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The Best Rollers for Oil-Based Paint & Different Painting Tasks

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

best roller for oil based paint

Engaging in large DIY painting projects requires great quality tools to get the job done without a hitch. In this case, paint rollers are ideal for fast, efficient, and versatile applications, especially when working on the interior and exterior painting projects, such as large walls and surfaces.

Picking out a paint roller seems easy. However, using it with oil-based paint might demand further research and comparison across different paint rollers. Therefore, you probably ask yourself: what is the best roller for oil-based paint? How to choose the perfect roller for different painting tasks?

It all comes down to three key factors: cover material, roller length, and roller nap. Choosing the most suitable roller lets you flourish paint finishes on various surface types, preventing uneven patches and other imperfections.

  • The roller cover material varies from brand to brand. But for oil-based paint, wool or mohair roller covers are the best options since they are typically obtained from natural or animal fibers. Microfiber and premium quality synthetic covers work great as well. Contrary to cheap synthetic covers, these materials can pick up oil paint and provide smooth coverage.
  • Moreover, polished finishes depend on the roller length. Although roller sizes range from 4 inches to 12 inches, 9-inch rollers are the ideal size that can render sufficient coverage on walls in one roll. Plus, this size offers better control. However, the most appropriate pick still depends on your roller frame size as well as the required surface coverage.
  • How about the roller nap? If you want to know the compatibility of your roller with the type of surface you are working on, this is a crucial factor to consider. Roller nap refers to the fiber length. Thus, shorter naps are for smooth surfaces whereas longer naps are for rougher surfaces.

Ready to find the right oil-based paint roller? Read on to narrow down your options through this comprehensive buying guide and product reviews.


<strong>Top-Rated Products</strong>

Top 1

Mister Rui Mini Paint


Top 2

ROLLINGDOG Paint Roller Kit


Top 3

Pro Grade Paint Roller Covers


List of 9 Top-tier Roller for Oil-Based Paint Reviews

1. Mister Rui Mini Paint Roller Kit

It requires accurate and careful applications when painting narrow spaces and small surfaces. With that said, this Mister Rui paint roller kit is among the best options for such a work scale. This pack includes a 2-inch foam roller for oil-based paint and two additional paint roller refills.

I must say that finding a roller this size is never easy, even more so when working with oil-based paint. That is why the 2-inch foam rollers are quite a treat for painting projects whether for touch-ups or full repainting.

Besides the ideal size, this mini paint roller highlights its high-density foam that can provide polished finishes. It can hold and distribute oil paint efficiently and evenly on flat surfaces. Impressively, the roller covers do not clump, leaving the surfaces with solid paint and optimum coverage.

Aside from that, I can tell that it uses premium quality foam since it does not deform easily. Although I am not sure about the specific nap length, the fibers are noticeably short. Thus, I recommend using this roller for painting smooth flat surfaces.

When it comes to the roller frame, it lends nice stability and flexibility, providing an effortless rolling action. This speeds up painting sessions on small surfaces as well as narrow spaces. Plus, it features an ergonomic handle for added comfort.

Although the foam roller covers do not wear out quickly, the extra roller refills are definitely a bonus. They can be useful as backup rollers or when you need to switch between different paint colors.

Honestly, I do not find any issues with this kit. Although the roller’s small size is the highlight of this set, I guess that could also be a potential drawback. This compact roller is specially designed for small-scale projects only
  • A mini paint roller for small surfaces and accurate applications
  • Uses a high-density foam for oil-based paint compatibility
  • A premium quality foam for durability and optimum absorption
  • Includes a flexible and stable roller frame
  • Comes with two additional foam roller refill
  • Not ideal for large surfaces
When delicate and dainty painting projects need a little more finesse, this mini paint roller kit can do the job. Since it is compatible with oil-based paint, efficient performance and even paint distribution are achievable.

2. ROLLINGDOG Paint Roller Kit

One of the ideal roller covers for oil-based paint is microfiber. There are a lot of options to try but with this ROLLINGDOG paint roller, no splatter and uneven patches would be visible on your painting projects.

Since this roller features a ⅜-inch nap, this paint roller is compatible with slightly smooth and semi-rough surfaces. As this promotes efficient paint flow, it can hold more paint as well.

I found the material type and quality beneficial because the oil-based paint’s consistency is not easy to deal with. In turn, this product speeds up painting sessions and leaves surfaces polished.

Furthermore, it comes in a compact 3-inch size that is suitable for complex painting projects. It works great for quick touch-ups or full painting projects, particularly when targeting corners, edges, and other small spaces.

