The Best Paint Tools and Gadgets for Prepping, Painting and Touching Up Your Home
We've rounded up everything you'll need for a flawless interior paint job.
Paint projects often seem overwhelming. A poor paint job that results in drips on your nice hardwood floors or smudges on your ceiling, aka places you're not trying to paint, can make the project even more annoying. The keys to a satisfying job well done are picking the right color, proper prep work and the right tools. We've rounded up some of the best tools for interior paint projects, from basic must-haves like can openers and brushes to innovative gadgets like smart color readers for color matching almost anything and touch-up paint pens, so you can start planning your next paint job like a pro.
Paint Glossary: All About Paint, Color and Tools
Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking colors.
Top 10 Ways to Paint Like a Pro
For a professional-looking paint job, do what the experts do.
Before you even pick out your paint colors, you should know about this innovative gadget. Have you ever fallen in love with an interior room color from a magazine or even objects in your own house like a nail polish color? Well, now you can identify the closest paint color available with this nifty gadget: Datacolor ColorReader EZ. To use, download the ColorReader app and scan a flat, preferably matte, object with the reader and then the app will populate the top three closest paint color matches from the most popular paint brands. This tool is super handy for choosing a paint color to pair with an existing patterned wallpaper or fabric you've picked out. It's also great for touch-up projects since you can color match existing paint colors that previous owners may have chosen that you have no way to identify. Of course, you can always go to your local hardware store to get help with color matching, but if you prefer to minimize trips, shop online or even just narrow down your color choices before you go, this tool is game-changing.
You can now hang, rearrange and rehang frames and artwork on your walls to your heart's desire because patching up those nail holes, especially before repainting a room, only requires this one tool. This small tube includes spackle with primer, a putty knife on one end of the tube and a sanding pad on the other end. Just apply the spackle, smooth with the built-in putty knife, let dry and sand until flush with the wall. Then, it's ready for paint.
Before you paint your space, make sure all walls, ceilings and baseboards are squeaky clean. You can spot clean with a sponge, of course, or you can make it way easier and use this wall and ceiling mop.
Drop cloths are a must for protecting floors and furniture. Plastic drop cloths are cheaper, but these canvas ones do the job much better, and they're less slippery. This one from Amazon comes in nine different sizes, too.
One of the most important things you can do when painting your space is to pay attention to the prep work — the better you prep, the happier you'll be with your end result. Use this painter's tape to protect the trim and ceiling.
If you don't have the patience to properly tape off your trim with painter's tape, this gadget is for you. This innovative paint edger features a LED light that illuminates the edging surface and dark corners. It's ideal for creating straight lines and a professional smooth finish and can be used around doors, window trim and low-profile molding. It also features a comfortable mouse-like handle that swivels to help guide the edger and is threaded for use with extension poles for hard-to-reach areas. A push of a button releases the used pad for a quick, mess-free cleanup. Note that this paint edger does require two AAA batteries, not included.
Use this metal key to prevent breaking any nails when prying open paint cans. This set comes as a pack of five, so if you misplace one, you should still be set for many painting projects to come.
If you've ever tried to pour your paint into a tray without one of these babies, you already know it isn't pretty. This handy tool will help you store paint easily, as well as pour it with no mess.
When you're working on the trim or touching up a small area, it's a pain to have to lug a big paint tray around the room. This handheld paint pail that holds up to a quart of paint or stain is easy to carry around as you paint. It features an adjustable strap to fit your hand and can attach to a belt for hands-free use. The pail also has a built-in magnetic brush holder and brush scraper.
For larger spaces, a five-gallon bucket will come in handy for mixing paint. Even when using the same color, there can be a slight variation from can to can. Mixing all of the paint cans together in a large bucket, known as "boxing" your paint, can help make your space look more uniform.
For areas behind hard-to-move items like toilets, hot water heaters, radiators and more, this long, flat paintbrush tool makes it easy to paint walls in those areas without making a mess of the paint and getting it all over your appliances. The brush comes with a tray that you can fill with paint (or you can paint the brush itself with a regular brush for less mess), then you dip the brush in it and then slide it behind the immovable object as needed.
This handy 10-piece starter kit includes all the tools you'll need for an interior paint job — rollers, brushes and a tray. The roller covers feature a 1/2" nap, which is sufficient for most interior paint jobs, but if you're painting a rougher surface like concrete or brick, you might want to look for roller covers with a 3/4" - 1" nap.
If you're someone who tackles a lot of paint projects or furniture flips, you might want to invest in a paint sprayer. This top-rated airless sprayer from Graco can hold up to 32 ounces of paint at a time and can spray in any direction, even upside down, so you can use it on a ceiling. Weighing only four pounds, this paint sprayer is lightweight and works on many different surfaces, from interior walls to fences to furniture.
If your painting project will take more than a day, these paintbrush covers are a must. As seen on Shark Tank, use these covers to simply cover the brush instead of wasting time washing it or ruining a brush by forgetting to wash it and letting it dry out. If you want to DIY a way to save your in-use paintbrush instead of buying, you can also wet a paper towel, wrap it around the paintbrush, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge overnight.
If you're just tackling a small paint job or want to reserve paint for touch-ups, these cans with built-in brushes from Paint Saint are game-changers. Store your leftover paint in the container and use the built-in paintbrush to retouch any time you need. The best part is you never have to clean the paintbrush because the silicone gasket in the container's lid keeps oxygen out.
A paintbrush can be hard to use for small paint touch-ups on walls or furniture — a pen is better for precision. Fill this pen with paint using the syringe included. The paint stays fresh for up to seven years.
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