Whether you feel intimidated by the idea of painting a room, or you have personally painted every home you’ve ever lived in, your skills are only as good as your painting supplies. When it comes to painting, using high-quality paint supplies is the secret to achieving high quality results. We like to say they’re the real MVP of a flawless paint job. So once you settle on the perfect paint color, it’s time to stock up on the right paint supplies to guarantee an expert finish, no matter your level of experience.
To make the process as easy as possible, we’ve put together the ultimate paint supplies list below, covering the essential supplies you need to paint a room (plus our expert tips to help you along). And if you want to save time and money, definitely go with a pre-bundled paint supplies kit, which offers all the painting essentials you need in one convenient set, so you’re literally ready to roll.
1. Painter’s Tape: For Crisp Clean Lines
Proper prep will make your paint application a breeze and help you get a better end result. As steady as your hand may be, the surest trick to creating a clean, straight line is to use painter’s tape. Painter’s tape is designed to be non-damaging to your walls and is great for covering up any areas you don’t want paint to get on such as baseboards (when you’re painting walls) and other hard to paint around items like light fixtures.
Clare Tip: Make sure to clean any surface you plan to apply painter’s tape to. Moldings and baseboards collect dust over time and your tape won’t adhere properly if dust or debris present.
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2. Drop Cloths: Protect against drips and spills
Regardless of whether you’re painting an empty room, or a fully furnished one, something in that room will need protecting. Cover up floors and furnishings with durable, leak-proof drop cloths because even if you’ve got the best tools out there, painting is still messy work.
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3. Painter’s Tray: So you can load your roller evenly
The purpose of a paint tray is pretty utilitarian: it holds your paint. A sturdy, metal tray is best for painting with a roller and a simple, plastic tray will work fine for smaller applicators like a mini paint roller or paint brush. A tray with a ribbed roll off area will help you load your roller more evenly.
Clare Tip: Look for trays that are both deep and wide enough to accommodate your paint roller and paint.
4. Plastic Tray Liner: Makes Switching Colors and Cleanup a Breeze
Skip buying multiple trays and instead use disposable plastic tray liners, which make quick work of cleanup. Just place it in your tray, pour your paint, and toss it when you’re done. They also protect your paint tray so it lasts longer! At Clare, our Tray Liners are made of recycled water bottles, and are 100% recyclable! (Just be sure to rinse and clean them fully before recycling.)
5. Paint Brush: For cutting in and painting trim
Almost any room will require you to “cut in,” the painting term for creating a perfectly straight line of paint around architectural elements like ceilings, doors or windows. The best painting tool to master this technique is a 2" angled paint brush. Look for a brush with a longer handle (sash brush), which allows for better hand control when tackling trim, corners, and edges where the walls meet the ceiling. Always use the highest quality paint brush you can find. Cheaply made paint brushes lead to bristles getting stuck and drying in your paint and can also leave unsightly brush marks.
Clare Tip: Quality paint brushes can be used again and again. To keep them in good condition wash your brush thoroughly after each use. Warm, soapy water works best. Be sure to shake out any excess moisture, and hang the brush to dry completely (there’s a hole in the handle for good reason). For more, read our handy guide on How To Clean a Paint Brush.
6. Paint Roller Frame: Does the heavy lifting
A quality roller frame can last through multiple jobs and homes. And though they come in a range of sizes, a 9-inch roller frame is best for walls and ceilings, (anything larger is too heavy and unwieldy), a 4.5-inch roller is perfect for small surfaces like moldings, baseboards and doors. Look for a frame with a comfortable grip and high-quality bearings so you get a smooth, easy roll. You also want a frame that has a really secure cage to attach your roller cover to. There’s nothing more annoying than your roller cover sliding off the frame as you’re painting!
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7. Roller Covers: The key to a smooth application
Our preferred material for a roller cover is microfiber. It gives better performance with Zero VOC paints, is virtually lint free, and is also incredibly forgiving as it will absorb a good amount of paint but only release it when rolled. It’s also ultra soft for a very smooth finish which means your novice paint job is going to look totally professional. The cover fibers, or “nap,” come in a variety of lengths as well. We suggest a ⅜-inch nap for walls, doors, and other smooth surfaces, and a ½-inch nap for textured areas like stucco exteriors or popcorn ceilings. This is actually the most important tool in your painting arsenal so you definitely don’t want to go cheap on your roller cover. Inexpensive, poorly made roller covers will shed, leaving fibers in your dried paint finish and also have poorly constructed inner cores which break down as you’re painting causing them to loosen and slide off during application. Always use the highest quality roller cover you can afford!
Clare Tip: To avoid roller marks or raised edges along the sides of a painted strip, do not submerge your roller. Instead, carefully dip only the nap and then gently roll back and forth on the roll-off area of your tray. Your roller should never be dripping.
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8. Extension Pole: for Maximum Reach with Minimum Effort
Extension poles are good for more than just reaching high places with ease, they can help you paint more efficiently. If you need to paint a large area, an extension pole will give you greater leverage and help get the job done faster, plus it reduces strain as you’re painting making the job SO much easier!
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Save Time & Money with Pre-Bundled Paint Supply Kits
From big rooms to small spaces, our premium paint supply kits have everything you need to prep and paint like a pro and feature all of our ultra premium painting supplies for flawless results. Buying our pre-bundled kits also save you 20%!
Certain paint jobs require extra necessities. Here are few more painting essentials you might need for your project.
Ceiling Paint: Formulated for Ceilings
A fresh coat of flat white on the ceiling can make newly-painted walls even more eye-catching.
Primer: Blocks Stains and Conceals Imperfections
To conceal imperfections and block stains, start with a foundation of primer before applying any paint.
Stir Stick: Don’t Forget to Stir!
Make sure your paint is thoroughly mixed so the color and consistency of the finish is seamless. Paint can also separate if it has been sitting for a while so remember give your paint a good stir as soon as you open your can! We include free stir sticks with every order.
We’re all about safety so use a good, sturdy ladder whenever you need to get high up. It’s much safer than propping up on a chair!
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