I have painted almost every room in our home now. Make that almost every room in two homes! You could say that over the years I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade and have acquired quite a few painting tools. But, only a handful are my tried and true gear that get pulled out for every painting job. These are my Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools!
Here they are (affiliate links included):
Painter’s tape is a necessity for clean lines. I’ve been using ScotchBlue for years and I can tell you that the painter’s tape you used 5 years ago has changed. ScotchBlue is constantly researching and developing better painting products every year. We always have a supply of ScotchBlue in my tape drawer and we definitely go through it!
2. Pro Masker 2000:
I used to be a taper and taped off every room we painted. (Now, I’ve gotten much better at cutting in with just a brush.) In a desperate attempt to save time, I bought this paint tape dispenser and was thrilled to shave some time off my taping tasks. You can watch a brief video here. I still tape off some edges when I know it will take me more time to be meticulous than to tape off some trim.
3. Metal Paint Tray with Hooking Legs (and Plastic Bags):
I have a no-frills metal paint tray. It has legs that can hook onto a ladder, which comes in handy when painting high on a ladder. This paint tray is the first and last tray you’ll ever need because you can line it with plastic grocery bags for easy clean up and for protecting the tray from a multitude of layers of paint.
Okay, I know you already know how much I love my cordless drill. Which is why you’ll understand why I jumped at buying this paint stirrer drill attachment just to have an excuse to pull out my drill for another project! Honestly, unless you like the slow process of thoroughly mixing old paint or blending colors, you’ll want one of these for your own. It makes your paint super smooth and creamy. Mmmmm.
Having a small pail to hold paint for painting trim while balancing on a ladder just makes sense (unless you like step aerobics.) This handheld paint pail has a magnet inside that will keep your paint brush from being completely submersed. It’s lightweight and easy to hold in one hand while you brush with the other.
I’ve tried so many edging gadgets that I could build a wing on my garage just for paint gadgets. I always come back to this basic edger, that had a minor upgrade recently making it easier to load paint. You can read more about why I love this edger so much and why it’s even easier to use now. This Shurline Edger is a simple tool that does a great job with a clean edge on inner corners…
…outer corners and around objects. The bristled pad is removable for easy cleaning. If you opt to buy a different edger, make sure it has a hole to accept an extension pole.
7. Extension Pole:
An extension pole is a necessity for high walls and ceilings in general. The extension pole can screw into most paint rollers and edgers that have a hole for the extension pole. Buy one today, your neck will thank you but your chiropractor will miss you.
Painting trim is the final step in painting a room. At this point you see the light at the end of the tunnel and are ready to be done. I gave up taping off the carpet and flooring and use a drywall taping knife as a painting guard instead. It was quick and easy to use. Simply push it under the baseboard, paint and wipe off the blade once in a while.
Unless you are 6’4″, like my brother, you’ll likely need a step stool for painting crown molding and the top of the wall. I have a Cosco brand that has a long handle for grasping at that moment that you realize you leaned too far to one side. (Not that that ever happened to me.)
Have you ever dripped paint? No? Liar!! Have you ever stepped in and tipped over an entire gallon of paint? Ummm, yes, I did do that once. This thin waterproof drop cloth is my newest painting BFF. Not only does it protect your floors from spills, but it won’t slip! It’s re-usable and folds up, taking minimal space in storage. Pick up a couple of these Non-Slip Drop Cloths because they aren’t easy to find.
Ever have trigger finger? No, not the itchy kind. The kind that cramps up after spray painting a fleet of furniture. That’s the same moment you realize you forgot to wear gloves. Only now it looks like you are wearing a black glove — but you’re not — it’s paint. The Rust-oleum Spray Handle is the best thing since spray paint! It fits on almost all spray paint cans except the ones with the built-in-trigger top like shown on the right above.
12. Purdy Brushes:
My love affair with Purdy brushes may be considered a little extreme. I love them so much that I immortalized two as cabinet handles in my garage:
These are seriously good brushes! I’m still using the Purdy brushes I bought when we lived in our old house. (And did I mention how many rooms we’ve painted?) Sure, they cost a little more, but they hold their shape and if you clean them right, you will never have to buy new ones! One 2.5″ and a 1″ brush are all you really need (unless you are good at recruiting friends to help you paint.)
I admit, I thought this was another gimmicky paint roller until I used it. The HomeRight EZ-Twist Paint Stick cuts my painting time in half! I have used it on our master bedroom, a friend’s bedroom and our living room walls. The Paint Stick takes a few extra minutes on the clean up end, but not enough to equal the time savings.
14. The Paintbrush Cover:
The Paint Brush Cover is the newest addition to my painting tool box. Sal emailed me about half a dozen times to try to get my attention about the Paint Brush Cover. (Yup, if you don’t get a reply from me right away, try try again.) I’m so glad he was persistant because I love this painting accessory. When I get interrupted while painting with a phone call (or more likely to break up some brotherly bickering), it is so quick and simple to set the brush in the cover and seal it up. The Paint Brush Cover is like tupperware for your paint brushes. And if you are going to spend money on good brushes, you better make sure that you don’t let the paint dry out in them!
I was truly pleased when after a week with pneumonia, I returned to the room I had to abandon painting, to find that the brush I had stored in the Paint Brush Cover was still wet and the paint was ready to use! I was one happy DIYer!
15: Little Giant Ladder:
As a big painting enthusiast, I’ve gotten myself into some tight spots while painting. But, none are more awkward than painting over stairs. The edger on a pole works okay, but inevitably I’ll bump the ceiling or the wall that wasn’t supposed to be painted. I tried the Little Giant Ladder at the Southern Ideal Home Show and was very impressed. The ladder can contort into all types of configuration which makes it ideal for painting stairways.
Unfortunately, I don’t own one yet, but the Little Giant Ladder is on my list of must haves next time I have to paint over stairs!
Ready to start painting? Be sure to read all the posts in my Paint Week series:
- Monday: How to Pick Your Paint Color
- Tuesday: How to Pick the Paint Sheens and Paint Types
- Wednesday: Prepping to Paint Your Room Like a Pro
- Thursday: How to Paint Your Room Like a Pro
- Friday: Top 15 Must Have Paint Tools