If you look into its other parts, this item features a thermo-bonded core to prevent fiber loss. Plus, it is designed with an aluminum pole and chrome-plated steel wire frame for added durability.

Since roller painting may take hours before wrapping up a task, the rubber gripped ergonomic handle makes a lot of difference. It has a textured thumb pad for added comfort and better control.

One more thing I like about this roller is the threaded handle. This allows you to connect to a telescopic rod or an extension pole should you ever need to paint hard-to-reach areas.

Although the manufacturer claims it to be shed-resistant, I notice small pieces of fiber falling off of the roller. But overall, the microfiber cover offers great quality that can provide smooth and easy applications.
  • Features a microfiber roller cover for quick and smooth applications
  • Can absorb and release oil-based paint efficiently
  • Suitable for slightly rough or smooth surfaces
  • Designed with an ergonomic handle for better control and comfort
  • Can be connected to an extension pole
  • It sheds sometimes
For a compact and convenient paint roller to accomplish small and intricate paint tasks, I suggest going for this product. Besides the size, it uses quality microfiber covers for even paint distribution.

3. Pro Grade Paint Roller Covers

It is sometimes challenging to achieve clean and even finish when painting large surfaces. Even more so if they are moderately textured, such as brick or concrete. With that in mind, these roller covers from Pro Grade have the ideal sizes to do this painting job.

This pack includes six 9-inch microfiber roller covers, enough to provide optimum coverage on a large wall. Since each roller cover has ½ nap, it has sufficient fiber length that can work on moderately textured walls or surfaces, including painted bricks, concrete, and panels.

Moreover, the roller covers use a microfiber material, making it a reliable paint roller for smooth finishes and polished surfaces. The microfiber material is shed-resistant, ensuring a quality that will not wear out easily.

Although covers with natural fibers are recommended for oil-based paint, these high-quality microfibers impressively perform as well. I also noticed that they absorb paint efficiently, rendering even, clean, and lint-free coverage whether you are painting ceilings, walls, and both exterior and interior surfaces.

Aside from that, they have polypropylene cores that can resist water and solvents. This spruces up durability, preventing cracks and other damages. Just make sure you are using a compatible roller frame because this pack does not include one.

What is also great about these covers is they are easy to clean for multiple uses. However, there seems to be inconsistency with the quality because some of the roller covers shed a little sometimes.
  • Made of high-quality microfiber for smooth and even paint coverage
  • Ideal for large and moderately textured surfaces
  • Designed with durable Polypropylene cores to resist damages and water
  • Offers superior absorption and effortless paint flow
  • Washable and reusable
  • Other roller covers shed sometimes
Nevertheless, this is a good deal for beginners and experienced oil painters looking to cover vast surfaces. These microfiber roller covers can deliver neat and lint-free coverages.

4. Mister Rui Foam Paint Roller Cover Pack

Foam paint rollers typically have a bad reputation in terms of quality. However, that is not the case with this 10-piece foam roller cover pack from Mister Rui. Each cover uses a high-density foam that can deliver seamless finishes without uneven patches.

Since all of them are premium quality covers, they perform well with water-based and oil-based paints. They pick up and absorb paint efficiently, allowing you to revel in quick, easy, and beautiful paint finishes.

When it comes to their capability, these 6-inch roller sleeves lend a good size for small furnishings, moldings, and other dainty areas. Therefore, I recommend using them for renovating or painting kitchens, ceilings, closets, floors, and other areas that require small-scale painting projects.

I am not sure about the nap length but these rollers are not furry as microfiber covers are; they are impeccably smooth. Thus, they are suitable for flat areas and other surfaces without texture.

There is nothing to worry about fiber fallouts or shedding pieces issues. I am impressed by the durability of these covers, not to mention the sturdy inner tubes that also prevent slipping.

But here is a caveat: I do not think they are reusable. They are very absorbent, so washing them can be quite tough. The good thing is this set has 10 roller covers for backup if ever you need more for different paint colors.
  • A set of premium quality foam covers for sleek and seamless applications
  • Ideal for small-scale painting projects
  • Offers superior absorption for oil-based and water-based paints
  • Non-shedding foam covers
  • Delivers even paint distribution for smooth finishes
  • Not reusable
These high-density great quality foam covers can provide sleek and neat finishes. Given their size and texture, these roller sleeves are reliable for smooth surfaces and small-scale painting projects.

