Not so Fabulous

Recently I read a thread on the House Painter Forum message board which dated back a little over a year ago discussing the decline in quality of brushes and roller covers which got me to thinking. I recall many times over the past year saying roller covers are not what they used to be.
Nap fibers (fuzzies) shedding on the wall was never an issue. I’ve been a loyal SuperFab user for many years but now I am questioning my loyalty. The roller covers in the photos were used only once and cleaned up and placed back in water. None of the covers shown dried out since first use. The photos were taken spun-out immediately after removing them from water. Take a look at the bevels on these covers. I’ve seen nicer covers at the Wooster Outlet store. I get the impression ICI feels these covers are good for painting.

A quick and easy fix for bad beveled edges is to use scissors to re-bevel the edge. Over time the bevels wear and reshaping is suggested.

Some people suggest wrapping masking tape around a new cover then pull the tape off. The idea is to remove loose fibers but what this does in fact is only loosen more fibers. My best suggestion is to wash the cover as you would prior to using it and spin it out. Even then, I would not recommend placing the first load on a highly visible area of a wall. Start by rolling somewhere low or behind a door where you can if needed, sand the fibers out and touchup a less conspicuous area.

I may be acting on a hunch but it seems as though the SuperFabs do not hold as much paint as they once did and they shed a little at first use but not near as bad as the UltraFabs which tend to continue to shed after several washes. I will dig up some previous tests I’ve performed on covers to help identify if this is true and post back here. Also worth mentioning is the beveling of these covers. Photo #1 is a cover I beveled with scissors.

Some of the photos with the worst bevel are ICI UltraFabs, made for ICI, these covers shed badly. The others with noticeably nicer bevels are SuperFabs and some photos are questionable as to which of the two they are.

I recall SuperFabs took longer to get loaded on the wall almost as if they resisted loading paint but once they were loaded they rolled and finished further.
UPDATE: I used two 18" SuperFabs in addition to the dozen 9’s and the 18" shed fibers badly when I cleaned the covers – wads of nap came off. Coming from a guy who probably purchased a few hundred of these 18" SuperFabs, something isn’t right here.


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