How to prep a new paint roller

Whether painting walls or cabinets, it’s important to take a few minutes to prep a new paint roller before using it for the first time.  Otherwise you can end up with a lot of little fiber hairs stuck to your new paint job…which totally sucks.

how to prep a new paint roller


When painting cabinets I use a mini roller with 1/4″ nap to get a smooth surface.  They are recommended for walls (you know, for hard to reach areas…) but I like them for cabinets and furniture too. My “paint guy” was surprised when I went in to buy them.  He asked, “Don’t you end up with little particles all over in your paint?”


how to prep a new paint roller

Well no.  No I don’t.  And this is why…

how to prep a new paint roller

I wrap new rollers (that I’m going to be using for furniture or cabinets) with painters tape before I use them.

how to prep a new paint roller

Then I pull the tape off, and with it comes all the loose hairs.  Do this a couple times (with new tape) until the tape comes off clean and then you’re good to go…paint!


Did you find this tip helpful?  You might also like these other Painting Tips!


  1. MisterKisster says:

    Matches or a lighter also work for fuzzies.Yo

  2. sorry for the spelling issues on last post ….krap

  3. love the idea but the blue painters tape is not cheap even if the rollors are , and the suggestion was to tape and de-shead if you will the rollers twice … correct me if i wrong but doing the over a pak / ,aybe two of rolloer is not going to save you that much money after you go thur a roll or poss half roll.

    hey i am just saying

    love it tho very smart you guy are creative and that what i live for making it all smart and lite on the wallet.
    peace hackers of life
    love LH a long time quite junky

    • Uhmmm, I have no idea where the idea that these rollers are cheap came into the picture. I certainly didn’t say it! They are about $3 each. I don’t consider that cheap. They are, however, my choice of roller when painting furniture and cabinets. I use the tape to get all the fuzz and lint off because I am very particular about the finish on pieces I build. Why go to all the trouble of building if your’e just going to slap on the finish? Right?

      I do the process twice or more times (until the tape comes off clean) to ensure that the roller is lint/fuzz free. A roll of painters tape is about $5. I wouldn’t even go through a whole roll of tape prepping a pack of rollers let alone one. I don’t consider $8 for for a roll of tape and a mini roller cover too costly in order to get a nice paint job on a piece that I just spent 600 hours and $2000 building. Or any dinky roadside rescue piece of furniture for that matter.

      Just saying. :-D

  4. Do you paint your cabinets in plain white, or do you have an off-white color you prefer? If so, can I know what it is? I’m going to try the method you like for my built-ins…and am going to buy the paint today.

  5. Thanks for another great tip. I have a bunch of cheap laminate shelves that I’m currently using in my studio. Half of them are light wood toned with a paper type laminate and I won’t be able to afford to replace them with something nicer for a while so I’ll have to keep using them. I was thinking I’d try painting them and maybe replacing the icky cardboard backs with beadboard to make them sturdier and look nicer in the meantime. Do you have any advice for painting over the laminate so it looks decent? Some other websites I’ve looked at recommend using spray paint but I always end up with drips.

  6. I can’t tell you what to do. The “paint guy” will probably tell you to sand a little. I can only tell you that I, do not. I clean very well and prime with a bonding primer and then paint. Since you probably have a build up of oil, you might want to clean with mineral spirits before you prime. That’s only a suggestion! Painting is such a matter of trial and error most of the time. Good luck!!!

  7. Brilliant.

  8. Hey girl! I love that tip .. do you do it with new paintbrushes too?

  9. I have wondered how you paint your cabinets. Thank you! I really need to get some Floetrol.

    I’ve done the same thing with tape on my rollers in the past, but only once usually, which didn’t seem to make much of a difference so I gave up.

    P.S. I now realize part of the reason why I haven’t left many comments. I’m required to enter my name, email and website! (Looks like the website isn’t required though.) :)

  10. Sandra I absolutely love all your tips but I am looking for some information on a paint sprayer and I couldn’t find anything on your site. Can you please help me … I am painting new trim for our entire house and around the windows. It will take me forevah to paint them. I will also be needing your handy dandy cleaning tips for the sprayer so it is in tip top user shape for the next time. Thanks so much for letting us pick your brain with our projects!

    • Sheri I haven’t used a sprayer that I can recommend. I have another one to test out and I’ll certainly post about it if I like it enough to tell you about it. I just don’t have any recommendations for sprayers at this time.

  11. Great tip!

  12. I bought some of the adhesion primer you spoke of, but lowes called it Bond primer; but it is oil based – does that mean I have to use oil based paint? I’m going to be painting two pieces of furniture one of which does have some detailing on it?? I can’t wait to get started!!

    • Wendy, I have never used the “Bond” primer from Lowes. My Go-To adhesion/bonding primer is the Sherwin Williams brans. I love it and have no experience with the other so can not compare.

      You can use water based paints over oil based primers but NOT the other way around.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks! I’ll try this to see how it does just to see… Sherwin Williams is almost an hour away, so I hope this one works as well enough. sigh ….

  13. Thanks for tips. Do you use the same paint and primer for MDF?

    • Yes. If I’m priming sappy wood like pine that has knots that always bleed through the paint eventually, I use oil based primer.

  14. Oh, and the saddest thing was I went to a Home Depot to buy some paint and Floetrol and do you know that the paint guy had no idea what Floetrol was and obviously they didn’t carry it. When I found it at my local hardware store, I bought it, even though I have yet to open it. I just wanted to have it the next time I might need it. (PS: Floetrol spelled without the “e” is a substance used to relieve urinary incontinence! :)

    • Bwahaha. Well, I better go fix that ASAP so someone doesn’t try to crush up some pills and add to their paint! (If THE OTHER stuff comes in a pill form). Thanks Chantelle!

  15. Gonna remember this!

  16. Now why didn’t you post this last week. I have been de-linting a painted surface. I then switched to foam so I would not get lint. Those were too drippy. This is perfect for next time.

  17. Great tip! I think we might have to use your trick on our future cabinet painting projects!!!

  18. I love mini rollers too. That is a great tip, thank you!