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Painting may seem like a simple project to complete. However, don’t be caught off-guard by not having the correct painting tools to get the job done.
Painting can become challenging when you are not fully prepared. To avoid the challenge altogether it is wise to be set with all the interior paint tools you will need for the painting project.
Being in the professional painting world I know all the awesome paint tools and gadgets our painters use on a job. As a DIYer I know that there is usually a budget I’m sticking to when tackling a project. Which means not being able to have every tool possible.
Luckily there are certain painting gadgets and equipment you can skip over but there are also some essential must-have tools that will make your life much easier.
Today I’m going to give you the ultimate painting tools list. This is a complete list of all the painter’s tools both professionals and DIYers benefit from having. I’m also going to break it down and give you a list of the most essential must-have-painting tools you need to successfully complete a painting project.
WHAT TOOLS ARE USED FOR PAINTING?
There are a mess of awesome painting tools and gadgets out there that you can buy, but are they all necessary to have? Short answer, no.
Honestly, if you are on the strictest budget you can get away with the basics, paintbrush, roller, cage, tray, and rags. Of course, this is if you don’t have to do any repairs to the walls and you are strictly painting.
Painting a room can certainly be done this way. Trust me, I’ve done it and you make it work. However, if you are willing to spend and invest some money to make the task a bit easier on yourself there are some painting supplies professionally use that I recommend.
PRO PAINTERS TOOLS – THE COMPLETE PRO PAINTING TOOLS LIST
Let’s start with the complete list of painter’s tools. Included will be everything you may possibly need, essentials and non-essentials. Basically everything under the sun.
This is such a handy painting tool to have in your possession. Every pro painter has one.
This is a tool that should stay in your back pocket the entire time you are painting. It’s an awesome tool for opening cans, scraping rollers, applying spackle in a pinch when you are stuck on a ladder, stripping old paint globs on trim, pulling nails, and even opening beer bottles.
The multi-tool that I prefer is the Dewalt 9 in 1. It’s reliable and it can do the following Curved scrapers, straight scraper, gauger, screwdriver, roller cleaner, nail puller, can opener, bottle opener, and alloy metal hammer end.
I suggest investing in high-quality drop cloths with nonslip backing to ensure that not only all paint is blocked from making contact with your floor but also stays in place. Sure you can use old sheets but paint tends to go right through them and they are a slippery nightmare causing you more harm than good.
Investing in high-quality drop cloths will not only save you the hassle of unnecessary messes, but you will have them to use on your next painting project. Drop cloths are completely washable too!
Another option is plastic sheeting. While plastic sheeting keeps the paint from going through, it’s slippery and it won’t absorb any larger drips or spills. If you ask me, cloth drop cloths are the way to go.
QUICK DRY SPACKLE
Painters Putty works great on the minor cracks, dents, and small nail holes on your walls. A lightweight quick dry spackle would work just as well too.
For deeper cracks, there is the tape and spackle method or you can use Plaster of Paris, which dries quickly. When fixing cracks, dents, and holes in wood such as window trim, don’t use spackle. Spackle doesn’t adhere to wood, so your best option would be to use Painters Putty or a product like Minwax High-Performance Filler.
SPACKLE KNIFE / PUTTY JOINT KNIFE
It’s important to have a spackle knife/putty joint knife because its use is to effortlessly apply spackle, putty, plaster, etc. You may be thinking why can I just use the 9-1 tool? Basically, a spackle knife is more flexible allowing you to easily apply the product you are using. If you were to use a 9-1 tool or a scraper you would be struggling because those two are sturdier and not flexible.
SANDPAPER / SANDING BLOCK
Now that you have gone through and fixed all the cracks, dents, and holes in your interior walls, you need to sand them down. Good old sandpaper works just as well. Depending on the shape of the walls, sometimes the pros will give the entire wall a good sanding not only to ensure a smooth, workable surface but, also for better adhesion.
When you are sanding molding, it’s better to use a sanding sponge, which is moldable making it easier to get all the details of the trim. The sanding sponges also last a bit longer than the sandpaper itself.
I suggest purchase a variety pack of sandpaper with a few different grits.
DRYWALL POLE SANDER
A drywall pole sander is widely used by professionals. it is generally utilized for large area sanding and is an ideal tool for sanding drywall and painted walls. It’s also extremely handy for hard-to-reach areas and flat wall sanding.
A drywall pole sander will smooth out the walls of any tiny bumps that had been in the drywall as well as spots that have been patched. It’s a great tool to use and it’s relatively inexpensive. More DIYers need to know about it.
