Issue #002 – Table of Contents
Tools and Tips for Preparing to Paint – proper preparation is the key. Learn to be organized right from the start and your painting job will be much easier.
Choosing The Proper Roller – learn what type of roller (and nap) is most appropriate for the surface you will be painting and how to use it effectively.
Table of Contents
Tools and Tips for Preparing to Paint
A coat of paint is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to give your rooms a fresh new look.
But before you begin any interior painting project, you’ll need to plan ahead and assemble the right tools and equipment for the job.
For optimum results, purchase good quality painting tools in the mid-price range and high-quality paint.
Preparing a Painting Kit
Painting Tools and Equipment List:
- Brushes: With brushes, you get what you pay for. You don’t need to buy the most expensive professional grade brush the home improvement store carries, but you should buy a good quality brush with flagged bristles. Brushes with flagged tips are tapered and are designed to hold more paint and apply it smoothly and evenly on the surface you are painting. The brush should have a solid, non-corrosive ferrule (the metal band that holds the bristles to the brush handle) so that the bristles don’t come out while you’re painting. If you clean your brushes thoroughly when you’re done painting and store them properly, you’ll get years of use out of them.
- (1) 2″ angled sash brush – this size will work well for “cutting in” where the walls meet the ceiling, in corners and along the trim and floors. As long as you clean the brush well and use latex paint for the trim, you can use the same brush for cutting in and painting the trim; just make sure the brush is dry before you reuse it so you don’t thin out the paint.
- (1) 3″ – 4in square-end brush – for areas too small to use a roller.
- Paint rollers – the tools of choice when you have a large area to cover. Rollers will use more paint than a brush, but ceilings and interior/exterior walls can be covered with much less time and effort.
- (1) standard, 9-inch roller to paint walls and ceilings. Buy a quality roller with nylon bearings that spin easily, a solid frame that won’t bend under pressure, a birdcage (the roller slips over this part) with at least five wires and a molded handle grip. Make sure it has threads in the handle to accept an extension handle if needed.
- (1) 12-inch roller frame to accommodate mini 4in roller covers. Using a mini roller to cut in as close as possible to the wall and ceiling edges will help to eliminate the problem called “hat-banding.” Then cut-in the small area left with a brush.
- Roller extension handle – for extending your reach to paint ceilings and walls. Make sure the extension is sturdy enough to give you leverage to apply the paint. The aluminum extensions are lighter than wood, so they’re usually easier to handle.
- Roller covers (one for each coat of paint needed, including primer). For latex paint, use a synthetic roller made of nylon, polyester or a combination.
- For a quality roller cover:
- Look for beveled edges on the roller for a smooth finish.
- Check to make sure the roller has no visible seams.
- Give it a squeeze – it should rebound to its original shape.
- A resin tube so it won’t break down when wet
- Roller covers come in different naps which is the length of the roller’s painting surface. The rule of thumb is the smoother the wall surface to be painted, the shorter the nap needed.
- Smooth surfaces – 3/8in nap
- Semi-rough surfaces (like concrete or textured walls) – 1/2 – 3/4in nap
- Rough surfaces (masonry, stucco or brick) – 1 – 1 1/4in nap
- Purchase a multi-pack of 4? mini rollers to use for cutting in as close to the edges of the walls and ceilings as possible.
- For a quality roller cover:
- Paint roller tray/liners – a sturdy, plastic or metal tray. Use the tray with the thin, disposable plastic liners and toss them when you’re done with painting for the day. Or, for larger paint jobs, purchase a 5-gallon bucket with a screen grid for a more environmentally-friendly option.
- Painter’s blue masking tape – is lower adhesive than regular masking tape, can be easily repositioned and allows you to keep areas taped off for up to three days. For taping off trim, floors and over electrical outlets and attaching the drop cloth around the floor edges.
- Paint-can opener – won’t bend the paint can or lid and compromise the seal like a screwdriver can.
- Paint stir sticks – pick them up at the paint store when they mix your paint. If you don’t paint right away, you’ll want to stir the paint well before you begin to ensure color consistency.
- Putty/spackling knife – 2-inch – to fill small holes and imperfections in the walls before you paint.
- Spackling paste – lightweight, non-shrinking, no sanding necessary – will save some mess and one step in the process!
- Paintable caulk – to fill narrow gaps between walls and trim.
- Caulk gun – to apply the caulk
- Multi-purpose tool – can clean caulk, pull nails, clean roller covers, apply putty or glaze, scrape paint and drive nails. Great for paint jobs since you don’t have to get out your whole toolbox to perform these tasks.
- Drop cloths – thick painter’s quality canvas cloths are best and can be reused for many years, or use a less expensive disposable version with paper on one side and plastic on the other to prevent paint from seeping through to the floor. They’re great for covering the largest pieces of furniture too.
- Paint shield/edging tool – butting an edging tool up against the baseboard where it meets the floor will help keep your drop cloths clean around the outside edges and eliminate the potential for getting paint on the flooring should you need to move them as you paint the baseboards.
- Stepladder – 6 ft. – a lightweight aluminum ladder is easy to move around the room. Buy one with a paint tray organizer so you can keep the paint close at hand while you’re up on the ladder cutting in around the walls and ceiling.
- Lint-free rag – dampen it and keep it close by for wiping errant paint.
- Paper towel roll – to clean up after caulking, wiping hands, etc.
- Newspaper – to put under paint cans and roller trays where you stir the paint and load the roller
- Box lids – place the paint can or paint tray inside a sturdy box lid (like the ones that come on file boxes). As you move around the room painting, it will keep the paint supported and contained and the drop cloth free of drips you might track off onto the flooring.
Supplies for Clean Up:
- Small plastic bucket – to clean brushes in
- Old toothbrush – comes in handy for loosening stuck-on paint from brushes
- Dishwashing soap – a little in the bucket with some water is all you need to clean up after latex paint
Tip: If you need to take a break in the middle of your paint job (or even overnight if you’ll be painting again the next day), keep an extra roll of Saran Wrap handy.
You can leave the roller cover on the roller frame, wrap it and the bristles of your paint brushes in plastic wrap, then place them on a shelf in your refrigerator.
Take them out later, and you’re good to go. (If you’re using more than one paint and/or sheen finish at a time, label the paintbrush with a piece of blue tape).
You can use the plastic wrap for covering paint in a tray too. It saves a lot of time you’d spend cleaning up!
Do you have a special tool you use when you paint that saves you time and effort, or any great painting tips you’d like to share with others? Feel free to leave a comment!