The right tool for the right job is a saying that everyone knows. It applies in all sorts of work and painting is no exception. Today we’re going to go over our own ‘painter tool list’ so that you can have a list of some essentials that you might be overlooking. Let’s take a peek and see if there are any here that you might have forgotten!
The painter tool list to make everything easier (and save you money!)
While you can make do with a tray and a brush, if you do then you are shooting yourself in the foot. The tools below can improve your accuracy, save you time, and save you a lot of money. Investment in your tools is a great idea, so if you see anything on the list that you haven’t added to your arsenal then it’s well-worth your time to consider a little upgrading.
1. Blue painter’s tape
While eventually you reach a point painting where you almost don’t need it, blue painter’s tape can really make your job easier. You can make do with other types of tape, but they sometimes fall down or too much sticks to them, damaging the surface that you are working on., Blue painters tape is perfect for applying, protecting, and removing without a hitch so you really need to have it.
2. Tape measure
Guessing how much paint that you need leads to overspending and it’s as simple as that. With a tape measure you can determine exactly how much paint you need to cover an area and take those savings straight to the bank. So, if you don’t have one, you really need to add a tape measure to your gear. It just makes good sense.
3. Drop cloth
Drop cloths aren’t just for the occasional splash that might fall when you are painting the wall. They can also protect you if, heaven forbid, a can of paint gets knocked over. If you’ve ever had that particular misfortune then you’ll know just how useful a drop cloth can be. Besides, you can’t just use newspaper forever!
4. Tray liners
Next up on the painter’s tool list are tray liners and while some folks consider these optional, think about this:
- You don’t have to worry about mixing issues in your paint tray
- Cleanup is easier, you can just pour the paint back in the can
- They are disposal and mean less cleanup time on your tray
Ultimately, they are inexpensive and the time that you save is time that you could be doing another job!
A telescopic extension pole with a screw for attaching a roller is great for getting the ceiling without having to use a stepladder. Telescopic poles are portable, convenient, and they’ll help you to get those hard-to-reach areas that you’ll find at some point on any job, so make sure that you’ve got one handy.
6. Putty knife
You’re going to run into cracks and holes that you need to fill with putty if you want your finished job to look perfect. To this effect, a professional painter really needs to have a putty knife. They also have a
“A professional painter really needs to have a putty knife”
7. Paint can opener
A must-have on our painter’s tool list is a paint can opener. They are specially designed for popping off those tops easily and if you are making due with a screwdriver, it just doesn’t look at professional. If you prefer, there are some multitools that you can purchase that will include a paint can opener, so that you can make the most of your space, but whether you go the multitool or dedicated opener route this is one tool you’re definitely going to need.
While you don’t have to have them, stencils give you the option of easily transferring patterns or letters to a surface that look perfect every time. They are nice to have if you do the occasional sign painting or if you simply want to have the option to do a little more than put a solid color on a space. Open up your options and add some stencils to your inventory, because it pays to stick out from the crowd.
9. Edging tool
Painting cabinet sides, moldings, or just the edges of a room can be tricky with your large brushes and rollers and you want to paint them just right. This is where an edging tool comes in. They do take a little practice and proficiency but you are a professional, after all, and once you know how to use an edging tool then you save yourself a lot of time with those pesky room edges.
10. Stak rack
When it comes to painting doors there is an innovative little tool that you really should consider. It’s called a ‘stak rack’ and it can be placed on the floor or clipped to the door for easier painting or doors, trim, and edges and it’s also good for cabinets. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, these can be quite handy, so if you don’t have a Stak rack then you should check them out. They are well worth adding to your painter’s tool list.
Breathing in paint fumes all day can make you dizzy or worse. Especially those oil-based paints, which should only be used in a well-ventilated area. Even with the windows open, you don’t want to be breathing that in, so invest in a respirator to make sure that you are doing your work both professionally and safely.
Sometimes that telescopic extension pole just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to painting a ceiling. A good step ladder is sturdy and can help you to get those hard-to-reach places and it’s a solid investment – you are going to use it, period. A step ladder is also easier on your back for painting the ceiling and you get a lot more control over your roller when you aren’t having to extend your reach so much, so if you don’t have a step ladder then you need to add it to your list.
13. Wet/Dry Vac
A wet/dry vacuum is another piece of equipment that you want to have on hand for cleanup. You can use them for vacuuming up dried paint chips, for one, and without the vacuum you’ve got to use a broom and a dustpan and that’s going to eat up your precious time. They are also invaluable for paint spills which are going to occur, no matter how good a painter you are. So, be prepared, and invest in a wet/dry vac. You might not need it for awhile but when you do, you’ll be very glad that you have it.
