How to Remove Paint Roller Marks on the Wall

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When you paint a wall, you want it to look like a professional job — no roller marks. Roller marks look like random streaks in a paint job. The paint looks dark in some areas and lighter in others. It can be the result of a poor paint job or low-quality paint. If the damage is done, and the paint is dry, you have to pull out your paint roller and paint again to get rid of the roller marks.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Paint roller
  • Paint pan
  • Paint in the same color as your current color
  • Paintbrush

Tape the edges of doors, windows and trim with painter’s tape to prevent overlap. Put down a drop cloth, as well, to protect your floor.

Use a quality paint roller that has a reasonably thick nap -- at least three-eighths of an inch. Sometimes an inferior roller with a nap that's too thin can leave marks on a wall.

Set the roller into a paint pan, and allow it to soak up the paint. Sometimes the roller marks show because the roller isn’t properly coated to begin with. Roll the roller back and forth over the raised lines on the other side of the paint pan to get rid of any excess.

Focus on the areas of the wall where you have the roller marks. Apply the roller to the wall in a “W” pattern, using slow even movements. Press gently into the wall with the roller to ensure proper coverage. Then go back and fill in the spaces in the “W” with even strokes.

Step back and check the wall for any uneven coverage. Shine a light on the wall if necessary to better reveal any imperfections. Fill in any uneven areas with a small paintbrush while the paint is still wet to blend the color with the rest of the wall and prevent roller marks when it dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • It’s impractical to use a paint thinner to spot-treat roller marks. It could simply lighten the wall in certain areas and cause more unsightly streaking.

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