Painting Like A Pro: Getting The Right Tools

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The basic painting tools you’ll need to get started

Everyone has that family member who can, “Paint like a pro!” And it’s usually that same family member who ends up ruining the bathroom walls and somehow painting the dog.

Unfortunately, you can’t learn how to paint like a pro from reading a blog or watching a video. But, with a little practice, the right tools, and a few mistakes along the way, you can get pretty close. In this post, I will guide you through buying the right equipment.

Let’s talk about buying  the right tools. If you’re a weekend warrior, you probably aren’t going to break the bank buying an expensive spraying machine or a 7-piece painting suit. But, if you plan on painting more than 1 room over time, purchasing decent tools could save you time, money, and frustration in the future.


Paint Brushes

Depending on what you’re painting, a decent brush will cost around $10-$20. If that seems like a lot, remember you’re going to clean it and re-use it later. If you’re applying oil based paint, stains, or cutting in, I would recommend:

This is a versatile brush that allows users to paint on multiple surfaces, indoors and outdoors. The sash edge and 2” width gives inexperienced painters a little help with reaching those tight corners. Alternatively, at Lowe’s you can get:

If you’re applying latex based paints on bigger walls, I would recommend:

This brush is great for holding a lot of paint but still leaves a smooth finish. Alternatively, Lowe’s offers:

Paint Rollers

If you’re painting more than a very small room, you’ll probably want to consider using a roller. Rollers hold a lot of paint and cover a large surface area quickly. Having a good roller frame helps deliver paint to surface quickly and evenly. Let’s look at what you’ll need to get started:

Your roller frame shouldn’t be too expensive. Usually between $8-12. Don’t waste your money on fancy frames that claim to hold more paint or “save you time”. This roller frame will work just fine:

This Wooster frame is what I personally use and love it. It’s cheap, smooth, and easy to clean. At only $8, it won’t break your budget; and when taken care of lasts for years. Alternatively at Lowe’s you can get this:

Now you need a roller cover (or “nap” as they’re sometimes called). If you’re working with rough textured walls, you’ll need a longer cover. Most mainstream covers are made from polyester blends but will still work well. For painting smooth to semi-smooth walls use this roller cover:

This cover will hold quite a bit of paint, but won’t be too messy. If you’re shopping at Lowe’s you can get:

If you’re painting exterior walls, or the walls have heavy texture, you might need a longer roller cover. A 1/2in to 3/4in cover will hold a lot more paint, and also reach those areas in between texture or grooves. For painting semi-rough to rough walls, use this:

Alternatively, if you’re shopping at Lowe’s you can get this:

Helpful Things To Have

You can paint an entire house with the tools listed above. But, if you’re not used to it, that process will be difficult and tedious. So here are some things I recommend getting to make your painting experience much better:

That should just about do it for tools. With this equipment you’re fully prepared to paint any surface thrown at you. Click here for part 2 of 4: Choosing Your Paint. If you want something painted, but painting isn’t something you want to try, I would love the opportunity to help. Fill out my job estimate form to get started.

How To Fix A Sagging Door

fix a sagging door
Easily fix a sagging door

As seasons change and homes age, there is settling that occurs. This is typical, and doesn’t often cause major problems. Creaking joints, slight shifting in floorboards, or cracks in the drywall. During the course of your home settling, door jamb can shift, creating a sagging door. This can cause improper latch alignment, or parts of the door to snag on the frame. When settling occurs, opening and closing your door becomes difficult or even impossible.

I’ve experienced this numerous times and fixing the problem can prove to be challenging; but, here are a few things you can try yourself before calling a professional.Tighten loose screws.

Tighten Loose Screws

It may sound silly, but this can definitely impact how your door sits in the jamb. If you have a few screws that aren’t completely tight, the door hinge could easily sag, causing the door to catch on the door frame. Ensuring all your door hinge screws are tight will eliminate this possibility and allow you to try the next step if your door still won’t function correctly.

Replace Shorter Screws

If the screws of your door hinges seem loose or like they’re not getting enough bite into the door frame, you replace the stand 1” screws with something a bit more substantial. Using a 2” or even 3” screw could help secure your door to a stud behind the door jam and fix the issue.

Fill In Loose Screw Holes

If changing out your screws isn’t an option, you can try filling in the loose screw holes. If your screw has partially stripped out the hole, or isn’t getting enough bite, you can try filling the hole to make a tighter fit. Use wood glue and toothpicks to fill the screw hole, allowing you to get more friction with the door screw.

Use A Hinge Shim

If your door is uneven adjusting door hinges might make a difference. When a hinge needs to be extended from the wall instead of drawn in, using a hinge shim could be an option. Trace your door hinge over a piece of thin cardboard and cut out the shape to use as a shim in your door jamb. Be careful because too much of a shim can make the problem worse.

Plane The Door

If you’ve tried all the previous options, planing the door could be something to consider. Planing the end of your door will make fitting inside the jamb easier. However, this can cause problems with modern, manufactured doors because they are hollow and often flimsy. Planing these doors could mean doing more damage than intended.

If these options didn’t work, or aren’t possible, it may be time to contact a professional. I’ve spent years repairing problems just like this, and would love the opportunity to help you out. With my experience and expertise, fixing your door won’t be a problem. Contact me to find out how I can serve you today.