Choose the Best Products to Paint Like a Pro

If an extreme home makeover is out of the question, consider using paint to revitalize the look of any room. Paint is affordable and leaves a lasting impact. With the proper tools and technique, this do-it-yourself project can have wonderful results.

Take the time to properly clean and prepare surfaces before painting. The employees at the local paint or hardware store are an excellent, free source of information.

In addition to the usual supplies, such as brushes, rollers, and extension poles, try these practical painting tools for picture-perfect results.

Paint Testers
Comparing paint chips is not necessarily the best way to choose paint colors. Consider buying small bottles of paint and testing multiple colors on the walls at home. Painting squares directly on the walls is a great way to test a color scheme or compare paint to existing furnishings.

Several popular paint brands, including Glidden, offer 8-ounce sample jars for approximately $3 each.

Bucket With Paint Grid
Paint trays have their uses, but refilling trays and stepping around them can complicate painting projects. Instead, use a large bucket and metal grid to load rollers. Paint grids, also called roller screens, cost approximately $3 and are available in sizes to fit both small and large buckets. Hardware stores, such as Home Depot, offer large buckets and lids for less than $5. This setup makes it easy to load the roller and drain excess paint.

Masking Tape
Today’s hardware stores offer much more than basic masking tape. Specialty painter’s tapes help create clean lines and avoid color bleed. Read the labels carefully because different tapes have specific uses and adhesion levels. If tape stays in place too long, it can leave sticky residue or cause damage upon removal.

ShurTech FrogTape starts at $6 per roll and contains a polymer that reacts with latex paint to stop paint bleed.

Edging Tools
Although tape is necessary to protect some surfaces, an edging tool is effective around door jambs and window trim. Stores also offer a selection of edging gadgets, but most fail to impress. “This Old House” magazine recommends the Zibra Edge-n-Roll kit.

For approximately $16, the kit includes a small tray, trim tool and roller. The tool design makes it possible to paint along trim without taping.

Paintbrush Comb
Even with thorough cleaning, paintbrushes can hide residue. Use a paintbrush comb to gently separate bristles and remove all traces of paint or cleaners in no time. Metal combs cost approximately $3 to $5.