Paint Tools

Prepare for any paint project like a pro with the right tools

Paint Tools Buying Guide

Make painting easier by having the right tools handy before you start your project. Commonly used paint tools include bucket grids, paint mixers, brush combs and more.  

This guide will teach you each tool’s purpose and help you determine which ones you may need.

Surface Preparation

Scrape off old paint, finish and priming, if necessary. Wall scrapers and joint knives can be used to remove peeling paint, tape joints or patch holes in plaster walls.  

  • Use putty knives to scrape off old paint and putty, grease and old finishes from furniture. Flexible putty knives are ideal for spreading fresh putty to even out surfaces, while stiff knives are better for chipping and scraping. Putty knives typically range in size from 1 to 2-1/2 inches.
  • Joint knives can be used to apply joint tape and compound. Joint knives and scrapers range in size from 3 to 12 inches and may have flexible or stiff handles.
  • Glass and tile scrapers can be used to remove paint from windows.

Painting Tools

Once the surface is cleaned, primed and ready to be painted, there are a number of tools that will help keep your painting project simple and spill-free.

  • Paint mixers help you blend paint quickly and easily while strainers will remove unwanted particles and debris from previously used paint.
  • Pour paint into buckets and plastic containers so that you can dip brushes into them rather than directly into the paint can. By using other containers, you are less likely to contaminate the primary paint can with brush bristles and other debris
  • Pouring spouts are available in a few different configurations and make it easier to pour paint into trays and buckets. Some snap into the groove around the rim and have a removable inner cover. Others fit on the outside of the can and feature a spout with a screw-off cap or a collapsible spout.
  • Paint pads are ideal for “cutting in” corners and creating a smooth finish, while bucket grids help with stirring paint and remove excess paint from rollers.
  • Disposable plastic liners for roller trays make clean up fast and easy.
  • Add paint conditioner to reduce the prominence of brush and roller marks.
  • If you accidentally paint a window shut, use a window opener to get it functioning again without damaging it or the surrounding trim.
  • Extension poles are essential for painting high ceilings and other hard-to-reach areas. Look for poles that lock into place, have coarse threads to prevent over-tightening, and have a rubberized grip.
  • Once you have finished painting, use a solvent to clean brushes and then run a brush comb through them to prevent the brushes from clumping while drying.

Tips to Save Time and Money

Expedite large painting projects with power-driven paint mixers and reduce the number of tools you need by purchasing tools that serve multiple purposes.

  • Multipurpose tools: If you don’t paint often and aren’t interested in investing in multiple tools, embrace the convenience of a multipurpose tool. Some can perform the functions of five or six different tools. They usually possess a sharp edge for scraping or applying putty, a point for cleaning out and widening cracks, a hole that can be used to remove nails, a side designed for prying open paint cans and hammering them closed, and a curved surface that can be used to remove excess paint from rollers prior to rinsing them.
  • Rubberized grip: Look for an extension pole with a rubberized grip. It allows you to keep a firmer hold, particularly if you are working outside or on an especially high wall or ceiling.
  • Power-driven paint mixers: If you’ve got a large painting job, mixing by hand may get tiring. Look for a power-driven paint mixer. Simply attach it to your drill, hit the trigger and let the mixer stir things up. Mixers with multiple-blade impellers offer thorough, efficient mixing.