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. FOAM PRO Mini Paint Roller
Made out of high-density foam, this 4-inch roller will apply the thinnest, smoothest layer possible without using a sprayer. Best for use on smooth surfaces and for controlled stenciling, the foam will distribute paint evenly without leaving a texture or roller marks. Mounted on a sturdy handle, the roller can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement.
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. ECR4Kids Foam Paint Rollers Set
Great for classrooms, this 12-pack of rollers offers three fun patterns: dots, waves, and angles. Lightweight and easy to use by kids as young as age 3, these foam rollers absorb paint to prevent dripping, and their elongated handles help keep paint off hands for less mess. Rollers easily slide off handles for easy cleaning and reuse.
4. 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.
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.