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Painting Tools Overview

Whether you are painting the interior or exterior of your home you will need specific painting tools. As with any project, the right tools produce better results, save time and can be much more comfortable to use.

Paint brushes
In order to paint you will need paint brushes. Although the need for a paint brush may be obvious, it is very important to pick the right size and type of brush that you need for the job.

View this article for more detailed advice on selecting the correct paint brush.

The biggest distinction for paint brushes is bristle type. China bristle is best for use with oil based paints. Synthetic bristle brushes (including both nylon, polyester and nylon/polyester blends) are most commonly used for water-based paints.

The next attribute to consider is size and sash type. The best selling brush is a two-inch angled sash brush. Most people only use a brush for painting trim or edging while rolling. The two-inch angled sash brush is perfect for this because it is easy to handle, is versatile enough to paint really tight areas as well as edge between ceilings and walls.

Handy Pail
Probably one of the greatest painting tool inventions to come to the painting industry in a long time. The Handy Pail Paint Bucket is a fantastic tool for several reasons. First, it provides an ergonomic way to hold the paint while you are painting your trim. The wide strap holds the cup comfortably in your hand, reducing fatigue and requiring less effort and gripping. Second, the Paint Bucket employs a magnet to hold your brush upright in the Bucket. This reduces mess by keeping the paint brush upright in the container. And finally, the Handy Pail Paint Bucket comes with disposable liners so you don't even have to clean it.

Paint rollers
The paint roller is your best friend when it comes to painting. Rollers help you cover a very large surface area in a relatively short time. A good roller sleeve will hold a large amount of paint and release it onto the wall with minimal splattering and minimal lint. Nine inch is the most popular roller width. 3/8-inch is the most common nap length, but 5/16-inch and 1/2-inch are also commonly used. The best nap length will depend on your wall smoothness and the sheen of the paint you are using. 1/4-inch or 3/16-inch is the best nap for semi-gloss paint on a smooth surface, 3/8-inch or 5/16-inch is most common for smooth walls and matte or eggshell paint, 1/2-inch nap would be used for medium surfaces and 3/4-inch or linger would be used for rough surfaces such as concrete block.

Roller Handles and Trays
The right paint roller handle is very important. Most people think they can just use the cheapest roller handle made with thinner gauge steel. The thinner gauge causes two problems: first, the pressure is only distributed across the roller sleeve on a couple inches closest to the handle. A good quality roller handle will distribute the pressure evenly across the whole nine-inch roller cover, so you are painting with 2 to 3 times more surface area with a good roller handle than a cheap roller handle. Second, the thin gauge doesn't provide enough tension to adequately keep the roller sleeve on the handle, so the sleeve will spin itself off the cage while you paint and you'll find yourself every few minutes trying to put it back on - this is very annoying and time consuming. A good roller handle has special locks that keep the roller cover firmly in place on the handle.

A roller tray will also be necessary. You'll want to choose a tray that holds a good amount of paint and can be used with disposable liners.

Painting Tapes
Blue painting tape is used to mask any area you don't want covered with paint. Use it to edge along the ceiling or wall prior to painting, around door and window trim and on any hardware or fixtures you don't want painting. Taking a little extra time preparing the area before painting can ensure great results. There are two main types of blue painting tape: crepe paper and rice paper. Crepe paper tape is less expensive, but is thicker and not as smooth. Riced paper tapes are thinner and much smoother. They give the most crisp lines but are more expensive.

Drop cloths
A drop cloth is used to protect floors and furniture from paint drips, splatters and spills. Heavy Duty Canvas is best for walking on or anywhere paint can spill. Plastic sheeting is best for covering furniture or anything else against splatters.