaning and priming are essential is you’re looking for a great finish. But you don’t have to do any sanding unless the surface is rough or there are imperfections you want to get rid of.

Final Word

We’ve come to the end, my friends. I hope that my research and the findings I have presented have helped you find the best roller for painting cabinets.

As I have mentioned again and again, a smaller unit works better for cabinets, as these are small areas. That being said, I have done my best to diversify on the models, so that you get the right size for your cabinet.

If you want a smooth finish, a high-quality foam unit will serve you well. And if you want a textured finish, you should go for a thicker and fluffier roller made of microfiber fabric.

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