The Best Way to Paint Eggshell Without Roller Marks

The term eggshell is often used to describe a latex or alkyd paint that has a slight sheen. It can also be called low-gloss, semi-gloss or satin. Applying eggshell latex paint on to walls with a roller is fast and efficient, but sometimes leaves unsightly marks. Use the method preferred by professionals to avoid roller lines and ridges to give your walls a perfect finish.

Using a roller is the quickest way to paint interior walls.

Paint and Equipment

Avoid using cheap paint. It is not cost-effective, because you will need to apply extra coats. Invest in painting equipment that will last. Buy a good quality roller with a 1/2-inch nap wool blend sleeve and a 48-inch extension pole. Get a 5-gallon bucket and fit it with a vertical mesh screen. A bucket is easy to move and less likely to spill than a tray. You will also need brushes: a 1-inch for awkward corners and a 2-inch for cutting in.


Remove all the furniture from the room and protect the floor with drop cloths. Rub down loose, flaking paint and clean the walls, ceiling and baseboard. Make any necessary repairs and remember to remove picture hooks and fill the holes left. Remove loose fibers from the roller with masking tape.


Use a 2-inch brush for cutting-in.

Pour your paint into the bucket. Paint a 2-inch strip all around the edges of the walls with a brush. This is called "cutting-in." This will prevent you from painting right into the corners and too close to baseboards with the roller.

Load the Roller

Attach the extension handle to the roller. Hold the roller so the sleeve is parallel to the paint surface in the bucket. Dip the roller into the paint about 1/2-inch only. Never submerge it. Roll it up and down the mesh screen. Repeat this process several times. When you reload the roller, you will only need to do it twice. The roller shouldn't drip paint; if it does, roll it on the mesh screen again to remove the excess.


No need for a step-ladder with this method.

Start in the corner farthest from the main light source. This is usually a window. Don't try to paint in artificial light. Work from the corner toward the light to avoid shadowing the work area. Begin from just above the baseboard and around 6 inches from the corner. Make one long upward stroke, finishing a few inches below the ceiling or cornice. Roll back down, this time getting in closer to the corner, overlapping your cutting in slightly.


Load the roller, remembering to only dip and mesh-roll twice this time. Start from the bottom again, approximately 6 inches away from your first section. Roll up to the top and back down covering the unpainted gap and overlapping the previously painted strip. Continue in this way until the wall is completed. Always work smoothly and quickly, keeping a "wet edge" to avoid roller marks.


Never stop painting in the middle of a wall or roller marks will appear. Always paint to the end before taking a break. Paint the areas above windows and doors with horizontal strokes, then repaint the area with short vertical ones. Do the same beneath windows. When you have finished painting, strain the paint back into the can and clean the bucket and roller with warm, soapy water.