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Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Top 15 Painting Tools

I have painted almost every room in our home now. Make that almost every room in two homes! You could say that over the years I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade and have acquired quite a few painting tools. But, only a handful are my tried and true gear that get pulled out for every painting job. These are my Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools!

Here they are (affiliate links included):

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

1. ScotchBlue Tape with Edge-Lock:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Painter’s tape is a necessity for clean lines. I’ve been using ScotchBlue for years and I can tell you that the painter’s tape you used 5 years ago has changed. ScotchBlue is constantly researching and developing better painting products every year. We always have a supply of ScotchBlue in my tape drawer and we definitely go through it!

2. Pro Masker 2000:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

I used to be a taper and taped off every room we painted. (Now, I’ve gotten much better at cutting in with just a brush.) In a desperate attempt to save time, I bought this paint tape dispenser and was thrilled to shave some time off my taping tasks. You can watch a brief video here. I still tape off some edges when I know it will take me more time to be meticulous than to tape off some trim.

3. Metal Paint Tray with Hooking Legs (and Plastic Bags):

Top 15 Must Have Painting ToolsI have a no-frills metal paint tray. It has legs that can hook onto a ladder, which comes in handy when painting high on a ladder. This paint tray is the first and last tray you’ll ever need because you can line it with plastic grocery bags for easy clean up and for protecting the tray from a multitude of layers of paint.

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

4. Paint Mixing Drill Attachment:

 Paint Mixer Attachment

Okay, I know you already know how much I love my cordless drill. Which is why you’ll understand why I jumped at buying this paint stirrer drill attachment just to have an excuse to pull out my drill for another project! Honestly, unless you like the slow process of thoroughly mixing old paint or blending colors, you’ll want one of these for your own. It makes your paint super smooth and creamy. Mmmmm.

5. Paint Pail with Handle:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Having a small pail to hold paint for painting trim while balancing on a ladder just makes sense (unless you like step aerobics.) This handheld paint pail has a magnet inside that will keep your paint brush from being completely submersed. It’s lightweight and easy to hold in one hand while you brush with the other.

6. Shurline Edge Like a Pro:

Shur-line Paint Edger Review | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve tried so many edging gadgets that I could build a wing on my garage just for paint gadgets. I always come back to this basic edger, that had a minor upgrade recently making it easier to load paint. You can read more about why I love this edger so much and why it’s even easier to use now. This Shurline Edger is a simple tool that does a great job with a clean edge on inner corners…

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

…outer corners and around objects. The bristled pad is removable for easy cleaning. If you opt to buy a different edger, make sure it has a hole to accept an extension pole.

7. Extension Pole:

Top 15 Must Have Painting ToolsAn extension pole is a necessity for high walls and ceilings in general. The extension pole can screw into most paint rollers and edgers that have a hole for the extension pole. Buy one today, your neck will thank you but your chiropractor will miss you.

8. Drywall Tape Knife:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Painting trim is the final step in painting a room. At this point you see the light at the end of the tunnel and are ready to be done. I gave up taping off the carpet and flooring and use a drywall taping knife as a painting guard instead. It was quick and easy to use. Simply push it under the baseboard, paint and wipe off the blade once in a while.

9: Two Step Stool with Tall Handle:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Unless you are 6’4″, like my brother, you’ll likely need a step stool for painting crown molding and the top of the wall. I have a Cosco brand that has a long handle for grasping at that moment that you realize you leaned too far to one side. (Not that that ever happened to me.)

10. Heavy Duty No-Slip Drop Cloth:

Heavy Duty Non-Slip Drop Cloth

Have you ever dripped paint? No? Liar!! Have you ever stepped in and tipped over an entire gallon of paint? Ummm, yes, I did do that once. This thin waterproof drop cloth is my newest painting BFF. Not only does it protect your floors from spills, but it won’t slip! It’s re-usable and folds up, taking minimal space in storage. Pick up a couple of these Non-Slip Drop Cloths because they aren’t easy to find.

