3/8 Vs 1/2 Nap Roller: Choose the Right Paint Roller

When it comes to a smooth color finish on walls, there is no clear winner. A nap roller is always up to the mark if you take good care of it.

Features like suitability, compatibility, thickness, finish, etc make the nap rollers different from each other. If we check all the traits properly, a battle of ⅜ Vs ½ nap roller isn’t new.

For us, ⅜ nap roller wins in a narrow escape. It’s not like ½ roller is an inferior object to have, but if you want more thickness try out the ⅜ roller.

Overall, both the nap rollers are suitable for different walls. For a light textured wall, ⅜ nap roller is the only best option. ½ nap roller is also a reliable nap roller but only for the moderately textured walls. 

Today let’s see why a ⅜ nap roller is superior to a ½ nap roller. Read more below.

3/8 Vs 1/2 Nap Roller

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Comparison chart

Features⅜ nap roller½ nap roller
Good forLight textured wallsModerately textured walls
Painting finishSmoothSmooth
PriceLess expensiveMore expensive
Surface suitabilityRougher surfacesLess rough surfaces
Drywall suitabilityYesNo
Holding paintsHolds more paintsHolds less paints

⅜ Nap Roller: Why choose it?

For house painting, the ⅜ nap roller is now a top hit. This roller has some essential formations and a flawless user-experience. Let’s see what they are:

Best for lightly textured walls

A ⅜ nap roller is something that every house requires to have a nice painting on their wall. Especially the houses with lightly textured surfaces work best with a ⅜ nap roller. 

Holds a lot of paints

Those who have light-textured and smooth walls in their home must have a ⅜ nap roller because of its thick nap. So it is quite inevitable that this nap roller can hold lots of paints together. Thus, you will not have to dip your nap roller again and again to collect paints.

Gives the best finishes of painting

While painting new walls, we can’t let the best nap roller go off. However, the ⅜ nap roller is always there to serve you with the best finishes of paint.

Suits previously-drywalls

It does mean that ⅜ nap roller is only suitable for new walls. If you want you can use it on your previously-painted drywalls as well. 

Compatible with semi-rough surfaces

⅜ nap roller not only holds lots of paints but also releases them evenly. Be it a semi-rough surface or smooth surface, ⅜ nap roller leaves no stone unturned to provide a smooth finish everywhere.

½ Nap Roller: Why choose it?

The ½ nap roller is another superb alternative to make your walls look authentic in paints. Anyways, this paint roller may not be a good choice for all walls. To know about its particular features, have a look below.

Best for moderately textured walls

Many moderately textured walls come with unique designs. For instance, paneling and concrete or painted brick have much more difference than a light textured wall. In that case, a nap roller of ½ tends to be useful as it does not release many paintings at a time. 

Usually, the medium rough surfaces are very particular in terms of their design where all paintings cannot be put together. So you can make great use of this roller for medium rough surfaces to paint safely.

Provides a smooth finish of the painting

Like the ⅜ nap roller, the ½ nap roller gives a smooth finish of painting as well. You just need to dampen the 1/2 roller in your paint with a little bit of water. Then give some strokes where you want to paint. Thus, a beautiful painting will be apparent on your wall.

Good for textured ceilings and plasters

To texture and plaster a ceiling, we generally go for a minimum-sized nap roller. A ½ roller is a perfect match for these tasks. Again, the textured plasters and concrete get a beautiful finish if the nap roller is of ½.

Works well for general painting purposes

The ½ paint roller is not only better for moderately textured walls, but also normal walls. Besides, it has a general-purpose roller cover to ensure smooth stroke in the walls.

⅜ Vs ½ Nap Roller: Head to head comparisons

Till now, we got to see the exact features of ⅜ and ½ nap roller. Now, we are going to compare the features of these two nap rollers. Let’s continue.

Thickness of rollers

The ⅜ nap roller has more thickness than the ½ nap roller. If you want to paint your rough surfaces, a thicker nap is all you need. In that case, a ⅜ nap roller is an appropriate option. 

Conversely, a medium rough surface does not require a nap roller with heavy thickness. We know a ½ nap roller is not as thick as a ⅜ nap roller. So you can use a ½ nap roller to paint a medium rough surface too.


Ceilings and drywall are the essential parts of houses to paint where we need to select the correct roller. And I must say, ⅜ nap roller is the only suitable roller for these parts as they are the rough surfaces. 

So it is clear that a ½ nap roller is not a good choice to paint drywall and ceilings. Those who have plasters and texture ceilings, only can go for a ½ nap roller because of its lower thickness.

Compatibility with walls

The ⅜ nap roller and the ½ nap roller are not designed for the same purpose. ⅜ roller is best for interior walls and lightly textured surfaces. Whereas, the ½ nap roller is compatible with moderately textured walls, painted brick, concrete, and paneling.


The price of ½ nap roller is a bit higher than the ⅜ nap roller. In Walmart, you will get a ⅜ roller within $4.42 and a ½ within $7.14


Can I use the same nap roller again?

Well, reusing a nap roller is okay if you maintain the gentle strokes every time. If your roller is a quality roller, it will last for up to 5 cycles. These cycles are considered before the shedding. Make sure you are not affecting the quality of your paint application to keep your roller and paint safe. After a time being, your roller will start to pay for all the applications done on it.

Should I dampen my roller before painting?

Dampening a roller is a good idea to prime it. Before you start painting your walls, wet your roller with water. As a result, it can soak as much paint as possible. However, do not go too crazy by keeping all the water in your nap roller. It would be better if you remove the excess moisture from the roller by giving a good shake of it. Or you can use a paper towel to have a slightly damp paint roller.

What is a nap on a paint roller?

A nap on a paint roller refers to the thickness of the fabric. On the other hand, you can call a nap of roller as the length of the roller. Each roller has each type of thickness or nap which are used for different purposes. A paint roller can hold more paint if its nap is thicker. We know the rougher surface requires a roller with heavy thickness. It means a higher number of naps is designed for rougher surfaces and a lower number of naps is designed for less rough surfaces.


No matter which nap roller you choose, none of them is going to disappoint you. You just need to keep your requirements in mind. Is your wall light textured or moderately textured?

If your wall is light-textured and requires more paint at a time, a ⅜ nap roller will be suitable. Contrastingly, a ½ nap roller is great for moderately textured walls. 

Coloring interior walls become quicker if the paint roller holds lots of paints. For this reason, people choose a thicker roller like ⅜. If it is about coloring brick paints, textured ceilings, or plasters, a ½ nap roller always stands out.

Each of them is convenient in its ways. Just remember what the type of your wall is. Hopefully, your surfaces will look prettier with the better strokes of a fine roller.

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