Must Have Painting Tools


Painting is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a space. Painting isn’t hard, and I truly believe anyone can do it, but having the right tools is key. These must have painting tools will make the job easier in the long run.

Painting isn’t one of my favorite DIY projects, but it has saved me a ton of money instead of hiring a professional. I’ve become quite a good painter over the years. With twenty years of experience, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks and also rounded up my go-to painting tools to share with you.

If you’re a seasoned painter or just starting out, these painting tools will ensure your painting job is one you can be proud of. With the right tools and some confidence, you can paint your own rooms and save money too.

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must have painting tools collage

White brick fireplace with wood mantel and gold arched mirror

Why Paint Your Own Home?

Painting your own home will save you quite a bit of money. If you are like me, you have several projects you need to accomplish and items you need to purchase. Wherever I can save money on home projects, so I have money for other projects, is a win-win for me.

It costs an average of $1.50 to $3.50 to paint an interior wall and that costs increases to $3 to $4 per square foot if trim or ceilings are included. The average cost, to prime and paint a standard 400-square foot room is $2.5 per square foot or $1,000 total according to Forbes. That is money I’d rather spend elsewhere.

When you’re considering the cost of painting a room, you should also factor in the materials, such as tape, brushes, rollers and paint. However, painting your own home will undeniably save you money.

Learning to Paint

Just about anyone can learn to paint that is in good health and able to get around easily. Painting is something that can be learned; you don’t need to get a license or go to school to garner this ability. It’s not like plumbing or electrical work; you can learn to paint.

Now, not to say a professional painter isn’t good at their craft; they are. However, with the right tools and attention to detail; anyone can learn how to paint a room and do a good job if they have the time.

I painted my first room when I was around twenty-six, when we purchased our first home. Up until then, I had never painted a room before. While in graduate school, I worked stage crew and painted stage sets and scenes, but that had some imperfections. Rooms in our recently purchased home needed to be painted with perfection. Over the last almost twenty years, I’ve been the one to mostly paint our homes and I’ve become quite good at it! You can too!

lady with paint can, ladder and brush
rolling paint on furniture with paint roller

Must Have Painting Tools – Paint & Primer

Well, you can’t paint without having any paint so first things first. My go to paint brand is usually Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. I like both almost equally with Benjamin Moore taking a slight lead. Over the last two decades I have used both of these brand of paints exclusively.

Popular paint brands:

Primer is key to ensuring your walls have the best finish. If you are painting walls with a lighter color, it is best to prime. Walls that have been significantly patched will need to be primed as well as walls that have any type of smoke, yellowing or water damage. Prime walls before painting in these circumstances.

Must Have Painting Tools – Supplies

I have rounded up my top painting tools that I use every time I paint. These come in handy when painting walls, ceilings, trim and even furniture and cabinets.

benjamin moore aurora paint can for must have painting tools

Wall Patch

I listed this first because patching any holes or dings is really the first thing you need to do before embarking on painting. You might be tempted to skip this step and fill the hole with paint, but it doesn’t work…trust me. Take a minute and properly fill those holes in, so that your newly painted walls will look their best.

This patch works great. I love this stuff because not only does it change color to let you know it’s dry (goes on pink, dries white!). It also dries fast. Sometimes, patching will require more than one coat which means you need to sand your first application, using a 220 grit sandpaper, before applying another one. The finished result should leave your walls feeling smooth without any bumps or divots when you run your hand over it.

Painter’s Tape

Not all painter’s tape is created equal and this frog tape gives nice clean lines every time. I have used a few different brands and even store brands (please skip those) and this green painter’s frog tape has been the best every single time!

Paint Brushes

For quality, hands down favorite paint brushes are Purdy. With proper cleaning, a Purdy brush should last you for years. My favorite size Purdy paint brushes are the 1.5″, 2″, and 2.5.” Which you can purchase in a three pack. You can paint just about anything in your home with those sizes. Always ensure you are using an angled brush when you are cutting in paint as it helps control not only the amount of paint, but where it goes on the wall as well.

My favorite paint brush to use is the comfort grip brush from Lowes. It is NOT the quality of Purdy for sure, but I like the smaller handle. Sometimes the wooden long handle of the Purdy is hard for me to grip for long periods of time. I have to replace this brush more often, even with proper cleaning, but the short rubber handle is great for me.

Paint Rollers for Cabinets and Doors

If you are painting cabinets or furniture, you want the nap to be low so it leaves a very smooth finish. 1/4 inch nap I have found to be the best for furniture and cabinets even over a foam roller. When I painted my bedroom dresser I switched from the foam roller to the White Dover Purdy 1/4 nap roller and it was a world of difference.

Paint Rollers for Walls

When you are painting a wall without texture, I have found the 9″ 3/8″ nap to be the best

Paint Pail and liners

When I am up on a ladder, trying to cut in or paint crown moulding, I prefer not to have the entire bucket of paint with me. If it’s full and heavy it’s a huge liability for me especially. HA! Adding some paint to a small bucket with a handle, keeps things light and easy to hold. Do not take a full paint bucket with you to the top of the ladder…you will regret it. The liners help to keep your bucket nice and clean and makes for easy cleanup.

Canvas Drop Cloth

Don’t forget the drop cloth – this is key to keeping your floors, furniture and surrounding area free of splatters. You might be a super neat painter, never dropping any paint, but it still doesn’t matter. When you roll, small drops of paint spray usually leave a light dusting over the floor surface. Always use some type of drop cloth.

Painter’s Tray and Liners

A paint tray is a must if you are painting walls with a roller. The liners help keep clean up easy and neat; although sometimes I have gone without a liner and just rinsed out the tray. I prefer the plastic trays over the metal ones as they seem to clean up a little easier.


Trust me, get a ladder or a stable step stool that is tall enough to reach the ceiling. Do not attempt to stand on a chair or stool; you might kill yourself and the stability of a ladder will ensure you can focus on painting instead of falling. This ladder adjusts to a variety of heights so you don’t need to have several different height ladders. Warning – It is heavy to move around.

lady in yellow sleeveless dress sitting on the steps of a memorial


Gather all your tools and supplies before painting
•Repair any damage to your walls before starting
•Cover floors and any furniture with a drop cloth
•If painting with a final dark color, use a tinted primer first
•Use painters tape for nice clean lines
•Use an angled brush for cutting in
•Paint ceilings, wall then trim

Painting Tools for the Homeowner

With some practice, confidence and the right painting tools; you can easily paint the rooms in your home. It’s really not that difficult, but it does time time and some patience.

must have painting tools collage

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