11. Rustoleum Spray Paint Handle:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Ever have trigger finger? No, not the itchy kind. The kind that cramps up after spray painting a fleet of furniture. That’s the same moment you realize you forgot to wear gloves. Only now it looks like you are wearing a black glove — but  you’re not — it’s paint. The Rust-oleum Spray Handle is the best thing since spray paint! It fits on almost all spray paint cans except the ones with the built-in-trigger top like shown on the right above.

12. Purdy Brushes:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

My love affair with Purdy brushes may be considered a little extreme. I love them so much that I immortalized two as cabinet handles in my garage:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

These are seriously good brushes! I’m still using the Purdy brushes I bought when we lived in our old house. (And did I mention how many rooms we’ve painted?) Sure, they cost a little more, but they hold their shape and if you clean them right, you will never have to buy new ones! One 2.5″ and a 1″ brush are all you really need (unless you are good at recruiting friends to help you paint.)

13. HomeRight EZ-Twist Paint Stick:

HomeRight EZ Twist Paint Stick

I admit, I thought this was another gimmicky paint roller until I used it. The HomeRight EZ-Twist Paint Stick cuts my painting time in half! I have used it on our master bedroom, a friend’s bedroom and our living room walls. The Paint Stick takes a few extra minutes on the clean up end, but not enough to equal the time savings.

14. The Paintbrush Cover:

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

The Paint Brush Cover is the newest addition to my painting tool box. Sal emailed me about half a dozen times to try to get my attention about the Paint Brush Cover.  (Yup, if you don’t get a reply from me right away, try try again.) I’m so glad he was persistent because I love this painting accessory. When I get interrupted while painting with a phone call (or more likely to break up some brotherly bickering), it is so quick and simple to set the brush in the cover and seal it up. The Paint Brush Cover is like tupperware for your paint brushes. And if you are going to spend money on good brushes, you better make sure that you don’t let the paint dry out in them!

I was truly pleased when after a week with pneumonia, I returned to the room I had to abandon painting, to find that the brush I had stored in the Paint Brush Cover was still wet and the paint was ready to use! I was one happy DIYer!

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

15: Little Giant Ladder:

As a big painting enthusiast, I’ve gotten myself into some tight spots while painting. But, none are more awkward than painting over stairs. The edger on a pole works okay, but inevitably I’ll bump the ceiling or the wall that wasn’t supposed to be painted. I tried the Little Giant Ladder at the Southern Ideal Home Show and was very impressed. The ladder can contort into all types of configuration which makes it ideal for painting stairways.

Top 15 Must Have Painting Tools

Unfortunately, I don’t own one yet, but the Little Giant Ladder is on my list of must haves next time I have to paint over stairs!

Ready to start painting? Be sure to read all the posts in my Paint Week series:

Paint Week - 5 Lessons to Perfect Your Painting Skills

Top 15 Must Have Painting ToolsDisclosure: There are several affiliate links in the above post. I will receive a very small percentage from them if you make a purchase.  


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10 replies
  1. Colleen B
    Colleen B says:

    I agree on all of these and have all of them already except for the Homeright Paint Stix and the Little Giant ladder. Also love the Purdy’s brushes and after cleaning mine really good after use I drop about a Quarter size drop of hair conditioner in the sink and swirl the brush in it and work it into the bristles and then rinse with warm water and keeps the bristles soft and ready to go for the next paint job.

  2. Pia
    Pia says:

    I also have my have tools, but I have to admit I have never heard of the spray can gun. It’s awesome and definitely on my list of new purchases.

    I too have a healthy love-affair with quality paint brushes.
    Mmmmmmm paint brushes 😉

    • Ezra Pucci
      Ezra Pucci says:

      My go to brush for interior walls with texture is the 2.5″ oval stiff bristle. This brush was made by Proform but Kelly moore sells them. They have the yellow bristles. Cuts lines so tight!!

  3. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    I bought my Little Giant at a home show in Denver way back when. That ladder has seen many a mile & has saved me time & trouble. I seriously never want to paint any walls again since I’ve painted in hundreds & hundreds of homes all over the place but these are excellent resources for anyone who is painting a project. I wish I knew you then! Great post!


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