I have been meaning to put together this post for awhile, so when a reader on our last post reminded me how much I have been painting lately, I thought it’s time. So, here it is! The great guide to everything you need to have a really great painting “party.” How it works over here is I usually do all the cutting in and then Chris rolls. But since his back surgery (and prior to because of the pain), I’ve been doing both. It’s so much more fun and a lot faster to paint a room with somebody, but definitely doable and even sometimes enjoyable (??) alone. It’s all about having the right tools, and here are my tried and true absolute favorites to get the job done.
1. Shur-Line Extension Pole: Ugh. We love this thing. It twists open to extend with a quick flick of the wrist, and can shorten just as fast, which is really nice when you’re working your way around a room and some spaces are tighter than others. The padded handle is a bonus!
2. Wagner Flexio 590: I’ve sung its praises before when we painted our crib and cabinets and I will again and again. We’ve tried several other paint sprayers with horrible results and this one is it for us. We’ve also tried the Flexio 890 when we painted our doors (Wagner sent it to us to try) but while it worked just as good, it was a lot more clunky and less portable. 590 for the win e’ry day all day.
3. Wooster Shortcut Trim Brush: This was my go-to brush for years. Years! It has a great short, flexible handle that I actually fit right into the palm of my hand. The 2″ angle is ideal for cutting in. Really, this is a perfect brush to train you how to trim out a room without taping it off–you’ll have ultimate control and feel like a pro in no time.
4. Canvas Dropcloth: For more than just curtains! ;) Buying one canvas drop cloth is such a great investment. They are heavy duty and don’t allow paint to drip through, but the canvas absorbs it unlike the plastic ones where you have to watch out for wet paint when you roll it up. I like the 4×12 size because my house is nearly all furnished, so I really just need to slip it behind furniture to cover the floor (anything wider than 4′ just gets bunched up anyway).
5. Sturdy Plastic Paint Trays: I have a few metal paint trays which I used to buy liners for all the time–those flimsy liners that you absolutely need a sturdy tray to support. Then I started going with these, still disposable, trays that you don’t need the metal paint tray for at all. Spring for the 10 pack so you don’t get stuck lining your metal tray with aluminum foil–that’s a downer (been there).
6. Purdy White Dove Roller Cover: I’ve tried every budget roller cover option out there and really, Purdy is the best and worth the extra money. It rolls on smooth and even (go for the W shape when rolling!) and I don’t find myself having to reload every couple strokes. Definitely make sure you get the right nap for your walls. Our walls have a slight orange peel texture, and the 3/8″ nap is best.
7. Floetrol: This is a latex paint conditioner that will definitely come in handy in extreme heat or cold temperatures (we used it while painting our crib a couple winters ago) or if you are brushing paint on furniture (yes!) or trim and can’t seem to get rid of those pesky brushstrokes. Great product to have in your painting arsenal.
8. Handy Paint Cup: I used to use a red SOLO cup or old tupperware to tote my paint with me up the step-ladder to trim out the ceiling, but when I started using this–I just can never go back. It’s comfortable and ergonomic and there’s even a magnet that holds my brush in place when I need a break so it doesn’t get completely dunked in paint.
9. Wooster Roller Cage: With this roller cage, I’ve never had to stop mid-paint job and whack my roller back on, or throw the entire cage+roller away because it wasn’t coming off. ‘Nough said. But also, no squeaking!
10. 3M Patch and Primer: Patching is, unfortunately, usually a part of painting–and it’s my least favorite part! I like how this spackle has a primer built in which keeps my paint looking uniform on the wall. Plus, it dries really fast making it less of my least favorite part.
11. Purdy ClearCut 2″ Brush: You may have noticed I said the Wooster was my go-to brush for years. (If you are still getting the hang of cutting in–definitely go for the Wooster.) Now, I use this Purdy and I love it. The handle provides great counter balance and the brush edge is crisp.
12. Jim Gaffigan Obsessed: This might seem like a weird addition, but I learned early on that listening to comedians while painting a room is absolutely the best way to paint a room. If you can laugh hard while painting, you’ll almost trick yourself into thinking you’re having fun!
13. Frog Tape: I don’t tape anything off when I paint a room, but if there ever is a reason to use tape, Frog Tape is my go-to. Especially after I learned how to actually use it.
I hope this helps you with your future painting projects! Are there any paint products out there that you love that didn’t make this list?? Let me know and I’ll have to try them out! I, for one, just spotted this paint brush cover in the store the other day and can’t wait to give it a go. Keeps brush wet for up to 30 days? This changes everything.
Nice! Wooster brush! Now that’s an epic tool!
Jim – My Site
What is your preferred brand/line of paint to use? We’re about to paint our entire house and would love to know!
I’ve been painting a ton at our house too, for the past year. I’d have to say that I’ve tried those thicker disposable trays, and at least the brand I had, I didn’t like them. I felt like I wasted a ton of paint (or time, trying to retrieve the paint) as it kept trying to hide from me in the “legs” or supports, slots or up inside the ribs. I went right back to the flimsy trays + metal pan after one room of that battle.
I’m gonna have to try that roller cage though. I hate having to get the roll back on mid-painting. So annoying!
Listening to comedians – genius idea! I had Netflix on my laptop going in the background during my last painting job, but that limits me to reruns (since I can’t actually watch the show…just listen). Also, I NEVER use tape because I’ve had so many issues with it. I had no idea about that Frog Tape trick!
Oops! Forgot to mention it works for the roller too
If you wrap the bristles of your paint brush in foil and put it in the fridge it will stay wet. It saves a LOT of time cleaning your brush if you need to use it again the next day.
This post was really helpful and informative! As someone who is going to be painting my home very soon, knowing all these supplies was extremely helpful. Great post!
Thank you for writing this post at EXACTLY the right time! I have a lot of painting ahead of me in the next couple of weeks so I will need to get the right stuff to do the job. I also adore Frog Tape! Quick question: what is the downside to lining the tray with aluminium foil?
just spent the WHOLE night stressing over the brush stokes on a piece of furniture i’m refinishing. you just saved the day! now i’m off to the HD so i can give the floetrol a try. thanks for the recommends and your glorious blog. one of the best…love it!
i bought the short handled brush the last time you recommended and it was a game changer on trims – even for those of us who will always need to tape it off! When we start painting the nursery, I will definitely look into your other recommendations as well!!
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