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Best Painting Tool Guide: Bring Some Color into Your Home
Painting your home can be a fun yet very labor-intensive process especially if you have no prior experience with painting. Luckily for you, there are several great tools available on the market which can help make your home painting project go a lot smoother.
Depending on the size and structural design of your home, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration before initiating any painting project or remodeling work.
Home improvement is a great way to sustain the value of your property in addition to adding your own sense of personalized style into the place you call home. Paint is one of the most robust and versatile home improvement procedures that you can do without spending too much time or money.
Before you begin painting your home, you need to ensure that you have all of the required tools and equipment needed to get the job done right.
There are several painting tools available on the market which can help you optimize the quality and speed at which you complete your painting project. It’s important to take into consideration the size and wall design of your home prior to painting so that you can ensure you receive optimal results.
You’re probably familiar with common painting tools such as rollers, brushes, and more, however, over recent years there have been many new innovative products to hit the market which can make your home improvement job that much easier.
The most common problem that many people face when painting their homes is a messy application process. This is largely due to the fact that most conventional painting tools out on the market are designed for general use purposes and don’t take into consideration any small variables that your property may have in terms of its design or size.
That’s where innovative tools have made their way into the market so that DIY home improvement specialists like yourself can optimize their painting projects.
If you’re interested in painting your home, you need to take a few key components into consideration before even buying a can of paint.
These things include factors such as the amount of paint that you’ll need to cover your walls, the color of paint that you’re choosing, the type of tools you’ll need to complete the job, and a lot more.
In this guide, we’re going to go over some of the key tools that everyone will need when attempting to complete a painting job or home improvement project.
We’re going to give you a detailed breakdown of all of the essential tools that you’ll need to complete your paint job successfully. Make sure that you reach each section in detail so that you can get all of the information that you need to get the painting results that you want.
Later on, in this guide, we’ll also give you some recommendations about our top painting tools that you’ll need to complete any home improvement project that you’ll need.
Preparing your painting tools
Before you begin painting, you’ll need to prepare all of the tools that you’ll need to successfully paint any room of your home.
Painting is a great way to maintain the value of your home in a very simple and cost-effective manner, that’s why you’ll need to ensure that you choose the right painting tools to get the job done right.
Preparing your tools is a critical part of the entire painting process so make sure that you pay attention to all of the steps listed in the following sections so that you can ensure you get optimal results.
There are several different steps that you’ll need to take before painting to avoid color leaking, sloppy results, or damaging the overall finish of your walls. One of the first home improvement painting preparation steps that you need to take before painting is taping off all of the areas that are not going to receive a new coat of paint during your new project.
Cover Furniture & Other Decorations
Before you begin painting any walls inside of your home, you need to cover any open or exposed furniture and decorations to avoid getting paint accidentally splattered on them.
There are several great furniture cover options available on the market that you can use in order to protect your decorations and furniture from paint drips or loose paint spots ruining your interior home décor. This step is very important in making sure that your home is protected when completing any home improvement painting job or project.
Protect Electrical Outlets
If you plan on painting a fan or ceiling light, you’ll need to make sure that you cover all exposed wall outlets prior to applying any actual paint to your walls.
If you want to go the extra mile for safety, you can even cut off the main breaker to the room that you plan on painting to ensure that you don’t run into any potential issues with becoming electrocuted or anything else.
Remove all of the electrical covering plates from the outlets then place tape over the entire opening to ensure that no paint leaks into the wall opening. Secure your switches with tape and make sure that you tape the plate screws to the back of the plate to avoid losing them during the painting process.
Wrap Your Hanging Fixtures
If you’re planning on painting your ceiling, you’ll need to protect any hanging fixtures like ceiling fans or pendant lights. For hanging fans, remove the blades and loosen the cover plate and slide it down, then wrap the light fixture with plastic.
Hanging pendant light fixtures should have a cover plate that just slides down too. You should also cover up recessed lights.
First, remove the light bulb, then pull the outer trim down from the main connection point a little bit. Release the springs or wires holding the cover in place and cover with plastic and tape. Now you can paint the ceiling area covered by the trim.
Remove Existing Wallpaper
Spray the paper with a wallpaper removal spray. The paper needs to be wet. Follow the recommended wait time before scraping. Score the paper with a wallpaper scoring tool. Use a circular motion to perforate the paper. You can also use a wallpaper steamer to wet and soften the paper.
Hold the steamer against the paper for a few seconds to soften it. Homes built before 1978 might have lead paint so it’s best to check with a testing kit. Typically, you break open the swab, rub it against the paint, and check the reading. If your home tests positive, you might want to call a professional for removal.
