What Are the Best Painting Tools for Your Home?

Most of us don’t paint very often – pros recommend every three to five years, but since interior paint lasts longer, some people may wait 10 or more years between paint jobs. So, when you do paint, you want to have the right tools for the job, not just to make it faster and easier, but to paint well enough to last until the next time you break out the rollers. With that in mind, we answer the question: What are the best painting tools for your home?

The Best Prep Supplies

Painting includes more than just putting color on the wall. To ensure the best paint job, you also need to prep first. That means taping off the areas you don’t want paint to get on, like ceilings, windows, trim and floors.
Painter’s Tape

The easiest way to do this is with painter’s tape. Look for the kind that seals at the edges (so the paint doesn’t bleed over) and releases easily (so it doesn’t leave tape behind when you peel it off).

Drop Cloths

To cover the floor, use a drop cloth. The best kind are canvas and, while they’re more expensive, they’ll do a better job staying where you put them and will last a lifetime.

The Best Painting Tools

Here are the best tools for the paint job, itself.

Paint Tray

Next up, you need a paint tray. A metal one is the sturdiest and lasts the longest, but you’ll have clean it between jobs. If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning, use disposable plastic trays. You can also get disposable inserts for your metal tray, for the best of both worlds.


Rollers are a must-have for painting walls. Look for a standard 9-inch roller and 3/8-inch nap. For tight spaces, use mini rollers. Don’t bother with a special plastic tube to cover the wet roller overnight. Instead, wrap it tightly in a plastic grocery bag or drop it in a large zipper bag and seal it. That’ll keep you from rinsing the roller when you take a breather.

Extension Pole and Ladder

Look for an adjustable extension pole with a rubber grip to help you reach high spaces. Also, while we’re talking about hard-to-reach areas, it’s worth it to invest in a six-foot fiberglass or aluminum ladder. Using a chair or step ladder might be cheaper, but it’s also way more dangerous.

Brushes For cutting in and painting trim, buy a high-quality angled sash brush. Fanning the tip lets you paint a fine line while using the angle helps you get into corners. Look for a 2 ½-inch brush. (If you’re painting windows or woodwork, go for a smaller brush, which is more accurate in areas requiring some detail.)

The Best Cleanup Tools

Cleanup is as much a part of the job as prep and keeping your tools clean makes them last longer.


If you used acrylic or latex paint, clean your brushes with water and mild soap. For oil paint, use mineral spirits or turpentine. While you’re cleaning, use a painter’s comb to clean the metal base of the brush.
5 In 1 Tool

Don’t keep rollers you used oil-based paint with; throw those away. But if you painted with latex or acrylic, your rollers can live to see another day. Scrape them with a 5 in 1 tool, then continue using the tool as you rinse them in warm, soapy water.

Let our trusted, top-quality house painters handle your paint job for you. With more than 100,000 walls refreshed, we know how to choose the best tools, paints and crews for your project.