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30 Painting Essentials You Should Have In Your Home by Age 30

Whether you own or rent, DIY painting remains a great way to save money on home improvement. Compiling these 30 best painting tools and gadgets by 30 years old will prepare you to tackle any painting job at any time.

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Synthetic-Bristle Paint Brush

Buying the wrong brush can torpedo your paint job before you even begin. Use a synthetic-bristle brush for use with latex, acrylic and low-VOC (water-based) paints. Advancing technology has developed specialized materials for different paints, stains, and surfaces, so match your project’s needs to the brush. Get perfectly painted interior walls with these handy tips.

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Natural-Bristle Paint Brush

Along the same lines, have natural-bristle brushes on hand for applying alkyd, lacquer or oil-based paints, stains or clear coats. Learn about our favorite techniques for faux painting.

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Canvas Drop Cloths

If you thought plastic made for a better drip-stop, you thought wrong. Plastic slides underfoot and inhibits drying. A canvas drop cloth stays put better in the wind, offers better traction and promotes drying of spills, which prevents tracking paint across your floor. Your best bet is something long and narrow—unless you plan to paint a ceiling.

Clean paint rollers and trays with ease after reading these tips.

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5-In-1 Tool

The Swiss-Army knife of painting, a 5 in 1 tool pries paint cans open, scrapes away loose paint, digs caulk out of corners, removes excess paint from a roller cover and hammers closed paint can lids. This tool does it all and more. It is unarguably one of the best painting tools out there. Never paint without one. Here’s how to paint your trim with flawlessly smooth results.

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Angle-Edge Brushes

Buy quality brushes that are worth cleaning and reusing. They really do make a difference in the final appearance of your paint job. Use an angle-edge brush for painting trim and window sashes and cutting-in corners on walls, particularly along the ceiling. Your laminate kitchen cabinets looking dated? Here’s how to paint them.

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Flat-Edge Paintbrushes

Flat-edge paintbrushes provide do-it-all utility. Work with a corner or the whole edge to coat nearly any surface, but wide, flat surfaces are where these brushes really shine. Make sure you have several in a variety of widths and bristle materials.

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9-Inch Roller Frame

When buying painting equipment, everyone focuses on the roller cover and not so much on the frame. A quality 9-inch frame with roller bearings, pole threading in the handle, and a cage the drops the roller cover easily makes the job much easier. Secrets for using and preserving paint brushes and rollers.

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Brush Comb

Speed paintbrush cleaning and get all the hardened bits of paint out of the bristles with a brush comb. Stainless-steel combs with a synthetic handle stand up to frequent use and rinse of easily when finished. How to paint aluminum house siding.

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Shop Vacuum

If you want a quality paint job, it invariably starts with sanding. Follow any sanding step with a once-over using a shop vacuum. Models employing a HEPA filter trap the fine particles created by sanding, so they don’t return to the room as airborne particulate that ends up settling on (and ruining) your fresh paint. Oops! You need to remove paint from my wood floor? Here’s what you need to know.

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Painter’s Pants and Hat

Once the paint starts flying, you want a dedicated pair of pants that you don’t mind splattering on. And, in case you didn’t know, getting paint out of your hair is no fun, so a hat is also a requirement any time you work above your head. These great ideas will help you choose the right paint for your garage door.

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Reusable Roller Covers

Yes, disposable covers are convenient. But, high-quality, polyester-core rollers do a better job and can be reused so they come out cheaper in the long run (while you admire your beautiful paint job).

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Roller Screen (for a 5-Gallon Bucket)

Save yourself some time and avoid having to clean a paint tray by painting out of a 5-gallon bucket. A screen or grid hooks over the rim and provides a hanging surface to even out the paint on your roller. Better yet, combining all the paint for the room in one bucket blends the color and avoids the potential for variation from can to can. Easily remove old, peeling paint from your walls.

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Eye Protection

Whether you are rolling the ceiling or using solvent to clean out your brushes, your eyes should be a top consideration. A pair of wrap-around safety glasses will keep your peepers protected. Choose a front-door color that enhances curb appeal.

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3-Inch Roller Frame

Every room has its tight spaces that you can’t get into with a large roller. Keep its little brother nearby for that space between the door frame and the corner or between the vanity and the toilet. This guide will help you learn how to choose and use primer.

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Body Lotion

Paint comes off of skin easier if you apply a liberal coating of lotion to any exposed areas before you start painting. Is it time for you to try an airless paint sprayer?

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Paint Mixer

Solids in paint settle rapidly to the bottom of the can. A paint mixer reduces the effort required to scrape the solids off the bottom and redistribute them in the paint. Make your own from the corner of a plastic coat hanger, or grab the paint mixer pictured here from

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Cordless Drill/Driver

What’s the best way to spin that new paint mixer? That’s right: a cordless drill!

Make anti-slip paint out of any can of paint you want.

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Extension Ladder

To paint any two-story home, a solid extension ladder is a must. It remains the most economical way to reach the top of that 18-foot wall. Just make sure you outfit it with the appropriate accessories to protect both you and the wall. How can you fix paint drips on your trim? Find out here!

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Ladder Guards

Prevent dents in your siding and scratches in your paint by attaching a pair of these bumpers to the tips of your extension ladder. Check out these options for painting your garage floor.

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Ladder Leveling Tool

No list of the best painting tools should leave out this gadget. Uneven ground, sloping roofs, stairs: neutralize these danger zones with ProVision Tools’ PiViT Leveling tool. This versatile tool can be used with stepladders and extension ladders in many ways to make painting easier and safer. Works on its own—no additional tools, clamps or bolts needed. Painting safety tips you need to know.

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Ladder Stabilizer

By widening the contacts at the top of your extension ladder, a ladder stabilizer keeps you firmly planted against the wall as you work. As a bonus, it can straddle many windows, getting you to places a plain ladder could not take you. Here’s why you should pre-clean your paintbrushes.

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Disposable Grocery Trays

Keep a pile of these palm-sized wonders around for your next painting project. Easily gripped in one hand, they hold enough paint to keep you working for a while without tiring your arm. Best of all, you throw them away when you finish. This is why you should be concerned about the temperature when you paint your house.

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Putty Knife

Sometimes you want something a bit more flexible than your 5-in-1 tool, especially during painting prep. Keep a putty knife handy for just such occasions. The more you have one within reach, the more creative uses you’ll uncover.

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Caulk Gun

As you prep surfaces for painting, having a quality caulk gun at your side will keep mess to a minimum and you’ll extrude nice, clean lines. Look for a hooked drive rod to hang from a belt loop and a thumb-activated pressure release to keep caulk from oozing out of the tube when you’re not using it. Learn the best way to paint a ceiling.

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Paint Can Pouring Lip

Pouring paint from the can is usually the step with the most potential for spills and stains. Control the pour with clip-on, disposable spouts.

How do I get rid of leftover paint?

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Painting Shield

Although this tool has many uses (smoothing wallpaper, straightedge for cutting), we like it as a mobile paint shield. Lay it against a section of trim or other area you want to keep clean and paint right up to its edge. Learn how to get paint out of your clothes.

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Painter’s Tape

Here’s another consumable that made our list of the best painting tools. Painter’s masking tape falls into the same irreplaceable category as tack cloths. Don’t paint your home without it. Be sure to check out these tips for using painter’s tape for less mess and better results.

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Step Ladder

Leaving the best for last, we wrap up our roundup with the venerable step ladder. A sturdy, versatile piece of equipment, no renter or homeowner should be without one. You can find many styles, but we prefer the functionality of the traditional model shown here. These are our best exterior painting tips and techniques.

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