I've used two types - one with a 'syringe' handle and one with a large
diameter roller that you filled with paint.
The first one worked brilliantly until it was time to clean it. Then it
had to be completely dismantled and each of the 6 or 7 components
cleaned separately. The roller ends only survived this process twice
before they broke. The manufacturers offer a 'spares kit' at around half
the price of the complete item, so it looks as though this is a common
occurence. Also, despite claims that the special perforated rollers can
be obtained everywhere, I could never find any in the sheds.
The second type is much simpler with only four separate parts to clean.
They work reasonably well, but they are heavy when full of paint and
doing a ceiling is very tiring. The only other drawback I have found is
that the roller surface is effectively a piece of towelling held on by a
couple of rubber bands. As they are easy to clean, I've done three or
four rooms without the towelling needing to be replaced. However, I
suspect that if it does go, it means a brand new roller.
For the last room I did, I used a Stanley paint pad. I gave up using
paint pads twenty odd years ago when the became very flimsy and tended
to slide off the handle in use. These Stanley ones are very well built
with a positive quarter turn fastener to hold the pad on. The paint
finish was perfect so I think I'll be using these in future.
They fall into the category of useful gadgets that can take longer to clean
up than the job itself takes. I bought one about 10 years ago - I think its
branded as 'Wagner' from the USA. The unit is mains powered and has a
peristaltic pump with a clear hose put into the pot of paint. On the
business end there is a pneumatic switch which makes/breaks a switch back
on the main unit to power up the pump
As you paint the wall you give the switch a blip to pump a bit more paint
into the roller unit paint chamber. The roller head has a series of small
holes which allow the paint through. There is a pad as an alternative to
the roller but I never got on with those. Its very easy to overload the
amount of paint on the pad itself. The roller has a spray/drip guard and
the roller works well for applying an even amount of paint over an entire
It works on water based paints only and for cleanup you have to pump
through clean water until the hose is clear again. I found hot soapy water
was good enough. The roller cleans up in the traditional way. Perhaps I was
a bit harsh on the time it takes to clean everything up as it should be all
done in 5 mins once you get a system going. If you put a carrier bag over
the roller you can leave the unit for a lunch break.
If you are painting a large room then I would say they are worth a try.
They allow you to paint a large wall very quickly as you don't have to keep
stooping down or reaching to reload the roller. The hose is around 3 metres
in length so you can do an reasonable size room with the main unit in the
middle. I looked at the cordless variety but decided the quality wasn't as
good as the mains unit. If you buy one check you can still buy spares. I
bought a few spare rollers around 4 years ago although I have yet to use
Having said all that my unit is boxed in the garage since it has just been
quicker to use a standard roller for smaller rooms. Perhaps I'll now dig it
out to do my stairs and landing...
Tried one, and I'd rather use a (proper) paint sprayer for large areas.
OTOH I've had a lot of experience painting cars so using a sprayer comes
as second nature. Mrs F who actually does the house painting prefers
We have a large house that is undergoing restoration at the moment and
when it's finished (soon I hope) it will need every room painting. I
intend to spray paint the place just to get it over with in a hurry.