Those in the painting industry uses a number of different decorating tools from the software type to brushes and rollers.

Most painters that I know do have a preferences for certain types and of course brands of tools that they use.

Below I will discuss some of the different tools that I use along with advice on why I may like or do not like a particular ladder, drill or roller etc. With that said, I do try my best to use an assortment of paint industry toys, that doesn't mean though that I have tried them all and in saying so realize there can be a better choice than the ones I may have suggested.

You will see that I link to pictures of each tool (ones that I use for work) so you can see what I'm talking about. I will make a few bucks if you do decide to buy one of the pictured items, of course it's not necessary (though it is much appreciated if you do so).


Almost all good quality paint stores sell an assortment of decorating tools including color fans, samplers and books for selecting sheens or colors along with decorating ideas. I will say that I do like this book and after books there's more online help for choosing those tones, hues and shades located here.

You can also purchase design software, I have never used it though, even so, there are a number of people who do find home decorating software helpful).


I'm not a Little Giant ladder fan, they are way over priced in my opinion and weigh as much as a Clydesdale. Your better of buying the horse as they will move around while your standing on them (and come with all that free beer). With that said, it does depend on your size and weight, A more heavy duty ladder like the Little Giants may be required if one is on the hefty side.

I own a number of ladders but the three I use the most would be the articulating stair ladder, telescoping extension and my well used five foot platform ladder. Purchasing or borrowing a six or seven foot step ladder is also good idea.

I do own scaffolding but it is quite economical to rent and don't forget the saw horses if your painting wood trim.


Painters plastic can be used as a protective covering but does work best when used to drape over furniture or mask off items that you don't want paint on. I do find though that a cloth type covers floors and will hug furniture much better that plastic.

When it comes to the type of drop cloth I prefer, I would actually recommend using old sheets, blankets or heavy drapes if you have them. Otherwise you can buy reasonably priced canvas ones, as they do tend to absorb the paint a little better than other types of covers do.


For me a masking machine is a must have because I use a paint sprayer a lot. They hold both painters tape and different widths of masking paper (all of which can be purchased from your local paint store. Keep in mind though to buy a good masker as they can be somewhat finicky (now that's an understatement) to operate and don't hold up well especially after being thrown across the room (voice of experiance here). Once you know how to use them they are indispensable (place giggle in this spot due to very bad pun).


Most of your painting DIY will require a small amount of tools, the majority of which I'm sure you either own or can easily borrow. Such tools include a light weight hammer and multi screw driver. Both the hammer and screw driver would be used to set any nails or screws that might be sticking above the drywall or wood trim.

You might also require a tape measurer to measure the room being painted along with a long metal ruler or strait edge for cutting drywall if needed (oh! and don't forget the pencil). Of course if your cutting drywall there are utility knives or hand saws to help you to get that job done. When mudding drywall you might also need a couple taping knives and mud tray for filling holes and cracks.

Sponge sanding blocks will make your job a little easier and last but not least is the flat bar in case you need to remove some of that nasty old woodwork.


You will need a paint tray I do like to use a tray liner as I don't like to clean the stupid thing. My brush of choice is the 2.5" sash along with a good quality roller (frame/cage) and cover (sleeve).

A roller extension (pole) is a must have and I regularly use the 1' to 2', 2' to 4' and 4' to 8' footers.


A good quality 18 volt (or higher) cordless drill is a very handy tool as well as an electric mitre saw for cutting wood your trim.

We can't forget the sanding of course, both the round orbit sander and the widely used (sheet) palm type sander.

An air nailer is another good tool to own but you will need to buy an air compressor to run it. There are nailer's that don't use air but tend to not perform well as the air type or have one of those "they've lost there mind" price tags on them.

Also, for those who prefer speed a Roto Cutters can make your drywall cutting go that much faster.


Pressure washers are a good tool to have around and as far as paint sprayers go, home owners can easily get buy with a smaller unit.

My every day paint sprayers though (paint or otherwise) would include the larger larger airless an HVLP and an all in one hopper type texturing gun unit.


I of course use other types of decorating tools but the ones mentioned above will get you started. I would recommend that you borrow as many as you can then rent the rest.

With that said, if your intention is to use a tool more than two or three times your better off purchasing the item. Furthermore, when painting, your paint brush needs to be of the highest quality especially when cutting in (edging). So what I'm saying is a brush is one of those tools one should purchase them selves along with a good roller frame and cover (sleeve).

If I didn't mention a specific tool above then I have either not used it or it's not recommended. As an example, I have yet to find any hand held electric paint sprayers, siphon roller sticks or fancy cutting (edging) tools that are of any value to the owner.

Unless of course your buying said tools to stimulate the economy and in that case I'm all for it. Then again they also stimulate landfill activity so just forget what I said.

From decorating tools to the miscellaneous tools page

Return to the home page