If you are looking to paint either the interior or exterior of your house, then you are going to need some supplies. Aside from the paint, one of the most important things to have is the tool that will help you put your paint on the walls. When you get to the home improvement or paint store, you will find rollers and brushes and, sometimes, sprayers.

20863479_s-967289-editedThe main reason that I do not advocate paint sprayers is that they are often messy and require some trial and error to get right. Some sprayers spray the paint at different levels of power or get clogged easily if the paint is a latex-based. It takes some effort to learn the best adjustment to the sprayer and then you still have to practice before you will successfully paint your wall evenly and without drips. If you hire a painting contractor, some will come with a paint sprayer; but many have said that they only like to use those for rougher, outdoor surfaces – and even then, they have to go slowly, getting up on ladders and moving across the walls so that they are always spraying at the same angle and from the same distance. They also suggest you wear a mask and eye protection. Since sprayers can be such a nuisance, contractors – especially those in areas like Jacksonville, where the homes are built in materials of varying textures – will have a collection of paint rollers and brushes, instead.

When you go to purchase your supplies, you’ll find a variety of rollers and brushes. As far as the brushes go, you won’t be painting an entire wall with them, so you shouldn’t need a very big brush. If you do try to paint a large area of wall with a brush, you are likely to end with an uneven coat of paint. Instead, your brushes will be used for touch ups, edges, and trim. After the walls are painted, you can use the brush to paint your baseboards, windowsills, outdoor trim (if you are painting the house exterior), molding, and doors.

You do not want to purchase a brush any wider than what you are painting – if you do, you are likely to end up painting over the floor or the wall you just finished. If you are going to paint your door, I suggest getting two brushes – one larger and one smaller. Of course, if your door has no texture, you can easily use a roller for most of it, but if you do, you may want to consider taking off the handles or locks and you might even want to take it off its hinges so that you can paint it quickly and freely. Otherwise, if you don’t want to create that much more work for yourself, use painter’s tape to cover the hardware and use a brush.

I find that a 3-inch brush is generally a good size for most baseboards and molding, though you may discover that yours is only 1 ¾ inches wide, so it’s a good idea to measure these things before you go to the store. For my doors, I like to start with either a 4-inch or 6-inch brush and use my 3-inch brush to paint the harder spots around the hardware and on the sides, if I am painting those. Most home improvement stores won’t have a big selection other than the size, but if you should come across brushes with different levels of stiffness, I suggest going for a mid to stiff brush for painting your house.

When you look at rollers you will find that there are different lengths and naps. A good rule of thumb for determining how long you want the nap of your roller to be is to look at the surface you are painting. A longer nap will mean a thicker, softer roller and will be better for more textured surfaces. A shorter nap will roll more evenly on smoother surfaces. As for the length, 9-inch rollers are the most common size, but if you have a section of wall, such as a beam, that is smaller, you may decide to also get a 3-inch roller. You won’t want to paint the whole wall with the 3-inch one, however, because it will take longer than is necessary. Also look at what the roller is made of. I don’t suggest getting a roller with a cardboard core unless you plan on only using it for one project. They are not very good for washing and reusing, but there are rollers with plastic centers that are perfect for multiple jobs. If you are still having a hard time picking a paint roller in the store, try asking a sales associate for some painting tips.

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