Painting tools buying guide
Holly, self-taught DIYer, Cardiff22 guides
- Solvent and solvent
- Roller, brush and brush
- Scraper and knife
- Mixer and tray
Which tools are needed to paint?
When is a roller and a brush used?
- Sleeve - it is the cylindrical ‘brush’ that spreads the paint on the substrate. The quality of the finish is almost wholly reliant on this part of the roller. It is made of synthetic, natural, or mixed fibres. Each type of fibre is suited to different kinds of paint and different painting projects. For example, if you use a water-based paint, the synthetic fibres will cling better and apply it more evenly. For an oil painting, equipping your roller with a natural or mixed fibre sleeve will serve you better.
In addition to the material, you must also decide on the length of the fibres. Longer fibres work better on rough surfaces while the shorter fibres should be reserved for smooth surfaces. Beyond these basics, you can find special sleeves suited to each project or material such as plaster or wood treatment. But for starters, just look for the one that will drop the least paint on you.
- The Frame – this is the wire support that holds the sleeve and connects it to the handle. It should be chosen according to the size of the sleeve. Most current models allow you to simply slide the sleeve on snuggly or to snap on an end-cap to hold it in place.
- Handle – these are usually made of wood or plastic, it should be ergonomic and comfortable in your hand.
If you have the option, look for a roller that completely disassembles into at least these three parts. This will make it much easier to clean when you are done using it and means you only have to replace one part as it begins to wear instead of replacing the whole roller. Avoid single use rollers with an attached sleeve.
- The Shape – Rectangular brushes are used similarly to a roller. They cover large areas evenly with paint. Edge brushes have angled bristles to help you get in close when painting in corners or along baseboards. Round Brushes are perfect for dabbing paint into hard to reach spaces on furniture or in ornate moulding or woodwork.
- The Size – Different types of painting call for different size brushes. You shouldn’t try to use the same to paint a wall as you would paint along all the corners and joints on a piece of furniture. This one is straightforward; painting a large area is easier with a larger brush, painting a smaller area or painting precisely is easier with a smaller brush. Adjust your choice accordingly.
- The Bristles – As with the roller sleeve, paint brushes come in a few different materials but your choice is usually limited to the same selection of natural, synthetic, or mixed bristles. In addition to this, you can pick bristles of different lengths as certain jobs are served better by longer or shorter bristles. As a general rule to follow, if your painting project requires you to paint long, straight, clean lines, you should pick a brush with long bristles. If your project requires very precise painting and a high level of accuracy and mobility, pick a brush with short bristles. For most projects, however, you should be served fine with something in-between.
As with many tools, with paint brushes, you get exactly what you pay for. If you try to save a few pounds by picking a cheap, you will find yourself sorely disappointed in the end. There is nothing more unpleasant than finding a bunch of bristles stuck in your finished paint job.
Should I use a paint gun?
A paint gun is a great way to save time, but should only be used if you already know what you’re doing. A compressed air gun can quickly cover a large area with a very even coat and can also be used to paint small objects. Be careful where you point it!
How to protect the floor and furniture
Cloth tarpaulin is reusable and easily cleaned but very thin paints can sometimes leak through. Heavy duty polyurethane tarps are resistant to tears and leaking but are more expensive than the other options.
For delicate areas or to protect any surface that you don’t plan on painting, masking tape is your best ally. This is simple paper or cloth tape with a light adhesive on the back that won’t damage the surface you use it on. Use protect your baseboards or to mark the edges of your paint job.
Choosing a bin and paint screen
What are the benefits of a paint kit?
If you are looking for something to complement your existing tools, there are kits that offer only a few tools for specific tasks. These kits can be particularly handy for specific uses, but it is still often better to choose your tools one by one.
When to use a boom?
When is a paint booth used?
Paint booths are usually used with airbrush guns. This tool is great if you’re setting up a workshop, but you’re unlikely to have one if you’re painting your kitchen or living room.
How to choose a good cleaner for your brushes
Painting and varnishing are jobs that require the use of solvent and thinners to dilute oil paints. White mineral spirits are the most familiar. To remove any trace of glue or varnish, acetone should be used. Above all, pay attention to the type of container you use and the work surface, the materials should be nonreactive with these products.
Gloves are also highly advisable as these products can be very harmful if they come in contact with your skin. When using a water-based paint such as latex paints, no solvents or cleaners are necessary. Just use water to clean your tools.
How to prepare your paint and surface
The material of the handle is also a crucial decision. Plastic often offers a more ergonomic shape however wood handles are easy to maintain and offer greater comfort. The width of the blade is determined by the type of work, but for truly professional results you will require a range of sizes from narrow to wide. To achieve the best results, apply a liberal amount of plaster over the crack or hole with the narrowest knife you have.
What are the recommended tools for painting work?
- Rollers for painting large surfaces
- Brushes for details and finishing
- Paint trays and buckets for holding your paint while you work
- Masking tape, tarpaulin, or covers save you time cleaning up excess paint
- A painter’s boom for painting your high surfaces or ceilings
- A mixer to keep your paint consistent throughout your project
- Cleaners and solvents to maintain your tools properly
And now you’re ready!
Holly, self-taught DIYer, Cardiff 22 guides écrits
My passion for DIY all started 5 years ago, when my husband and I bought our very first house. We were so proud...and then we saw how much work needed to be done! Since I basically started with no knowledge of home renovations, I had to learn as I went along, working on projects both great and small. My husband helped me at first, but soon, I was showing him what to do!
Where we live, the rain makes gardens grow wild, so I've become somewhat of an expert on gardening tools. My friends and family all come to me when they need DIY and gardening advice. Now I want to share that knowledge - with you!