Pro-Recommended Painting Products for DIYers
We’ve got a crew of dedicated DIYers on the Family Handyman staff, and we spend a lot of time painting. So we’re always on the lookout for stuff that’ll help us get the job done better and faster. We scour the shelves of paint stores, surf the net, and pick the brains of our painting pros to find the latest and greatest as well as the best classic tools and gear.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
If you need to paint cabinet or bedroom doors or need lots of trim painted and don’t have a ton of room to lay everything out, grab several pairs of these Stak Racks. Attaching them to doors allows you to paint one side and flip them over without touching the door. Use 2×4’s to make a shelf between a pair of these to stack lots of trim or cabinet doors. Head to Amazon to get a set of 12 for $80 or a set of 4 for $30.
Sticky Drop Cloth
The trouble with canvas drop cloths is that they don’t stay put. Sure, you can tape the edges. But with a CoverGrip Safety Drop Cloth like this, you don’t have to. The plastic-like material has a slightly tacky surface that keeps the canvas in place on wood, tile, concrete or carpet. Plus, the cloth is solvent- and puncture-resistant and has a surface that makes it slip-resistant even when wet. Plus: Learn how to paint a room really fast—seriously.
High capacity 3/8″ nap 9-inch roller cover
Minimizing your trips to the roller tray means less opportunity for your roller to drip. A high-capacity roller cover keeps more paint in the nap which prevents drips and the need to go to the paint tray as many times as you normally would. They run just under $8 on Amazon.
Have a painting job? Check out these 10 Interior House Painting Tips & Painting Techniques for the Perfect Paint Job
Paint Touch-Up in a Pen
When you’re finished painting a room, just load the pen with matching paint and snap on the cap. Later, when you’ve got a ding to touch up, give the pen a few shakes and go to it. They’re a little spendy. But it’s sure hard to beat the convenience. Plus: Check out these 29 painting tool hacks that’ll get you projects rolling.
Speedy Roller Cleaner
Mini Hand Masker
Super-Size Paint Tray
Easy-Clean Chinex Brush
The Xtreme is Little Giant’s do-everything ladder. As on the original Little Giant ladder, each side adjusts independently to give you the option of a 4- to 7-ft. stepladder. Or you can flip it open to make an extension ladder that extends to 17 ft. But one of the best features of these ladders is the ability to adjust the sides independently to different heights for use on stairs and uneven ground. You can also take the ladder apart to create two trestles that can support a work plank.
This model has several enhanced features, including extra-strong Quad-Lock Hinges, a wide Comfort Step and an Airdeck Workstation. If there’s a downside, it’s the cost. If this is beyond your budget, the company makes other less expensive ladders with some of the same features.
Custom-Color Stain Markers
Brilliant Paint Bucket
Angle Grinder Dust Catcher
The collector also has a removable segment that allows you to get the grinder in close to edges. Having to drag a vacuum hose along with you as you sand is a little cumbersome. But we haven’t found a better way to catch dust from a grinder.
Lead paint caution: Houses built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Before disturbing any surface, get a lab analysis of paint chips from it. Contact your local public health department on how to collect samples and where to send them.
Two Tips in One
Great Little Scraper
That’s why we love this little carbide scraper. The triangular carbide blade stays sharp and has three cutting edges, so you won’t need to replace it for a long time. It’s perfect for cleaning out corners or small areas that are hard to reach with a larger scraper. You can also buy pear-, drop- and round-shaped blades to fit the same handle.
Buy the Bahco 625 Premium Ergonomic Carbide Scraper online or look for it at hardware and woodworking stores. Plus: Check out these go-to tips for painting windows.
Caulk in Any Color
Pick up Sashco’s eXact color kit and mix 1 oz. of leftover wall paint into the eXact color tube, shake it up and you’ve got yourself a tube of Colonial Green caulk.
We tried it with orange paint. It came out a little light at first but matched great once it cured. There will be an air bubble or two, which could cause a splatter, so you might want to tape off each side of the bead and plan on tooling it.
Better Roller Pole
Painter’s Pants Designed by a Painter
The pants have special pockets to hold everything a painter needs, including a handy thigh pocket for your smartphone. But the real clincher is the pair of built-in knee pads. Anyone who’s spent a day filling nail holes in baseboards knows how valuable this feature is. The pads are just right. Not so thick that they’re bulky, but cushy enough to make kneeling comfortable. These pants, from Armed Work Wear, are available online in white, khaki and black.
A Better Edge-Painting Tool
Check out another paint roller we think is pretty groovy in the video below.
Pro Masking Tool
Handy Paint Pail
Hot Paint Stripper
Easy-Off Roller Frame
Quick-Connect Paint Pole
Brush and Roller Spinner
Most Comfortable Brush
Heat Gun Control
The fan has five speeds, and the heat can be adjusted from a balmy 120 to a blistering 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. And it has a digital display, so you can dial in exactly the temperature you’re after. I can stoke the heat to bubble away layers and layers of paint, or I can lower it to remove that political bumper sticker I’m now embarrassed to showcase. It can also stand up on its own, which comes in handy for heating shrink tape around wire connections.’ — Mark Petersen, Associate Editor
Pro Sprayer, Homeowner Price
The Painter Plus comes with a gun and a 25-ft. hose. It’s light and portable and has a flexible supply hose, so you can paint straight from a can or bucket. Cleanup is simple; just flush it with a garden hose. Excellent instructions are included, which is important because sprayers are powerful tools that should be used with care and maintained properly. If you’re in the market for a sprayer, The Project Painter Plus is a great choice. — Ken Collier, Contributing Editor. Plus: we’ll show you how to paint your own kitchen cabinets with a sprayer here.