A bucket or two are super handy paint tools to have on hand. First off you can use it to carry and transport the smaller painting equipment you have. And secondly, a bucket is used when you are cleaning. For example, prior to painting, it’s a good idea to clean your walls to ensure the paint adheres properly.
I always have a sponge with my painting tools. It’s used to clean the walls. but it can also be used in case you spill something, It’s a great way to clean up whatever it is quickly.
Painters tape is a useful tool to have when painting a room. It works wonders for fixtures that cannot be removed, such as ceiling lights. A little tape wrapped around the fixture will protect it from the paint.
As for using tape when cutting in, the pros aren’t fully for or against it. According to the Professionals, some of the cons of using painter’s tape are for starters, it’s time-consuming. But, if you aren’t on a strict timeline to get a room painted, using painter’s tape is an excellent idea to ensure a perfectly straight edge.
Another use for painter’s tape is marking where touchups need to be made. It pinpoints the problems so you don’t have to search for them when you are ready to touch up.
A screwdriver is a must-have painter’s tool. There will be light switch covers to remove and other random things that you may need a screwdriver for. It’s a tool that everyone should have in their home, regardless of if you are painting or not.
Screwdrivers come in different sizes so a 5 in 1 multi-bit screwdriver is ideal for homeowners that are trying to create a paint tool kit without spending a ton of money.
The wire brush is primarily an abrasive implement, used for cleaning rust and removing paint. It is also used to clean surfaces and to create a better conductive area for attaching electrical connections, such as those between car battery posts and their connectors, should they accumulate a build-up of grime and dirt. When cleaning stainless steel, it is advisable to use a stainless steel bristle wire brush, as a plain carbon steel brush can contaminate the stainless steel and cause rust spots to appear. Brass bristle brushes are used on softer surfaces or when it is necessary to clean a harder surface without marring it. Brass bristle brushes are also used in potentially flammable environments where non-sparking tools are required. Wire brushes are also used to clean the teeth of large animals, such as crocodiles and pigs. They are also used widely in surface engineering to clean the castings prior to painting.Wikipedia
As you can see a wire brush is an awesome tool to have in your painting kit. And if you ever need to clean a crocodile’s teeth you are set.
A paint can pour spout is a game-changer if you are clumsy or messy by nature. It will keep the paint from pouring all over the sides of the paint can creating more mess to clean. I am a fan of the pour spout, it may not be essential but it sure is an awesome painting tool to have in your kit.
STAIN BLOCKING PRIMER
Primer is one of those things that is often overlooked, especially a stain-blocking primer. A stain-blocking primer will come in handy for stubborn stains hence the name stain blocking.
They are used to cover stains such as watermarks, nicotine, markers, smoke, to prevent them from bleeding through recently applied paint.
CAULK GUN / CAULK
Caulk and a caulk gun are essential to have on hand.
A caulk gun is a tool that allows you to properly apply caulk or any type of sealant. Caulk is a product that is used to seal and fill in gaps and cracks. For instance, between a window frame and jamb or baseboards and the wall.
The best time to caulk is after everything is repaired and cleaned. The pros say to prime first, caulk then paint.
A professional painter will always have a pair of painter’s pants. Is this a painting tool must-have? No, but painter’s pants are made specifically for paintings so they are equipped with special pockets to hold all the best painting tools you need within arm’s reach.
Plus painter’s pants will make you feel like a true professional painter. They say dress for the job you want right?
Tack cloth (tack rag; tac cloth) is a specialized type of wiping cloth that is treated with a tacky material. It is designed to remove loose particles of dust, dirt and lint that would contaminate a surface that is to be painted, coated, laminated, photo-etched, or otherwise finished.Wikipedia
A tack cloth is a great painting supply to have on hand. If you know you will be doing a lot of sanding or creating a lot of dust, a tack cloth is an awesome little cloth to have. Its tacky substance will remove dust and dirt to ensure you get a smooth flawless finish.
LOOKING FOR SOME PAINT COLOR INSPIRATION? Check out some of these awesome colors!
- Sherwin Williams Natural Choice
- Benjamin Moore Collingwood
- Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
- Benjamin Moore Moonshine
- The Best Black Paint Colors
- BM Beach Glass
A paint brush is an essential painter’s tool, obviously. But not just any old brush, a high-quality paint brush. This is one of those tools that is a must-buy in my book.
