A fresh coat of paint is a beautiful thing. There’s no easier way to immediately make your surroundings look fresh and clean, and it can make a huge difference in the way older adults feel about their home.
If you’re a DIY painting novice or if it’s been a while since you picked up a brush, this list of my favorite painting tools is for you. The right tools will make your project faster and easier and will have your aging-in-place walls looking perfect (and safer) when the job is done.
Use this list of my favorite painting tools and you’ll have everyone thinking you hired a painting pro.
My favorite roller: Wooster Brush Sherlock Roller Frame, 9-inch
You’ll want a sturdy roller and the commercial-grade Wooster rollers are the best. They make a 9-inch standard size roller frame with a quick-release spring that keeps the roller cover from slipping and makes clean-up easy. It’s reinforced with fiberglass and a durable shank handle.
If you’re painting extra-large walls or just want to get more painted in less time, Wooster also makes a 14-inch extended roller called the Wooster Brush Sherlock Roller Frame. I always have this oversized roller in my painting toolbox for efficiency in larger rooms.
And, of course, we can’t forget the mini roller – my favorite small space tool. The Wooster Brush Sherlock 4-inch Roller Frame is just as sturdy as the larger versions and my go-to for rolling on paint in small spaces.
My favorite roller cover: Purdy White Dove Roller Cover, 9-inch
You get what you pay for when it comes to roller covers. Inexpensive covers are usually too thin making it so the cover can’t absorb enough paint to roll on an even coat. They can also leave lint behind and gunk-up your walls. The right roller cover will make rolling easy, absorb the right amount of paint, and leave you with a smooth finish.
Find a roller that has a 3/8-inch nap and a plastic center core. The nap of a roller refers to the length of the roller fiber. For most indoor paint jobs, a 3/8-inch nap is all you need.
Purdy rollers do an incredible job. They’ll make it easy for you to get a smooth finish on any of your interior walls.
If you’re using a mini roller to roll paint in a tight space, like a bathroom or closet, use the Purdy White Dove Roller Cover, 4-inch. This should fit standard mini roller frames. And, if you’re going big with the Wooster 14-inch roller frame, use their Wooster Pro Doo Z FTP Roller Cover.
My favorite cut-in brush: Wooster Brush Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush
To cut-in like a pro, you need a pro-grade 2-to-2.5-inch sash brush. Again, you get what you pay for here. Look for a sash brush that fits your hand well and is maneuverable, especially if you have cut-ins to do in tight corners or hard-to-reach places.
This short handle brush from Wooster is the best sash brush I’ve found for applying a smooth cut-in, even in corners. It’s also an outstanding trim brush. The short handle is great when I’m painting a small bathroom and need to cut-in around fixtures, toilets and other hard-to-reach spaces.
Check out my article on ‘Painting Around a Bathroom Toilet and Other Tight Spaces for Aging in Place’ if you’re planning a bathroom remodel or are getting ready to paint any small space in your home.
Wooster’s 2-inch sash brush should fit most hands. But, if your hands are on the larger side and you’re just not feeling the short handle, another equally excellent option is the 2-inch XL Series Cub Angular Trim Brush from Purdy. The handle on the Purdy brush has an inch or two on the Wooster sash brush to give larger hands enough surface area to hold the brush comfortably. Whichever brush you choose, you can’t go wrong.
Roller Extension Poles
My favorite roller extension pole: Mr. LongArm Pro-Pole Extension Pole
Tackling a paint job with tall ceilings can be pretty intimidating as a DIYer. Get yourself a good quality roller extension pole to make the job easier. Mr. LongArm’s extension pole is worth the investment. They’re lightweight, won’t rust and attach to most standard paint rollers. And, they come in options that extend up to 15-feet to reach up to tall ceilings.
My favorite step ladder: Rubbermaid 3-Step Steel Step Stool
This is a great step ladder option for painters. It has a tray at the top that folds out to hold a paintbrush, paint can, rags, painter’s tape and any other number of things you’re going to need once you climb up and tackle the high trim and ceiling. I like this one from Rubbermaid in particular because it’s strong, has wide steps and isn’t too heavy to lug around the room as you tape and cut-in the ceiling.
My favorite wall putty for lightweight jobs: DAP Alex Plus Spackle
A professional-looking paint job means doing the job right. And that means taking the time to fill in holes and cracks in the wall. DAP makes a good quality product and their Alex Plus Spackle is a good choice for filling small holes and cracks you’re painting over. Too many spackles crack and crumble once they dry and you start painting over them. DAP is one of the few I’ve found that doesn’t, so I’m a loyal customer.
