These days, heading to the store to pick up painting tools to tackle a job at home can be a confusing experience. Back in the day, you would simply find yourself presented with a few different brushes of a few different sizes, all for a pretty standard price. These days, there are literally hundreds of different brushes from endless manufacturers, not to mention a whole world of gadgets, appliances and fantastical tools to help you get the job done.
Suffice to say, not knowing where to start is generally par for the course.
Which is precisely why we thought we’d share with you this brief, introductory guide to the most common and important painting tools on the market. And of course, don’t forget that if you are ever completely confused and have no idea what you should be taking home, you need only ask your local stockist to clarify things a little further.
Airless Paint Sprayer
First of all, you may have come across a relatively recent addition to the market in the form of an electronic paint sprayer. These essentially blast a thin jet of paint from a nozzle at high speed, from a contraption that looks a little like a pressure washer. There are hundreds of different models available, with prices ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Though often a cause of confusion, foam brushes are in fact made to be used in exactly the same way as standard brushes. The only difference being that instead of bristles, they have a foam pad. They are extremely cheap in general and have the potential to be reasonably effective, though are generally considered to be disposable and thrown away after a single use. Which is a shame, as if you clean them and look after them properly, better quality examples can be used multiple times.
If you come across a paint brush that is labelled as a wall brush, this is a type of brush that is suitable for painting larger surfaces in general. These types of brushes are available with synthetic bristles for use with water-based paints, or natural bristles when using oil-based paints. They are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, not to mention quality levels.
You will instantly know when you come across a radiator brush as it has a shape that is similar to a hockey stick. They are designed to make it at least slightly easier to paint areas that would usually be difficult to reach – one example being home radiators. Once again, expect to come across a wide variety of quality levels and bristle types.
This is another type of standard paintbrush, though produced in a variety of much smaller sizes. These are the brushes that are generally recommended for taking care of detail work, such as around windows, skirting boards and general trim or around the home. Pay attention to the way the bristles are cut at the end, as some will be cut at an angle for more delicate trim work, while others will be square at the end. Be sure to choose higher quality brushes when working with important detail work, especially if planning to use a high-gloss paint.
Varnish & Enamel Brush
Suitable for an interior and exterior painting a light, a varnish or enamel brush will have been created to work as efficiently as possible with enamel paints and stains. The brushes themselves hold onto much higher amounts of paint than standard brushes, in order to deliver a heavier dose to the surface. They are available with synthetic or natural bristles, to suit all requirements.
As the name quite rightly gives away, these essential painting accessories make it considerably easier to accurately paint corners. They are generally inexpensive and more often than not discarded after one use.
Investing in a good quality extension pole can make a wide variety of home painting jobs considerably easier and safer to boot. It is basically an alternative option to stealing a ladder and attempting to reach higher, more awkward areas manually. The very best extension poles are those that are extendable, in order to be brought into use in as many instances as possible.
Paint pads are slightly different to standard brushes in the way in which the painting surface itself is flat. They are generally made with foam of mohair and can be used with most types of paint. One of the primary benefits of paint pads is the way in which they help prevent mess from splattering.
Last but not least, the traditional paint-roller is fairly self-explanatory, in terms of how it is used and instances in which it is suitable. The quality of the payroll you choose will have an enormous impact on both how smoothly the paint is transferred to the wall and how much mess you can expect from splattering. Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly possible to invest in a high quality roller, clean it comprehensively after use and store it away to be used again in future jobs. They do not, by any means, have to be disposable.