Clean Your Walls
If your walls have oil or another residue on them, wash with TSP (trisodium phosphate) for a more thorough cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinse with water and let dry. Vacuum any dust on the baseboards and moldings before cleaning to avoid the loose dirt ruining the purification process.
Apply Primer to Your Walls
Primer is not necessary for all painting or home improvement jobs however it is recommended for particular circumstances. Primer is only needed in painting projects that involve:
- naked drywall
- stained or repaired walls
- naked wood
- high-gloss paint finishes
- drastic paint color changes
Oil-based paint can’t be painted over with latex paint. You’ll need to prepare the surface.
You need to know which type of paint you have before you start your project. Check the surface for oil-based paint. Wet a cotton swab with alcohol and rub the surface or wall that you intend to paint.
If the paint comes off, it’s latex. If not, it’s oil-based. Next, you’ll need to sand the naked surfaces that will be painted later in order to smooth out any surface imperfections which may impact the overall finish of your painting project.
Now that you’ve prepared the area that you’re about to paint, it’s time to decide on which paint type and color is perfect for your home improvement desires.
Deciding on Which Paint Is Right for You & How Much Paint You Need
One gallon of paint will typically cover about 400 square feet of surface area. In order to find out the exact amount of paint that you need, multiply the length of your walls times the height in order to get the square footage for each wall, then add them up to find out the total square footage to determine exactly how many gallons of paint you’ll need.
For the baseboards or trim, multiply the length (in feet) by .5 for the width to get the total square footage, then you can determine how much paint you’ll need to complete the job successfully.
Painting an entire room can take a couple of days to even weeks sometimes to complete successfully. In order to make sure you get the results you want in an efficient manner, be sure to plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of ventilation while working on your painting home improvement project to avoid overexposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals.
To get the best painting results, you should plan to start painting from the top to the bottom so that you can maintain some form of unity throughout the entire project. Basically, if you were to follow these instructions it would look like paint the ceiling first, then the walls, and finish with the trim.
To paint the edges, or cut in, dip a brush about a third of the way into the paint and don’t scrape it against the sides. Holding the brush as you would a pencil, paint with smooth strokes, feathering out the edges to prevent runs.
Getting a little bit of paint on the trim won’t matter since you’re painting that later, but try not to be super messy. For the walls, cut in one wall at a time then switch to the roller. Painting can be a lot easier with two people. One person can cut while the other uses the roller.
Using Paint Rollers on Walls & Ceilings
If you’re using a 5-gallon bucket, insert a roller grid. For pans, use a liner for easy cleanup. Load the roller with paint. To help the paint load, first, dampen the roller cover with a wet rag. Dip just a small way into the paint and roll onto the grid or liner a few times to even it out.
Resist the urge to submerge the roller – it’ll make a mess. Starting a few inches away from the edge, roll the paint on the ceiling/wall in a zig-zag pattern. Overlap your lines and go slow to avoid paint spatter. Don’t press and squeeze the roller against the wall to get more paint out of it just reload. Work in 4-foot sections. For walls, work at the top, then the bottom.
Once you get some paint on the walls you can go back along the edges. Turn the roller sideways to get really close to the ceiling and baseboards.
To remove buildup and runs, lightly roll over the painted area from the ceiling down to the floor. If you need to take a break, cover your bucket with a lid and cover pans with plastic wrap. Also, use plastic or aluminum foil to cover your brushes and rollers. If you’re not going to paint for a while, wrap the tools and store them in the fridge.
Top Painting Tools for Home Improvement Recommendations
Rejuv-A Roller Paint Roller Cleaner
The Rejuv-a-Roller is an innovative and forward-thinking painting tool that helps you clean your rollers much easier reducing the amount of mess that you physically have to deal with yourself.
Instead of buying cheap paint roller covers and throwing them away after every project, you can buy top-quality covers and reuse them anytime you want by simply thoroughly rinsing off any excess paint by using this device. Here’s how it works: Slip the roller cover into the tube and plug the end. Then connect the hose to a faucet and turn on the water.
When the water runs clear from the bottom holes, the roller is clean. If you own a roller spinner, you can speed up drying and fluff the roller nap by giving it a quick spin. But it’s not necessary. The Rejuvaroller is one of the most useful and innovative painting tools for home improvement available on the market so be sure to pick up one today if you plan on painting your home anytime soon.
Mini Hand Masker
We’ve tried all kinds of masking tape dispensers and painting tools. But for a simple, affordable way to speed up your masking, it’s hard to beat this tape masker from famous tape producer Scotch.
