Guest Author - Donna Coogan
You may have read before that nothing changes the look and feel of a room faster than paint and that itís the cheapest way to transform a room. Over the years Iíve painted practically everything in my home: floors, walls, stairs, cabinets, furniture and appliances and the transformation never ceases to be worth the effort.
When you have a good supply of your favorite painting items on hand, it pays off literally and figuratively when itís time to work on the next painting project. These are a few of my favorite painting supplies that make tackling painting projects much simpler and for the most part are quite inexpensive.
1. Painter's tape. I use this for everything. Taping off walls, windows, glass, mirrors, etc. Designing patterns on furniture or other surfaces. Choose the easy-to-peel varieties that wonít get left behind when you go to tear them off. Painters tape comes in a variety of widths and itís good to have several on hand if you plan to do a lot of painting.
2. Plastic paint can spouts. These are ideal if you like to avoid spilling paint all over your paint can. They attach to the lip of your the can so you can easily pour paint into another container without any drips running down the side of the can. I found mine for less than a dollar each at a local hardware store.
3. Hammer and screwdriver. I use my hammer and a screwdriver to pound holes in the wells around the top of the paint can after the lid is pulled off. Doing so prevents paint from collecting in the wells creating a gooey mess when you go to put the lid back on. To do, just insert the end of the screwdriver into the well openings and then lightly tap the screwdriver with your hammer until it penetrates the metal. I usually make 3 to 4 holes equi-distant from each other inside the well.
4. Paint can opener. These easily and quickly open paint cans without any hassle. A bottle opener or hand can opener works, too.
5. Drop cloth. I prefer the canvas style drop cloths to plastic. Plastic drop cloths tend to bunch up and get caught around my feet. Especially if Iím painting an entire wall and walking back and forth. I have also used old vinyl tablecloths under furniture pieces. The ones that are lined with flannel backing work nicely because they provide some traction to the floor and are more weighted, making it easier to keep them in place.
6. Chalk-line. Chalk-lines are your best friend when you are measuring stripes on a wall. With one snap you know exactly where to apply the painterís tape.
7. Straightedge ruler. I have a metal one with cork backing that doesnít slip. This is great for marking measurements on a small item you are painting like a side table.
8. Assorted Brushes. I use everything from small liner brushes to large ones; tapered to specialty brushes; synthetic to natural bristles. Itís really great to have a variety to choose from. The specific job requirements as well as the final finish Iím going for are my primary consideration in choosing a brush. Itís tempting not to buy quality brushes, especially when they are hanging next to cheaper ones by comparison, but keep in mind that nothing ruins a paint job faster than stray bristles escaping from a cheap brush. If you prevent paint from getting under the metal ferrule and clean and store them properly quality brushes should last a very long time and are definite worth the initial expense.
9. Baby wipes. These are my faves for wiping up small paint spatters that might accidentally land where you werenít planning. I buy the cheapest ones I can find since they are throwaway items.
10. ďHandy Paint Cup.Ē This is my new favorite item in my painting supply inventory. I found mine at Lowes and it has a handle on the side so that I can steadily hold the container when filled with paint. Itís definitely handy when Iím walking around doing a lot of brushwork or up on a ladder painting trim. I have several in my inventory, which is useful when Iím working with more than one paint color or have several people helping me paint.
Naturally, this is not a comprehensive list and I have an assortment of other supplies, including step stools, extension poles, paint rollers and ladders. Iím always adding to my inventory and trying out new things, but the above items are my cheaper paint tools that I always keep on hand.
Disclaimer: "The Handy Paint Cup" mentioned in this article is something I bought at my local Lowes store and my recommendation of it is not a requested or paid endorsement, but was made because I actually love it and use it in my painting projects.