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Painting Equipment

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just buy a bucket of paint and a brush then get going? But any interior or exterior home painting project will require much more.

For all but the smallest jobs, a ladder is a must.

Make sure you overspend here. That doesn't mean buying foolishly, but getting more ladder than you think you need. Walls are always higher than they look and you need to stand two or even three steps down from the top rung for safety.

Get something ultra sturdy. The ladder will have to support your body weight, plus a bucket of paint or a heavy spray canister. Add to that, brushes, pans, rollers and other equipment you want with you and the ladder needs to support about 10-15% more than your weight. If you fall, even if you don't injure yourself, you'll have a heck of a mess to clean up. Overspend.

Most jobs will require a bucket or two. Though paints obviously come in cannisters or buckets themselves, you'll often be mixing thinner, water or other compounds into the paint. You don't want to do that in the original container. Plus, when using a roller, you'll need a paint pan or two.

There are optional lids that can be helpful, too. A standard paint can lid can be a real pain to open, especially after paint dries around the top lip. Slip on lids, some with paint pouring spouts can save you a lot of trouble.

But before you can even get started on the actual painting, you'll need to do a lot of preparation work. That can be up to 80% of the total time spent. Keep that number as low as possible by getting good materials.

Masking tape, sometimes known as blue tape, is a must for those jobs that require painting window sills, walls near baseboard and other close areas. Even the most skilled professional can't avoid getting paint on other surfaces without it.

Drop cloths, plastic or canvas tarps, and other large covers can be vital for certain jobs. Ceiling paint projects are an obvious example. But even when paint isn't dripping from above, it's all too easy to splatter some around. A slight flick of the brush or a little too much speed with the roller is all it takes to fling paint droplets against a floor. Cover everything well.

Then, thankfully, every painting job comes to an end - at least for a day. Once that stage is reached, cleanup begins. Masking and covering will help make that quicker. But there will still be brushes and rollers to clean. Few will want to endure the expense of simply throwing the day's tools away and starting with new ones tomorrow.

Paint thinner is essential for cleaning off oil-based or alkyd paints. Soap and water will do for latex. Gloves will make it super quick to clean hands and a good head covering will save time trying to wash paint out of your hair. The occasional scraper will be needed for those areas where you weren't quite careful enough.

Get the proper supplemental equipment and your home painting job will be quicker, easier and higher quality.