Tool Time: Must-Have Tools For Interior Painting

The one fun thing about moving all of my tools thirty miles up the road to a new place was the fact that I found my workshop a little lacking in some areas, and you know what that means…

Tool shopping!

Hold on. Let me try to accurately portray how I actually feel about that…


Much better.

So, as it turns out, a lot of the painting equipment at the Memorial House didn’t actually belong to me. Shocking, I know. But since I felt the walls of my rental needed a little refreshing before I moved everything in, it was time to replenish the painting supplies, stat.

Unlike purchasing a really big power tool, there was no research necessary here, just a lot of skipping down the aisles of Lowe’s* happily piling tools into my cart. These are my tried and true favorites for interior painting:

#1 Soft Grip Roller

What? I have girl hands and the $2 hard plastic grips give me blisters. Since rollers last forever if you treat them right I’m willing to shell out a few extra bucks for a squishy grip.

#2 Soft Grip Short Handle Trim Brush

This is the one brush I consistently wash so that it doesn’t wear out or get crusty. Best edging lines ever.

#3 Paint Tray with Disposable Liners

It’s great to have a sturdy tray, but still have the option of tossing the liners out. You could also get the slightly more expensive disposable trays that don’t need a solid metal tray under them, but this way you can still hook your tray on a ladder if need be.

#4 HANDy Paint Pail with Disposable Liners

For someone with little hands (like yours truly) who can’t comfortably grip a quart of paint for edging, this thing is a life saver. And you’ve got to love the disposable liners (yet again) because you know I’d use this thing once and never clean it.

#5 Contractors Paper

For whatever reason, plastic sheeting drives me nuts. I can’t stand it. But I love using this contractors paper (which is good for multiple things) and I also love things that can go in the burn barrel or bonfire instead of the garbage.

#6 Bench

This is one of my favorite pieces of painting equipment. For the longest time (like the five years I owned my first house) I used an old bar stool to reach the upper quarter of the walls, which was horrible and unwieldy. Then I moved onto a step latter, but the problem is that I would run out of reach before I ran out of paint, which meant more trips up and down the ladder. This platform bench is perfect because you can reach a good section of wall while standing on it, and it’s useful for a ton of other projects as well.

#7 Foil

When I’m in the middle of a painting job (which usually occurs after 10 PM on a weeknight) I’m usually too exhausted (read:lazy) to clean my rollers or brushes before I go to bed. But through the miracles of not-so-modern technology, I don’t have to. Wrap brushes and rollers in foil and they stay fresh for days… and if you also put them in the fridge they stay fresh even longer.

Bonus Tool – Shureline Edger

While I do like edging with a brush, about half the time I’ll use this Sureline edger, which does actually work pretty well and cuts edging time in half. You have to be pretty meticulous about keeping it clean while you work and getting the right amount of paint on the pad, or you’ll end up with some “touch up” spots on the ceilings, but I like to have one around all the same.

*Side note to my favorite Big Box Stores – Lowe’s,  while I shop at your store more than Big Orange, you’ve made the images on your website so inaccessible that all of the links on this page point to Home Depot. Bloggers like to be able to right click and “copy image location”, just FYI. Also, Home Depot, while I appreciate the easy-access images, you need to work on the search feature on your site. When I search for “paint rollers” don’t make me scroll through three pages through products like and angled wire brushes (??) to see an actual paint roller. Come one guys, I love you both, but work with me here.

7 Responses

  1. Good tool tips here. We’ll be painting our house before Christmas, so I’m definitely going to pop for the short brush.

    Also as far as Lowes and HD photos go, I click on the item photo and it opens up the larger version, which I then right click and save image. Works for me, although the photo is large.

  2. Great list. I have three benches, and two 2/12 walkboards. Set up once, whole side of the room gets covered quickly.

    Just sayin’!

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