5. Bates Choice ‎Le23 Paint Roller Set

It is nice to have a complete paint set when working on repainting tasks. This makes painting projects a lot easier, especially when you need a roller for exterior painting and revamping various surface types. This is why this 11-piece paint roll set from Bates Choice is definitely a treat for both beginners and experienced oil painters.

First of all, it is pretty challenging to find a set such as this without breaking your bank. This pack includes a tray, a 9-inch roller frame, two 9-inch roller covers with ½-inch naps, a 4-inch roller frame, two 4-inch roller covers with ½-inch naps, an angled paintbrush, and a high-density foam brush.

When it comes to the foam paint rollers, I did not expect too much about their quality and performance. However, their thick synthetic filaments are amazingly sturdy yet not overly stiff, making them reliable for decent finishes on flat and slightly textured surfaces.

But the best thing about these rollers is their compatibility with oil-based paint. They can pick up and absorb paint well and release it effortlessly in every glide. Plus, the roller frame is lightweight and ergonomically designed with a rubber handle for added comfort.

Since there is a variety of paint roller sizes, there is no hassle switching between the big and small rollers when painting narrow corners or large walls. I was able to use every piece of them, including the brushes, to wrap up full painting tasks and quick touch-ups.

Just some heads up, the foam rollers are not lint-free, leaving some paint finishes a little patchy. Fortunately, pulling or pinching the lint off the roller with your finger or with sticky tape will fix this. I suggest doing this with the paint rollers before using them.
  • Includes different roller sizes for various painting tasks
  • Ideal on small and large-scale projects
  • Can be used on smooth and slightly textured surfaces
  • Absorbs oil-based paint and provides an effortless flow rate
  • Convenient to use
  • The foam rollers are not lint-free
For an affordable paint roller set that can accomplish various painting jobs, this product will not disappoint. The rollers may not be the best ones out there, but they can work with oil-based paint and deliver decent results.

6. FoamPRO 163-P 165-5 Foam Paint Roller Pack

If there is another foam paint roller cover that I would like to use for seamless and sleek finishes, this 4-inch foam roller refill from FoamPRO would be among my favorite picks. It stands out for its lint-free quality, allowing you to achieve very smooth finishes whether you are using oil-based or water-based paints.

With its compact size, this mini roller sleeve works great for touch-ups, narrow spaces, intricate areas, or detail work around fixtures and window sills. Aside from that, this is useful for surfaces with complex details and obstacles or when painting interiors of bookshelves and cabinets.

Besides the size, this foam roller sleeve offers a decent quality that is suitable for different paint types, including oil-based paint. I admit I was initially skeptical about using it with thick paint, but I am surprised by its ample absorption.

It can hold a lot of paint and delivers paint seamlessly. It provides optimum coverage in one roll, leaving the surface with even paint distribution without patches and a spray-like finish. But remember that this foam roller sleeve is suitable only for very smooth and semi-smooth surfaces. Otherwise, it might wear out quickly.

Moreover, I like that this pack contains five 4-inch fine foam finisher refills. This lets you work with different paint colors or use them for multiple uses.

However, although it claims to be washable with soap and water, cleanup is quite tough.
  • A set of foam roller refills for lint-free applications
  • Ideal for very smooth and slightly textured surfaces
  • Features a compact size for narrow spaces, detail work, and small paint projects
  • Can absorb oil paint efficiently
  • Covers the surface with a spray-like finish
  • Difficult to clean
Nonetheless, this foam roller refill pack is worth trying, especially when covering small areas with oil-based paint. They might not be as washable as other foam roller sleeves, but they render great performance for every use.

7. Purdy White Dove ‎GIDDS-800630 Roller Cover

This Purdy White Dove roller cover boasts the woven dralon fabric that ensures lint-free and impeccably smooth finishes. Honestly, I had not heard of this material until I found this product and good thing I gave it a shot.

The difference between this material from other roller covers is that consistent and flawless applications are achievable. Aside from that, it specifies its compatibility with oil-based paints as well as latex, primers, stains, and clear.

I think this is an advantage because it guarantees superb performance when used with oil-based paints. Impressively, it did so well with this paint since it loads paint efficiently and releases it evenly. I also like how it reduces splatter in every application, leaving the surface neat, sleek, and beautifully polished.

Apart from this, the ½-inch nap lends a good length for covering surfaces or walls with moderate textures. It can also work on concrete or painted brick, leaving the surface without any loose fibers from the roller.

This pack contains three 9-inch roller covers, long enough to cover a large surface or wall in a single roll. Therefore, I recommend these covers for interior or exterior painting tasks that require vast applications.

