Choosing Your Painting Equipment
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 26, 2021)
Despite what many people may like to think, choosing your painting equipment, while easy, is not as simple as grabbing a few brushes and a pan. Having the right type of equipment for the given job can make all the difference in having your painting project looking like a professional did it or having it look like something you did on a free weekend. Before you get all worried though, keep in mind that choosing your painting equipment is pretty easy, as long as you keep in mind the basics.
- Brushes. Perhaps the single most recognizable items of all painting equipment is the paint brush. It can honestly be said that there is a brush for every kind of job, the trick is to learn what kind of brush you want. A good quality brush is almost always going to have a shaped hardwood handle, to which the bristles will be attached with a noncorrosive metal ferrule. The bristles should have multiple spacer plugs, and the end of the bristles should look almost like a chisel at the end. Brushes should usually be chosen when working with delicate or detail-oriented work such as cutting in (which means painting that last little bit of wall that is near doors, ceilings, and windows) or working in corners.
- Rollers. Rollers and roller covers are perfect for painting large areas. For example, if you needed to paint a large wall, you will want to use a roller and roller pad (or cover) to help get the job done. A good quality roller should have a sturdy construction and the cage should roll easily when you spin it around. You don't want it to stick or hesitate as you are painting. The cover you choose depends on the effect that you want, but there are some generalities that you can keep in mind. For example, if you are going to be painting an extremely flat surface, then you should only need to use a 1/4 inch nap, whereas if you have a wall that will have some small flaws use a cover that has a 3/8 inch nap. The roller cover should be made of a material that will absorb the paint nicely, but still be able to part with it easily, and which won't dry out too quickly.
- Pads. Pads and specialty rollers should only be used when you have a need for them. Typically, you can follow the same general rules in picking a pad that you do with rollers. Keep in mind that these types of equipment will generally come with instruction on how to use them properly.
- Mechanical methods. Lately there are all kinds of mechanical methods that you can use to paint. For example, you can use a paint sprayer to help paint your home, furniture, and hobbies. Another item that you can often use is called a power painter, which is a "pressurized" paint roller. When using a power painter, be sure that you follow the same general rules as you do with a non-pressurized roller. For the paint sprayer, choose the one that will fit your needs the best. Just as with a paint brush, a paint sprayer is usually made to fit a specific job.
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