Excellent for a quick and even application of your chosen medium, foam rollers work well in printmaking, stenciling, and painting smooth surfaces. Foam rollers absorb liquids easily and redistribute them evenly for flat, uniform layers. Due to their high absorbency, rollers work best with thinner, water-based media and are suitable for applying ink, paint, adhesive, varnish, and stain. Some will even lay down a pattern. Our picks below will help you find the best foam roller for your project.
1. Bestt Liebco Mini Roller Kit
Bestt Liebco, a 94-year-old company, has long been supply professional house painters with supplies. This standard 4-inch mini roller, while intended for hard to reach wall areas, is great for all sorts of projects, from printmaking to stenciling. The high-density foam allows an even application and the ergonomic handle makes it comfortable to hold, no matter how long the project.
2. School Specialty Foam Brayer
Excellent for art projects, this semi-soft but dense foam brayer is ideal for printmaking and stencils. Best for use with water-based inks, the 4-inch roller absorbs more than closed-cell rollers for better coverage. It is built to last, made out of heavy foam with a solid wood core that provides sturdy support for smooth, even application. The roller can be removed from the handle for cleaning and replacement, and the looped handle end allows it to be hung for easy storage and drying.
3. Abicial Sponge Rollers
Great for detail paint application, this set includes three small rollers in sizes ranging from about 1 inch to 2.3 inches wide, making it a great option to use with stencils and for painting small areas. The lightweight rollers are suitable for use in classrooms and can be easily cleaned and reused.
4. Klolkutta Foam Roller Tool, 4 Pcs
Great for classrooms, this pack of rollers offers 3 fun patterns: horizontal lines, vertical lines, and dots, along with an unpatterned roller for coverage. The rollers are lightweight and easy to use for kids, but note that younger kids cannot apply too much pressure, which would ruin the pattern effect.
5. Jack Richeson Foam Brayer
These 3-inch foam rollers, sold in a 12-pack, are lightweight, easy to use, and great for classrooms. The plastic handles are easy for small hands to hold, and the rollers can be rinsed and reused. These are not as sturdy as some of the other options listed here; if pressed too hard the plastic handle will leave marks in the paint. The foam roller absorbs paint well, making it a suitable alternative for artists wanting to avoid brush strokes, and at a low price point it is an economical option even for one-time use.