As the applicator roll rotates, it picks the coating up out of the pan, passes it through the gap formed with the metering roll and then delivers it to the web at the backing roll. This arrangement is particularly useful with coatings near the lower end of the viscosity range where holding them in the nip between the rolls would be difficult. The amount of coating that is delivered to the web is controlled by the gap between the metering and applicator roll as well as the relative speed of the applicator roll and web speed. The greater the gap, the thicker the layer of coating. The greater the speed of the applicator roll, the more coating that is delivered to the web. The reverse roll coater has wide coating thickness and viscosity ranges and is good for changing coating laydown rates.