Paint Like a Pro: The Paint Tools and Supplies You Didn’t Know You Needed


I recently completed the process of painting every single wall in our entire house (okay, my mom helped with some of them, and honestly I haven’t painted the closet yet, give me a break!) and I have a lot of feelings about which paint tools are helpful, and which are not.

Paint is one arena in which there seem to be a lot of gimmick tools, for some reason—a corner painter? Really?

Ultimately, you can get pretty far with the good ol’ standards, but after doing an awful lot of painting, today I wanted to share the best paint tools that you didn’t know you needed. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Paint Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed: A Shopping List

Sources: Angled Brush 1 | Angled Brush 2 | Tape Cutter | Pourable Paint Can Lid | Paint Cup | Craft Cup | Roller Cup | Edger for Hard-to-Reach Spots | Paintbrush Cleaner | Tape with Plastic Attached

Pourable Paint Can Lid

Talk about a life-changing paint product! If you buy one thing on this list, let it be this one.

If you’ve ever tried to hammer a metal lid back onto a can that is so encrusted with dried paint that it is functionally useless, you will understand. If you’ve ever lost seemingly half a can of paint to dripping down the side of your can, you will understand. If you’ve ever been completely unable to determine what kind (what brand!) of paint you used through a crusty layer of dried paint, you will understand.

This lid solves all of our problems (okay, a few paint-specific problems) by being easy to pour from, easy to reseal, and keeping drips at bay. Open and close your paint as much as you want, it’s no problem! Plus, the spout folds up for storage. Easy peasy.

The Best Brushes

If you’re trying to paint with a normal, long-handled paint brush, you are seriously missing out. I have been using the Wooster Short Cut ever since we moved into this house, and it is honestly the best. Having that short handle allows you to grip right up on the brush, giving you the utmost control to handle trim, edges, or cutting in.

I recently ended up at Lowe’s in a moment when I needed a brush (please, someone invent a self-washing paint brush) and tried the Valspar version as well, and I honestly love it, too. It has a little bump on the base that keeps it really comfy in your hand. These are important details, people!

Paint Cups

I don’t know why step stool companies are always showing pictures of someone painting right out of the can. Who is this person? What is their story? Why are they carrying around an entire paint can?

For the rest of us, there are Handy Paint Cups. Now, I have strong feelings about paint cups because I don’t have the strongest of hands (ironically). I would much rather carry around a lighter cup of paint and refill more often than carry a big, heavy cup around.

Personally, I love these little craft cups. They fit really comfortably and ergonomically in your hand, and they have a little scraper to get excess paint off your brush.

But, if you’re stronger than I am, these cups are also amazing because there is a magnet to hold your brush, which keeps it from getting all globbed with excess paint in the first place! I really like them, too, but they’re a little bigger and heavier, so I don’t reach for them as much. (They also have liners, which is a nice feature for easy clean up!)

If you’re using a small roller, you should absolutely grab a couple of these paint cups as well, they’re really great and the perfect size for your small roller without having to carry around the full-size paint tray.

Pro-tip: Be earth-friendly and reuse your paint cups. You can usually peel the paint out quite easily after you let it fully dry.

Tape Cutter Attachement

This totally seemed like a gimmick until I got it and it absolutely changed my life.

For some reason, painters tape always seems to rip completely sideways, leaving a big ragged tail of crappy tape that you have to rip off and throw away. And, in a painters tape situation, that clean straight line almost always is of critical importance.

Enter this tool, which easily attaches to your roll of painters tape, and results in clean tears so you can keep those straight lines and waste a lot less tape. Amazing. Order it!

Tape with Plastic Attached

Wowza, this thing seems a little excessive until you have a situation for it and then it’s amazing. For instance, spray painting a window, as I did in our laundry room, or painting around the vent hood in our kitchen—both situations in which it came in handy.

This is your standard blue Scotch painters tape, but with plastic attached. Sounds simple, but prepare to save a TON of time when you’re taping off and want to cover a specific surface as well. It basically cuts prep time in half!

Plus, the plastic has a little built-in static cling, so the plastic really sticks to whatever you’re trying to cover. Just trust me, it’s amazing.

Behind the Toilet Paint Tool

Hyper-specific tool, yes. BUT, when you need to paint behind a toilet, and you don’t want to move it out of the way, you will be SO happy you read this post. Now you know about this super-skinny paint pad that fits right back in there so you can paint where you need to without making a huge mess and getting paint all over your toilet. You’re welcome.

Care for Your Painting Tools to Make Life Easier

Beyond investing in the right tools, there are a few cleanup and care steps that will lead to the best paint finish in your home:

Step 1: Use the Right Roller

I know, I know, you don’t believe me, but YES, when it says “smooth surface” or “rough surface”, it really does make a difference in the finish. The “rough surface” rollers are fluffier to get in crevices, and they will leave more texture on your walls in the end. Keep it smooth by using a smooth surface roller.

Step 2: Keep Your Brushes Clean

Hilarious that I’m the one saying this, because I’m the worst about cleaning my brushes (ask Dustin), but crusty brushes leave marks in your paint and make you crabby. It’s scientifically proven. You can keep a brush in a plastic bag or plastic wrap for a few days between coats. Then, use this tool to clean them quickly and easily.

Step 3: Know What to Reuse

We don’t clean roller covers in this house. It’s just not worth it, it’s difficult, it’s not happening. If I’m doing multiple coats of the same color over a day or two, I wrap my roller in tinfoil or a plastic bag (Ziploc, trash bag, Target bag). When I’m done, I pop it off into the bag or foil, and toss it in the trash. Usually, it’s the roller cover and tray liner that get tossed. Brushes and paint cups can be cleaned and reused.

You’ve Got This (With the Right Tools)

Ready to get painting? I’m wishing you luck! Now that you have the right tools and supplies, I know it will all roll on smoothly and look wonderful.

PS- Working on a big paint project? Read my previous paint chronicles Painting Our Basement Ceiling and Painting Outdoor Chairs.

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