Best house painting tools and equipment: The way you apply paint is largely a matter of personal choice. You can use brushes in conjunction with a paint roller a tool developed for the amateur user of latex paint. The paint pad has its advantages, too. There are also a few vital special items, triangular shave hooks and flexible scrapers for removing old paint, masking tape for protecting surfaces not to be painted, paint shield of metal or plastic to restrict paint to the area being painted, tack or tacky rag to pick up dust, clean, lint free rags, paint stirrer (there is one usable with a power drill) paint buckets. Use a bucket so the bulk of your paint stays free from contamination. It also makes carrying paint especially up ladders much easier, since not all paint cans have handles.
For a good finish, choose brushes with genuine bristle or with the best-quality synthetic bristle. As a rule, costlier brushes do give the best results. Use inexpensive brushes for outside work, such as applying preservatives to wooden fencing or painting masonry. Brushes that are well cared for improve with use. Loose bristles are shed and the tips become nicely rounded. Start a brush on primer and undercoat, then use it for fine finishing as it ages. Useful brush sizes include an angled 3/4 %in (1.8cm) cutting-in brush and 1/4in, 1 in, 2in, and 4in or sin (1.2cm, 2.5cm, 5cm, and 10cm or 12.5cm) brushes.
A brush with an elongated metal handle that can be bent to allow you to paint behind radiators.
Used with a paint tray, the roller offers an easy way of applying paint to large, flat areas without leaving defined brush strokes. It is best for applying water-based paints, which you can easily clean off the roller. When using solid latex paint, lift the roller direct from the container. Roller types include:
Foam With easy-clean removable sleeve, but does not give the finest finish and will tear when used on rough surfaces.
Mohair Very close pile on a hard roller, giving fine finish to smooth surfaces. Not suitable for textured surfaces.
Shaggy pile Deep, floppy pile makes it suitable for textured surfaces. Can also be used to apply textured paint.
Radiator roller A thin, deep-pile roller on a long wire handle to reach behind radiators and into other awkward spots.
Texturing roller Specialized roller used to produce a rag-rolled effect.
These pads of fine mohair pile stuck to a layer of foam bonded to a metal or plastic handle are light and easy to use. Sizes range from 1 in to 6in (2.5cm to 5cm), some with a hollow handle to hold the end of a broom for painting tops of walls or ceilings without a ladder. Suitable for smooth or textured but not rough surfaces. Clean pads immediately after use, with water where water based paints have been used. A pad does give a very fine finish when gloss-painting flush doors. Note that commercial cleaners can attack the adhesive holding the mohair to the foam.
No expensive or specialized tools are required for hanging wall and ceiling coverings. A pasting table makes it easier to apply paste to long lengths of wallpaper or other material, and make sure that the scissors or knife you use to cut the wallpaper to length is sharp. Depending on the job, you may need a certain number of specialist tools for applying wall-coverings. The following is a checklist of the basic essentials:
A sturdy, purpose-made pasting table is a wise investment. Easy to move, to store, and to put up, it provides a stable surface of ideal dimensions and makes pasting very much simpler. Alternatively you can use a flush door laid over trestles.
Use a clean plastic one for paste, with string tied across the top between the handle joints. You can then rest the pasting brush :0 across the string when it is not in use.
Scissors You will need a pair of long decorating scissors, and a small pair for trimming.
Craft knife For use with a metal straight-edge or cutting guide to trim vinyls and heavy papers. Scissors are best with thin, wet paper.
Pasting brush Choose a brush at least 4in (10cm) wide, and keep it only for pasting.
Smoothing brush Also known as a paperhanger’s brush, this has stiff but soft bristles and is used to brush trapped air out to the edge of paper and press the wall-covering into place. Always keep it clean and dry.
Sponge Essential for wiping away any surplus paste while it is still wet.
Seam roller Use this small wood or plastic roller to press down seams once the wall-covering is up. Don’t use it on
Plumb line and weight:
This is used to produce true verticals. It is an essential piece of equipment for forming the starting point for every wallpapering job. A builder’s line will hang better than ordinary string.
Pencil Use an HB or softer lead for marking the paper clearly. Sharp or hard leads can tear the more delicate papers.
Steel tape These measures are typically 12ft (3.5m) long, which should be adequate for measuring the height of normal walls.
Ruler It is important to have a ruler long enough to span the roll’s width — normally about 21 in (53cm). A retractable rule may tear the paper, so it is best not used.
Set square A large plastic square (or any improvised square) is useful for checking that your cuts are at a constant 90° angle.
Keep one to hand for sanding away any scraps of old wallpaper or lining paper you may find on a stripped wall just as you are about to hang the new paper. Likewise, a sharp scraper is a useful standby.
Choose rags made of lint-free cloth, such as old sheets, for wiping the pasting table as the job progresses. Other material may leave fibers on the table.
Water trough For ready-pasted wall-coverings you need a water-resistant trough in which to soak the cut sections.
Stepladder You will need at least one stepladder in order to reach the tops of the walls or ceiling.
- When hanging delicate wallpapers, you may find that a clean foam paint roller does a better job than a brush when it comes to smoothing the newly hung paper down. Apply only the lightest pressure to avoid marking the paper.
- When hanging paper from a platform, adjust its height so that you can stand comfortably without having to bend your neck or stretch your arms too far above your head.