As you are getting ready to paint your home you may be spending a lot of time in hardware stores deciding whether you really need six different kinds of brushes or if you’d be okay with one or two. There’s an entire wall of brushes and rollers? How can you figure out which ones are the best?
It can be tricky to know what you really need to make your home look great but if you want your home to look like it was painted by a professional you need the right supplies. Asking questions of professional commercial painters can point you in the right direction but it doesn’t need to be a complicated process to know what tools you really need.
Every painting project is different so there may be tools or supplies you can skip for your particular job, but this list of 8 things is a great jumping-off point to get professional-looking painting for your home.
Do not skimp on rollers and brushes for your paint job. If you take care of these items they can last for a really long time so investing in good ones will make all the difference. There are many sizes and which will work out best for you depends on the size of the room you intend to paint.
Rollers are an excellent way to get great coverage quickly, perfect for ceilings or interior walls. Rollers are great because they absorb enough paint to give you time to paint without having to stop to add more to the roller every brush stroke.
There are many different kinds of rollers available on the market. For instance, any natural fiber roller like wool or mohair rollers are great for any oil-based paint especially. Because these rollers are so absorbent you can get especially great coverage with a single coat, making it less likely you will need many touch-ups or multiple coats after a primer and paint.
Rollers are available in many sizes, though 9-inch rollers are the best for all-around projects. Longer rollers can become bulky, heavy, and harder to control, while smaller rollers are perfect for baseboards and touch-ups but aren’t going to help paint walls very speedily.
You probably don’t need to go crazy when purchasing a lot of brushes unless you’re planning to go all Tom Sawyer and paint a fence. Brushes are best for cutting in because you can wield great control over them and avoid getting paint on your trim.
You want to be careful with brushes that you don’t leave brush strokes. There are two ways to do that well. The first is to use enough paint. Two coats should help minimise any cutting in brushstrokes. The other is to use a nice brush, the more bristles a brush has (at slightly varying lengths) the higher quality it is, and the less likely you’ll be to have brush strokes.
So long as you clean your brushes well after you’re done painting following the manufacturer recommended method for the type of paint you are using your brushes should last for a long time. That’s good news if you ever want to paint a different area of your home or you need to do touch-ups in a few years.
If you’re painting a cement floor, cabinets, or even the exterior of your home a paint sprayer can save you a lot of time and effort. Once you know how to use a paint sprayer you may even start looking for more projects that need to be completed. There’s a reason that paint sprayers are a tool used by professionals, they offer great-looking results and they’re fun to use to boot.
If you’re looking for a fast way to complete a painting project consider renting or purchasing a paint sprayer for your home project. You will get professional results quickly. Sprayers are also especially excellent whenever height is involved since you don’t have to worry about dipping a brush or roller back into the paint when you’re on a ladder.
4. Power Washer
If you are painting anything on the exterior of your home you will want to be sure that any grime is removed from the surface prior to the application of the paint. Dirt, old paint, and even pollen can cause your new paint to either not adhere properly or look sloppy. If you want professional results you should be sure to power wash before you paint.
5. Stir Sticks
Professionals know that the best way to get the best paint job is to make sure that paint is well mixed. Sure when you purchase colour-matched paint your can of paint will be mixed, but under-mixing paint can lead to disastrous results.
The pigments in the paint can settle over time and also vary slightly between cans. So no matter how recently you purchased your paint you should stir it vigorously before you begin applying it to any surface. Use a stir stick you can get right from the hardware store or you can use an attachment on your drill to stir the paint for you.
If you are painting an area that will use many gallons of paint to complete the job it is recommended to pour all the gallons into a larger bucket that can be sealed. By mixing all the gallons together you’ll be sure the pigment is evenly dispersed and you won’t end up with slightly different coloured or streaky walls.
Before you paint you need to make sure you can reach every area that needs paint and that will probably include a ladder to make you taller. It can be dangerous to work on a ladder that is too tall or short, so choosing the correct size is imperative for your safety.
Ladders are rated by size and weight, so be sure whichever ladder you use can support you well. Ladders assume that you can reach about 12 inches above your head comfortably. And the easy formula to use is consider how high you need to reach, and subtract 4 ft. The resulting number is the size step ladder you should be looking to purchase.
7. Drop Cloths
The plastic drop cloths at hardware stores are inexpensive and easy to come by certainly. But there are a lot of drawbacks to using thin plastic to protect your floor and belongings. When plastic is put down on the floor it can become slippery as well as slide out of place, not actually protecting your floors anymore.
If paint spills on plastic it will pool up. So if you won’t be cleaning up right away you will need to keep track of the drips lest you accidentally walk through the paint and then track wet paint around your home. Plastic drop cloths are also only intended for single use.
Professional painters use canvas drop cloths, these are reusable, making them a great choice. As well as any spilled paint will be absorbed by the canvas and you won’t have to worry about accidentally slipping around your living room on a canvas drop cloth.
8. Utility Knife
You might be wondering what a utility knife has to do with painting your home? Did you know that when professionals are removing their tape from surfaces they use a utility knife first to cut through the layer of paint and tape? This lets the tape come up cleaning leaving the crisp lines that professionals are known for.
It may be more satisfying to just pull up the tape immediately so you can see your finished product, but let your paint dry completely or at least 24 hours. Then take your utility knife slowly around the trim before slowly pulling the tape off. This way you won’t end up with unwanted drips or chunks of paint being ripped off with the tape.
Painting doesn’t need to be complicated, in fact many come to realise it is actually one of the more fun household improvements to take on by yourself. Once you have most of these supplies on hand you’ll be prepared for any painting project that you will want to undertake in the future.
Having the right tools can make any painting project easier with great-looking results. Be sure to have what you’ll need on hand before you start so you won’t have to run to the store in the middle of your time painting! Enjoy those professional-looking results!