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Interior Painting Tools and Supplies for House Painting

To attain the best interior finishes, it's critical to be prepared with the supplies and tools that the painting project needs. While everybody's rooms, dimensions, color tastes, sheens and desires do differ - these offer help and are compatible and within most budgets.

Masking/Covering of Interior Surfaces & Flooring

Masking Tape - blue tape and more recently, green Frog tape for line painting has become popular. For more confined detailed work, the 1" tape works well and keeps expenses down. For masking off baseboard around carpeted areas the wide tape is recommended. If any laminate surfaces are marginal in the way of potential lifting or seperation (as with certain particleboard laminates) then test first with delicate surface tape rather than setting and pulling off all at once later.

Plastic/Drop Cloths - the 4 mil 3' x 50' rolls of plastic are great for when no seepage is desired, but the rolls have shot up in price over recent years, going to $12 plus. For covering furniture, thin visqueen and interior drop cloths and runners that are kept clean and dedicated for inside use are preferred (typically in 10' by 12', and 12' by 15' dimensions). These are especially important when painting furnished units and rooms. If there is hardwood flooring that needs protection and there is repetitive foot traffic as well, consider taping down rosin paper. Caution: some drop cloths designed with a plastic or butyl backing can be flammable and so should only be used with this in mind.

Access - a 6 foot or 8 foot step ladder for most wall heights. Scaffold such as roll-away type staging for more continuous work, assuming the flooring can handle it.

Hand Tools - a single screwdriver, that is equipped with changeout phillips and flat head sizes, along with an empty bucket for depositing coverplates and screws in consolidated form. Nail sets and hammer for countersinking any risen nail heads (commonly "1/32", "1/16", "3/32") which are discovered. By simply reversing it, the nail set can also be handy for countersinking any wall bumps, before patching.

Putty Knives - the 5 in 1 tool is always great to have around, including for opening paint cans. A set of putty knives, including a down to a 1" blade for patching small holes, the 3" to 4" for placing masking at baseboard carpet, on up to up to wide blades of 6" or 8" for broader wall patches. Never forgetting a mixing paddle and drill for more extensive wall and ceiling patching along with of course the mud pan, either plastic or metal.

Fillers/Putties/Wall Patches - nail hole putty should remain flexible, for use around door millwork, trim and casings (with clean wiping rags & water or solvent-based solution; for example, spirits when specified). For dents and gouges in wood, vinyl patch is normally recommended and is commonly sanded off. For prepping drywall areas of wall patch, either lightweight joint compound, quick dry compound (setting-type compound/powder mix form) or the premixed containers of lightweight compound such as Plus 3 (available in 4.5 gal containers down to 1.0 gallons).

Caulking - interior suitable caulk, with a clean damp rag and rinse water. A caulking gun with a hole piercing device. Counter areas in the kitchen and bath areas, such as shower & tub surrounds should receive tub and tile caulk - a tube usually goes the distance.

Sanding & Smoothing - have on hand, sheets of sandpaper from fine to medium grit (80 to 90 grit, 120 grit, 180/220 grit) for both rough and finish sanding. The pole sander or a 'handled' sanding pad to maintain 'flatness' over broader wall repair areas, the angular sanding blocks for getting into narrow, straight spaces.

Pre-Painting Cleanup - a small vacuum, toted around with the nozzle under the sanding action for dust control. Erect a curtain for intensive sanding areas while the dustless vacuum helps greatly (although starting at around $300).

Painting the Interior

Painting Devices - brushes; generally nylon brushes (unless natural brushes for solvent-based paints) and the 2 1/2" and 3" sash brush for most applications. Along with a decent wire brush for cleaning afterward before casing the brushes. Rollers; for difficult-to-reach areas like behind commodes, the hot dog roller frame, the 9" cage for walls, and either going with a 3/8" nap roller cover (for paints having sheens such as eggshell, satin or semigloss) or a 1/2" for rougher flatter surfaces (or else for applying a first coat on new drywall). The woven naps are better to lessen the shedding effect. The 18" roller and tray intended for high production environments like interior apartment painting.

To gain working leverage, the shorter roller pole for coating closets, a fixed pole for most 9' ceilings and possibly extensible poles for reaching taller sections. A spare roll of foil for wrapping wet rollers in, even overnight, will translate to buying less covers and makes economic sense since the covers are disposable anyway.

Temporary Paint Containers - either the 5 gallon bucket with insertable grid (greater production), the equivalent in a 2 gal version such as for hot dog roller applications, or the the tray pan with disposable liners. Single empty gallon cans with lids or paint pots for brushing out of.


Throughout - items like clean rags, a disposable sharp blade, paint strainers and work lights with extension chords where needed.

Final Cleanup - spare garbage bags for refuse, and a place to let the empty paint cans dry out on the inside prior to their disposal. A razor tool for cleaning any paint off glass. And a roll of paper towels for various cleanup. The option of putting back new coverplates of at least the same size to hide any prior raised outlining effect.

Organization - 'wet paint' signage to be posted, to prevent unintended contact with wet surfaces. Empty quart containers for storing leftover paint for later matching/touch-up and empty gallons to pour leftover paint into from 5 gallon pails. The magic marker for identifying cans as per recorded room/date applied.

Related Costs/Painting :

Cost of Interior Painting
Inside paint costs in depth.

Interior Cost Per Square Foot
For painting the house.

Cost to Paint Rooms
Prices by room dimensions.

House Painting Costs
Find out how much it costs and factors involved.

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