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Best Painting Tools

As a painter for over 35 years, I've done tons of painting: literally. These are tools that save you time and cut through frustration. This page contains every painting tool you need to jump in. I'm with you.

Hi, I am Brad (The Painter!).
I am a professional painter for over 30 years, and I am now passing on tips and trade secrets to you.

Painting Basic Tools

Here are the main top-quality painting tools that we recommend. Our view is that using high-quality tools cuts the labor involved and saves time and money in the end. You can read more details about those tools in our article

My Main Brush

Purdy’s Nylox Series Dale Angular
Any water-based paint – bristles find corners by themselves – try the 2.5″ if you have a little experience.

Bucket System-1

5-Gallon Bucket replaces Pan/Tray
Pros use this rather than trays for rolling with the Screen/Grid you see here; for spraying get several buckets

Bucket System-2


Bucket Screen/Grid for 5-Gallon buckets: Insert into bucket and add paint for your roller.

Bucket System-3


Bucket Dolly makes moving the roller and bucket very easy instead of lifting as you move.

Lifetime tool


9″ Roller Frame
Won’t break or bend out of shape like others; fits both screw-type and quick-lock poles.

Go-To Roller Cover

Blend of Wool and Polyester
Wool holds a lot of paint; Poly gives long life. Read how easy these are to clean in this article.

Very good deal


Roller Cover 3/4-Inch Nap, 3-Pack
My go-to cover: fine for stains, paints, primers – won’t shed like budget covers.

Works with new or old

Sherlock Convertible Extension Pole
Telescoping and quick to use; works with both older screw-type and newer quick-lock roller frames.


Purdy Skinny Mini Roller Frame, 22 inch x 3/4 inch
We keep it handy for behind the toilet, behind radiators – even small ceilings

Useful all over the house

3-Step Ladder Platform Lightweight Folding Stool
This goes with us on every job – very stable and light

Basic drop cloth

Canvas 9 x 12 Cotton Drop Cloth
We use various sizes – these can be cut for 2 ‘runners’ for walls

Tray Kit

PURDY Painters Kit, 4-Piece
If you prefer tray to bucket: other brands’ rollers & brushes shed lint & bristles

Painting Prep Tools


Designed to make quick work of your prep job. Read more.


3M Drill Attachment for stripping paint

A good alternative to buying a grinder: all you need is a drill.


Bosch Angle Grinder, 5-inch

Variable speed, with 3M Sandblaster disk shown on this page makes quick work of paint removal.


3M Sandblaster Grinder Disc

Fits all 4.5-5 inch angle grinders: may need adapter kit for some grinders.


3M Drill Attachment for stripping paint

A good alternative to buying a grinder: all you need is a drill.


2Hook and Loop sander discs

Works with all 5 inch sanders that use ‘hook-n-loop’, aka velcro sandpaper


Dewalt Orbital 5-inch Sander

More for smoothing, feathering than for removal of paint


3M’s Garnet Sandpaper

Five sheets will be enough for perhaps 10 windows or 10 doors.


Hyde Spackling and Putty Knife

For spackling holes – more flexible than the multi-tool shown on this page. Pros need both.



Clauss 6-in-1 Multi-tool

Every painter’s 3rd hand: fits in side pocket. Pulls nails, acts as hammer, squeeze paint rollers, much more.

Outdoor paint removal

Sun Joe’s most powerful pressure washer

We use this for prepping outdoor wood, especially decks: doubles as a car washer. These never die.

Works with Sun Joe

Sun Joe SPX-TSN-34S Quick-Connect Turbo Head Spray Nozzle
Rotating tip prevents water pressure damage to wood

Very adaptable

Little Giant 17-Foot Velocity Multi-Use Ladder, 300-Pound
Step ladder with many configurations – comes in 4 sizes


Paint Sprayers & Accessories

You can go much faster with your painting job with a good paint sprayer. Here are the main recommendations. You can read more about our top choices paint sprayers here

Top Choice

Graco Magnum X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer
Designed for home-owners – reliable with great resale value

Professional Level

Graco Cart Pro Connect Paint Sprayer, 17C305 Pro210ES
Pricey for professional use – top gun…period.

Works with airless

Graco Pressure Roller Kit, 244512
Works with any Graco airless – cuts rolling time in half (or less)

Wand cuts time

Graco Sprayer Wand Extension w/Tip Guard, choice 3 lengths
Works with either Graco airless shown here – makes spraying much easier, faster.

DIY Power Roller

5-gal bucket strainer

Paint Strainer fits over a 5-gallon bucket and has slot for sprayer siphon. Reusable, for all paints/stains. We filter even new paint as it all has some lumps.

Single use strainers

Cone Paint Strainer Filter Screens, 50 Pack
Essential for spraying and fine trim work; not really re-usable.

DIY Project

Wagner FLEXiO Sprayer, 590
More of a project sprayer – load one quart at a time

Low Budget

REXBETI Ultimate Paint Sprayer 500-watt
Very good reviews and growing.​

3M Hand masker

3M Hand-Masker Pre-assembled Masking Film Kit, M3000
Very helpful with spray or any masking; protect larger areas from stain/paint

Works with hand masker

3M Hand-Masker Masking Film, 72-Inch
For use with 3M hand masker; for protecting large-size surfaces (windows, etc)

Almost all we use


6 Rolls Multi Use Painters Green Masking Tape
Use alone or to refill 3M hand masker. This will not pull paint off the wall even after days, unlike tan ‘old-fashioned’ tape.

