Painting Walls – Equipment

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,943
    Bill Nunn, Painting Consultant for The Family Handyman Magazine, explains the tools you’ll need to successfully paint the walls of your home.

    Bill Nunn: Hi! I am Bill Nunn, Painting Consultant for The Family Handyman Magazine; a leading magazine for Do-it-Yourselfers. We're painting walls today, and I wanted to talk to you here about the tools you'll need to get this job done. One of the essential tools of course is the Roller Tray and they come in a couple of sizes. I tend to favor the bigger size just because you can put a little more paint in it and you don't fill it quite so full, that's a little safer for moving and a little less prone to spill.

    We have also the Roller Frames or Roller Handles that go with trays. They come in couples of sizes, the standard is 9 inch like this, but I favor a smaller one which is 7 inches wide for bathrooms and kitchens and smaller spaces. The covers for those rollers come in different thicknesses or naps. This is a very good one to use for painting walls; it's a 3/8th inch nap. They come in thinner versions and thicker versions but I find that 3/8th synthetic roller cover like this to be a pretty good all around wall painting tool.

    I have a duster that you probably won't find in store, but an old painter brush will work just as well for dusting off baseboards and the tops of windows and doors. You want to have a putty knife or two for doing speckling work or for scraping a surface that might be a little high, and the sanding block is essential for sanding the surface and making it smooth, getting rid of any high spots that any dirt in the old finish, a sanding grit of about 100 will work really well for this.

    The next thing to consider is a brush. I've got a couple here. This is a 21/2 inch Angled-bristle brush. It's made of a relatively new synthetic fiber called Chinex and it cleans out very well with some of the new acrylic paints especially. It's ideal for water-based paints like we're going to use on these walls. I also carry a smaller one just for some of the tight spots we get into that require a smaller brush, and of course a screwdriver, a small blade, this was a cabinet blade, I think it's number 2. It's great for spinning off screws and cover plates, outlet covers etcetera.

    One of the things I recommend really strongly when you're painting is to pour off just a small quantity of paint into another can. In this case I have a metal can that's sold for painters and you'll find it in the paint stores. But, you could use another clean, empty gallon can or an ice-cream pail for that matter whatever vessel you might have at hand. But, the idea is to just pour off a little paint for using with the brush and it's a lot safer than carrying around a half gallon of paint, we're really trying to avoid any spillage.

    The next thing I'd like to mention to you is importance of having some canvas or runners or drop-cloths on hand. I'd say canvas because old bed sheets really aren't the best idea for paint drop-cloths. They are too thin and paint will actually soak through them. This one is a runner, it's about 3 feet wide by about 12 feet long. So it's ideal for a long wall, and I just move it along as I work. Another handy tool to help you with this paint job is to have an extension pole for your roller handle. Here's one that's about 4 feet long. You could use a broom handle. They sell these at the paint stores very inexpensively, or you could get a more sophisticated one, a lot of painters use these, they are expendable, and probably a little more money, perhaps about $30 for one like this. But it's great because you can the change the length as you need to for rolling up and down.

    It depends on how tall you are and how high the ceiling is. So these are good tools to have. I also keep in my toolbox a little one which sometimes is all I need for adding onto a roller handle. It screws in the end and gives me just a little bit more. It's important also to have a few rags on hand. You can't have too many on a jobsite when you're painting.

    Finally, I'll just mention this tool I carry in my toolbox which is a scraper for cleaning out your roller. You'd be surprised how much paint is held in one of these covers, and when you have a curved scraper like this that you can run down the cover, it will really pull out a lot of the paint that has been stored in here and save it from going down the drain. These are the tools that you're going to need for your next project.