After you get a few inches of tape stuck down, hold the dispenser against the surface you’re masking and slide it along the wall. Wheels press the tape to the surface, and a built-in cutter slices it off at the end of the run. We applied a straight, accurate line of masking tape along with the moldings in this room in record time.
The 3M Scotch-Blue Painter’s Tape Applicator is refillable and comes with Scotch Edge-Lock tape, a special type of masking tape that prevents the paint from creeping underneath.
How can you go wrong spending less than a dollar for painting tools that simplify paint pouring and reduces a mess?
This innovative paint spout can snap onto the rim of a quart or gallon paint can which makes it super versatile. Paint spouts direct the paint where you want it to go while reducing the amount of excess spillage or loss. Plus, it prevents the paint from running down the side of the can and creating a mess on the floor or drops cloth. You’ll find these painting tools at home centers and paint stores.
Paint Touch-Up (Pens)
Got some dings, scratches, or nail holes to touch up? Great. All you have to do is find the old paint can, pry off the lid, stir the paint, find a brush and you’re all set.
That’s assuming the paint hasn’t dried out. Or you could keep an idiot-proof paint touch-up pen in your junk drawer and be done in minutes. When you’re finished painting a room, just load the pen with matching paint and snap on the cap. Later, when you’ve got a ding to touch up, give the pen a few shakes and go to it. They’re a little expensive. But it’s sure hard to beat the convenience.
Easy-Clean Chinex Brush
Professional painters in the industry agree that paintbrushes made with Chinex bristles are the best brushes to use on virtually any painting project that you have lined up or in progress. They work equally well for oil-based and water-based paints.
But the best feature of Chinex bristles is how easy they are to clean. Many of the new formulations of water-based paint dry quickly and stick tenaciously to other types of synthetic bristles, leaving you with a tough cleanup job. Chinex bristles solve this problem.
Paint rinses out easily, giving you a brush that’s ‘like-new’ clean. Corona, Wooster, and Purdy make brushes with Chinex bristles.
Very Large Paint Tray
Sure, there are other big paint trays out there, but this one holds an entire gallon of paint which you won’t find anywhere else.
The built-in handles of the handy paint tray make it easy to move, and the extra-wide, stable base helps prevent spills. You can even attach a fitting disposable plastic liner to the paint tray in order to reduce the amount of clean up involved after you complete your painting project.
CoverGrip Safety Drop Cloth
We like long, narrow drop cloths, or runners. They’re easy to fold and a convenient way to quickly protect the floor alongside the wall you’re painting. So, of course, we were excited to see this improvement over the old standby, canvas.
The trouble with canvas drops cloths is that they don’t stay put. Sure, you can tape the edges. But with the CoverGrip safety drop cloth, you don’t have to worry. The plastic-like material has a slightly tacky surface that keeps the canvas in place on wood, tile, concrete, or carpet. Plus, the cloth is solvent- and puncture-resistant and has a surface that makes it slip-resistant even when wet so you can remain safe at all times while painting virtually any room in your house.
Anyone who’s done even a little painting knows the job isn’t over when you’re done applying paint. Cleanup is a bear. Rollers are nearly impossible to get completely clean. If you leave them in your 5-gallon paint bucket, they get waterlogged.
You’ve probably also heard tricks such as wrapping them in plastic or placing them in the refrigerator. But if you want something that actually works, get the roller keeper today.
The plastic tube, about the size of a Pringles can, keeps the roller cover airtight so it’s ready to use the next day, week, or month, without you having to painfully and wastefully wash out all the paint. You squeeze the center of the tube to pinch the cover in place while you remove the roller frame. Then a lid snaps over the top for a seal.
Rust-Oleum Dry Erase Paint Marker
Maybe you’ve got a little Michelangelo running around your home, treating the walls like his personal Sistine Chapel ceiling.
With rust-oleum dry erase paint marker you can encourage it. The paint leaves a smooth, hard surface on drywall, concrete, wood, or Masonite that makes the surface into a whiteboard: You can write on it with dry-erase markers and wipe the wall clean with an eraser or rag.
The latex-based paint requires you to mix two parts together (simply pour Part A into Part B and stir to achieve maximum results) then you apply it with a foam roller or foam brush. Rust-Oleum recommends applying two coats to create a painter’s canvas on your walls.
Shur-Line Stain System
Most DIYers know that applying stain with a pad is faster than staining with a brush while providing even coverage. With the Shur-Line Stain System, the application is even faster because you don’t have to dip the pad into the stain to reload it.
Instead, a built-in container holds half a gallon of stain; squeeze a trigger to squirt it out and the pad wipes the stain across the deck boards. Eliminating the need to repeatedly dip the pad or brush lessens the chance of messy drips or spills. The system also reduces the likelihood of stain pooling on the boards, drying, and leaving dark splotches.