Having a high-quality paint brush will make a difference in the paint application. It will glide on smoothly with ease creating a beautiful finish. Not only will a high-quality brush make your paint application easier and better but it will also last you a long time being that you take proper care of it.
As for sizes, I suggest a 2 1/2 inch angled brush. and 1 inch brush.
A mini roller, cage, and tray are useful to have in your painting tool kit however I wouldn’t say they were essentials. For painting walls, a need a mini roller isn’t needed. But if you plan on painting furniture or cabinets, that’s where the min roller comes in handy. It’s smaller so it makes it easier to paint smaller things.
PAINT TRAY & LINERS
Let me just talk about the roller cage, cover, and tray in one breath. This is another fairly obvious one, but these three tools are important to have in your painter’s tool kit. Can you imagine trying to paint a room with just a paint brush? No, I can’t either.
We know we need these but the key is to have a high-quality roller cage and cover. It’s the same principle as the paint brush , something that is on the higher quality end of things with aid in the ease and application of the paint.
An extension pole is an essential tool in certain situations. For example, if you have a high ceiling. The extension pole will allow you to reach the higher spots on the top of the wall. Also, it’s great to have when you are painting ceilings.
Not only good for painting but it’s useful when you need to dust hard-to-reach places, such as a ceiling fan.
A step ladder is a must, there is no debating this one. I will admit I have used other things in place of a ladder to paint in higher spots of the walls and as they did get the job done, it’s simply unreliable and not safe. Investing in a step ladder will of course be useful when you are painting but there are a ton of other reasons to use a step ladder. Overall it is a valuable piece of equipment to have in your home.
Extension ladders are crucial for professional painters to have. They tackle all types of painting jobs, both interior, and exterior. The extension ladder most often comes into play for exterior work.
Unless you are painting a room that has an extremely high ceiling, I don’t think an extension ladder is a must-have. that being said, if you own a home and like to do projects yourself, an extension ladder is always good to have for things like cleaning gutters or even hanging Christmas lights.
Rags are a must in your painter’s tool kit. You should always have some sort of rag around when you are doing any type of painting. Sometimes there will be a drip or spill that needs to be cleaned asap and having a rag on you at all times will save you in these sticky situations.
The best thing about rags is that they can be anything, old t-shirts, old towels, old sheets, or that one shirt your husband wears that is hideous. Basically, anything will work.
You may think a heat gun is an unexpected painting tool, however, it is very common in a pro painters tool kit. It’s used to remove old paint and wallpaper.
It’s also typically used for shrinking heat shrink tubes, shrinking wrap, heating PVC, electronics, removing paint or floor tiles, loosening rusted bolts, and other heating or thawing purposes. And believe it or not heat guns are pretty cheap so it’s a tool you can own that is within reach.
A paint sprayer is an amazing piece of painting equipment. It makes painting so much faster, especially when painting crown molding and cabinet doors. Now, it is not an essential tool to have. First off, high-quality sprayers can get very costly. And secondly, they really aren’t sensible purchases for the average homeowner painting a room.
If you are a more advanced DIYer or you frequently paint furniture, I think a paint sprayer can surely benefit you and your needs.
wide roller cage, Cover & Tray
These three things, a wider roller cage, cover, and bucket, are all a part of the pros painting tool kit. A wider roller set is great for a large surface area. For example, if you were to paint the entire interior of a newly built or existing home. The wide width allows you to cover more surface area at a time, making the job go faster.
Professional painters tend to have a schedule they must stick to and every minute counts, that’s where a wide roller comes into play. Is it necessary for the average homeowner to have in their painter’s kit? No certainly not. A normal 9-inch roller is perfectly suitable instead.
I 100% think having a dedicated cut bucket is a needed part of your painting kit. It honestly just makes sense to have. It allows to you easily take the paint with you where you need to go, whether it is up the step ladder or on the floor.
I’ll take it a step further and say that a cut bucket with a handle is key. That handle has saved me a few times from dropping the bucket out of my hands. We all have our clumsy moments and if there is any way to avoid them, I’ll gladly take it!
I’ll boldly say my handy pail cut bucket is one of the best paint tools I own,
respirator / mask
A face mask is always a good thing to have on hand. It was prevent you from breathing in harmful particles and fumes from painting and or sanding.
For professionals who use or are regularly in the presence of spray paints or any sort of industrial paints, a respirator is a must-have. To save yourself from the damaging effects of inhaling the toxic substance present in paints, stains, and so on, a respirator is necessary.