Besides that, I want to highlight the sturdy polypropylene core that can resist water and cracks. Cleanup is amazingly easy. Unlike other foam or woven rollers, washing these woven Dralon rollers is not a headache, making them reusable for future paint tasks.

I think the only downside is it does not fit well in some roller frames.
  • Made of woven Dralon fabric for excellent absorption and efficient flow rate
  • Offers a good length to cover large surfaces
  • Ideal for moderately textured surfaces
  • Delivers flawless applications without uneven patches
  • Designed with a sturdy polypropylene core to resist damages
  • Does not fit in some roller frame types
Overall, this roller cover pack is one of the best ones to use with oil-based paint. They are highly absorbent and reliable for impeccably smooth finishes.

8. Nanja Foam and Microfiber Paint Roller Kit

There is probably nothing to ask for in a roller kit that has different types of paint rollers.

Having said that, this 12-piece Nanja paint roller pack gives you the best of both worlds with its foam and microfiber roller covers. It contains a deep paint tray, a roller frame, five 4-inch microfiber covers, and five 4-inch foam roller sleeves.

The microfiber rollers are suitable for oil-based paints while the foam covers are for water-based paints. Therefore, you can switch between these roller cover types when you are using water-based or oil-based paint on your projects.

In terms of their quality, I can tell that both roller types have superb features that can leave surfaces with exceptional smoothness. Although foam rollers are recommended for water-based paints, they also work well with oil-based paints.

However, between the two, microfiber roller covers are a lot better than foam because of their excellent absorption. These microfiber rollers are suitable for smooth surfaces like wood, tiles, and plaster whereas foam rollers are for flat surfaces like walls and windowsills.

Furthermore, these rollers do not shed. Thus, there is nothing to worry about loose fibers or clumps of lint on the paint coating.

Since they all come in 4-inch sizes, I find them useful for touching up skirting boards, beveled edges, and other difficult areas that require careful painting. Such sizes will also be ideal for small painting projects like repainting kitchen cabinets or dainty furniture pieces.

To make things better, this set also includes a durable 4-inch roller frame that is rust-resistant and chrome-plated for enhanced durability. Streamlined with a plastic grip, it ensures maximum comfort, allowing you to paint for prolonged periods while reducing hand strain. Plus, the handle has a threaded hole that can accommodate extension poles.

The only drawback is they are only ideal for small paint projects.
  • A set of foam and microfiber roller covers for versatility
  • Offers premium quality roller covers for smooth finishes
  • Comes in compact sizes to cover small areas, corners, or narrow spaces
  • Non-shedding roller covers that prevent fiber fallouts
  • Features a durable and extendable handle
  • Not suitable for large paint projects
This mini roller kit is a great start for upcycling small painting projects. It has foam and microfiber roller covers that can access tight corners and provide precise oil-based paint coatings.

9. True Blue Tape Professional Paint Roller Covers

Professional results require professional quality tools. That is why for sleek and polished oil-based paint coatings, one of my top choices is this premium microfiber roller cover from True Blue Tape.

Although the manufacturer says it is compatible with all surface types, I find this most useful on semi-smooth surfaces because of its ½-inch nap. Amazingly, it provides excellent coverage and smooth finishes, letting you paint like a pro.

Aside from that, this premium quality cover is compatible with oil-based paints. Therefore, it can pick up paint efficiently and release it without a hitch.

Thanks to the shed-resistant and lint-free microfiber cover, painting surfaces has never been easy. Every glide gives off clean coatings without fiber fallouts or lint residues. Moreover, this speeds up the painting process yet ensures optimum coverage every time.

The cover measures 6 inches, a good size for small furnishings and painting moldings. Besides that, this size is quite handy for getting into tight corners or painting around edges. Although it is not very big, this size is still reliable for full painting projects.

Furthermore, it is nice that this pack has six 6-inch roller covers. Although they are easy to clean, the additional pieces would be useful for other paint colors or paint projects.

Don’t get me wrong, this product does deliver professional quality results. However, the fiber seems to shed quickly after multiple uses. That is why I think these covers work best for single or a few uses only.
  • Made of microfiber for ample absorption and flow rate
  • Ideal for slightly textured surfaces
  • Provides excellent coverage
  • Can be used for full painting tasks or small projects
  • Glides effortlessly on the surface
  • Sheds after several uses
To achieve impeccable smoothness on relatively textured surfaces, this microfiber roller lets you work with oil-based paint like a pro.