Graco ProX17 Paint Sprayer
This is a pro-duty sprayer on a stand that’s designed for remodelers who paint a lot. It pulls unthinned paint out of the bucket and feeds it down a 50-foot hose to the spray gun which gives you the ability to apply a smooth and even coat of painting every time, and is rated to shoot 0.34 gallons per minute which are as fast (or probably faster) than any non-professional painter can work.
The Graco ProX17 Paint Sprayer is perfect for all of the people out there that need help getting smooth and even paint coatings every time they begin a project.
Graco TrueCoat 360DS Paint Sprayer
The Graco TrueCoat 360DS paint sprayer doesn’t pump paint out of a bucket. It carries the paint with it in a disposable flex liner bag attached to a frame on the bottom of the gun.
We found it was the perfect solution. One guy stayed busy painting siding while I went up and down the ladder shooting rafter tails and the underside of the roof deck with the TrueCoat.
The Graco TrueCoat 360Ds is so easy to use that you can paint virtually any surface in no time. With a little practice, you can spray with surprising accuracy and almost no overspray which is why this tool is highly recommended.
Completing Your Interior Painting Home Improvement Project
Now that you are familiar with some of the essential tools that you’ll need in order to complete your home improvement painting project successfully, you can begin painting your home without any issues or potential for color spillage.
As long as you use all of the information included in this article, you should have no problem getting the painting results that you desire.
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!)
The key to avoiding lap marks when doing DIY wall painting is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray.
It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along with the screen until it stops dripping.
To maintain a wet wall edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke.
Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges when doing DIY wall painting.
Paint color may vary slightly from one can to the next. If you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall, the difference may be noticeable.
Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. It’s best to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it in a 5-gallon bucket (a process called “boxing”). When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less when doing DIY wall painting.
Pros usually follow a certain order when painting a room. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling, then the walls. That’s because it’s easier (and faster) to tape off the trim than to tape off the walls. And you certainly don’t want to tape them both off!
When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. The smooth patch also stands out in contrast to the slightly bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. Wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad.
Start at the bottom and work up. After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand them smooth before painting. The cleaners are available at paint stores and home centers. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off (using an “easy release” painter’s tape), then paint the ceiling, then the walls. Freshly painted walls often look blotchy.
The color is uniform, but the sheen isn’t consistent. This usually occurs over the holes and cracks you patched with a filler or drywall compound. The porous fillers absorb the paint, dulling the surface (a problem called “flashing”). When light hits these dull spots, they stick out like a sore thumb.
A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate ashing and texture differences. Primer seals the patch so paint won’t sink in and look dull. To match texture, prime with a roller, feathering out the edges. Choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture (a 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth walls; 1/2-in. for textured).
If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a DE glosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for preprint cleaning.
They work well to clean painted, varnished, or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs.
One coat of paint usually won’t hide the underlying color and sheen on trim. And if you don’t sand the surface smooth between coats, the finish may have a grainy texture. For a smooth finish, and the trim before applying each coat of paint.
Sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Sponges get into crevices where sandpaper can’t go and let you apply even pressure. Then apply the first coat of paint, let it dry for at least 24 hours, lightly sand it again for a completely smooth surface, and apply the second coat. After each sanding, vacuum the trim, then wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove the dust.
Spills and splatters happen, regardless of how careful you are. It’s a lot easier to prepare for them than to wipe them out of your carpeting or off your wood floor later. Canvas is slippery on hard doors, so rosin paper ($10 for 400 sq. ft. at home centers) is better than vinyl, tile, and hardwood. Tape the sheets together and to the door to provide a non-slip surface.
But even with canvas or rosin-paper drop cloths, large spills still need to get wiped up right away or they’ll seep through. Clean spills with paper towels or cloth rags. Likewise, if you splatter paint on any other surface, wipe it up immediately.
All it takes is canvas drop cloths in your work area (a 4-ft. x 15-ft. cloth costs $15). The thick canvas stays in place, so you don’t need to tape it, and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are slippery to walk on or set a ladder on and don’t stay in place. Even worse, paint spills on plastic stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house.
You can use this guide as an integral tool to your entire home improvement painting project to ensure that you avoid all potential mistakes.
All of the tips, tools, and information in this article were designed to help novice painters and professionals alike step up their painting game. By using the tools and techniques mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to optimize your painting speed and efficiency in no time.
To ensure the best results, make sure that you read every section of this guide in full in order to understand how you’ll be able to paint any surface or wall in your home without a problem. Begin your next home improvement painting project with confidence by using this guide to assist you during the process.