My favorite putty knife: Purdy 2-inch Flex Putty Knife
A good quality wall putty needs a good quality putty knife for a flawless application. Feathering out your putty creates a seamless finish under your paint and a quality putty knife will help you get there. This 2-inch flexible putty knife has a solid handle you can grip. I use my Purdy putty knife for each of my painting jobs and it hasn’t failed me yet.
My favorite painter’s tape: FROGTAPE Painting Tape with Paint Block
A good painter’s tape will create a seal between the wall or trim and the paint. The best tapes hold a strong seal and give you crisp paint lines that make a paint job look like it was done by a professional.
FROGTAPE makes a great painter’s tape that you can use on just about any wall or trim. The tape is lined with a special sealant that acts as a barrier between the surface you’re covering and the paint so you can trust it to do its job.
My favorite handheld bucket: HANDy Paint Cup
Yes, it is possible to love a paint bucket. This handheld bucket by HANDy is my go-to tool when I’m doing any sort of trim work, cut-ins or touch-ups. It has a built-in, magnetic brush holder alongside the handle, too, which gives you an extra hand when you’re up on a ladder cutting in the ceiling. It’s an all-around quality product that makes painting easier and faster.
My favorite large paint bucket: 5-gallon Bucket
Sometimes the simplest solution is best. It couldn’t be simpler than a 5-gallon bucket for mixing and transporting paint as you work. It’s the best way I’ve found by far and is the preferred method of every pro I know.
To make things even easier, your bucket can double as your roller tray by adding a Metal Bucket Screen. Make sure you find one sized specifically for a 5-gallon bucket. Rolling your paint straight from your bucket is an efficient way to get the job done quickly.
My favorite roller tray: Wooster Brush Deluxe Plastic Tray, 11-inch
If you decide to skip the 5-gallon bucket and go with a traditional roller tray, this one from Wooster is my top choice. Their trays are sturdy and rustproof and will last through each paint job you need to tackle in your home. If you’re rolling paint in a small room, like a powder room or closet – or any space where you only need one can of paint for two coats – this is all you need.
Always use a quality roller tray liner to protect the tray. It also makes clean up much easier. These Wooster tray liners are made to fit an 11-inch tray. Grab both and you’ll be set.
My favorite drop cloths: Trimaco SuperTuff Canvas Drop Cloth
These SuperTuff drop cloths from Trimaco are just that – a tough, heavyweight canvas to protect your floors while you paint. They start small with a 4’x5’ cloth and go up to a very large 12’x15’ size for any big rooms you need to cover. Wash them when you finish a project and they’ll last you through every paint job in your home.
My favorite sandpaper: Fandeli Sandpaper
Don’t overlook the step of lightly sanding walls with fine-grit sandpaper before you paint. This 220-grit sandpaper from Fandeli is a good-quality paper that contractors use to create a smooth wall surface before paint or primer is applied.
Other Painting Tools to Add to Your List
I’ve given you the list of my favorite essential painting tools. There are some other nice-to-have tools you can use for painting around the house that will make the job even easier. Here’s a list of a few extra tools to consider.
Gloves: Dex Fit Nylon Work Gloves
A good pair of work gloves is always a smart idea. These gloves from Dex Fit are flexible and won’t get in the way while you paint.
Plastic Wrap: Saran Wrap
Yes, plastic wrap. When you’re done painting for the day, just wrap your wet brush in a thick layer of plastic wrap and it’ll be pliable and ready to go when you start painting again the next day. It’s one of the best pro secrets out there.
Rags: Tool Box White Rags
Instead of standard paper towels, heavy-duty rags are a good investment for just about any DIY home project. These rags from Tool Box absorb a lot more than a standard paper towel and make messes like spilling paint or cleaning up splatters much easier.
Time to Get Started
Now that you’ve gathered the best painting tools out there, it’s time to get some paint up on the wall. Before you get started, don’t miss two of my other recent articles with critical tips for painting an aging-in-place home.
First, check out my article, ‘Top 10 Room Painting Pro Tips for Aging in Place from a Professional Contractor.’ Here I break down the best way to paint any room in your aging in place home like a pro.
Before you select your paint, take a look at my other recent article, ‘Tips for Applying High-Contrast Paint to Walls to Make Your Home Aging-in-Place Friendly.’ Here I break down the importance of high-contrast paint in the aging in place home with tips for making high-contrast paint look great.
As always, use the comments section below and send me any questions you have as you shop for the best painting tools. Good luck on your next aging in place home painting project!