What to Look for When Buying Rollers for Oil-Based Paint


Cover Material & Compatibility with Oil Paint

The cover material of a roller helps you determine whether it is suitable for oil-based paint or not. If you sift through across brands of rollers, you will find different types of roller covers or sleeves that are derived from various materials. This includes microfiber, foam, polyester blend, and wool or mohair roller covers. Synthetic covers are typically the ones made of nylon, polyester, and Dacron.

Above all these options, the top-rated roller for an oil-based paint is the one with natural fibers, such as wool or mohair roller covers. They provide excellent absorption that can hold oil-based paint efficiently and render an effortless flow rate. This lets you achieve smooth finishes without uneven patches.

However, it is not always easy to find rollers with natural fibers, and if you do, they would probably cost more. With that said, there are alternative options that can compete with wool or mohair roller covers, such as microfiber roller covers.

Depending on the quality, microfiber roller covers work well with oil-based paints. Most of them render lint-free and spray-like finishes, particularly when being used on surfaces without too much roughness or texture. Therefore, if you need a reliable roller for satin paint or any other oil-based paints, I suggest going for high-quality microfiber roller covers.

Foam roller covers are not the best option. However, this depends on the brand or quality. A lot of brands offer a vast lineup of premium quality foam covers that can accommodate oil-based paint. Some of the best foam brands I found include Mister Rui, Purdy, and FoamPRO.

Roller Length

Roller covers vary in many different lengths that range from 3 to 12 inches. Finding the ideal size greatly depends on the scale of your work and your preferences as well. If you need to cover a vast wall or surface, 12-inch or longer roller covers are the ideal options.

For touching up narrow spaces or painting small areas that have complex details or difficult obstacles, smaller roller covers are the better option. However, 9-inch rollers are the ideal size and large enough for most paint projects, especially if you need to cover wide spaces or walls.

Roller Nap

Another crucial factor when choosing the suitable roller for oil-based paints is the roller nap. This refers to the fiber lengths whereas shorter naps are recommended for smooth surfaces. One example is a roller cover with a ¼-inch nap.

If you need a paint roller for textured walls, you need to consider covers with a ⅜ for lightly textured walls or a ½-inch nap for surfaces with moderate textures. Heavily textured walls would require roller covers with a ¾ or 1-inch nap.

It is important to remember not to use short naps on rough surfaces to prevent the fibers from shedding or tearing apart. Using a roller cover with a long nap on a smooth surface would also result in uneven paint distribution.

Comfortable Grip and Handle Design

Painting walls or surfaces usually takes hours before you finish the job. Thus, using a roller with a comfortable grip or handle would make a lot of difference. Fortunately, a lot of brands provide roller frames that are crafted with ergonomic handles or rubber grips to enhance comfort. Moreover, this allows you to control and maneuver the roller a lot easier.

Can You Use a Roller for Oil-Based Paint

Yes, you can. Just make sure that you are using a roller that is compatible with oil-based paints. As mentioned, the best ones should be made of natural fibers like wool or mohair. Other excellent options include microfiber and premium quality foam roller covers.

How Do I Get a Smooth Finish With Oil Paint


There are two key factors that will help you achieve a smooth finish with oil-based paint: consider the surface type and choose the best type of roller. These two factors are correlated to each other because determining the surface type will help you identify the perfect roller to use. Hence, the right type of roller lets you paint surfaces with smooth finishes.

If the surface is very smooth, look for a roller or roller cover with a short nap, preferably a ¼-inch nap. Surfaces with some textures might need either ⅜ or ½-inch naps. On the other hand, heavily textured surfaces or walls need a longer nap, which is either a ¾ or 1-inch nap.

The next thing to consider is the quality of the roller cover. Opt for shed-resistant or lint-free covers as they leave surfaces without fiber fallouts or clumps of lint.

Is It Better to Roll or Brush Oil-Based Paint

Both ways are actually acceptable. However, it depends on the scale or size of the surface you are working on. You may consider brushing oil-based paints if you need to work closely on small details, intricate spaces, or other areas that require minor or quick touch-ups.

If you need to cover a large wall or surface, it is better to use a roller to speed up the painting process. This also leads to efficient paint applications, allowing you to showcase smoother, more even, and more polished surfaces.


The best roller for oil-based paint should provide excellent absorption and flow rate. In this way, you can achieve effortless applications and smooth finishes without patchy paint coatings and other messy imperfections. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the cover material of the roller as well as the length and nap.

Fortunately, the product reviews mentioned above will narrow down your options. The comprehensive guidelines also include significant factors that you should consider. Thus, you will find the ultimate pick that will best suit your needs and preferences when working with oil paint.

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