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Painting Tools Pros Use that DIYers Should Too

Looking into doing some painting? Check out these tools that professional painters use that you should be using too.

White paint pan

Painting your own interiors is an easy DIY job – or is it? If you’ve ever struggled with wall painting, you’re not the only one. Plenty of homeowners have found that painting an interior wall is deceptively difficult.

But it doesn’t have to be. Professional painting tools can make painting a room a much easier and faster DIY project. Buying the cheapest, most basic painting tools is a rookie mistake. Here are some of the best tools professional painters use that can help you with your next DIY painting project, too.

Extension Pole

Do you know how to paint a room with eight-foot ceilings when you’re five-foot-two? You have to drag a ladder into the room and keep moving it around as you climb up and down, straining to reach the upper portion of the wall. Or, you could buy an extension pole.

Professional painters use extension poles to reach high on walls without dragging a ladder around or climbing on scaffolding. It’s much safer to use a pole, and it’s faster, too. You can buy extension poles that spring open with the push of a button and adjust to lengths of up to 30 feet. Simply screw your roller cage onto the pole and get painting.

Bucket Grids

Most DIY painters pour paint from the original buckets into paint trays, then roll the roller through the tray to cover it in paint. But paint trays are flimsy, have to be refilled often and spill easily. Buy bucket grids instead.

Bucket grids fit over the top of your paint bucket and come in one-gallon, three-gallon or five-gallon sizes. You simply dip your roller into the bucket of paint, then roll it across the bucket grid to remove the excess. It’s so much easier than a paint tray, and it also wastes less paint.

Stack Racks

Painting cupboards, cabinets, doors or trim? Stack racks allow you to paint one side of a cupboard door, piece of trim or even a large bedroom door, then flip it over without touching the object. Use them to stack up freshly painted doors to dry, or use a two-by-four between a pair of them to stack up lots of trim or small cupboard doors.

Grippy Drop Cloths

Drop cloths are supposed to protect your floors from paint drips, but it’s hard to keep them properly spread out while you’re walking back and forth across the room, moving paint cans and ladders, and so forth. Taping the edges only helps so much. Invest in a cloth with a tacky, grippy surface that will stay put.

Roller Cleaner

If you’ve ever tried to clean paint roller covers by hand, you were probably tempted to just throw them away. But instead of buying cheap roller covers and just tossing them, get a professional roller cleaner. Professionals use roller cleaners to make cleanup faster and easier. Some cleaners attach to a power drill so you can spin the roller while washing it in a utility sink or bucket. Others don’t spin but attach to a hose to let you power-wash the roller cover, which is inserted inside.

Masking Tool

How long does it take to paint a room? Longer than it needs to, if you apply masking tape and paper by hand. You should buy high-quality masking tape, and you should invest in the right tools to use it. Masking tools make it much easier to apply masking tape to your trim and around your ceiling. A mini hand masker is great for applying a straight, even line of tape to a wall or piece of trim. Stick down the first few inches yourself, then the masker will press the tape into the surface, and a built-in cutter will even cut it off when you’re done. To mask off baseboards quickly, use a professional masking tool that applies both paper and tape at the same time, quickly and easily.

Infrared Heat Stripper

You don’t need to use caustic chemicals to strip paint from trim. Sandpaper can create dangerous dust, especially if you have lead paint in your home. Old-fashioned blow torch heat strippers could burn down your house if you’re not careful. Infrared heat strippers soften old paint safely, without creating lead fumes or dust. Use one to soften the paint, then scrape it off with a sharp scraper.


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