How to Change a Small Roller Brush


Small paint rollers can effectively maneuver narrow painting surfaces in less time than conventional paint brushes. Change your paint roller brush when the brush nap is too low to grip paint properly and creates an uneven layer on the surface being painted. You should also change your brush head whenever you are using an old brush with a strong color such as red that can destroy the appearance of the new color such as white.

Things You'll Need

  • Small replacement roller brush heads
  • Newspaper
  • Small paint roller with old roller brush head on it
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Cloth
  • Evaluate your options for replacement brush heads, as they vary according to the painting surface's texture and the type of paint being applied. Smoother surfaces require shorter brush nap fibers, according to Sherwin-Williams. Synthetic or fiber paint roller brushes are intended for use with latex and water-based painting jobs, while oil-based painting jobs require paint roller brushes with natural fibers.

  • Lay several layers of newspaper on the floor as a protective barrier. Place the small paint roller on it's surface.

  • Remove dried paint from both ends of the paint roller brush. Use the flat head screwdriver to pry the chips from the surface. Breaking off old paint chips makes it easier to remove the roller brush.

  • Cover the small paint roller brush head with the cloth rag. Grab the roller brush with one hand. Pull the roller brush off the spindle by pressing the into the outside end of the center part with the thumb of the other hand.

  • Using the cloth, clean the surfaces of both the paint roller handle and spindle where paint is observed. Ensure that all traces of paint from the old roller brush head are removed.

  • Place the small paint roller brush replacement over the spindle. Push the brush head onto the spindle until it is fully installed. Test the paint roller by rolling it on the painting surface without and with paint to ensure the brush nap has the desired effect.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test your paint roller brush head every time you change it to ensure the roller quality is to your desired standards. Test it both without and with paint. Change your brush head if it does not produce the desired effect.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings when changing a paint roller. Carelessly laying the paint roller on an unprotected surface can have undesirable consequences.

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  • Photo Credit paint roller image by Ana de Sousa from paint rollers image by Wayne Abraham from folded newspaper image by Christopher Hall from roller stripe image by Nicemonkey from red roller image by Nicemonkey from
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