Works with hand masker

Trimaco Masking Paper 24-inch x 1000-feet; better than 3M
For use with 3M hand masker; for protecting medium-size surfaces

Short term only

Sherwin Williams Professional Quality Masking Tape, 60 yards
For making straight lines – glue sticks in 3 hours (green tape for longer)

Rolls of plastic

Premier 9′ x 12′ 1-MIL Plastic Drop Cloth

Necessary to protect adjacent structures and vehicles.

Cardboard holder

Kraft Cardboard Shield Holder

Far better than our old metal shields. This is not as essential as the hand masker and drop cloth, but it is really handy to protect from overspray.

Respirators and Safety Accessories

Depending on your painting job, you will need some of those helpers – I use them a lot for sure

Life Saver

3M Respirator – Half Facepiece; choose size on page
Mask without filters – Need filter kit below or buy filters separately

Starter Kit

Paint Respirator Supply Kit
Use with 3M masks – contains chemical and outer filters plus clip

HEPA for dust, mold


3M P100 Filter

Fine for latex spraying, but not for more toxic gasses.

Best for mold

3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit 68097
Protect eyes and lungs- chemical cartridges sold separately

Strap-on Knee pads

NoCry Professional Knee Pads with Heavy Duty Foam
Real freedom comes from cushy knee pads – also for cleaning chores

Top Quality

DEWALT Safety Goggle

Can go over most eyeglasses if you have small/medium frames. Very comfy.

Timesaving Painting Tools

Here what the pro are using to save time while painting. More details about how we use them in our article.

DIY Project

Sun Joe Pressure Joe 2030 PSI, 1.76 GPM, 14.5-Amp Electric
First phase of any deck work; essential add-on is the rotating tip

DIY Project

Sun Joe SPX-TSN-34S Quick-Connect Turbo Head Spray Nozzle
Rotating tip prevents water pressure damage to wood


Patton PUF1810C-BM 18-Inch High Velocity Fan
We never do a job without it – dries paint quickly & sucks fumes out window

Time Saving


Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier
Sucks the moisture out of the air – paint dries much quicker

Supplies for Prep

Here you have everything you need to prep your painting job. How to use them is described in our articles on painting. Doing a good prep job with the right painting tools is key for your next step. 



Hand masker and drop cloths are under Sprayers above!


Red Devil Quick-dry Lightweight Spackling

Not as dense as the other spackle you see here, but dries very fast: best for very small holes.

Dries very hard


Red Devil Spackling
Dries slower, but harder and sands smoother than lightweight spackle also shown on this page.

Mold Killer

BioBarrier Mold Killer
Non-toxic mold removal – the bleach alternative (no respirator needed).

Great spackling

2DAP Alex Flex Spackling, White

Interior/Exterior; an excellent all-purpose spackling compound.

Softens caulk

Caulk Remover from Motsenbocker

Lift Off softens the caulk to be removed: sometimes it is the only way to get old caulk out.

Paint remover

Paint Remover: Old School

Nasty but efficient – removes layers of old paint. When the eco-safe-green products don’t cut the mustard, come home.

Deep cleans

TSP powder for deep cleaning prep

For deep clean of surfaces too dirty/greasy/slick to bond with paint

Cleaning Tools & Supplies

We explained how to use those tools in our posts: how to clean paint rollers and paint brushes. It is quick and easy with the right painting tools. Those inexpensive cleaning tools will keep your quality brushes and rollers for a long time. Don’t buy cheap rollers and brushes and trow away – your walls will be cover with lints and hairs that the low quality roller and brushes have shed – waste of time and frustration are guarantee!

Cleans paint on brush


Purdy Wire Brush with Scraper Tip
To clean paint brushes (budget ones shed wires) – for rust too

Roller spinner

Purdy Brush and Roller Spinner Cleaning Tool, 140755200
Cleans roller covers and brushes very easily (see article)

Top Choice

Warner Paint Brush Comb & Roller Cover Cleaner, 279
Not for scraping off paint – used for combing brush bristles to dry straight

For glass etc.


Titan Tools 2-Piece Multi-Purpose Razor Scraper Set
Removes paint from glass and used as any knife

Best thinner

Turpenoid Hypo-Allergenic Turpentine Substitute, 1 qt, Odorless
Safest mineral spirits available – highly recommended


Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Oil-based Paint Remover
How to tell if dried paint is latex or oil? Read How to Remove Paint 


Hand cleaner

GOJO Natural Citrus-Pumice Hand Cleaner
For cleaning hands of oil-based paint, primer, stain, grease

Removes latex easily

Goof Off Professional Strength Remover, 1 gal
Really works great, and does not harm the surface underneath.

Hand cleaner

GOJO Natural Citrus-Pumice Hand Cleaner
For cleaning hands of oil-based paint, primer, stain, grease

Painting Tools & Supplies

Products here are selected by a pro: reasonably priced, high-quality products. The key to doing quality work quickly is good painting tools.