Natural-bristle paintbrushes are best for alkyd paints. Do not use natural-bristle paintbrushes with latex paints or the bristles will soak up the paint and bunch together.
Paint rollers are used to paint an area quickly with an even coat of paint. Non-spattering paint rollers are available that will cut down on spills (which cuts down on stress and cleanup)! Paint rollers come in short-, medium-, and long-nap roller pads.
Short-nap roller pads are used to apply glossy paints to smooth surfaces.
Medium-nap roller pads are used for all surfaces, and give flat surfaces a slight texture. For most walls, medium-nap roller pads are recommended, unless you are aiming for a very smooth finish, in which case you should use a short-nap roller pad.
Long-nap roller pads are used to cover surfaces that are already textured. These areas would normally take longer to cover, but a long-nap roller pad makes the job go much more quickly.
The paint roller is attached to a roller frame, which is the metal arm and handle that holds the roller pad in place. An extension pole allows you to reach high portions of the wall, as well as ceilings and floors, easily. Avoid paint rollers with cardboard cores, as they absorb moisture and crumble when they are washed.