14. Heat Gun
While they take a little work to use, a heat gun can be very useful for the remediating the occasional mistake. They are kinder to surfaces than chemical alternatives and they let you heat an area so that you can easily scrape off paint that’s ended up somewhere it isn’t supposed to be. Heat guns do take a little practice to develop proficiency but you’ll save a good amount of change on chemical stripping. That alone earns it a spot on our painter’s tool list.
If you are a professional painter then it’s essential to look the part. Investing in some painter’s pants is a great idea, not just for the look, though. Painter’s pants are customized towards the work, with loops and pockets that make it so that you can easily hold the tools that you need and they look so much better than just showing up in jeans and a t-shirt. Besides, with the customization you can get at the tools that you need just a little more quickly and that time adds up. Get yourself a couple of pair of these and you’ll see for yourself. You won’t want to go back to a t-shirt and jeans!
16. Gloves and work boots
If you are going to do a lot of painting, then a good set of gloves and work boots are a must. If you don’t have them then you are going to get the occasional cut and it doesn’t matter how good you are.
“Accidents happen, so hedge your bets with a good set of gloves and work boots.”
Accidents happen, so hedge your bets with a good set of gloves and work boots. Besides protecting you for painting, they are handy to have for any number of side-projects that you might have going on so why not invest in your safety?
17. Portable work light
Sometimes you want to keep working. The job is almost done but the sun is setting and you don’t always have as much light as you need. That’s why we’re adding a portable work light to our painter’s tool list. Having a portable light source helps to make sure that you can put in that extra time when you need and that can illuminate those shaded areas that might not get painted properly otherwise. You won’t use it much but when you need it, you’ll be glad that it’s there.
18. Knee pads
When you are painting you are going to spend a lot of time crouched down and it eventually gets to you. You can save yourself a lot of future aches and pains by simply investing in a set of kneepads. You might not notice any pain now but ask anyone who has been painting for a long time and they’ll give you the honest truth. It’s a good idea to get some knee pads now to save you from an achy future.
While you can use them to pop the top off of paint cans in a pinch, you’ll be getting a lot more use of your screwdriver for removing outlets before painting. You’ll want to make sure that you have a standard Phillip’s head and a flat-head screwdriver on you for just such cases. You’ve probably already got some at home, so just remember to add them to your painting inventory when you go out and they’ll be there when you need them.
20. Paint removal stripper
Everyone makes the occasional mistake and for this, it’s hard to beat a good paint stripper. You can quickly remove the paint from any accidents so that you can get back to the job at hand. While they are considered optional, invest in a paint removal stripper so that you can give it a try sometime. Once you see how convenient they are you won’t wanna go back to slower stripping methods… trust us on this.
While it seems common sense, we’re adding a sponge to our painter’s tool list because they are a must-have that makes your job so much easier. Sponging off an area before you get started means that you’ll have a smoother application that’s going to look better and it just makes good sense to have one. A thick coat is no substitute for taking the time to do it right!
22. 2–3-inch angled brush
An angled paint brush typically has the bristles cut in a slanting shape that makes them ideal for painting corners and or around windows. You’ll get a lot more control when it comes to painting a clean line and that kind of control is the mark of a professional painter. Save yourself a little time and invest in an angled brush if you don’t have one, they are worth it.
23. 2–3-inch flat brush
If you are painting near a door frame or some molding, you don’t want to just rely on your roller. A flat brush gives you more precision control and that means you can get it right in one go with a little practice. When you do a lot of painting, the painting itself is pretty Zen but cleanup can be a real headache. Using the right brush will make all the difference in the world.
24. 5-gallon bucket
While it seems like overkill, stay with us on this. A 5-gallon bucket in your inventory is a good idea. Sometimes you’ve got a really large job and this is going to mean that you need to mix up a batch of paint every now and again. Having a large bucket means that you can mix a large amount and helps to ensure that your colors match perfectly, potentially saving you a lot of time and cursing later should you accidentally mix a color too light or too dark.
Our final entry on the painter’s tool list is a paint sprayer and these are invaluable for painting outside. Yes, you could make do with rollers and brushes, but you are doubling or even tripling the amount of time that you will be painting if you do this. With a paint sprayer you can get the job done in record time and you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have one.
This concludes our list of painter’s tools that you really need to have as a professional. Investing in your painting arsenal just makes good sense. You’ll save time and money and your work will be so much better than you could do without the right tools. So, don’t just make-do, invest in your painting tools, gets some painter’s pants, and do that job like the professional that you are!