Among some professional painters, an edging tool is not their favorite supply. They prefer using a brush to do the job. And that makes sense because they are professionals and they have the steady hand to make the clean crisp straight lines.
Now if you are new to painting and do not trust yourself to make a straight line along moldings, etc., an edging tool may be the perfect little painting gadget for you. The key to an edging tool is to wipe it before each application. This will keep things clean and crisp.
A masking tool applies painter’s tape to masking film or paper in one continuous application. This is such a time-saving tool if you need to tape and protect surfaces you don’t want to get paint on. For example, it can be used to protect doorknobs rather than removing them to paint.
This is definitely a timesaving product that professionals utilize.
NAIL SET & HINGE PIN TOOL
This set is a double-ended tool that is used for setting fine finish and larger nails. This little set basically eliminates the need for the hammer in a pinch. You can easily set any nail with the nail set. It can also be used to remove any door by effortlessly popping the door pins without damaging the molding or door trim.
This is a pro painters tool that is not as commonly known as some of the others. The best thing about this tool is that it’s small enough to keep in your pocket so you can always have it on hand.
Will the average DIY homeowner need to carry this in their pocket? No, but it is a sound addition to your tool kit, and it’s inexpensive so it won’t break the bank.
Cleaning up is a part of your paint project which means you need the applies to get it done. A mop is hopefully something you already own. If not, please tell me your secrets! Seriously though, if you do any sort of sanding, the dust will settle everywhere, in rooms that you don’t even work in. So have a mop handy to clean it all up rather than track it around.
Also, a thorough floor cleaning is a good thing to do after the room is painted and all your paint tools, gadgets, and equipment is put away.
I think it’s a good idea to own a shop vac, painting kit or not. It’s meant to clean up all the sanding dust debris quickly and easily. If you are anything like me and cherish the very expensive Dyson you treated yourself to, there is no way it’s being used to clean up construction remnants. Do yourself a favor and purchase a wet/dry shop vac.
paint brush and roller spinner
Anything that makes cleaning up easier is a win in my eyes. Probably one of the best pro painting tools to have in your kit is a paint brush and roller spinner.
Have you recently washed a brush or roller by hand? It stinks. It takes forever and it’s a waste of water and time. Enter the spinner. This awesome tool makes the cleaning process a breeze and you have to make sure you properly clean and take care of those high-quality brushes and roller you bought.
A paint mixer bit for your drill comes in handy when you are using paint that comes in the large 5 gallon buckets. Can you imagine trying to shake a big bucket like that? At the most, it would be comical and you will get a good laugh from it.
But to easily mix paint for both 1 and 5 gallons, simply attach the mixing drill bit to your drill and mix away. This is a very effective tool that gets the job done.
Touch-ups are bound to be needed, so having a handy little gadget like the paint touch-up pen is a game-changer.
Another game-changer is having a paint tracker list. It will save you from guessing what paint colors you used and where you used them.
ESSENTIAL PAINTING TOOLS
I know I just threw a ton of awesome painting supplies at you. There are some things on this tool list that you can totally get away with without using. Sure there are a few gadgets here and there that will make your life a little easier but if you are on a budget, don’t waste your money on spendy pro painting tools you’ll only use a few times.
Here are the painter’s tools that are the most essential to a painting project:
- HIGH-QUALITY PAINT BRUSH
- ROLLER AND CAGE
- TRAY AND LINER
- DROP CLOTH
- BLUE TAPE
- CAULK AND CAULK GUN
- QUICK DRY SPACKLE
- SPACKLE KNIFE
- CUT BUCKET
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FINAL THOUGHTS- AWESOME PRO PAINTING TOOLS
Keep in mind, that every painting project will be different. Some will require more supplies than others, that is just the name of the game. But I think if you include the essential tools and gadgets in your painting kit you will be set.
Things like painter pants and a heat gun are far from essential. These are more on the pro side of the painting world. Sure a pair of white painter’s pants would be awesome and fun to wear, but I say skip them and spend that money on a high-quality paintbrush. You will for sure get your money’s worth with it.
One final note, if you are taking the time to gather all the best and most useful painting tools, I highly suggest investing in high-quality paint. You can have the best of the best tool wise but if the paint you use isn’t up to par, the finished result will fall flat.
Don’t think you need every single tool available to produce a beautifully painted room. My advice is to spend money on high-quality paint, paintbrush, and paint rollers. Then, if you have room in your budget, opt for a few of the painting tools you think will benefit you and your project the most.